Monday, January 28, 2008

On Conservatism's Ongoing Nervous Breakdown

John O'Sullivan, writing in the New Criterion:

“mainstream” conservative parties in all countries for the last thirty years have shunned nationalist voters and the causes that arouse them from immigration to anti-supra-nationalism. This has resulted in the rise of third parties and political entrepreneurs specializing in such issues. Examples include the National Front in France, the People’s Party in Denmark, the Freedom Party in Austria, the National Alliance in Italy, One Nation in Australia, the Reform Party in Canada, Ross Perot in the United States, UKIP and the British National Party in Britain, the late Pim Fortuyn’s party in Holland, and New Zealand First.

"three highly important developments: the shift of power from legislatures to bureaucratic agencies and the courts in domestic politics; the shift of power from democratic nation states to largely unaccountable supra-national bodies from the UN to the European Union, etc; and the development of ideologies that, lagging behind events, serve to justify these relatively new political practices and institutions as legitimate...

The first task for a serious conservatism is to de-mystify the unaccountable bureaucracies that are not only our enemies but also the enemies of the nation-state, religion, small independent businesses, aspiring entrepreneurs, families and married people, and patriotic and self-reliant citizens. ...Our second task is to defend democracy at home and the nation-state abroad. ...Our third general response should be to restrain and obstruct bureaucracies directly...

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