Date: June 26, 2017

Will Trump and Merkel clash in G20?

Radio Sputnik, Scotland, interviewed me.

Most of you know that I am not very optimistic about a German-led EU in the long run.

That said, it’s more complicated than a simple yes or no answer.

Here are my thoughts, have a listen.

 

Defining Conservatism for the 21st century

Mitchell Blatt defends “Never Trump” neoconservatives from my argument that they are not conservative. It is a civil, spirited and substantive piece. I shall endeavour to uphold these virtues in my response.

I do not think neoconservatives are pseudo-conservative because they are “small government, pro-free trade” supporters of “a strong role for America in the world”. None of these positions are contrary to conservatism in broad terms but they can be depending on their particular forms.

There is a question of scale. Salt is important in cooking yet it can be overused. Supporting an American influence in the world can be conservative yet backing regime change and democratisation is not.

There is also a question of ends and means. Small government and free markets might be means of maintaining peaceful and prosperous societies but are not ends in themselves. They can produce positive economic outcomes but if these arrive too gravely at the cost of social cohesion, cultural standards, environmental preservation and personal fulfilment something can be wrong, or, at least, can be missing. 

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