The Ideological Origins of the Reactionary Right (w/ Tom G. Palmer)

There’s something different about the contemporary right. Classical liberal rhetoric has been replaced with something much uglier and more reactionary, keen to carve the world into us and them and celebrate the use and abuse of power.

Today’s conversation is about this turn. Or, as my guest explains, this return to ideologies a century old or more, but now gaining prominence and attacking the very idea of liberalism.

To discuss that, I’m joined by Tom G. Palmer. He is executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network where he holds the George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty, and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute.

Our conversation explores the parallels between current far-right movements and ideologies and those of the 1930s and discusses the thinkers and trends that have influenced these movements, such as Carl Schmitt and the rejection of liberal values. We delve into the revolutionary nature of far-right ideologies and their desire to smash existing institutions and examine the aesthetic dimension and the search for meaning in these movements. We conclude by addressing the difficulty in recognizing the danger of far-right movements and the need to take them seriously.

Produced by Landry Ayres. Podcast art by Sergio R. M. Duarte. Music by Kevin MacLeod.

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