X Close

The future belongs to Right-wing progressives Conservatism is finished

(Hector Vivas/Getty Images) Bukele, a rock star of the online Right.

(Hector Vivas/Getty Images) Bukele, a rock star of the online Right.


April 11, 2024   6 mins

Reactionary as I am, it gives me no pleasure to report that conservatism is finished. As Britain struggles with the exhausted death-spasms of liberal Toryism, the only subset of Right-wing thought in the West today that doesn’t feel moribund is actively anti-conservative. The liveliest corner of the Anglophone Right is scornful of cultural conservatism and nostalgia, instead combining an optimistic view of technology with a qualified embrace of global migration and an uncompromising approach to public order.

And in much the same way as the Western Left seized on Venezuela under Chávez as a totemic worked example of this vision, so too the radical Right today has its template for the future: El Salvador under Nayib Bukele. Most recently, we can see this in the adulatory response from the online Right to Bukele’s offer of 5,000 free visas to “highly skilled scientists, engineers, doctors, artists, and philosophers”.

These visas, accompanied by tax breaks and help-with-moving costs, aim to tempt the cream of what the modern world likes to call “human capital” to make their homes in El Salvador. But if you build it, will they come? In recent years, El Salvador has made headlines for adopting an approach to law and order that, while effective, is viewed with alarm by Western liberals as encroaching unacceptably on human rights. Since coming to power in 2019, Bukele has declared a still-to-be-rescinded state of exception, suspended the Salvadorean constitution, and locked up some 70,000 alleged gang members without due process.

These moves have drastically reduced the murder rate in a previously notoriously dangerous country. Western critics, though, point to allegations that he has corrupted institutions by packing them with allies, not to mention, according to Amnesty International, “concealed and distorted public information, backed actions to undermine civic space, militarised public security, and used mass arrests and imprisonment as the sole strategies for counteracting violence in the country”.

And yet, Bukele’s strongman tactics have made him wildly popular with Salvadoreans, who doubtless enjoy a reported 70% reduction in the country’s previously extremely high murder rate. They have also made Bukele a rock star for the online Right. This group, fond of complaining about spineless leaders, fraying Western law and order, and the bleeding-away of political agency into international institutions and NGOs, regards the spectacle of a strongman leader with good social media game as something like a fantasy made flesh.

Arguably, it’s as much his embrace of technology that accords Bukele the mantle of poster-boy for a futuristic Right. Whether in his extremely online presence, his (admittedly not completely successful) embrace of Bitcoin as legal tender, or the high-tech, recently rebuilt National Library, funded by Beijing and serving more as showcase for futuristic technologies than as reading-room, Bukele’s offer to the people of El Salvador seems as energetically futurist as it does authoritarian on public safety. As Geoff Schullenberger recently reported, this is part of his appeal to Salvadorean voters: a sense of going somewhere, of there being a future to feel hopeful about.

This trait also makes him a touchstone for the Right-wing movement that I predict will replace “conservatism” in the 21st century. This outlook owes more to the Italian Futurist Filippo Marinetti than conservatives of the G.K. Chesterton variety, let alone any current mainstream Tory. It has as yet no party-political or institutional representation in Britain, and is perhaps most visibly embodied in American technologists such as Elon Musk, Mark Andreessen or Peter Thiel. As a worldview, it is broadly pro-capitalist, enthusiastically pro-technology and unabashedly hierarchical, as well as sometimes also scornful of Christian-inflected concern for the weak.

We might call it, rudely, “space fascism”, though N.S. Lyons’s formulation “Right-wing progressivism” is probably more accurate. Among its adherents, high-tech authoritarianism is a feature, not a bug, and egalitarianism is for fools. Thinkers such as Curtis Yarvin propose an explicitly neo-monarchical model for governance; Thiel has declared that: “I no longer believe freedom and democracy are compatible.” And it’s not hard to see the appeal of Bukele as a poster-boy for such movements: while China is arguably a far larger and more successful instance of high-tech authoritarianism, it’s both (by Western standards) off-puttingly collectivist, and also a little too powerful for comfort. By contrast, El Salvador offers a worked example of what it might look like to roll out Right-wing progressivism in a previously dysfunctional polity: a project that both has underdog appeal, and also poses no direct material threat to American geopolitical interests.

“El Salvador offers a worked example of what it might look like to roll out Right-wing progressivism in a previously dysfunctional polity.”

For Anglophone Rightists, then, El Salvador is thus the most legible real-world instance of something like a Right-wing progressive programme in practice. And along with the tech enthusiasm and public-order toughness, the third distinctive feature of this programme can be gleaned: a desire not to end international migration, but to restrict it to elites.

For Right-wing progressives, polities are not necessarily premised on ethnic or cultural homogeneity — at least not for elites. Rather, this is a vision of statehood less based on affinity, history or even ethnicity, and more on a kind of opt-in, utility-maximisation model. It’s a far cry from the kind of can’t-we-all-just-get-along liberalism that characterises our current crop of hapless Tories. As for those still wedded to the 20th-century idea that being Right-wing necessarily means ethnicity-based nationalism, they are likely to find this outlook bewildering.

But Right-wing progressives generally accord greater political value to gifted, high-productivity foreigners than any slow-witted, unproductive coethnic: those within Right-wing progressive circles propose, and in some cases are already working on, opt-in startup cities and “network states” that would be, by definition, highly selective about membership. As a worldview, it’s jarring to cultural conservatives, who generally value thick ties of shared history and affinity. Yet it’s still more heretical to egalitarian progressives, for whom making migration and belonging an elite privilege offends every premise of inclusion and social justice.

It’s clear in Bukele’s visa announcement that he sees global mobility in these terms, as desirable only at small scale and for elites. El Salvador’s population is smaller than that of London; these 5,000 visas represent, he declares, “less than 0.1% of our population, so granting them full citizen status, including voting rights, poses no issue”. Though he doesn’t elaborate on what kind of “issue” large-scale immigration might “pose”, we might perhaps point to the undertone of ethnic lobbying that increasingly characterises politics in very “diverse” parts of the UK, as minority voting blocs grow large enough to sway the political process.

Right-wing progressives, by contrast, propose to learn from the immigration policies of polities such as Singapore and the Gulf states, and avert the political challenges posed by ethnic voting blocs by imposing tiered citizenship for low-skilled migrants, while courting the wealth and productivity of international elites. It’s a far cry from 20th-century conservatism, which until relatively recently assumed a measure of cultural continuity between national elites and the masses. Instead, Bukele’s proposal suggests a pragmatic two-tier Right-wing progressive migration policy that courts rich, productive, geographically rootless international “Anywheres” of the kind long understood to have more affinity with one another than with less wealthy and more rooted “Somewheres” — but to do so while explicitly protecting cultural homogeneity on behalf of the less-mobile masses.

There are larger structural reasons for such pragmatism, not least that population growth is slowing or going into reverse across most of the planet. At the same time, impelled by easier transportation, climate change, social-media promises of better lives elsewhere, and countless other reasons, people everywhere are on the move. As such, like a global game of musical chairs, a battle is now on for who ends up where, once the music stops — and on what terms.

How do you choose who is invited? And how do you keep unwanted demographics out? Within an egalitarian progressive framework, these are simply not questions that one may ask. Within the older, cultural conservative framework, meanwhile, all or most migration is viewed with suspicion. The Right-wing progressive framework, by contrast, is upbeat about migration — provided it’s as discerning as possible, ideally granting rights only to elite incomers and filtering others aggressively by demographics, for example an assessment of the statistical likelihood of committing crime or making a net economic contribution.

Of course, this depends on elite incomers wanting to settle in your country. And it remains to be seen whether this will be the case for El Salvador. But however this initiative goes, Bukele’s second term will be the point where both Salvadoreans and international watchers get to evaluate his progressive experiment. And those future-oriented Right-wingers currently plotting in the shadows in other countries will doubtless learn from it.

In Britain, meanwhile, whatever happens to the Tories, I suspect we’ll see more of the Right-wing progressives. I find many of their policies unnerving, especially on the biotech side; but theirs is a political subculture with optimism and a story about the future, two traits that go a long way in politics. And after a few years of the Starmy Army, who knows where Britain will be? Perhaps we’ll be tired of progress. But I think it more likely that we’ll be tired of egalitarianism, and eager for some progress — any progress — towards a future that feels more hopeful.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

moveincircles

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

108 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
3 months ago

‘Freedom’ and ‘Democracy’ are similar, but not the same.

In a ‘free’ state, people are free to choose their lives’ course, to go here and there, and to otherwise engage freely in the activities of daily living.

In a ‘democratic’ state, people are free to choose their government, influence the course of their government’s actions, and otherwise engage in the democratic process without fear or favor.

Can they coexist?

Bernard Brothman
Bernard Brothman
3 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

They can if people voting make choices at the polls for candidates who will support freedom (of speech, etc.).
I think here in the US, there are many using the “threat to democracy” as a rallying cry, would be more than happy to curtail freedom, especially from viewpoints they disagree with.

Dr E C
Dr E C
3 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

I start to believe neither conditions are truly possible in the real world, or only to extremely limited extents

George K
George K
3 months ago

That’s probably the first glimpse of where we’re all collectively going. MH is right when trying to discern the heartbeat in the current global disintegration, and she might be right that the highly hierarchical technological progressivism is the only alive tissue in the corpse of the western civilization. It’s certainly indifferent to the most culture wars of today and its highest premium is on law and order, stability and predictability.

Francisco Menezes
Francisco Menezes
3 months ago

Does anyone think that a qualified person with a skill welcome in any other country would stay in the murder capital of the world? Ever heard of the Lebanese diaspora? The country has been bled white by criminals. How long does it take to train a professional? Well at least 18 years, excluding the eduction. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and even the USA set requirements for their immigrants. So?

T Bone
T Bone
3 months ago

Thanks MH. I had only read about him in passing. It seems like historically that wherever an egalitarian Left-Wing party initiates wide scale social change, the vast centralization that the Left implemented eventually gets hijacked by a more hierarchical Right-wing “law and order apparatus.” In other words, a dystopia. Socialists say this often and I think they’re right but at what point do they need to start realizing that the thing they started always leads to this?

If modest social conservatism falls completely out of fashion, you would seemingly get something exactly like you’re describing. If a humble, hard working population doesn’t form the ethos of your society, I don’t see it can sustain Democracy. That said, let’s realize Bukele was not put in an easy situation. The other “Democracies” in the region aren’t exactly flourishing.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
3 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

You’re “They Started It” philosophy becomes something of a chicken-and-egg question on the long historical scale. Aren’t socialist or “leveling” movements a reaction to what is perceived (sometimes fairly) as excessive hierarchy and inherited privilege? That is, couldn’t we claim that the Ancien Regime “started” the French Revolution?
Right-wing Police States and theocracies tend to play out in photo-negative versions of the Left-wing Centralized Collectives–though the extreme Left does seem more prone to higher body counts, usually being more hostile to traditional limits and longstanding, established order.
Both extremes are nightmarish, for me too dystopian to chose a favorite unless absolutely forced to do so, and even then only briefly.
We might observe that the unrestrained Right and unrestrained Left keep one another in partial check most of the time. But that doesn’t work reliably enough. Those inside the fringes need to keep both extreme sides in check at every turn.
We must oppose all authoritarian extremism, even when it seems to emerge from our preferred side of the Center.

T Bone
T Bone
3 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

If we look at Social Revolutions in France, Russia, Italy, Germany, China and numerous South and Central American countries, we see something similar.  You have rigid hierarchical Autocratic control regimes giving ground to Populism. Populism producing enough of a counterbalance of wealth, creative innovation and collective strength to overwhelm Autocracy.  But even though, you’ve eroded the Hierarchy, you still have an unequal society due to both historical advantages or the fruits of labor (merit).  At that point the question becomes what level of inequality is acceptable. 

In the Countries above, they each decided that resolving inequality through State power was the solution. Each society then dialectically morphed into totalitarian Security States when the reaction to incompetent fiscal policy produced Autocratic Social Darwinist regimes.

So back to the question of resolving Hierarchy and Inequality.  What are the options? So far as I can see, there’s four perspectives.  You would put the first two on the “Right” and the second two on the Left. On the Right, the extreme end plows forward with economic “progress” and doesn’t care at all about inequality. (Social Darwinism).  In this case, the State is unlimited and picks favorites (and losers) in pursuit of its aims. The more moderate Right approach would pursue economic growth but view inequality as a problem that could be resolved through volunteerism (charity). In this case. The State would be limited to basic functions and any redistribution would be managed by the population. There’s a goal of impartiality. IE NOT choosing favorites.
 
On the Left end, the extreme version would seek to totally eliminate hierarchy (Communism).  This approach would limit private economic growth as something inherently generating inequality and the State would become the provider and decider of all things.  In this case, the State also picks favorites.  On the more Moderate Left, private economic growth would be pursued to an extent and the State would resolve the residual inequality.  Again, the State would need to remain highly involved in picking favorites to both define and cure what it deems an unfair or an unsustainable Hierarchy. It would still have to be by definition, “partial.”

PS- I’m aware that I’ve implied the moderate right approach with a limited state and a charitable populace is the “best option.”  Not because its perfect but its seemingly the best of the bad options. I think you believe the moderate left option is less risky than I’ve implied.  My hypothesis is First; that I don’t see how a highly active State or “Mixed Economy” can ever stop itself from evolving into either extreme and second; the typical evolution of Totalitarianism is from a Left Wing Security State to Right-Wing Security State, simply because the first version can’t feed its people.  I just don’t see how you can get Totalitarianism if you have a limited central planner with an impartial system of justice that inherently trusts its own people to manage their own lives.

FYI- your responses are helpful regardless if you agree with me.

Nick Collin
Nick Collin
3 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

I like your analysis T Bone, and your preference for the “Moderate Right” approach. The big issue is not so much Left vs Right as Big State vs Small State. I always understood Conservatism to imply Small State and that’s where our current government has gone wrong and the next one will too in all probability.

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Nick Collin

Tragically correct. The consensus in the uni-party is that government is the parent and the citizen (or subject) the child.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
3 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

As I’ve made clear. I’m not here to defend the extreme Left, nor do I accept that moderate State Leftism, say that of Canada or Scandinavia, must lead to outright tyranny or reactionary overthrow–unless we throw those terms around in a hyperbolic way.
Some inequality and ongoing disadvantage is indeed inevitable, a just-a-part-of-life reality. For how do we “correct” all disease, stupidity, moral failing, bad luck, and bad parenting? But we needn’t facilitate the level of inequality and intergenerational disadvantage we currently have in America, let alone celebrate it as willed by the Invisible Hand of God or the Market. To whatever degree they may in fact have done it or let it happen to themselves, we still have to live among Society’s biggest losers, and some will become mass shooters or mass rioters.
Hereditary autocrats like monarchs or theocrats belong to the Right, at least while we’re stuck in this simplified Left/Right framework (and I don’t have a workable alternative at the moment). You place the American Revolution in a Populist tradition, which I accept to some extent. It was also a radical, revolutionary upheaval–a Leftward lurch of sorts. Fortunately it landed at Liberty or liberalization and not topsy-turvy totalitarian tyranny like in France.
Some hardcore “paleo-Conservatives” in England would like to return to a ruling monarch and a mandatory faith, a so-called Crown & Altar politics. I’ve encountered several outspoken proponents of that on these comment boards (“paging Mr. Simon Denis”) though I suspect only a smaller subset of those nostalgists would want to go all the way back to before the English Civil War or even to Victoria’s reign.
So I’m insisting that not all true love of Freedom or Personal Choice belongs to the Right, not even with the current brand of madness ascendant on the Left. You cannot quarantine all liberty away from the Liberal Tradition. Not that you do so outright. But at times it seems as if you don’t even consider it to the Left until it is state-centralized or extreme. By such means you could co-opt the relatively sane crowd at the Center or Moderate Left, including Classical Liberals like I consider myself to be, if I’m forced to choose one label.
If so, bring it on! Let’s draft a viable third party platform that can appeal to just about anyone but the most extreme slivers of the Left and Right, in these here United States.

T Bone
T Bone
3 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

You probably disagree but I find Canada’s government to be bordering on Totalitarianism.  I’ve seen numerous issues pointing to a Security State where educated opinions are forcefully or legally suppressed in the name of Inclusion or “Public Health.” This was especially true during Covid when freedom of movement was restricted.  Jordan Peterson as you probably know, had his clinical licensed suspended unless he submitted to Re-education training and AFFIRMED the political position of the State.

The very small, Scandinavian countries have surplus oil revenue and for now, a mostly homogeneous culture of shared values.  But that is changing as a result of immigration and as a result you see a much scarier Identity based Right-Wing in Scandinavian countries than you do in America.

One of the things, I love about America is that Federalism creates different living options.  If you want to live in a high tax state or locale that subsidizes public transport you can do it.  If you want to live in a low tax state that basically leaves you alone you can do that to.  My two issues with the “Moderate Left Wing” approach is the push for National universalism which seeks to make Texas or Tennessee more like California or New York.  It does this through the grant process that ties federal money to state action.  Recently some Red states have outright rejected Federal dollars and this has outraged left-leaning proponents who then search out other avenues to get those dollars into the States.

The second problem is who gets to define “economic fairness.” It’s the same question as who gets to define “Hate speech.”  The obvious answer is “Experts.”  Most people would agree that Inequality and Hate are undesirable but the US was specifically constructed to limit the power of a centralized planner to determine these issues.   Federalism provides an automatic check. 

If people in Red States are unhappy with the amount of public assistance they are getting, they do have the option to move and access those rewards.  The same goes for those in Blue States. As I mentioned, my family did just that.  My buddy argues, well you have the resources to move and others don’t.  My response to that is that this is an imperfection in the system that needs to be tolerated in a free society.  At some point you can only grant so many “Positive Rights” before the system is overwhelmed with debt and dependency.  The Tytler Cycle describes the lifespan of Empires and almost all are brought down by a loose Treasury that increasingly opens its coffers to assure public tranquility.  Its unsustainable.

That we just ignore our debt is a travesty. I’m totally fine with the argument that both parties created the debt. Fine, let’s fix it and get that thing headed back towards sanity. It might be hard but that loan
interest can’t just keep piling up. Something has
to be drastically cut.

Thanks again for the engagement. I probably need to rest my brain for a bit ha.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
3 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

I thought you might say something like that about my birth country of Canada, but as a dual citizen with many outspoken and freethinking Canadian relatives, my U.S.-resident dad included, I strongly disagree. They have their follies and shortcomings fer sure eh, but plenty of liberty and a lot of live-and-let-live compared to my loose estimate of the “global average”. I hate what’s happening with their assisted suicide law, but it does seem to enjoy popular support, if in part according to some version of what Chomsky calls “manufactured consent” (doubt he’d approve of my usage; not an expert on his work).
Fair point about the comparative homogeneity of Scandinavia; Canada too.
I also agree that America’s great regional variety is one its strengths–when we don’t take it too far.
See you on the proverbial next board, sir.

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

So you’re a big government guy. Because you care so much.

J Bryant
J Bryant
3 months ago

If I understand the author correctly, right-wing progressives will stop large-scale immigration and so, intentionally or not, help maintain a more homogeneous population with shared values, which should help stabilize society.
Right-wing progressives will, however, operate a limited, skills-based immigration system where the country accepts talented immigrants. Additionally, right-wing progressives embrace technology and believe it will lead to a brighter future for all–in other words, they have at least a partial, and hopeful, vision for the future.
Wasn’t this so-called right-wing progressivism the dominant ideology in the US for most of the 20th century (aka The American Century when the US dominated the world)? The US regulated immigration, preferred skilled immigrants, controlled its borders, taught “Americanism” (a form of common culture) in its schools, immigrants were expected to assimilate, and the US was the leading developer and adopter of new technology.
Isn’t “right-wing progressivism” just a reimposition of the social and economic formula that made America the greatest nation in the world, at least for a while.
Maybe our disdain for our history, and our historical formula for success, is now so great (at least among the “elite”) that we have to rebrand it in order to have it accepted.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

That’s precisely my reading of it. Here in the UK, successive Tory governments have been elected with a mandate based on limited immigration via a points-based quota system – but then failed to follow through with such policies.

It’s entirely through such failures that we’re now faced with Starmerism i.e. nothingness, epitomised by the blank stare on his face(s).

If we don’t evolve politically from this impasse, we’ll be the first generation in a thousand years not to do so. Our history of evolution, not revolution (Cromwell excepted) is there for all to see, so i remain hopeful.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I think Brexit screwed up everything for the British government. It’s like they’ve been on autopilot ever since Britain broke away from the EU because they don’t know what to do.

Matt M
Matt M
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

But it was a necessary thing to do if we do want high-skilled immigration while stopping low-skilled immigration. The average wage in Poland and Romania is less than the minimum wage in the UK. As long as a country is part of the EU Freedom of Movement arrangements, they cannot stop low-skilled, low-wage immigration.
Leaving the EU (and the ECHR) is also necessary if you want tough authoritarianism. You couldn’t, for instance, hang murderers like they do in Singapore, Japan, China etc, if you wanted to remain a member of either group.

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I am not disputing those wage numbers you quote Matt, but when was the last time you checked?
I was talking to my barber only last week, who mentioned that she is moving back to Poland in the summer, and when I asked how much of her reason was because of the improving economic situation over there, she replied 100%.
She also mentioned that it is becoming more common among the Polish community to move back home.
Personally, I will miss them, but wish them luck all the same. I like the Poles, they work hard and pay their taxes.

Matt M
Matt M
3 months ago
Reply to  Philip Stott

I checked before I posted that comment. The average wage in Poland as of Jan 2024 is 91,100 PLN which converts to ÂŁ18,314. The UK’s National Minimum Wage for someone over 21 working a 35 hour week is ÂŁ20,820.
I suspect it depends where you are in Poland and what you do. I don’t know Poland so well but I visit eastern Romania on work every so often. If you speak English there and have a degree etc, you can earn a pretty good living and the cost of living is low compared to England. But if you don’t, you don’t and moving to work in Germany, the Netherlands or Britain is very appealing.

Robert White
Robert White
3 months ago
Reply to  Philip Stott

Philip, I already miss the Poles. I remember on the morning of Friday 24th June 2016 walking into Pret to find the Polish lady at the counter giving away hot drinks and expressing her condolences to us Brits. A classy reaction.

Andrew Dean
Andrew Dean
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert White

Aaaaah … sweet … was you in Londistan darling?

tom j
tom j
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert White

You think stealing coffee to commiserate with people who just voted for something is classy?

John Dewhirst
John Dewhirst
3 months ago
Reply to  Philip Stott

Many of the Poles I know who have returned to their native country have been influenced by economic factors (ie sterling rate as well as jobs in Poland) but principally because they feel it is a better place to raise a family. There has undoubtedly been a pull of the thread for many in their late 20s / 30s.

Dr. G Marzanna
Dr. G Marzanna
3 months ago
Reply to  John Dewhirst

If I was raising a family I’d rather do it in Poland too.

Brian Matthews
Brian Matthews
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

It’s a shame we can’t EXPORT the things that would make other parts of the world more prosperous and allow people to thrive in their home country.

David Harris
David Harris
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Brexit didn’t screw us up, the pretend-Tory party mess made of Brexit did that. Brexit is actually necessary for Right-wing Progressive policies to take place outside of the EU technocracy. Let’s see what happens to the Right after a few years of Starmerism.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago
Reply to  David Harris

I agree. Was totally for Brexit and still am.

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

This is one of the achievements of Brexit. Brexit has revealed that Whitehall was lobotomised during 40 years of EU membership. It delegated thinking to Brussels, and focused on process. The typical representative of this is Olly Robbins. He’s reportedly earmarked for a job in a Starmer 10 Downing Street. So more process, no thinking.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Story

I completely agree with you. They’re like worker ants that mill around aimlessly after the queen has died.

Christopher Peter
Christopher Peter
3 months ago
Reply to  Jonathan Story

Interesting. “Process” seems to be the in-thing, in business and industry as well as government. The company I work for is now full of “process owners” and endless discussions about flowcharts, roadmaps and KPIs. Process is obviously important, particularly in a manufacturing environment (which my company is not), but it seem to have taken over completely from vision or innovation, forgetting that it’s essentially a means to an end – but what is the end?

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Brexit was absolutely the correct strategy. Unfortunately the implementation has been woeful, which is entirely down to the ineptitude of both the political and bureaucratic classes.

They are a bit like animals bred in captivity; when given their freedom and released into the wild they have no clue how to survive and prosper and either struggle or die.

The reality is we will need a new breed of both classes if we are going to make Brexit a long term success, and the question is where are they going to come from?

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I think it was Covid from 2020 and the war invoked energy crisis that screwed most Governments of the time, including ours. There hasn’t been time or space since Brexit in 2019 to implement any possible Brexit advantages. Anyway, there never were any quick Brexit wins to be had.

Peter B
Peter B
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

Cromwell was not a revolutionary nor the Civil War a revolution.

Lancashire Lad
Lancashire Lad
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

He did have the.reigning monarch executed, which is hardly ‘evolution’, which was my point.

Arthur G
Arthur G
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Cromwell was a classic revolutionary, thug dictator. Purging Parliament, executing the King, religious persecution, genocidal actions in Ireland. His regime even banned Christmas. It’s a sad commentary on the residual anti-Catholic bigotry among the English that he’s not viewed as a terrible despot.

Dr. G Marzanna
Dr. G Marzanna
3 months ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Totally agree!!!!!

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I saw Starmer’s obligatory pre-coronation biography in Tesco’s yesterday and burst out laughing. From the picture on the cover, the idea of a ‘bio’ for someone who seems barely alive is risible.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 months ago
Reply to  Lancashire Lad

I’m not religious or culturally conservative and believe in honest capitalism, innovation and technical development, so I might be a target for such an alternative right of centre movement.
.
However, isn’t the problem that young Brits – and indeed most western youth – won’t do the physically demanding jobs that can’t be automated, so qualified immigration has to include manual labourers: construction workers and food ingredient harvesters etc?

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I’d never really seen Japan as being right-wing progressive, but the only-let-the-useful-ones-in stance pretty much sums up immigration policy here. This would seem like common sense, since the alternative is to let useless, or even downright dangerous people in. Or anyone in.
How the latter option benefits the inhabitants whose interests government is supposed to be acting in escapes me.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

How the latter option benefits the inhabitants whose interests government is supposed to be acting in escapes me.
When the usual explanations fail to answer the question, alternatives must be considered. Among those is that govt is NOT acting in the citizens’ interests; it acts in the interests of its primary donors, whose concerns and motivations differ from those of the average person.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Old things have this habit of becoming new again, much like the left’s adoption of the brown shirt tactics that people of all stripes once condemned.

Frederick Dixon
Frederick Dixon
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

You’ve noticed the reference to Fillipo Marinetti, the Futurist, who was an enthusiastic Fascist?

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The left never abandoned those tactics. Remember that the books that were burned in Germany in the 1930s were burned by university students not by working class laborers.

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

‘the social and economic formula that made America the greatest nation in the world’

A very insular view IMO. The world has a breadth of beauty and ugliness that transcends any nation state.

R S Foster
R S Foster
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

…not all that different in the UK until the advent of the Welfare State, albeit without the explicit constitutional and legal underpinning. Able, energetic people could always come and make their way…but could expect no support whatsoever from the state…a very clear expectation that they would “fit-in” in terms of language, manners, dress and public observance of societal norms…and a certain amount of public rudeness from the ill-mannered if they did not…or even if they did, but looked obviously different.
Hence a very well-integrated Jewish Community, who are at least as British as the British and keep their faith strictly at home and in private…and the beginnings of such a community of “First Generation” immigrants from the Commonwealth…in my youth, smart suits and western dress were the absolute norm amongst every BAME Community, no matter where from, as was overt patriotism…
…but then some progressive lunatic invented “Multi-Culturalism”…attempted to impose good manners on people by law…and started the inevitable slide towards self-imposed segregation between different communities…
…and we have in consequence mandated institutionalised chippiness and mutual antagonism and almost certainly have full-scale violence to come.

Mark Kennedy
Mark Kennedy
3 months ago
Reply to  J Bryant

If ‘high skill’ vs. ‘low skill’ turns out to map onto racial differences in any significant way, which isn’t logically impossible (in the end only empirical investigation, not ideology or ethical principle, could ever tell us), you can see what the accusation against this “greatest nation in the world” policy is going to be, yes?

0 0
0 0
3 months ago

I don’t think such a system is sustainable in the long run on, a society in which the prime motivators or defined by money and personal ambition lacks social cohesion wouldn’t last because no one has any higher loyalty beyond oneself and our out for themselves. The elites would spend too much of their time and effort competing against each other and wouldn’t have much incentive to cooperate because they have no higher loyalty to put aside self-interest and fight for a common good or ideal. Also, another problem with this system is that it also does not Garner any loyalty from the common Man because the system does nothing for them and exists for the benefit of the elite. That means it creates an environment of which encourages the common man to rebel against it due the fact it doesn’t serve them, or take a passive approach or join some outside aggressive element that wants to take the system down.

This is kind of what killed off the Roman empire, in the late Roman empire, the bonds that once made Roman society strong had gradually cease to exist, and with that the strength and capability of the empire. The empire stopped benefiting the common Man and only served the elite, while it’s earlier times, the empire both benefited the common Man and the elites because each side benefits somehow from it, which encouraged them to work together.

Plus the fact that the system being pushed is authoritarian, and authoritarian societies tend to kill off innovation and creativity, which is what happened when the Caesars came to power. Also, do you really want to be ruled by someone of the likes of Elon musk, with there erratic and unstable as well as self-absorbed natures, I’ll be willing to buy products and services they invent, but I wouldn’t want to be governed by someone like that. The guy El Salvador is very much like Elon musk, thought something of a pale imitation, and even though he’s the smashed the previous order to get rid of a lot of crime in the country, he destroyed the institutional framework that governed the country and the result destroyed the safeguards that protect people from exploitation and abuse. The result is that not many want to invest in El Salvador because they’re not sure they’re investments would be safe from seizure or extortion, which kills innovation in wealth creation. in such an environment you end up with something more like Putin’s Russia then Ayn Rand’s Galts clutch. I don’t think right wing progresseism is a good idea. It seems to work on the idea that we can trust human nature to allow people with great power and ambition to listen to the better angels within them, despite history being chock full of people who did the exact opposite of that. In some ways the right wing progresses fall into the naive idealism and optimism of their enemies on the progressive left, the same type of thinking that gave us intersectionality and it’s resulting absurdities and abuses suffering from right now. Both sides think if you give the right people the right amount of power, they can re-engineer society into something utopian. It just goes to show you how much horseshoe theory is correct, at least a good portion of the time.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
3 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Amen.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
3 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Somehow the whole “we just need the right kind of authoritarian technocrat to run things” is just not working for me. So many of the issues we are dealing with today like concentrated corporate power and immigration were dealt with successfully by previous generations without giving those people any power.

0 0
0 0
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

It just amazes me that people keep thinking that such things are possible, despite the fact that history in general and the 20th century in particular, the show what happens when somebody has too much power im their hands. You think with what we seen in the past and what we see today, people would think differently, but of course no. It’s more surprising that we’re seeing this on the right, which is supposed to be generally skeptical of human nature.

Eleanor Barlow
Eleanor Barlow
3 months ago
Reply to  0 0

I wish I could uptick your comment 100 times. The thought of Elon Musk or anyone like him being let anywhere near government is enough to give me severe indigestion and sleepless nights. Haven’t we had enough punishment in the UK with current crop of incompetents? I loathe progressivism, and don’t think it matters whether it’s of the right or left wing type. It’s full of smiley cockeyed optimists that naively believe tech is the answer to all our problems and that everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. And with the authoritarian emphasis, the right wing version has a whiff of fascism or Stalinism about it.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
3 months ago

I like MH, but this essay was truly awful. Ya, Bukele has locked up 70,000 people, but El Salvador was one of the most dangerous places in the world. It’s not only the murder rate has dropped 70%, these people were gang bangers. People lived in fear, with no hope. Bukele has delivered hope.

I have no idea what to make of this statement; “But Right-wing progressives generally accord greater political value to gifted, high-productivity foreigners than any slow-witted, unproductive coethnic:”

Are we supposed to prefer slow-witted immigrants? I don’t get it. Personally, I believe wealthy countries should welcome impoverished immigrants in a controlled way, but these people don’t want to go to El Salvador. Inviting in 5,000 people who can help improve the economy is not ideological – it’s a pragmatic, sensible policy to help improve the economy.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Just look at the reaction to the ‘discriminatory’ tome ‘Deutschland schafft sich ab’ (Germany abolishes itself) by Thilo Sarrazin; nobody even tried to dispute his 500 pages of facts and figures; he wasn’t against immigration per se, but unskilled immigration from countries whose people were showing no signs of integrating, learning the language etc.

It just flew in the face of Liberal ‘be nice’ ideas about ‘saving people’ and a horror at the very idea of ranking people at all by any metric. It’s all ideological and not pragmatic. And we can see the results all around us.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

One of my lefty friends would disagree with you. She wants the uneducated, menial workers to be let in so they can take care of her in her old age
.she said that last Sunday while enjoying brunch at the very chichi Waverly tavern in downtown NYC – a let-them-eat-cake-moment.

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

That’s a classic. But I’ll see you and raise you one

Two years ago I had lunch in SF with a lawyer acquaintance and his wife. I asked her why she was so in favor of mass immigration and she replied “because I need someone to raise my child”.
Being a parent is so “deplorable”, it seems.

Martin M
Martin M
3 months ago

“….his (admittedly not completely successful) embrace of Bitcoin as legal tender….”
This tells me everything I need to know about Bukele.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
3 months ago

You call it space fascism, to me it just sounds like the logical endpoint of Blairism.

j watson
j watson
3 months ago

On a positive at least the Right appears to starting the debate it must have on what it really stands for and what Policies and Choices it must more honesty promulgate. Populist slogans and internecine battles on the Right for the last decade have left us in a dreadful mess. The Author regularly fails to interrogate why developing effective Policy has proven so difficult other than at a superficial sloganistic blame someone else level. That immaturity has crippled the Right. The Right needs to be careful it doesn’t imitate some Woke-ist behaviour and strip itself of Agency by always blaming someone else. Ironic – yes.
Nonetheless having read the article title I was quite optimistic about reading this, but it’s a bit of a dogs-dinner isn’t it. If the Author thinks reaching for a lesson from El Salvador offers much transferability or solace for the Right here she’s further damaging her own limited credibility.
There is without question a major discussion to be had about migration and demographics in Developed countries. What are our realities and needs and how might we best manage those. What we must do is also appreciate what is happening in the Developing world and how we might collectively stem the tide of people movement so it becomes more manageable. We have to have many more strategies than we are currently deploying and when you lift your view you realise it has to be via concerted multi-national action. Pulling up the drawbridge only goes so far.

Andrew D
Andrew D
3 months ago
Reply to  j watson

j watson, I’m puzzled by your random application of Upper and lower Case

j watson
j watson
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Stood in crowded carriage on way to work one handed with phone. Thought I did quite well actually.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
3 months ago

I think the kind of law and order crackdown that some might find unnerving is the only way to reverse the rot that has set in where liberal policies were taken too far.
Also, the highly discriminatory migration policies are essential for attracting the kind of talent that will make your country successful. Look at Germany: they are desperate for the international elite to come and plug the skills gap and help to rejig their own faltering economic model. But what can they offer? Crumbling infrastructure, all the problems associated with the daft migration policies they’ve been pursuing for the last decade, and some of Europe’s highest taxes. Not an attractive prospect.
As an Iranian acquaintance told me: almost all her friends back home want to leave Iran. The youngest and brightest all head to the USA. Those who are older or just not that talented go to Europe. That tells you everything you need to know about where this continent is going. And if we want to turn it around, I don’t see any way to do it other than embrace some of those right wing progressive policies.
On a separate note, Bukele is a dead ringer for Drake.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
3 months ago

The problem is that in the West the economic elites – those in charge of large corporations – have an economic incentive to support ethnic and cultural blind mass immigration to keep down the cost of labour as highlighted in a recent article on Unherd.

Of course, they do so on the basis that the country needs immigration to function – for crops to be collected, for old people to be cared for etc. Much of this is because politicians have been incentivised to offer a life of subsidised idleness to large swathes of the population through welfare who might otherwise have fulfilled those roles.

Susan Grabston
Susan Grabston
3 months ago

Interesting as always. So the Goodhart Somewhere and Everywheres reach an accommodation.

Chris Whybrow
Chris Whybrow
3 months ago

This ideology isn’t really new is it? It’s just a modified form of neoliberalism, which is the ideology that’s been pushed by our political elite since Blair. The only substantial difference is the emphasis on law and order.

Corrie Mooney
Corrie Mooney
3 months ago

Great article. They are also pro-natalist, so there’s that.
But I don’t think their illiberalism will fly very far. And their posthumanism is in contrast with their opposition to gender ideology, while Yarvin’s hyper-masculinism is trad based. Mary’s already read MacIntyre’s book, so she knows where he lands better than I do.

Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden
3 months ago

I don’t see how conservatives can or should be ‘progressive’. The whole drive of a Christian and family-oriented course to rebuild society after the ravages of multiculturalism is to be absolutely opposed to the ethos of ‘progressivism’, ‘left-liberalism’, or to what the media likes to call ‘woke’ cultural politics in some unconscious reference to the Gnostic opposition to the materialism of the Demiurge’s earthly kingdom…

Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
3 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

You speak well, Tyler. ‘Progressive’ means to ‘progress’, but not necessarily in which direction.

M. Jamieson
M. Jamieson
3 months ago
Reply to  Tyler Durden

I think her use of “right-wing” was quite deliberate. They aren’t conservatives by any measure.

Matt M
Matt M
3 months ago

I think that one day, taking in 300k law-abiding, high-skilled, young and, very often, devout Christian Hongkongers might look like a master-stroke.

Terry M
Terry M
3 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

Those 300k would be fine …. as long as 20k CCP members aren’t mixed in among them.

Matt M
Matt M
3 months ago
Reply to  Terry M

I almost added words to that effect myself. Yes it is a concern. And not just members – it is pretty easy to lean on an otherwise perfectly upright person if your mum and dad still live in China.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 months ago

I think these guys might learn from Brexit on immigration. One Brexit promise was that the flood of low-skilled immigration into the country would be stopped and replaced with a system that filtered to prioritise skilled individuals but kept out low/no-skilled labour.

This did in fact happen post-Brexit, and it was in fact a policy success. The pandemic then came along, put millions of people on furlough for a year, many of whom then realised they simply weren’t prepared to go back to work. So although the post-brexit immigration policy was still working, people who had previously complained about immigrants coming and nicking all the jobs, decided that actually immigrants could have the jobs after all.

I’ll leave aside the economic debate on this except to say that the welfare state, already broken for decades, is now double-triple-whammy-broken with a side-order of kafkaesque lunacy thrown on top, because the government still hasn’t rescinded the pandemic-era out-of-work-benefits entitlements. What’s more interesting here is that assuming that these rightwing progressives actually want to maintain such an immigration system, it is pretty easy to run and can work well. I myself am pretty close to being one of them except that I can’t go as far as concluding that democracy and freedom aren’t compatible any more – my answer to that is to work out what’s wrong and fix it, not chuck something on the scrapheap because it’s deemed too much trouble.

I agree with a lot of what Thiel, Musk etc say and in particular how they want to see the future evolve, but I do say that democracy is still the least worst system, and that perhaps these tech guys are a little too used to the pace at which one can improve digital systems and produce large gains for little effort as long as you’re very clever.

Human organisational systems might well be depressingly inefficient in comparison, but you have to remember that the checks and balances of those systems exist to cope with radical uncertainty and the infinite variability of context and circumstance in which each human lives their lives: they’re not control-level solutions, for the simple reason that they don’t present control-level problems in the first place (or they shouldn’t, at least). Democracy is one of humanity’s triumphs as an answer to confronting that conundrum, and no step must be taken that destroys or supplants it.

Bryan Dale
Bryan Dale
3 months ago

Complete gibberish. There’s nothing progressive about Bukele and the claim that right wing governments have historically been ethno-nationalists betrays someone who has obtained all his information from leftist-propaganda.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
3 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Dale

“Her” for a start – which perhaps indicates your evidenced and forensic style of argument!. You just issue a series of assertions and name calling. Mary Harrington’s point is that not all “right wing” regimes are the same, and Bukele is not an ethno nationalist, perhaps the way Victor Orban can be more correctly described.

Dr E C
Dr E C
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

I think Bryan was using the traditional ‘he’ to refer to the universal reader / writer – something which used to irk me but which I now find strangely comforting in these uberwoke times.

Patrick Turner
Patrick Turner
3 months ago
Reply to  Bryan Dale

Or rather truly dystopian. Harrington seems to believe a tech bro Ayn Rand world is one that might offer us a sliver of hope for progress after the dreary Starmer regime has come to power and run aground. For those who would indulge the hatred of democracy that marks this nasty corner of the new right, time to read or reread Christopher Lasch’s prescient The Revolt of the Elites.

JĂŒrg Gassmann
JĂŒrg Gassmann
3 months ago

This is pure Fascism, in the historical technical sense of the term, ignoring the buzzword accretions the concept has been loaded with in the meantime. The reference to Marinetti is absolutely appropriate.
It is important to understand both the background and promise of Fascism. Europe had just experienced its most devastating war. Never mind the superficially emphatic victory of the Allies, it was painfully obvious at the time that the war had been utterly pointless, and both its origin and its duration were in no small measure due to all the major players being ruled by a political class that was out of ideas, detached from the interests of the people as a whole, and was just enacting rote policies.
Fascism promised a way out of the cultural-political morass Europe was in. It was exciting, dynamic, artistically daring, iconoclastic, full of faith in technology and a bright future. And if some liberals were clutching their pearls at some of the methods – well, you have to break eggs to make an omelette.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
3 months ago

I think there was definitely something bracing about the Modernist art movements which included Marinetti’s ‘i futuristi’ and also produced Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring’ and Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony (Picasso famously likened a performance to being like sitting in a machine workshop).

I can’t see anything of the same calibre anywhere at the moment. So, even if MH is right, it’ll most likely be a re-heated and tepid cosplay revival, like so many of our cultural and political offerings nowadays.

JĂŒrg Gassmann
JĂŒrg Gassmann
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

I do have to agree that on the artistic front, we’re not seeing anything comparable to the landscape in the first half of the 20th C. My unmade bed is just an unmade bed.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

The same “Western critics” who decry a substantially reduced murder rate are the people attacking free expression, using govt to go after political opponents and dissident citizens, prioritizing immigrants over taxpayers and criminals over the law-abiding.
Perhaps some of Bukele’s tactics are heavy-handed. The same might be said of the ridiculous speech law in Scotland and Canada’s attempt to criminalize saying good things about the oil and gas industry. That’s how a pendulum works. Once it reverses course, it does not stop in the middle. It goes to an equal or near-equal point on the other side. I imagine Salvadorans might be happy. Not having to worry about being attacked or killed will do that to people.
His view on immigration understands the point that many in the West either miss or ignore: the influx has to benefit the host country first, not the immigrant. And second, no form is immigration is congruent with the welfare state, a malicious truth the West has chosen to learn the hard way.

Rob N
Rob N
3 months ago

I worry that the Western elites are intentionally destroying our societies so that someone like Bukele not only becomes popular but necessary. Why else are they destroying both the cultural and historical souls of Britain?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
3 months ago

It’s okay to be a conservative. It really is. “Thick ties of shared history” offers societal cohesion and calmness.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
3 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Amen to that.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
3 months ago

“As for those still wedded to the 20th-century idea that being Right-wing necessarily means ethnicity-based nationalism…”
We weren’t and still aren’t.

John Riordan
John Riordan
3 months ago
Reply to  Daniel Lee

I think whe’s talking to the sort of people – usually on the Left – who have always found it convenient to dismiss right-wingers as opposed to engaging with their ideas.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
3 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Could be.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
3 months ago

Anyone who followed Libertarian thinking, both in Rand’s books and in the actual movement, will recognise the beliefs outlined in the article.

Jonathan Story
Jonathan Story
3 months ago

I have a completely different take; Conservatism is, its wha&t happens. Progressives deny it: they always believe that there is a correspondence between what they hope and what will happen. If it doesn’t is because of evil reactionaries. So the idea of progressive conservatism is an oxymoron. Its something that T.May conjures up, but politically she doesn’t exist. She is a non-entity.That this non-entity represents the heart of the Tory party is something that was planned by her, and her acolytes in Central Office. They have created havoc: on the budget; on failing to uphold law, order and defence; on promoting wokery, feminism, activist “judges”. Labour has a once in a century opportunity to do what a conservative government should have done: get public finances in order; lower taxes; return to law and order; defend this country; pull the plug on wokery, OTT feminism. It could also undo a lot of the damage done by Blair and Brown. Will it do that? Most unlikely. So Conservatives have to purge the T.May element from the party-completely.

Skink
Skink
3 months ago

It’s progressivism that’s moribund.

Tom Pettigrew
Tom Pettigrew
3 months ago

What Lee Kuan Yew accomplished in Singapore might be the best analogy here.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
3 months ago

This sounds to me like classical liberalism on steroids.

Claire Bunting
Claire Bunting
3 months ago

Do we have any right-wing progressives in British politics today?

Michael Lipkin
Michael Lipkin
3 months ago

Italian style multi-ethnic Fascism? (many Italian Jews were keen on Fascism before the pact with Hitler). The problem with Fascism is that it seems to coalesce around a ‘strong leader’ and that leader soon gets drunk on power and wants to invade places (Ethiopia – Mexico?). So more wars not fewer.
Britain’s bulwark against Fascism is a strong anti-intellectual tradition and this might hold out. Fascism/Socialism/Wokeism are intellectual movements. The US is in danger of intellectualism thanks to its succesfull revolution which tends to give people a massive overestimation of the value of ideas in usefully shaping society.

Graff von Frankenheim
Graff von Frankenheim
3 months ago

Right-wing progressives? Isn’t that the same as 1990’s neo-cons in US terms? If so, I can see the policy disasters coming our way a mile off. How about trying right-wing right-wingers…..paleo-cons, natcons, commongood cons, popcons, postlib integralists?

John Dewhirst
John Dewhirst
3 months ago

Original at least to combine discussion of the fate of the British Conservative Party with El Salvadore.

J. Arthur Rank
J. Arthur Rank
3 months ago

Any political system that is not based on the “rule of law” will fail in the end. The Chinese ideology of authoritarianism/communism is about to fail and one of the causes is the lack of the application of this dictum. Now, don’t ask how to maintain a “rule of law” in any society because there is no absolute formula. Alt Left has as many flaws as alt Right and some would say that even though Newton’s Third Law was not meant to describe politics “For every action, there is an equal (in size) and opposite (in direction) reaction” over time this seems to be a truth.

Nathan Ngumi
Nathan Ngumi
3 months ago

Great insights!
Movements can spring up unexpectedly.
For instance no one in 60s America would have predicted that a religious conservative backlash to the progressive Civil Rights Movement gains would arise in the 70s taking the form of the Moral Majority and the anti-feminist crusade to sabotage the Equal Rights Amendment, both of which culminated in the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Conversely in Britain a charismatic liberal may arise like Tony Blair in the 90s and lead a Labour resurgence that sweeps out the Conservative Party from power in the next election.
The future is uncertain.

R E P
R E P
3 months ago

The UK will stick to sucking in hundreds of thousands of low-skilled people from the third world to swell the demands for state funded services. Our activist Treasury will tell us how much this helps GDP while not telling us how much poorer per capita we are. This will be repeated by the BBC and all the globalist media with no dissent allowed.

Chiara de Cabarrus
Chiara de Cabarrus
3 months ago

These space fascists strike me as our century’s equivalent of the early eugenicists and posturing nietzscheans, even though they probably aren’t really supermen but neurotic weedy geeks with personality disorders and messiah complexes. Their cities are going to be boring dystopian hells with every citizen walking hand in hand with their personal robot shrink.

Chris Reardon
Chris Reardon
3 months ago

“ As a worldview, it is broadly pro-capitalist, enthusiastically pro-technology and unabashedly hierarchical, as well as sometimes also scornful of Christian-inflected concern for the weak.”


.. or it could just be called common sense.

Perry de Havilland
Perry de Havilland
3 months ago

it’s both (by Western standards) off-puttingly collectivist

By whose standards is the panopticon state that is China *not* off-puttingly collectivist? North Korea? Eretria?

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 months ago

If they stick to elite immigrants, who will work in manual labour and the physically intense base of food production in Britain? Our youth isn’t interested.

alex renton
alex renton
3 months ago

blah

alex renton
alex renton
3 months ago

Are you reporting on the online-right’s fetishisation of this vicious dictator – or are you joining in? Binning the constititution, the detention of tens of thousands without trial – that’s OK? You seem to call it ‘progress’.
I kind of enjoyed the right-wing nuts on Unherd’s roster – interesting to see what the cohort was up to. But the hate, the childish iconoclasm and the sheer hopelessness is too much. Bye-bye. That’s ÂŁ49 to Gaza relief (UNWRA, I think – having seen them in action).

nigel roberts
nigel roberts
3 months ago
Reply to  alex renton

Adios, snowflake.

Douglas McNeish
Douglas McNeish
3 months ago

More likely Britain will see the equivalent of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act – doublespeak at its finest – implemented by the Socialists to force their Net Zero agenda on the population. Expect lavish spending on “social infrastructure” to win support and draw in even more millions of the unskilled and their dependents. And then of course the mountain of debt to pay for it, creating future generations of slaves to labour for the Chinese creditors who will lend the money.

Karl Juhnke
Karl Juhnke
3 months ago

Elites do not need to migrate. They pull strings from wherever they want. If you mean supposed “experts” migrating then things will remain much the same with the march to authoritarianism unabated. I don’t see real egalitarianism in practice, only divisive practices from the “experts” aimed at non-elites and those outside the swamp.