The modern conservative

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Published on: May 16, 2008

“Pseudoconservativism is among other things a disorder in relation to authority, characterized by an inability to find other modes for human relationship than those of more or less complete domination or submission … The pseudo-conservative is a man who, in the name of upholding traditional American values and institutions and defending them against more or less fictitious dangers, consciously or unconsciously aims at their abolition … [He] sees his own country as being so weak that it is constantly about to fall victim to subversion; and yet he feels that it is so all-powerful that any failure it may experience in getting its way in the world … cannot possibly be due to its limitations but must be attributed to its having been betrayed.”
– Richard Hofstadter, The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Other Essays, 1965.

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