Quote of the Week: Thomas Fleming, “The New Right Papers”

The struggle for power, then, is not a bilateral conflict between ‘liberals’ like Ted Kennedy and conservatives like Ronald Reagan. It is a trilateral (pardon the expression) war going on among three groups – first, those who call themselves liberals, but whose doctrines and policies are nearly pure socialism; second, free enterprise conservatives, whose doctrines are unadulterated liberalism; and the traditionalists, social conservatives whose leadership and support is typically – but by no means exclusively – Southern.”

It is obvious to anyone that many capitalist ‘conservatives’ are nothing better than nineteenth century liberals with a hangover. Thier libertarian ideas of freedom, expressed almost always in economic terms, are tempered only by the recognition that it takes force to keep the discontented masses in their place. However, when a Southerner calls himself conservative, he is usually thinking of a way of life, of a social and moral order for which the people of the 1860s went to war. He is more disturbed by the disintegration of the family than by rising interest rates. He believes in Free Enterprise and might even be happy to go to war to resist Soviet aggression, but he is not so delighted with the mobility and twardiness of modern life, with the fast food and fast buck artists who seem intent on turning the New South into a suburb of Chicago. He does not like to see family farms swallowed up by Agribusiness in the interest of profit and productivity. Above all, he knows the value of stability and the price of progress.”

▪ Thomas Fleming, “Old Rights and the New Right” in Robert  Whitaker (ed) The New Right Papers (St Martin’s Press, 1982) extract from page 182 and 184 respectively.

SydneyTrads is the internet portal and communication page of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum, an association of individuals who form part of the Australian paleoconservative, “traditionalist conservative” and “independent right”.

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