Progressive reformers are attempting to take control of the major parties of the nominal left in the United States and the United Kingdom, in the wake of losses in national elections and the rise of reactionary forces. Even if the rebels do not take full control there is some prospect that the parties will at least be substantially changed.
No such fate threatens the Australian Labor Party. There is no flicker of unorthodoxy from within. There is little prospect of the plebian hordes storming it from without. The ALP stands, inert and impregnable, occupying the political space where a progressive party ought to be, the greatest obstacle in Australia to the constructive reform we desperately need if we are to have a tolerable future.
When I joined the staff of National Review as a lowly associate in 1984, the magazine, and the conservative movement itself, was a fusion of two different mentalities.
On the one side, there were the economic conservatives. These were people that anybody following contemporary Republican politics would be familiar with. They spent a lot of time worrying about the way government intrudes upon economic liberty. They upheld freedom as their highest political value. They admired risk-takers. They worried that excessive government would create a sclerotic nation with a dependent populace.
But there was another sort of conservative, who would be less familiar now.
One can write of the decline of the USA, and that has already been noted many times. One can write of the collapse of the USA, and that arguably is in process. But neither characterisation would capture what is now happening to the USA.
The USA is being destroyed before our eyes. The nation with the greatest military defences in history, by far, is being taken over and sacked. Like Singapore in World War II, it’s guns are pointing in the wrong direction. This time the destructive horde is not Japanese soldiers rattling overland on bicycle rims, it is people who claim to be patriotic Americans.