Comments on Integralists: America’s Would-be Theocrats by Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky

God: "Where do you get such a lust for sexual pleasure?

Me, lip quavering: "You, OK? I got it from YOU!"
*flounces out of the room*

Whenever I hear from oddball fringe radicals, it seems that what they are really doing is just tracing a line around their own profile, whatever it happens to be, then reverse engineering some mashup of political ideas to craft some bespoke utopia where by coincidence people like them reign supreme.

The common thread is that their manifestos and ideologies all have this airless quality of being crafted in a tiny room late at night in solitude; They don't reflect a broad range of ideas, they don't make appeal to universal themes or aspirations.

Its like a world where Tom Hanks lives in splendor, but then excommunicates Wilson for deviationist backsliding.

So this is the point they are trying to make:

So, if we want to employ great masses of Americans doing manufacturing work and pay them relatively well... then we just need to turn back technology 70 years and blow up the rest of the worlds manufacturing base.

That sounds like a devastating confession, that capitalism isn't capable of reliably creating prosperity.

I'm not saying I believe that.
I'm saying that THEY appear to believe that.

"Where will they get their foot soldiers" is a good question, but not dismissed lightly.

Comparing the Integralists to ISIS, they drew upon a vast pool of angry disillusioned young men who were searching for a cause, a reason, any reason at all, to wage war on the world and set things right.

And by "set things right" they mean change things to where they would rightfully be superior to others.

These guys, Vermuele, Sorhab, or the Peterson groupies just assume that in the world they describe they would reign as the upper caste.

We can and should sneer at the adolescent aspect of it, but when enough angry young men get together, they can become a real problem.

I think the premise can be easily defeated but I'm even more interested in the confession at its heart.

We hear the dogma endlessly that the magic of capitalism is that it creates prosperity in a series of voluntary win-win exchanges where everyone comes out ahead.

Now the party official pulls us aside and whispers that no, its not true at all. Markets are not a win-win after all.
In order for America to prosper, Europe had to be destroyed.

It is even more astonishing when we look in our current era at a rising China and the implications for how to raise American living standards.

No, contemporary American conservatism is not resistant to "change".
The Integralists are a perfect example of that.

No American alive has ever experienced a world that Sohrab Amari envisions. Its like the caliphate of ISIS, or the New Socialist Utopia, a fantasy world that they want to birth into being. Its a radical rejection of the status quo.

Yeah, I keep hearing that, about how the post-war prosperity was some sort of black swan event.

Which is an amazing confession, on par with some Soviet official admitting that Communism was a failure.

Because it seems to rest on the idea that, absent a global war and massive deficit spending, a capitalist economy could not create prosperity.

I think all three legs were driven by reaction. The reaction against the Soviet menace especially after the loss in Vietnam; The reaction to the Sexual revolution; and the reaction to the perceived sluggishness of the New Deal economic structure in the midst of stagflation and collapsing industry.

It was pretty easy in 1979 to convince people that if only we were to unleash the private sector, prosperity would return, if only we would stand up to the Soviets, if only we would embrace moral virtues, then things would get better.

Political ideologies need outside enemies yes, but they also need to deliver the goods.

Patrick Deneen needs to write a follow up : "Why Conservatism Failed".

The various fringe actors of conservatism- the white supremacists, the integralists are rushing in to fill the vacuum left as the Reagan revolution sputtered out and ended in 2008.

I peg 2008 only because that was when the promises of Reagan conservatism like a strong military and economic prosperity were shattered by the senseless Mideast wars and the Great Recession, respectively.
The third leg of Buckley's conservatism collapsed in 2016 with the rise of Trump.

There isn't any coherent conservative intellectual movement that commands the political field even among Republicans. Trump is the only unifying force and he has only one card to play which is white male grievance politics.