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The Vanishing TraditionPerspectives on American Conservatism$
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Paul Gottfried

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501749858

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501749858.001.0001

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The Tory Right and the American Conservative Movement

The Tory Right and the American Conservative Movement

Parallel Universes?

(p.32) 3 The Tory Right and the American Conservative Movement
The Vanishing Tradition

Grant Havers

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the distinctions between the Tory tradition and what now passes for American conservatism. In the post-World War II era, many prominent voices of the American conservative movement portrayed their cause as a noble continuation of the traditional English conservatism that such worthies as Edmund Burke and Benjamin Disraeli defended in an earlier era. The chapter maintains that these claims are unfounded. By focusing on self-described Tory traditionalist writers such as George Grant, one can locate a wide gap between the neoconservative valorization of capitalist democracy and the inveterate conservative suspicion of what contemporary American conservatives are taught to venerate. Unlike traditional Tories, the advocates of “democratic capitalism,” wherever they are present, represent globalization, not a conservative defense of particularity and organic social relations.

Keywords:   Tory tradition, American conservatism, American conservative movement, English conservatism, George Grant, capitalist democracy, American conservatives, traditional Tories, democratic capitalism

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