Conservatives of the American nation have an undeniable love affair with capitalism. But what has it gotten them? Does it even make sense for them to love it? This all makes sense when you actually realize that there are no conservatives in America. At least not enough to really influence anything. What American Conservatism claims to support is individual liberty, free markets, and small governments. These are actually classical liberal values. Two branches of liberalism fight each other in America.
The paleo-conservatives, social conservatives, and traditionalists are on the fringe at this point. They hold no real institutional power in modern society. Paleo-conservatives are probably the most capitalist of the three as well. The amoral influence of capitalism on cultural and political life has defeated the right in a way the left never could. It prioritized what was profitable and ran with it.
More labor in the workforce meant wages went down and the economy benefited. So women were encouraged to join the workforce. Mass immigration was supported for the same reason and led to much of the same. Socialists often point out the plight of the working class in different ways. Wages are too low to support yourself and your family. People can’t afford healthcare. All of these are completely legitimate concerns about capitalism. But it does not change the thinking of those truly invested in classical liberalism.
But I think a more devastating critique would be more right wing in nature. The dissident right needs to attack capitalism on social and cultural grounds as well as pointing out it’s economic faults. Concerns about family, faith, and community are still very important to the right. This is what gives populism it’s appeal with the people.
Capitalism has been the most effective vehicle for the destruction of traditional culture and norms. One by one everything that traditionalists and social conservatives held dear was sacrificed on the altar of profit. The family, marriage, culture, and the innocence of youth all fell before it. But “conservatives” still defend it. Nothing has been conserved by them except for gun ownership.
Capitalist protectionism is a superior variant of capitalist economics in the sense that it actually takes some of this into consideration. But it can have it’s own downsides. GDP isn’t everything and there is more to a nation than that. I’m in agreement with the French New Right about capitalism being the great eraser of cultures. Which is in my opinion, The true source of the world’s ills.
Europe and the United States are in the midst of an identity crisis. Islam is going through a bit of that as well. Alternatives that aren’t capitalist or Marxian do exist. It’s time that the right wing start giving them a shot. Distributism is one of them but there are plenty more to look at.