Politics in America, Britain, and other Western nations have taken a sharp turn toward nationalism—a commitment to a world of independent nations. This has been disorienting to many, not least the American conservative movement, which has, since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, grown increasingly attached to a vision of a global “rules-based liberal order” that would bring peace and prosperity to the entire world while attenuating the independence of nations.Conservatives couldn't conserve the ladies room. Don't count on them to save the American nation. They're not nationalists, they're Neoclowns 2.0.
The return of nationalism has created a much-discussed “crisis of conservatism” that may be unprecedented since modern Anglo-American conservatism was formulated by Russell Kirk, William Buckley, and their colleagues in the 1950s. At the heart of this crisis is a question: Is the new American and British nationalism a hostile usurper that has arrived on the scene to displace political conservatism? Or is nationalism an essential, if neglected, part of the Anglo-American conservative tradition at its best?
The conference on “National Conservatism” will bring together public figures, journalists, scholars, and students who understand that the past and future of conservatism are inextricably tied to the idea of the nation, to the principle of national independence, and to the revival of the unique national traditions that alone have the power to bind a people together and bring about their flourishing.
We see this public conference as the kick off for a protracted effort to recover and reconsolidate the rich tradition of national conservative thought as an intellectually serious alternative to the excesses of purist libertarianism, and in stark opposition to political theories grounded in race. Our aim is to solidify and energize national conservatives, offering them a much-needed institutional base, substantial ideas in the areas of public policy, political theory, and economics, and an extensive support network across the country.