One point that people need to contemplate: anti-communism and an aggressively interventionist foreign policy are not synonymous. The latter was a tactic to accomplish the goals of the former. The interventionism had a clear enemy and clear goals.

Today, we don't want to admit that we have a clear enemy -- Islam -- so we have aggressive intervention that is unfocused. We mostly won the battle against communism, and we are left with aggressive tactics as a residual element within conservative political culture, but there is no focus.

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Nov 3·edited Nov 3

When the elites are no longer civic minded, populism is needed to smash their selfish faces in and wake them up.

When Baltzell says that no conservative was ever a populist, he makes the common error of failing to perceive at what point a conservative must seek to restore what has been lost rather than conserving a status quo that does not even care what has been lost.

Baltzell recognized that the elites were no longer civic minded. But what was his plan to restore civic mindedness in the selfish elite? Are they open to persuasion without suffering defeats that prompt reflection? Are they just going to read his books and repent?

Perhaps at some point, we will have succeeded sufficiently at the project of restoration so that overt populism is no longer needed. But, today, it is needed.

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One thing that either of these conservatisms needs is an education system that produces them. There are, I believe, still universities in the US that function as conservative elite factories. Hold on to these and focus much energy on that battle!

Many European conservatives here do not have degree granting institutions even leaning conservative, let alone championing conservative Christianity.

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Monocle sounds like The Economist in terms of the positions you articulated. The Ecnomist identifies itself as poromoting Classical Liberalism, which weems quite conservative in today's climate.

Digby Baltzell’s Aristocratic Conservatism sounds a lot like what Yuval Levin argues for with respect to not only the need for Elites to recognize they have responsibilities but the need to restore trust in mediating institutions. Elites used to reinforce things like faimly, economy, civics at a local level and work for their benefit.

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Many of the conservative ideas mentioned in the article are bubbling up in the country. But what does it take to bring real, principled conservativism to a full boil? There are many organizations in the country that espouse some form of principled conservatism; however, they are mostly engaged in parallel play. They don't act in concert. Perhaps this is to be expected because the inadequate Cold War form of conservatism has died, and it takes time for a substitute to develop. Many of the conservative organizations that currently exist (Focus on the Family, ADF, AFA, First Things, Becket, to name a few) have excellent leadership and promulgate ideas that kindred organizations would readily accept. Isn't it time for them to start acting in concert?

The leaders of conservative organizations need to come together in a kind of "Continental Congress," not as a legislative body but to start a dialogue on what they might do as a nascent movement. Early meetings would have to consist mostly of meet-and-greet with a stab at a basic consensus on principles. Next could come a charter and a few years down the road, a constitution and actions meant to showcase and encourage principled civic engagement. The organizations would remain committed to their unique goals but join forces to accomplish in concert what they could not accomplish individually.

Our very troubled time provides a strong impetus for such a convocation of conservative leaders. Great things could flow from it, just as our original Continental Congress led to the birth of a nation. Here the ultimate goal would not be a new nation but a renewed nation.

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