Conservatives Against Capitalism

From the Industrial Revolution to Globalization

Peter Kolozi

Columbia University Press

Conservatives Against Capitalism

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Pub Date: August 2017

ISBN: 9780231166522

264 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $60.00£49.95

Pub Date: August 2017

ISBN: 9780231544610

264 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $59.99£49.95

Conservatives Against Capitalism

From the Industrial Revolution to Globalization

Peter Kolozi

Columbia University Press

Few beliefs seem more fundamental to American conservatism than faith in the free market. Yet throughout American history, many of the major conservative intellectual and political figures have harbored deep misgivings about the unfettered market and its disruption of traditional values, hierarchies, and communities. In Conservatives Against Capitalism, Peter Kolozi traces the history of conservative skepticism about the influence of capitalism on politics, culture, and society.

Kolozi discusses conservative critiques of capitalism—from its threat to the Southern way of life to its emasculating effects on American society to the dangers of free trade—analyzing the positions of a wide-ranging set of individuals, including John Calhoun, Theodore Roosevelt, Russell Kirk, Irving Kristol, and Patrick J. Buchanan. He examines the ways in which conservative thought went from outright opposition to capitalism to more muted critiques, ultimately reconciling itself to the workings and ethos of the market. By analyzing the unaddressed historical and present-day tensions between capitalism and conservative values, Kolozi shows that figures regarded as iconoclasts belong to a coherent tradition, and he creates a vital new understanding of the American conservative pantheon.
We’ve long known that European conservatives have been ambivalent about, if not hostile to, capitalism. What Peter Kolozi has uncovered is an entirely American tradition of conservative ambivalence about capitalism. Although most people assume that American conservatives have always been committed to laissez-faire capitalism, Kolozi shows that up until recently, many conservatives in the United States were deeply uneasy about the Ayn Rand/Paul Ryan view of the world. The result is an astonishing and exhilarating feat of intellectual recovery—and a sense of just how peculiar and unprecedented is the current embrace of the free market on the right. Corey Robin, Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center, author of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin
Conservatives Against Capitalism provides a rich, thorough, and thoughtful treatment of an understudied strain of American intellectual life, namely that of self-defined conservatives who are critical of capitalism and of market relationships. Kolozi argues that these conservative thinkers have often been far more sympathetic toward the state than the stereotypical idea of the Republican Right would suggest. Recognizing this tradition gives a much fuller sense of conservatism’s role in American politics and illuminates tensions on the right today. An important contribution to the field. Kimberly Phillips-Fein, NYU-Gallatin, author of Invisible Hands: The Making of the Conservative Movement from the New Deal to Reagan
Kolozi's Conservatives Against Capitalism Capitalism adds to our understanding of the conservative mind and the ways a new conservatism is coming to wield hegemony in contemporary American politics and policy. It is well written, well argued, and dissects a theme that has been ignored by too many scholars. A superb work. Michael Thompson, William Paterson University
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Conservatives Against Capitalism
1. Emerging Capitalism and Its Conservative Critics: The Pro-Slavery Critique of Capitalism in Antebellum America
2. In Search of the Warrior-Statesman: The Critique of Laissez-Faire Capitalism by Brooks Adams and Theodore Roosevelt
3. The Agrarian Critique of Capitalism
4. The New Conservatives: The Cold War and the Making of Conservative Orthodoxy
5. The Neoconservative Critiques of and Reconciliation with Capitalism
6. The Paleoconservative Critique of Global Capitalism
Conclusion: Conservatism at a Crossroads
Notes
Index

About the Author

Peter Kolozi is an associate professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the City University of New York.