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The Revanchist Right

He views mainstream conservatism as making several concessions in the direction of the Left. He opposes a political system based on take-and-give, saying that this entails more give but too little take.

The New Right has abandoned the comfortable belief that even with a few bumps, the overall picture is normal and steady in America and that we are able to go in the direction of our current trajectory through a collaborative exchange alongside the Left. Our current crisis calls for a more aggressive and sometimes more abrasive approach. …. A leftist revolution within America has already begun. As counterrevolutionaries, the New Right must have a strategy for creating and retaking space for its constituents, breaking and replacing captured institutions, and liberating them from the moral horizons of the Left. (Milikh, p. xi)

Milikh and the other contributors provide some bold ideas for reversing the current trend after conservatives have gained political power. They’ve got nothing to say on how to attain this position. You won’t find here an outline of how to locate the political center or create the coalition.

Richard Hanania writes,

Conservatives should invest their energy in fighting for the control of — or, at times, denigrating and dismantling the institutions that are the most important and heavily affected by leftist politics. (Hanania, p. 20)

For instance,

The federal government imposes on private institutions to classify people in accordance with race and sex as well as to favor protected groups, which include women and non-whites, over other groups, and to regulate social interactions. There are a few federal agencies that are the most accountable in monitoring conformity… Congress needs to end its funding or, at the very minimum, restrict its power by stating that discrimination refers to intentional discrimination but not discrimination based on disparate impact (Hanania, p. 22)

Hanania asserts that the conservative complaints,

… cannot be solved by doing the work that is not glamorous, namely building institutions that make politicians accountable on subjects they are passionate about. In some areas, such as abortion, guns, and taxes, conservatives have already done this and thus have set up criteria for Republican politicians who want to further their careers. Activists must ensure civil rights laws, as well as school choice, reducing the size of the university bureaucracies, in addition to giving presidents more control over federal employees, are included on this list. (Hanania, p. 30)

He believes conservatives are now experiencing an awareness of the powerful power centers that are progressive. They are, for instance, aware of the necessity of targeting teachers’ unions, which supported school closures in the midst of the pandemic, and are now seeking to promote controversial ideas about gender and race in the classroom.

Helen Andrews argues that establishment conservatives have remained silent as the education of “family planning” has focused on ways to avoid the occurrence of pregnancy while not giving women the inherent challenges of waiting until they reach the age of 30 to begin having children. Conservatives must encourage women to prioritize family over career.

If you prioritize family, it is possible to end up having to do both. If you are trying to accomplish both, you’re likely to finish with only one career. (Andrews, p. 72)

Regardless, youngsters today are becoming increasingly divorced and without children.

The projections suggest that 25% of millennials will be without children, which is one out of four. For baby boomers, it’s more like one in nine. …. If you’re looking at the level of marriage a particular generation is, consider those aged between 21 and 36. In 1965, 17 percent of that generation had never married. In 2017, that number was the same at 57 percent (Andrews in page. 72)

Scott Yenor laments that.

The broad course of the conservative movement regarding the family has been one of losing following loss: feminism. It was then an era of gay liberation, which was followed by same-sex marriage and a few years later (perhaps) by trans rights. (Yenor, p. 80)

One could claim that the different sexual liberation movements demanded more than “love the sinner, hate the sin.” They require that everyone be a lover of the sin.

Yenor claims that

Society must recognize the marital procreative sex of man and woman over other forms of sexual mingling to be successful and endure for the long run. (Yenor, p. 87)

The Revanchist Right (my term and not theirs) utilizes a fiery rhetoric. For instance, in a chapter on the subject of education, Milikh as well as Yenor write,

The New Right must endorse government as well as private actions to hurt the reputation, degrade, and even destroy our educational system and create an efficient, patriotic moral education model that is appropriate for a nation of great potential. (Milikh and Yenor (p. 107-89.)

For a specific suggestion, they suggest

The red states could split universities into “hard sciences” and “pretend sciences,” paying just the sciences that are hard using public funds and allowing the others to compete or wilt away in the weeds. (Milikh and Yenor (p. 118)


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Jane S. King

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