Though conservatives are often portrayed as strong supporters of the free market, not all of them are. Now and in the past, many individuals have happily embraced the conservative label while expressing strong reservations about, if not outright rejection of, market economies.
Even so I’ve noticed, as someone who identifies very much as a conservative, that skepticism of markets among conservatives has swelled in recent years. The financial crisis of late 2007 to 2009 and the subsequent recession have hardened an attitude—including among conservatives—that free markets are essentially unfair, facilitate unhealthy cultural trends, and leave many people on life’s economic margins.
In response to: Pierre Manent’s Defense of the Nation-State
In the wake of the rubble and death left strewn across Europe from the Atlantic to the Volga after two brutal wars in the space of 30 years, it was understandable that many Europeans wanted to severely tame the nation-state in 1945. What a stark domestication could portend, though, was hardly thought about. That supranational governmental organizations could ever threaten liberty, or become distinctly hostile toward national forms of political community per se, would have struck many people as far-fetched in the late 1940s. Political leaders at that time spoke in terms of a community of nations—not an international community. Today,…