tv ISI Conservative Book of the Year Award CSPAN June 24, 2019 6:50am-7:56am EDT
that time i was just referring to was a time as most of you remember it for conservatives it was a time of great hope, we were very young and inducted into this movement but it was extremely exciting to be part of something to be fighting for something that seemed to us to be cohesive and good and clear
and fighting actual opponents. we knew who the good guys were and so on. what is funny about the passage of time over the decades the clarity of those years becomes more and more blurry, what i remember as is not what other people remember. and that's interesting and significant. i remember a conservative movement that irving kristol of modern conservatism is religion, conservativism and economic growth. there had been many of the tripod formulations. for us it was a towering
figure. and that's it i what i thought i was joining. what is interesting about religion nationalism and economic growth is that crystal was very clear to be an american conservative is not simply about freedom freedom has a tremendous place in conservatism but is it's not all about freedom. it's not a libertarianism or a liberalism. in fact two chairs for capitalism another one of his slogans. everyone i knew in the conservative movement was for capitalism but why only two chairs. much of his career kristol maintained this argument the
argument that perfect freedom that giving freedom to do whatever you want his license, and the freedom to do ill and evil. in scripture there is a famous saint from the book of judges each did according to what was right in his own eyes. in scripture this is considered to be the epitome of evil. not a claim that no good can come out of that. in scripture in the political theory of the bible every single one according to his own eyes. it leads to disintegration. two no one being able to stand
by. no cohesion in society. no one is willing to stand up. there is no loyalty to your neighbors and there is no loyalty to god. it embraces both your neighbor and god. urban -- irving kristol did this. he said look. it creates extraordinary wealth. we need the power. we want those things. we want the creativity and we want innovation. but we should not be foolish about this. you can see that it corrupts. >> he means that if your
business practices you decided to change to a different product. that may not be loyalty. but let's say we can handle it in the market because it brings efficiency. and each husband or wife. >> i no longer approve. where i found someone better. i found someone better. >> we are all traders here let's trade. when the ethic of the market penetrates all other spheres
than those spheres are destroyed. the absolute part of it is the description of human beings. they are fundamentally about their freedom, their quality their capacity to reason. and they are entering into agreements by consent. it's a pretty darn good description of the marketplace but a terrible description of almost every other things that human beings you. when you take that enlightenment view and you say that's what i meant to teach to my high schoolers than low and behold lo and behold you create a society that's not capable of what i think is
really the heart i've been a human being. someone challenges or someone threatens or challenges or it's as though it's happening to me. it's as though it is happening to them. as is an extraordinary talent. it's an unbelievable talent that each of us is capable of joining into a family or a clan or tribe or nation or community and feeling that an attack that takes place on the other side of the country is something that happened to me.
this is not a minor piece of human psychology. this is a core piece which f -- without this you can understand nothing about human relations about politics and is even a question as to how much you can understand about economics. i will set that aside. we can't understand what holds a nation together let's match as a nation into pieces so can be recovered. we train them to be blind on the basic loyalties to the rise and fall that we need has public influencers or statement that we need in order to be able to take care of our country and see that at last. we must educate almost all of our young people about politics because we teach them that this mutual loyalty is something with the
it's actually kind of a prelude to this book. that's for another evening. the virtue of nationalism beginning with the fundamental understanding that human beings are sticky and cohesive. to learn all and respect for the things that are have -- that her parents have things for. religion is passed through i want our children to revere or honor in their families or their church.
some individuals they don't like their families and they rebel against them. but they will still go find another clan or tribe. they will cohere. they will become up cohesive part of some thing. it could be within the family. very often it is. i get along with my uncle but not my father. when they come and tell you that is a profitable nation, we hear this all the time it's not the people it's the proposition. it may be the best proposition in the world. but no child will revere the proposition unless the parents revered him. regardless of whether you think that it's a universal truth and whether you are
right or not, it is quality as something that is capable of being passed on. nothing to do with the proposition alley. it's all been a depend on how will do we build this mutual loyalty. arguments about diversity. the competition -- the competition between tribes can contribute to the strength of a nation. but take diversity the uncertain point and you lose that mutual loyalty. america is beginning to feel that now.
it is an extraordinary tragedy. if that mutual loyalty starts to fry if people no longer feel that what is happening for the others in my country is happening to me the only thing that could then hold the country ultimately is force. there is no mutual loyalty that unites all of the people in iraq. we may give them the western powers. give them off like and they called the nation. the different people in iraq, each of them has its own and heritage.
this is true throughout the world. your business can become a nation and doesn't make any difference how much they want to be a single. they cease to have the importance that we used to have. >> we have never experienced anything like this before in the history of the world. it was called the holy roman empire. the austrian empire could impose order by force. there was not order. we don't want america to end up something like that.
then we have to focus on cohesion. this is what america head. a generation ago we still have it. i dare to say means that a generation from now it could happen again. it is a little bit hopeful. but it could. let me just say finally, something about the conservative movement. this formula religion nationalism with economic growth. i would be willing to sing with us today. there is nothing in our theories that will generate having a cohesive nation. there is nothing in her economic theory that generates the need for a respect for the inherited religion of this country.
of christianity. there is nothing in economic theories that will get us there. you need other theories. >> you need other theories in without that nationalism and religion you can have the flourishing quantum -- quality. there be something else some other thing. the place where we are today and i speak now as conservatives in the frain god for bid that it should be a collapse. with the mutual loyalty in america which is also you see the same thing happening in the uk. this is not only an american problem. but i will speak to america. conservatives have a very special role to play here. but we conservatives are not playing that role.
the left generation has seen an deterioration. i really only mean it to be helpful. the last generation has seen a flourishing of conservatives institutions there is many wonderful institutions that do many things. but if you look at the level of ideas i think that there has been an disintegration. i think the promise of the reagan thatcher years has not been fulfilled. i think if we look over the last generation we see that conservatism gradually falters the reasons. what was called conservatism in america for the most part abandoned religion as a general take a look at that public posture of the
conservative movement i think it generally abandoned religion. the last few years since brexit and trump. there is no question there will be a big revival. could be. the last generation i think to over simplify the conservatives abandon it. and they put everything on the market mechanism. and economic growth which i fully support and where we are today as a movement and intellectual power is that most conservatives at least most of the not necessarily about the students or rank and file but most of the institutions that are conservatives are populated by people who have moved in that direction that we would call
libertarian. you could say classical liberal. whatever it is. they are focused on individual freedoms as the key to almost every political question. is roughly where is. institutional conservatism there is an alternative in that alternative i find even less attractive than the pure libertarianism. there is a growing movement especially among young people i see this among people are in the future. in the direction of a white identity politics which is fundamentally racialist and it's not just us small sliver of kooks who dress up in hoods. i'm talking about people they
say if there why should we be allowed the group interest. the more educated segments. all of the latest population genetics. coming out of the university's and they can to spout all of this scientific stuff to backup this is much more prevalent among the young than you think it is. i'm not saying this is a leftist criticism. if we conservatives want to return to a really powerful intellectual agenda that is capable of being attractive and attracting many different
people to a larger movement to have that have the capacity to influence politics, and institutions. we need to look at the space between libertarians who are losing their influence rapidly and the white identity politics which is gaining influence rapidly. i'm in a give a name. let's call it national conservatism. it's really the old conservatism. the conservatism. a people who recognize that nations are based on mutual loyalty. unhuman cohesion. and handy down, -- conservatism. it doesn't exist.
many good people have this intuition. but the work needs to be done the magazines don't yet know that we are supposed to be doing this. the universities forget about it. this is the challenge for our generation. the virtue of nationalism i hope is a challenge to you. i hope it is a good book but it doesn't answer all of the questions. now i'm posing to the broader question that this book is supposed to contribute. what is national conservatism. i think everything depends upon it. thank you. [applause].
we will open it up for some questions. i hope that there has been some thoughts going on here. [indiscernible] long-term but after he wrote some of those things he also said the culture war is over. and most of our movement i agree with you. many of our friends left wing and everything. forget about the culture we lost that one.
one of the only things that we had left. it's entirely possible i missed something. but the last time i dove into this. and i don't remember anything like that. i believe you. people say all sorts of things. it depends on the context. i only knew him in the last years. the irving i knew wasn't principally concerned with the fact that the united states was the cold war was over. he was concerned the lease and conversations with me. that the united states was was
not understanding that it was at home and that that all of the major threats were. i think he already saw clearly that that the country was beginning to come apart. can it be put back together again. he want them spending their time and energy and the resources trying to run the world when they cannot run their own home. you will send me what you read. i will comment on it. that is as i remember him. >> i wrote a book called the israel test.
in which said the real test of all of these issues was a response to israel and wonder what your view is of israel and its message as it attempts to integrate a population of 5 million that really uphold the soraya principal? >> israel is not attempting to and is not going to try to integrate 5 million arabs. israel certainly has an extraordinary variety of political parties in positions but one thing i think is hard to miss about israeli politics is that the leadership of the
country regardless of whether they are left or right we have terrible fights about terrible things. there is nobody in israel who is in favor of open borders. of all of the political figures across the spectrum you can't find a single one is not considered racism. they are just not already there. within the borders we have roughly something like 6 million jews in something like 2 million arabs.
and those arabs are integrating every nation has boundary problems. they had questions about where to draw out the borders. they have irish problem which is bedeviling them until now and the indians fight over cashmere. there is no political party in the state of israel that is interested in reaching some
kind of parity between the jewish and arab populations within our state. in the second happen. thank you so much for tackling this very timely topic. i had two related observations that i wanted to kind of get to see this having at the disadvantage of not having read your book just yet. some of my friends had been talking about the emergence of this nationalism fairly recently and one conclusion that we came to is that instead of being a case of an anomaly or something that is rearing its have once again we did notice that there were certain times that there were
certain ideologies. an example in this case could be socialism managed to go ahead and knock themselves out for about a lifetime as socialism did after the french resolution. after about a lifetime or 70 years. in a bit of a different form. and we were wondering if nationalism might be doing the same kind of thing related to that in to into use a bit of your terminology combined with the terminology of the wikipedia. we noticed a lot of parties in europe label themselves as liberal conservatives. in the case of germany and austria we see the party of the christian democrats managed to basically followed two different paths in the two different countries.
in austria they seem to be going along a more conservative path so along those lines i was wondering if you have any thoughts as to what the future might hold for europe in that regard and i think you very much for taking my question. >> look. parties can call themselves all sorts of things and hear what i'm trying to do is i'm trying to address ideas and try to give them to the extent that it's possible labels that are useful so we cannot be confused. let me not address what they call themselves but talk to the idea. since the fall of the berlin wall roughly every major political party in america and
europe. democrats and republicans conservative and labor they have all been one or another in the form of liberals. they can call themselves whatever they want but they are all liberals almost no conservatism to be found when i say that they are all liberals what i meet as all of them whether they are socialist or libertarian they are all basing their worldview on what we had been discussing. on the assumption that there is no fundamental issue of whether your society needs to be cohesive or not. it's just irrelevant. it doesn't matter what the american party is called. if she doesn't see the question i'm not telling you
what the answer is. i'm not proposing a certain policy but if she did not see the question involved in importing a million or 2 million people from middle eastern traditions into germany if she does not see the question is raised with regard to what will happen to the cohesion of her society than she is a liberal. if there were conservative parties and i'm not talking about racist or that the conservative party that has eye on the question of what is can hold the society together and prevent it from literally turning into multiple hostile societies they hate each other and are scared of each other. and can only be reconciled by force if you have your eye on that ball then you can call yourself a conservative.
the rest of them there does all liberals in the question is can we get good for europe too. can we get responsible competent intelligent minimally decent national conservative parties into being the neil fascist or the stalinist say enough. >> two points of the question. first, let me say that i much appreciate the opportunity to hear what you have said about nationalism it is in my judgment a fundamental principle of the conservative movement in the united states
to support national sovereignty. and globalism is known to be a very dangerous thing by movement conservatives but i think you have insights and i think i'm interested in reading your book. you suggested that there is a growing and serious problems of white nationalism among the conservatives in the united states. i suggest -- i suspect you have probably watched this too much i happened to be personally acquainted with the leaders of almost every significant conservative organization in the united states and i can type that an isi in in my organization in every other significant urbanization i know a white nationalism that attempts to get into the organization's last seen departing out the window with a foot print on his behind.
third thing is my question i am impressed about what you said about cohesion. i think almost everybody that is here. what agree with you that the education system in the united states is not only not conducive currently in the main two cohesion as a country but is actually empathetic culture. and against it. it's an awful problem and we have to face in many ways. i'm curious because you have acknowledge this and i certainly had. in what way is cohesion encouraged by the educational system in israel?
>> you think you only ask one question. let me first say something. i did not use the word white nationalist. i said white identity politics which could end up being white nationalist but when i say that i'm talking about young people and i was deftly not referring to the established institutions of american conservatism. i'm talking about people in their 20s and 30s i'm talking about people who are who i know primarily through the internet but i'm not talking about the cooks. some of these people have doctorates. those publications are i regret to report to you some of them are sophisticated they
are scientifically knowledgeable. they know the literature. they are highly cultured. in and some of them are people that had less the conservative institutions. and it would be really happy i mean nothing would make me happier then they should remain sufficiently a fringe phenomena so that when you and i meet in ten or 20 years you know you are right. they were just a french phenomenon and i made a mistake. you can all afterwards look into the question share information amongst yourself and decide whether i was right around unfortunately i'm right
there is a really good question. there is many different aspects of this. they self identify as a jewish state. meaning that we have a constitutional tradition of political theory that is in ducted into the law. going back into the hundred years. it goes back at least there. there is such a concept as a jewish state. israel has laws that make the public holidays and jewish holidays the teacher that -- the teaching of bible to every one in the country.
if they go to a muslim school than they are free not to study bible. but in terms of the 80% of the population that is jewish they are all required to study bible in the school. and we have a compulsory draft. if you really want to get out of serving in the army everybody knows you can. the law and the norm is that everybody serves in the army. that is a cohesion creating thing. the understanding that your country needs the service. and that the population is grateful to have your service. we also don't have separation of church and state if you're a christian christian or muslim then you can get married in a christian or muslim service. if you're talking about what
does the country feel like it feels like a country that has religious and national traditions which are explicit and shared by the overwhelming majority of the population. many people say to me. israel is a small country. some of that is true. i suggest that that is an oversimplification. i also published an essay called conservative democracy in which i make an argument about what america's history of cohesion should look like. i think the starting point for the discussion has to be that the united states understood itself to be a christian
people a christian nation the supreme court recognizes it as such up until the 1930s. if you take a look at fdr's state of the union address on the eve of world war ii january 1939 you won't recognize that he thinks it's a liberal democracy the way we use the term today. for him what are they can be fighting for in this war that is coming he is always that theirs can be work worked with the fascist powers. and there might be where with the communist powers. he said there fighting for three things. first our religion and what politician would say that today. i a democratic form of government. in her willingness to allow other nations according to
their own lakes. the religion is the most important thing. it is from the religion that democracy and comity among nations emerge. what he describes. they go to high school or university. it was a liberal democracy with the to tell your -- totalitarian powers. fdr did not read that. what it see think it's about. this is a war i struggle between the god-fearing democracies in those who reject god-fearing democracy. he literally calls it a crusade. in other words it is a war between those of us who
understand our place under god. they are that it is powers against that. after world war ii do start to get explicit statements it's unconstitutional in the united states for the american government to be contributing to the general establishment of religion. it doesn't belong in our schools at all. that is some place after world war ii. i don't yet have a clear understanding of how america makes of the transition from being a god-fearing democracy to liberal democracy. the possibility of what makes
america cohesive. it has a heart of a common religious nationalist tradition and then it brings out siders in. it's good and tolerant also to the people. but the society itself is dominated by a certain inheritance which is passed down from one generation to the next. it continues to have some of that until much recently. i didn't get to the point where nobody had any idea what america stands for until just a few years ago. i think that what is needed is to begin with i strongly
recognize that america not be recognized like he was born out of nowhere. that is not a legitimate way to think about history. i just take the anglo-american tradition of the english language. the way in which newcomers were incorporated into this inheritance and of course the tradition and freedom. take this and start digging with an eye to answer the question. what made america cohesive for so long and what made it such an incredibly powerful nation that people all over the world wanted to come and join not to bring their own cohesion from
the home country and then install it in america they wanted to come and join in the overwhelming majority did. what was that. i think it can be found historically and i think philosophically it could be understood. but conservatives need to step with this business of while we have a universal principle in go to the actual history of the actual nation that is the american nation. it deserves to have a history of its own. and to understand what was it that held it together. what is it that we've lost. and what can we do to return it. i want to make one recommendation. i think the non- teaching of scripture in the schools is a catastrophe you do not need to be a believing christian in
order to study scripture in schools the bible is the cornerstone of western tradition. i love a greek classics. i love that stuff but that is not the cornerstone of the anglo-american tradition. the cornerstone is the bible and when you create an entire week in which there infiltrated. and i'm not talking just about the postmodern influence. the mainstream thing that you get. all of the mainstream stuff that you get when you clean the entire week out of any reference to god in scripture
so that they think that a person can live without it. then a nation can live without it. all three of those things are simply not true. but why do people think that. that's the way people are educated. the american supreme court it's made it tough to teach bibles in schools but it never ruled it illegal. so teaching bible as philosophy or history or literature that is permissible and so americans do not teach in the schools. that is not the fault of the courts but it's a fall of every school district in the united states. today it can seem like a controversial thing i believe if you dig back and you figure out what unites americans. i think the entire tradition is held together by reading
for example the king james bible which is all about the independence of nations almost the entire thing. and i can teach about that. i'm talking about the old testament which is most of the bible. it's all about this in the formation of nations. and they read this stuff and i thought this teaches me something important. >> if the entire country has head that eliminated from its education than how do you expect them to be cohesive. it is not doable. so one little piece of a place to start. go back to scripture. outside one of the universities.
i have great respect for that program. and the institution. this happens all the time. come study it. a dozen different books. there is no bible is not by accident. it happens all the time. every political theory program. every political theory program starts with socrates none of them that i know of not even in the christian schools start with the political teachings of the bible which your ancestors when they came here that's what they were reading. it's true. >> i think we ran a little long and i'm glad we did.
that was fascinating. i wanted to leave a little bit of time just for me. i want to thank you dr. for your remarks and for giving us a very valuable invalid history lesson. my son is a junior george washington university. he told me that george washington university you do look i have to take a single semester of american history. so that as the is the pinnacle of our educational establishment right there. i'm not sure the international relations there are doing much better. he has a good kid and a good conservative. with all that being said the dr. will be available to write
books. buy a book or two or three or a dozen and send them out to all of your friends. they make great christmas gifts. and actually it is a wonderful book. that's why it won the conservative book of the year award. they had founded the princeton tory one of the student publications in our collegiate networks. we hear about the mainstream media and fake news. with the student journalism program it is a long-term response to fighting ongoing bias in the news media. with nearly 70 student investigative journalist across the country on campuses run by several hundred write aggressive journalists. we offer 19 paid internships and fellowships.
mentioned to me that isi experience and you know the impact that they head on you and your life in the lives of your families. you found isi because you were looking for the ideas you stayed with isi because you wanted to stay in the community. and your support in an ongoing fashion is critical so that current students in future students and future generations have the same access to these ideas in communities that you did. i hope you will support isi and continue to support the conservative book of the year. and other events like this that we have with that remember to stop by to meet yoram hazony god bless you all and have a great night. [applause]. [inaudible conversations]