Conservative Historical Awareness: Does ‘Falange’ Violate Godwin’s Law?

by Bruce Webb

I ask people to examine the following labels and concepts:
Arbitrary Executive
Permanent Majority
Homeland Security
New American Century

Did any of these labels or the concepts behind them come from the Left? Well no and we could easily assign names to people associated with each, for example we could name in the same order Addington/Yoo, Norquist/Rove, Bush, Cheney/Rumsfeld. Each man or pair of men openly and publicly associated themselves with one or more or generally all of these concepts.

Lets add some more terms:
American Exceptionalism
Christian Nation
Traditional Family

Are these in origin from the Left? Are there very many American Conservatives out there that wouldn’t endorse all three concepts? I think not.

If we examined only post-war history what country would (with its own changes on the tune) this combination best resemble? If you said ‘Spain under Franco’ you would have a winner. To which some would add ‘Chile under Pinochet’. There is a word for regimes that combine their version of all seven concepts. A word that by convention we cannot use because it is attached to a great deal of other historical baggage. Which doesn’t make it less historically correct.

Conservatism has always been wary of democracy, in fact 19th century conservatism in Britain and the United States was in large part by a determined effort to control democracy by retaining strict control over the franchise to vote. This effort went hand in hand with an attempt to retain control over the acceptable shape of the family and especially over the sexual conduct of family members.

While Conservatives by and large are fully aware of what they see as the dangers of too much license in speech, conduct and their expressions in things like art and music, they seem less aware of the dangers of slipping back into something that resembles Franco’s Spain. If it helps to reduce the temperature we can simply say that from the Left Bush/Cheneyism could not easily be distinguished from Falangism. (