Conservative Thought

CONSERVATISM
1. The Political Economy of Liberal Corporatism, Joseph R. Stromberg.  Gary North called Stromberg “a gifted historian.”

2. The Rockefeller File, Gary Allen.
3. The Triumph of Conservatism, Gabriel Kolko, 1963.
4. Left & Right: The Prospect of Liberty, Murray Rothbard.
5. The Ruling Class, Angelo Codevilla.
6. Political Polytheism: The Myth of Pluralism, Gary North.
“God-fearing Christian Americans have been told that the Constitution teaches the absolute separation of Church and State. They have been told correctly. But what they have not been told is precisely where it says this. It does not say this in the First Amendment. The First Amendment says only that Congress shall make no law regarding religion or the free exercise thereof. So, where does the Constitution prohibit a Christian America? In a section that has been ignored by scholars for so long that it is virtually never discussed-the key provision that transformed American into a secular humanist nation. But it took 173 years to do this: from 1788 until 1961.”
7. Conservatism: A Phony Movement?
Charles Burris explains: “What most Americans mistakenly regard today as the “Conservative movement” has undergone many convoluted and dramatic transformations over the past sixty years. Perhaps the most keen observer has been Murray N. Rothbard, the internationally acclaimed economist and historian. How this disinformation process began is detailed in three insightful articles, “Life in the Old Right,” “The Foreign Policy of the OldRight,” and “The Transformation of the American Right,” available online. However, Rothbard’s long-awaited book, The Betrayal of the American Right, tells the full story of how this subversive movement at war with American liberties and the rule of law, came about. “Conservatism,” since the days of Burke and Robespierre, has stood for the status quo and an apologia for tyranny.”
8.  A Choice, Not an Echo, Phyllis Schlafly, 1964.
9.  The Conscience of a Conservative, Barry Goldwater, 1960.
10.  The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot, Russell Kirk, 2001.
11.  Why Hayek Is a Conservative, Bloom
12.  Russell Kirk: American Conservative, Bradley Birzer, 2015.  Birzer is the co-founder of the Imaginative Conservative.  He’s written a number of books, The American Cicero: The Life of Charles Carroll (Lives of the Founding Fathers, 2010, and others.
13.  J. R. R. Tolkien, Sanctifying Myth: Understanding Middle Earth, Bradley Birzer, 2014.
14.  With No Apologies, Barry Goldwater, 1955.
15.  The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, George H. Nash, 1976.
16.  Statecraft As Soulcraft: What Government Does, George F. Will, 1983.  Creepy.
17.  by Charles Burris, Sunday, June 4, 2017.

While over many decades there have been innumerable volumes published on Conservatism, tracing its earliest origins, multifaceted ideological character and ever-shifting beliefs over time, two sets of books have proven indispensable in helping me to understand and define its essence and make-up. Most of this important material is unknown to contemporary individuals who self-label themselves as “Conservative,” and identify with such persons as O’Reilly, Hannity, Coulter, Levin, Limbaugh, Savage, or other media talking heads. They are “reactionaries” in the truest sense. for their shallow, ahistorical conception of what it means to be a “Conservative” is more a gut-level reaction or emotive response to the imbecilities of the Left rather than a carefully thought out set of principles.

Many would no doubt assert that Russell Kirk is the uncle of that Star Trek guy.

But the two sets of in-depth, scholarly books presented here address these gaping deficiencies: Peter Witonski, The Wisdom of Conservatism (four volumes); and W. H. Greenleaf’s magisterial three volume set on The British Political Tradition: Volume One: The Rise of Collectivism; Volume Two: The Ideological Heritage; and Volume Three: A Much Governed Nation. Greenleaf’s series is especially useful and intellectually intriguing because he explicitly characterizes the long-range ideological struggle as one between libertarianism versus collectivism.
18.  Build a Foundation of Conservatisim with these 10 Books from ISI, the Intercollegiate Society of Individuals.  This list was put together by Gary North
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from Tom Woods Podcasts

There are so many podcast episodes that come out of Tom Woods and TomWoods.com that saying “This is the best podcast ever” loses its meaning . . . but only a bit. He highlights a talk he gave at a Mises Institution Conference on fascism on the how the leader is the embodiment of the people’s will and the infatuation of executive power, in particular of the conservative movement, and he was talking about that as an undesirable aspects of mainstream conservatism.  He quotes regularly from Robert Nisbet.  He quotes often from Nisbet’s Twilight of Authority.  See some terrific quotes from Nisbet here

The introductory note at the Mises Institute gives this description of Nisbet

Robert Nisbet (1913–1996), the eminent sociologist, taught at Columbia University and made his mark on intellectual life through observing the intermediating structures in society that serve as a bulwark between the individual and the state. He was known as a conservative, and his work is on every list of conservative contributions to the social sciences, but far from being a typical conservative, he blasted conservatism as a species of militarist and invasive interventionism, one that abused people’s public and private pieties in the service of a ghastly civic ethic of statism. He is the author of The Present Age: Progress and Anarchy in Modern America and Twilight of Authority.

Following his opening quotation, Tom Woods references George H. Nash’s book, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, 2006.

Liberty at Risk, Gary DeMar, 1993.

Stromberg: The Political Economy of Liberal Corporativism (Center for Libertarian Studies, 1977).  The following essay by Joseph Stromberg is one of three published in pamphlet form by the Center for Libertarian Studies in 1977 on the subject of state capitalism. As did the others, this one attempts to show how anti-competitive combines depend upon government intervention for their continued existence and how this proves to be pathological.

This bibliography I liked but it is from an anarchist, anti-capitalist site.

The Journal of Libertarian Studies @ The Mises Institute.

The Triumph of Conservatism: A Reinterpretation of American History, 1900-1916, Gabriel Kolko, 1964.

The Conservative Mind: from Burke to Santayana, Russell Kirk.

Witness, Whittaker Chambers, 1952.

Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand, 1957.

The Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, 1787.

Democracy in America, Alexis De Tocqueville, 1831.

The Conscience of a Conservative, Barry Goldwater, 1960.

Road to Serfdom, Friedrich von Hayek, 1944.

Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver, 1948.

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement, Milton and Rose Friedman, 1980.

God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of “Academic Freedom,” William F. Buckley, 1951.

On Liberty, John Stuart Mill, 1859.

Our Enemy, the State, Albert Jay Knock (1870-1945), 1935.

Nock was a prominent essayist at the height of the New Deal. In 1935, hardly any public intellectuals were making much sense at all. They pushed socialism. They pushed fascism. Everyone had a plan. Hardly anyone considered the possibility that the state was not fixing society but destroying it bit by bit.

an increase of State power and a corresponding decrease of social power.

It is, unfortunately, none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has is what society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power; there is never, nor can there be, any strengthening of State power without a corresponding and roughly equivalent depletion of social power.

He praises the Articles of Confederation as the closest model of American freedom. And he blasts the men who hammered out the Constitution as nothing but usurpers engaged in a coup d’etat. Far from heralding the drafters, he exposes them as public creditors, land speculators, money lenders, and industrialists looking for privilege. They tossed out the Articles and used unscrupulous methods to ram the Constitution down the public’s throat.

It was in this stage of American history, Nock says, that the state was unleashed. Next came the party system, and the dynamics of statism that causes “every intervention by the State” to enable another so that “the State stands ever ready and eager to make” interventions through deceit and lies.

A History of the American PeoplePaul Johnson, 1997.

Modern Times: The World from the 1920s to the 1990s, Paul Johnson, 1983, Revised in 1991.

The Jeffersonian Conservative Tradition (Union and Empire),” Clyde N. Wilson, November 9, 2015.  This essay from Tom Woods was excellent.

Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy, Murray Rothbard, 1984.

The Next American Nation: The New Nationalism and the Fourth American Revolution, Michael Lind, 1995.

The Next Conservatism, Paul Weyrich, and William S. Lind, 2009.

The American Conservative magazine was founded by Patrick Buchanan.