From Pine View Farm

“Liberal,” “Conservative” 0

The American Conservative magazine (which, despite having been founded by that renowned loose cannon, Pat Buchanan) has some thoughtful and interesting articles.

The current issue has a neat series about whether the terms “liberal” and “conservative” have mutated beyond recognition and whether the “left-right” lens of viewing US politics has any meaning or utility left.

Here’s the introduction to the series and a link to the essays:

Since its inception, The American Conservative has been dealing with questions of what Right and Left mean in the modern context and to what extent the terms even apply anymore. Commentary memorably took up similar issues in a 1976 symposium, and, 30 years later, in a time of renewed ideological flux, we think a reconsideration is in order.

In the interest of hosting a lively discussion, we chose contributors from across the political spectrum and asked for their thoughts on the following questions:

1. Are the designations “liberal” and “conservative” still useful? Why or why not?

2. Does a binary Left/Right political spectrum describe the full
range of ideological options? Is it still applicable?

Not all of these authors share TAC’s editorial orientation, but we believe there is wisdom in the council of many, and each was chosen as representative of a particular perspective. We leave our readers to decide which insights most accord with their own.


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