How the Trump Era Lays Bare the Tension in the Marriage Between Conservatism and Capitalism

An attendee wearing an America flag shirt stands for the Pledge of Allegiance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. The list of speakers at CPAC includes two European nativists who are addressing the gathering between panels and events on the dangers of immigration, Sharia law and lawless government agencies. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Reflecting on the period of the Great Depression, the conservative writer Peter Viereck once wrote that the United States at that time had been “a revolutionary powder keg, needing only a spark.” That the spark never came was a testament to American society’s ability to pull back from the brink and implement policies that extended both wealth and opportunity beyond a small elite. As the global economy staggers from one crisis to the next, the future direction of politics in the West may end up depending on whether a new consensus can be reached on how to ameliorate the harms inflicted by a rampaging free market — and from there, build a vision of the future that more people find worth defending.

“There is a real potential now for a change in the conservative position on whether to regulate the harsher aspects of the market. If you look at the politics of young people today, they tend to widely share a more critical perspective on the question of what capitalism has delivered for society,” said Kolozi. “I don’t think conservatives will become socialists, ever. But a much more regulated capitalism is something that they are going to have to seriously think about accepting in the foreseeable future.”

via How the Trump Era Lays Bare the Tension in the Marriage Between Conservatism and Capitalism