Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Nietzsche, Hayek, and the Meaning of Conservatism

The concluding paragraphs of Corey Robin's rebuttal (now in complete form at Jacobin):
One possibility is that my work unsettles the boundaries so many libertarians have drawn around themselves. (The liberal-ish conservative Goldman is a different matter; in his case, I think the problem is simply a lack of familiarity and experience with these texts.) Like some of their counterparts outside the academy, at Reason and elsewhere, academic libertarians often like to describe themselves as neither right nor left — a political space, incidentally, with some rather unwholesome precedents — or as one-half of a dialogue on the Left, where the other half is Rawlsian liberalism or analytical Marxism. What they don’t want to hear is that theirs is a voice on and of the Right. Not because they derive psychic or personal gratification from how they position themselves but because theirs is a political project, in which they borrow from the Left in order to oppose — or all the while opposing — the main projects of the Left.

That kind of politics has a name. It’s called conservatism.

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