Reactionary Mind Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin

ISBN-10: 0199959110
ISBN-13: 9780199959112
Edition: 2013
Authors: Corey Robin
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Description: Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession to Corey Robin. Capitalism is "boring," said the founding father of the American right. "Devoting your life to it," as conservatives do, "is horrifying if only because it's so repetitious. It's like  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 3/1/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.704
Language: English

Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession to Corey Robin. Capitalism is "boring," said the founding father of the American right. "Devoting your life to it," as conservatives do, "is horrifying if only because it's so repetitious. It's like sex." With this unlikely conversation began Robin's decade-long foray into the conservative mind. What is conservatism, and what's truly at stake for its proponents? If capitalism bores them, what excites them?Tracing conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution, Robin argues that the right is fundamentally inspired by a hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market, others oppose it. Some criticize the state, others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality.Despite their opposition to these movements, conservatives favor a dynamic conception of politics and society--one that involves self-transformation, violence, and war. They are also highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances. This partiality to violence and capacity for reinvention has been critical to their success.Written by a keen, highly regarded observer of the contemporary political scene,The Reactionary Mindranges widely, from Edmund Burke to Antonin Scalia, from John C. Calhoun to Ayn Rand. It advances the notion that all rightwing ideologies, from the eighteenth century through today, are historical improvisations on a theme: the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back.

Corey Robin is Associate Professor of Political Science, Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, and the author of the award-winning Fear: The History of a Political Idea .

Acknowledgments
Epigraph
Introduction
Profiles in Reaction
Conservatism and Counterrevolution
The First Counterrevolutionary
Garbage and Gravitas
Inside Out
The Ex-Cons
Affirmative Action Baby
Virtues of Violence
A Color-Coded Genocide
Remembrance of Empires Past
Protocols of Machismo
Potomac Fever
Easy to Be Hard
Conclusion
Notes
Index

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