“Corey Robin, if he’s watching this, is losing his mind.”

On Up With Chris Hayes this morning, Chris offered some badly needed revisionist wisdom about conservatism. He mentions a certain book by a certain political theorist…Start watching at 5:40. And if you haven’t bought that certain book of that certain theorist, it’s now available, at last, in paperback, for $13, here. Maybe you should, um, buy it.


  1. Harry Harootunian February 23, 2013 at 5:18 pm | #

    Corey: Why don’t you take on the Jack Lew ‘appointment’ and say something about the crap that’s being dredged up about him as a result of his immanent coronation. It seems to me that this is repetition without difference, which appears to be the only strategy Obama has consistently stuck to: an unerring aptitude for making appalling appointments. Yet between government, business and high finance there is a seamless identity that leads to appointments like this and the window of opportunity it provides for looting. In Lew’s case, there has been nothing about his strike breaking adventure at NYU, for which he walked away with $5 million. This outsized salary was being paid at time when Sexton and the administration were poor mouthing it and telling us there would be no raises for several years, and in a university that has no discernible endowment. On this the NY Times has been silent while the Wall Street Journal has documented how he represents precisely what liberal politicians have been pledged to oppose, even though they’re now poised to confirm him.

    • Mitchell Freedman February 24, 2013 at 8:40 am | #

      It is extraordinary that Jack Lew has the NYU fiasco and the overall financial fiasco on his blood stained hands, and yet….no controversy as with Hagel who dared to challenge the foreign policy elite. To those who still deny the elitist corporate media power to control narratives and discussions (most importantly what we don’t discuss), this is perhaps a teaching moment.

  2. Donna Gratehouse (@DonnaDiva) February 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm | #

    I enjoy listening to McWhorter but I find his politics to be bizarre and confusing. And all of his students agreed with Burke’s ideas once they were exposed to them? My reaction to them was “what a dick!”

  3. Andrew February 24, 2013 at 1:02 pm | #

    Hayes comments were spot on, especially regarding Burke worship. Corey, based on some of the comments made by the contributors I was reminded of what you had mentioned in your book: that very few leftists are actually exposed to or familiar with what conservatives actually believe and thus misconstrue their arguments and actions. For example, John Nichols seemed to be arguing that Buckley and Reagan were the good moderates that drove the crazies out of the GOP. Paul Gottfried has written several books on how paleoconservatives were silenced and eventually expelled from the GOP by the neoconservatives and Buckley’s National Review crowd (the best book on this topic is his Conservatism in America). Gottfried concluded that the neocons were ex-leftists (mostly of the anti-Stalinist left) who latched onto the anti-communist movement and thus infiltrated the Republican ranks. As such, the anti-war Old Right was banished and the majority conservative mission statement was changed from isolationism and traditionalism (with a dash of racism of course) to one of international war to bring human rights and democracy around the world. Even Jonah Goldberg plays the “we’re doing it for women’s rights” card (a co-opting of leftwing ideas you spoke of in your book). Because of this, the neocons have become the ‘polite and respectable’ crowd that can be brought onto MSNBC (remember Patrick Buchanan was banned from the network after publishing a book that was, well, too conservative). Let’s face it, Hayes isn’t going to be brining any rightwing heavyweights onto his show any more than Noam Chomsky is going to be hanging out with Bill O’Reilly.

    Thus one of the contributor’s statements that GWB was beloved by all conservatives was both true and false. True, because he commanded the allegiance of most of the American right, but only because all other conservative factions had been silenced and stomped out. I heard that Gottfried was actually going to do a review of your book, but I don’t think he ever got around to writing it.

  4. Paul S February 24, 2013 at 4:02 pm | #

    How much for a signed copy?

  5. Donald Pruden, Jr, a/k/a The Enemy Combatant February 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm | #

    Or, get your family to give it to you as a gift on (name your Holiday).

    Like I did at Christmas! And in hardcover (did I mention that before??)

    Envy me!!

  6. Rob Smith February 28, 2013 at 2:23 am | #

    I love your book! But, a quibble.

    Over time, as the Predator State has grown to its current ginormous proportions, the libertarian critique has become more real, and less of a diverting ploy in defense of power. Likewise, principled libertarian thinkers have emerged, such as Radley Balko, Will Wilkinson, and Julian Sanchez, who aren’t just hoary old shock troops pining away for a return to the Ancien Regime.

    But I guess then the question is… are Radley Balko, Will Wilkinson, and Julian Sanchez even proper conservatives?

    But regardless, libertarianism is increasingly emerging from the shadow of reactionary conservatism as a convincing, independent ideology.

    • Corey Robin February 28, 2013 at 8:51 am | #

      Well, Will Wilkinson has basically disowned the libertarian label for himself. So he’s come fairly close to being a moderate liberal. But I’d also say none of these guys represents the libertarian movement mainstream. I’ve got a piece coming out in a forthcoming issue of the Nation where I really dig into the classic libertarian texts (von Mises and Hayek) and I make the case in more detail for their being part of the conservative tradition.

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