Nov 28, 2005

What Pat sez...

The November 21st issue of American Conservative has an examination of the Weekly Standard. American Conservative is Pat Buchanan’s brainchild and represents a mixture of old time conservatism and a contemporary Far-right anti-globalization, anti-War, and anti-Israeli politics. American Conservative is, however, no unified voice on all fronts. They prioritize debate and the clarification of similarities and differences. Checking out the November 8, 2004 issue you could find a good example of the heterogeneous nature of the journal – each of the main contributors picks a different presidential candidate. If one believed the simplistic caricature that is portrayed of the Right by the Left, one would expect that Buchanan’s folx all endorsed Bush. Wrong. The issue starts with the following editorial,

“Unfortunately, this election does not offer traditional conservatives an easy or natural choice and has left our editors as split as our readership. In an effort to deepen our readers’ and our own understanding of the options before us, we’ve asked several of our editors and contributors to make “the conservative case” for their favored candidate. Their pieces, plus Taki’s column closing out this issue, constitute TAC’s endorsement. —The Editors”

and then among the articles, Scott McConnell lays out an argument for why Kerry should gain the presidency, or more accurately, why Bush should loose,

“There is little in John Kerry’s persona or platform that appeals to conservatives… But this election is not about John Kerry…It is, instead, an election about the presidency of George W. Bush… Bush has accomplished this by giving the U.S. a novel foreign-policy doctrine under which it arrogates to itself the right to invade any country it wants if it feels threatened. It is an American version of the Brezhnev Doctrine, but the latter was at least confined to Eastern Europe… George W. Bush has come to embody a politics that is antithetical to almost any kind of thoughtful conservatism. His international policies have been based on the hopelessly naïve belief that foreign peoples are eager to be liberated by American armies—a notion more grounded in Leon Trotsky’s concept of global revolution than any sort of conservative statecraft.”

Anway, the point here is that American Conservative is trying to regenerate “Right Wing” discourse. They have positioned themselves as the opposition to Bush and the NeoCon agenda. Buchanan himself is not fascist, just an old time White Conservative. however, his politics have lead him to embrace fascist groups that organize through patriotic fronts. This is where his sympathies lay, with reactionary nationalism that is attempting to build popular Right fronts. And while Buchanan is a U.S. patriot, he looks globally to find partners and like-minds. Check out his take on France's Le Pen, who won an impressive 17% of the 2002 French Presedential vote. Quasi-fascist National Front Le Pen (Le Pen has been associated politically with WWII Nazi and Vichy Government officials) was defeated only when the the Communist and Socialist Left rallied behind Conservative capitalist President Jacques Chirac.

The signifigance of American Conservative and Buchanan was touched upon previously in an interview I did with the Kate Sharpley Library. I made some political points on the popular Right and it's relevance to fascist trends here in the States.