The Failure of American Conservatism: --And the Road Not Taken
A Powerful, Profound Assessment of Conservatism and America
An impressive burst of creativity gave rise to a vigorous conservative intellectual movement in the United States after the Second World War. Yet, according to Claes Ryn, the great potential of the movement was not realized because of major flaws. The movement became preoccupied with politics to the neglect of academia, history, philosophy, religion, morality, the arts, and entertainment. In the 1980s when Ronald Reagan won great political victories the movement celebrated "the triumph" of conservatism, but this reaction confirmed a superficial understanding of what most fundamentally shapes society. Developments in "the culture" were actually radicalizing the American mind and imagination and eroding America's constitutional order. Conservatism also resisted intellectual discourse of the most rigorous kind and failed to make crucial distinctions. Paradoxically, it even made room for abstract universalist ideology, including Straussian anti-historicism and neoconservative imperialistic democratism. Ryn was a very early critic of all these weaknesses.The Failure of American Conservatism analyzes these weaknesses in depth. It explains the current disorientation of conservatism and why "cancel culture" and Woke were predictable. Mixing new and previously published writing, the book bristles with provocative ideas. It sets forth its own strongly argued view of how to understand and address America's crisis.
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