The Liberty Lobby and the American Right: Race, Conspiracy, and Culture

The Liberty Lobby and the American Right: Race, Conspiracy, and Culture

The Liberty Lobby and the American Right: Race, Conspiracy, and Culture

The Liberty Lobby and the American Right: Race, Conspiracy, and Culture

Synopsis

By examining the well-developed ideology and articulate adherents of the Liberty Lobby, Mintz traces the development of the contemporary right, going beyond a general sociological description of the rightist movement or a sensationalist expose. In the context of how the Liberty Lobby differs from the more conservative network and from other far right organizations, intraright rivalry and accommodation are highlighted. Finally, Mintz explores the ideas and personalities of the people who have shaped the Lobby intellectually.

Excerpt

A major development of the post-World War II period in the United States was the expansion of the political right. The 1980 election of Ronald Reagan, long a stellar figure of the American right, and the contemporary strength of conservative forces in Congress underscore the importance of the movement. Whether they are long-term or ephemeral in their impact, the political events of 1980 should encourage serious thinking about the ideological and intellectual origins of the postwar right, the deep and abiding differences within the movement, and the often subliminal resemblances among ostensibly antagonistic factions.

What, for example, does the term "right" mean? It is actually the broadest possible designation for a movement in behalf of a private property order that arose to challenge the domestic and foreign policies of the New Deal, its heirs among the Democrats, and its emulators among the Republicans. A closer examination of the phenomenon yields certain crucial distinctions.

Some rightists have chosen to make free market economics the central facet of their ideology and to uphold "laissez-faire" or something closely approximating it as the essential alternative to the socioeconomic policies they deplored. In recent times, such free market advocates have received or employed the label "libertarian." Other individuals, opposing the accumula-

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