The Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues


Conservatism, always a contested term, has become the subject of major confusion in the post-Cold War era. As it emerged after the Second World War in the writings of Russell Kirk and the pages of William F. Buckley’s National Review, the conservative movement already was more coalition than single program or philosophy. The notion of conservative “fusionism” was a convenient but superficial means of holding together libertarians, politically under-defined anti-communists, and traditional conservatives in pursuit of their common public policy goals. As the Cold War wound down and the Republican Party devolved into neoliberal globalism, the movement dissolved into mutually hostile factions. There emerged, then, a kind of “stand-pattism” that not only failed to uphold the principles of any section of the conservative movement, but also eschewed dispositional conservatism’s Humean roots in favor of clumsily interlocking structures shielding large concentrations of wealth behind administrative barriers to entry.





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Lawrence Alexander & Steven D. Smith

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