the enhancement of economic opportunity through onenkind or another of social engineering (enterprise zones, fornexample) and the establishment of an ethic that regardsnequality (usually disguised as “equality of opportunity”),neconomic mobility, affluence; and-material- gratification asnthe central meaning of what their exponents often call “thenAmerican experiment.”nSuch goals are not conceptually distinct from those of thenProgressivism and liberalism athwart which the Americannright at one time promised to stand, though the tactics andnprocedures by which they are to be achieved are somewhatn(but not very) different. Indeed, much of what neoconservativesnare concerned with is merely process — strategy, tactics,nhow to win elections, how to broaden the base of thenGOP, how to make the government run more effectively,nhow to achieve “credibility” and exert an “impact” — andnnot with the ultimate goals themselves, about which there isnlittle debate with those parts of the left that also lie within thenpermissible range of “pluralistic” dialogue. Given the persistentncultural dominance of the left, a conservatism thatnlimits itself merely to procedural problems tacitly concedesnthe goals of public acHon to its enemies and quietly comes tonshare the premises on which the goals of the left rest.nEventually, having silently and unconsciously accepted thenpremises and goals, it will also come to accept even thenmeans by which the left has secured its dominance, and thenvery disdnchon between “right” and “left” will disappear.nIt was this kind of silent acquiescence in the premises ofnthe left that James Burnham identified as a salient characteristicnof neoconservatism when it first began to appear in thenearly 1970’s. In an exchange with neoconservative PeternBerger in National Review (May 12, 1972), Burnhamnnoted that though neoconservatives had broken with “liberalndoctrine,” finding it “both intellectually bankrupt and, bynand large, pragmatically sterile,” they retained “what mightnbe called the emotional gestalt of liberalism, the liberalnsensitivity and temperament,” the ideo-neurological reflexesnand knee jerks of the left. Since that time, those reflexesnhave not only been recircuited but have been reenforced, sonthat today the neoconservative “right” almost expliciflynaccepts and defends the New Deal and its legacy, seekingnonly to spruce them up and administer them more effectivelynand more honestly, but not to reverse them or transcendnthem — Old Right goals are routinely dismissed by thenneoconservative right as “impractical.”nBut Burnham also remarked that “much of conservativendoctrine . . . also is, if not quite bankrupt, more and morenobsolescent,” and the failure of conservatism and its eventualndisplacement by neoconservative formulas is closelynrelated to its bankruptcy. The survivors,of the.”Old Right”ntoday spend a good deal of their time complaining aboutntheir dethronement by pseudo-conservatives, but those OldnRightists who survive are only the hardiest of the species,never vigilant for camouflaged predators who slip into theirnherds. For the most part, their predecessors in the conservativenmovement of the 1950’s and 1960’s were not so careful,nand indeed many of them failed to understand the ideologicalndynamics of liberalism, how the liberal regimenfuncdoned, or how to distinguish and insulate their ownnbeliefs and organizations against the left. That error wasnperhaps at least part of what Burnham meant by then”obsolescence” of conservatism. It was an error that was thenprincipal weakness of conservadsm and it permitted theneventual triumph of neoconservative forces and the assimiladonnof the right within the dominant cultural apparatus thatnserves the -left’s interests.nThe Old Right, composed mainly of the organizednconservative resistance formed in the mid-1950’s andncentered around National Review, failed to understand thatnthe revolution had already occurred. Conventional OldnRight doctrines revolved around the ideas of a constitutionallynlimited central government, largely independent localnand state government, an entrepreneurial economy ofnprivately owned and operated firms, and a moral and socialncode of individualism in politics, economy, art, religion, andnethics. These doctrines reflected the institutions and beliefsnof the bourgeois elite that had gained political power in thenGivil War and prevailed until the dislocations of 20thcenturyntechnological and organizational expansion broughtnforth a new managerial elite that seized power in the reformsnof the Progressive Era and the New Deal. These reformsnconstituted the revolution, not only in the polidcal power ofnRoosevelt, Harry Truman, and the Democradc Party, butnalso in the construcdon of an endre architecture of economicnand cultural power, based on bureaucratized corporationsnand unions, increasingly bureaucratized universities, foundadons,nchurches, and mass media, and fused, directly ornindirectly, with a centralized bureaucratic state.nSince the revoludon occurred legally and peacefully andnassimilated traditional institutions and symbols to its use, itnwas not immediately apparent that it had taken place at all,nthat the dominant minority in the United States hadncirculated, that the bourgeois elite no longer called the shots,nor that those who continued to adhere to Old Rightndoctrines were no longer in a posidon to “conserve” muchnof anything. But while the Old Right of the 1950’s was innprinciple aware and critical of the new power structure, itncontinued to regard itself as essentially “conservative” of annestablished or traditional order rather than frankly acknowledgingnits counterrevolutionary mission.nHence, the entire strategy of the Old Right of the 1950’snwas to seek accommodation with the new managerialbureaucraticnestablishment rather than to challenge it.nGeorge H. Nash writes that William F. Buckley, Jr.nforcefully rejected what he called “the popular andncliche-ridden appeal to the grass-roots” and stroveninstead to establish a journal which would reachnintellectuals. Not all conservatives agreed with thisnapproach, but the young editor-to-be was firm. Itnwas the intellectuals, after all, “who have midwivednand implemented the revolution. We have got tonhave allies among the intellectuals, and we proposento renovate conservatism and see if we can’t winnsome of them around.”nYet while Buckley seemed cognizant of the “revoludon”nthat had transpired and was in fact successful in attracdng annumber of intellectuals, he failed to see that the newnintellectual class as a whole, which had indeed “midwivednand implemented the revolution,” could not become conservative.nIt could not do so because its principal socialnnnMAY 1991/15n