The return of The American Conservative

It’s been quite a few weeks since the appearance of the October 2010 issue of my favorite “Old Right” read, The American Conservative; I’d begun to fear that it would have no successor.  That particularly bothered me, as people who really should know better had in the interval set out to deny that an anti-militarist Right had ever existed.  Fortunately, the December issue is now up.

Highlights include George Scialabba’s piece on T. S. Eliot’s “revolutionary conservatism,” Justin Raimondo’s analysis of the Obama administration’s devastating impact on the antiwar Left that did so much to elect Mr O, and Bill Kauffman’s argument that the professional classes in the USA do not merely accept rootlessness and social isolation, but that they insist on it as a qualification for membership.  There is of course a heartfelt eulogy for the late Joseph Sobran, full of praise for Sobran’s principled antiwar conservatism, his quick wit, and his deep learning, though a bit skimpy on his rather less appealing habit of hobnobbing with Holocaust-deniers (a habit at least mentioned in this post on the magazine’s website.) 

Stephen Baskerville’s piece about gender-neutral marriage bears the promising title “Divorced from Reality: Don’t Blame Gays for the Decline of Marriage.”  Baskerville argues that “marriage creates fatherhood.”  Unlike Germaine Greer, who argued in The Female Eunuch that women should rise up against marriage in order to revoke “the gift of paternity” that the institution unjustifiably gave men, Baskerville sees in the social creation of paternity the chief justification for marriage.   He opposes gender-neutral marriage, as with much greater vehemence he opposes liberal divorce laws, precisely because such reforms threaten to deprive patriarchy of its charter.

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