Climb out on a very shaky limb with us! [Can anything be as foolish as political prediction!]
Not only do we believe that there is no “blue wave” in our future – a reaction that will sweep away all consideration of conservative thinking. But we think just the opposite: a growing body of conservative opinion has a arisen that will dominate public discussion and policy.
It’s true that one can characterize the policies of President Donald K. Trump, the world’s leading political figure, as much idiosyncratic as conservative. But he has cleared a path for the introduction of what had been considered right of center thinking – for example, dismantling regulation and freeing the economy and his creation of a conservative plurality in the Supreme Court and though his vast overhaul of the judiciary generally.
This latter development has been minimized in the Media, most of the leaders of which share a bitter feud with Trump whose triumphs they had not foreseen.
But as of Oct. 11, the Senate had confirmed 84 Article III judges nominated by Trump, including two Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, 29 judges for the Courts of Appeals, 53 judges for the District Courts. There are currently 57 of his nominations to Article III Courts awaiting Senate action. There are also currently 11 vacancies on the U.S. Courts of Appeals, 108 vacancies on the U.S. District Courts, two vacancies on the U.S. Court of International Trade, and 23 vacancies that will occur before the end of Trump’s first term.
All this means the eclipse of the left of center philosophy – or perhaps better characterized as a general tendency toward growth in government and administrative procedure — since the advent of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1933. This does not mean, of course, that all future legislative and executive initiatives are to be of a conservative character. But it does mean that “conservativism” – the free market viewpoint which defines economic liberty as the freedom to produce, trade and consume any goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud or theft — will be the model.
Not, again, that this philosophical concept will not be under constant attack. Politics of the right from the 1920s until our own time, when they strayed, were too often confused with the extreme right. Never mind that “Fascism” was a very specific term, originally reserved to an effort to restore what its advocates thought was a society of domination by wealth and its power uninhibited by government power with which it was allied. But Mussolini, the earliest successful Fascist leader, saw World War I as a revolution that brought massive changes to the nature of war, society, the state and technology. The result was the advent of total war [so admired in Wilhelmine Germany by Vladimir Lenin and his later “Stalinists” following].
They saw a “military citizenship” resulting in the rise of a powerful state capable of mobilizing millions of people to serve on the front lines and providing economic production and logistics, as well unprecedented authority to intervene in their lives. The Fascists believed that liberal democracy obsolete and they regarded the complete mobilization of society under a totalitarian one-party state necessary to prepare a nation not only for armed conflict but to respond to peacetime economic difficulties.
Such a state should be led by a strong leader — such as a dictator and a martial government composed of the governing fascist party — to forge national unity.
Fundamental to Fascism was the assertion that violence is automatically negative but rather viewed political violence, war and imperialism as a means that could achieve national rejuvenation. Fascists placed less emphasis on a mixed economy, using old levers achieving autarky [national economic self-sufficiency] through protectionist and interventionist economic policies.
Since the end of World War II in 1945, few parties have openly described themselves as fascist. a term now usually used pejoratively by political opponents. Neo-fascist or post-fascist are sometimes applied to describe parties of the extreme right, often with racist overtones. And the characteristics of the proto-fascist society have now returned to several East and Central European states, notably Hungary, and promise to be a threat to democratic regimes.