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08-06-2022 | Comment

Pathways to Anti-Liberalism: A Report on NatCon2, Orlando, 2021

Author: Daniel Gordon

Published in: Society

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Abstract

This article provides an eyewitness account of the National Conservatism conference held in Orlando in 2021. The ideas of Peter Thiel, Glenn Loury, Yoram Hazony, and Sohrab Ahmari are discussed. The strengths and contradictions of National Conservatism are analyzed. Particular attention is given to how some of the leading figures in National Conservatism describe their personal pathway to anti-liberalism.
Footnotes
3
Sohrab Ahmari, From Fire, by Water: My Journey to the Catholic Faith (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2019), 91.
 
5
More precisely, there was no American NatCon in 2020. There was a small NatCon conference in Rome, February 3–4, 2020. A conference organizer told me that the American conferences are numbered separately from the European ones.
 
6
The conference website lists all participants in alphabetical order and provides links to their talks: https://​nationalconserva​tism.​org/​natcon-2-2021/​presenters/​sohrab-ahmari/​.
 
7
George La Noue, Silenced Stages: The Loss of Academic Freedom and Campus Policy Debates (Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2019). For the same argument without statistics, see Aaron R. Hanlon, "The Decline of Debate on College Campuses," The New Republic, Dec. 28, 2017, https://​newrepublic.​com/​article/​146427/​decline-debate-college-campuses.
 
8
James Madison, Federalist 37, "Concerning the Difficulties of the Convention Concerning the Proper Form of Government," https://​avalon.​law.​yale.​edu/​18th_​century/​fed37.​asp.
 
9
https://​newrepublic.​com/​article/​163939/​pro-trump-professors-plot-authoritarian-america. When quoting online articles and YouTube videos in this article, I generally give the reference only once. For some particularly controversial statements made at NatCon2, I provide references showing the minute where the viewer can find the quotation.
 
17
Glenn C. Loury, The Anatomy of Racial Inequality (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2021), p. xviii ("Preface to the Second Paperback Edition").
 
18
Ibid, p. 93.
 
19
Ibid, p. 124.
 
20
Ibid, p. 113.
 
21
Ibid, p. xii.
 
22
Ibid, p. xx. See also this unclear account of his ideological inconsistency: “I was emotionally raw. I had come through this midlife crisis. I moved from Harvard to Boston University. I was getting back on my feet. My marriage survived, my young family was coming along, I joined the church, and, in a way, I wanted to rehabilitate myself with the liberal and Black communities. I became estranged from my conservative friends. That carried on for 15 years until Michael Brown, Black Lives Matter, and racial reckoning, when I reverted.” Interview with Catherine Elton, City Life, Jan. 11, 2022: https://​www.​bostonmagazine.​com/​news/​2022/​01/​11/​glenn-loury/​.
 
23
Glenn C. Loury, "A New American Dilemma," The New Republic, Dec. 31, 1984, p. 15.
 
24
Ibid, p. 16.
 
25
Adam Schatz, "About Face," New York Times, Jan. 20, 2002, sec. 6, p. 18.
 
26
Ibid.
 
28
Ibid, at MIN 18.
 
30
Yoram Hazony, The Virtue of Nationalism (New York: Basic Books, 2018), pp. 38–39.
 
31
Park McDougald, "Are You a Nationalist or an Imperialist," Intelligencer, Sept. 21, 2018: https://​nymag.​com/​intelligencer/​2018/​09/​yoram-hazony-virtue-of-nationalism-review.​html.
 
32
Hazony, The Virtue of Nationalism, pp. 191–192.
 
33
ibid, pp. 214–215.
 
34
Ibid, p. 214.
 
36
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, trans. Arthur Goldhammer (New York: Library of America, 2004; first pub. 1835), p. 343.
 
37
Hazony, The Virtue of Nationalism, p. 2.
 
40
Ahmari, From Fire, by Water, pp. 128–129.
 
41
Ibid, p. 131.
 
42
Ibid, p. 173.
 
44
Ahmari, From Fire By Water, p. 113.
 
45
Ibid, p. 130.
 
46
Ibid, p. 202.
 
47
Hazony, The Virtue of Nationalism, p. 33; see also his rejection of Kant, p. 34.
 
Metadata
Title
Pathways to Anti-Liberalism: A Report on NatCon2, Orlando, 2021
Author
Daniel Gordon
Publication date
08-06-2022
Publisher
Springer US
Published in
Society
Print ISSN: 0147-2011
Electronic ISSN: 1936-4725
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12115-022-00735-7