‘ival but about which groups will prevailrnand subdue other groups. For mostrnof American history since the Civil War,rnAmerican political conflicts have notrnbeen about survival but about preeminence,rnabout which group—parties, ideologies,rnfactions, regions, coalitions—rnbecome preeminent. That has also beenrntrue of the conservative-liberal conflictrnsince World War II, because the conflictrnwas largely over which direction thernAmerican megastate would lurch andrnwho would control it, not whether therernwould be a megastate, much lessrnwhether there would be an America.rnYet there comes a time in the historyrnof many societies when survival is thernissue, although even then the “survivalrnissue” is closelv connected with the “preeminencernissue.” In the election justrnpast, some candidates—Ross Perot andrnJames Stockdale, for example, and, atrnleast by implication, Pat Buchanan—beganrnto whisper, ever so softly, that forrnAmerica that time has now come. Thernissues that began to mutter in this pastrnelection—economic digestion bv foreignrnpowers, the danger not only of crime butrnof outright anarchy, cultural disintegrationrnunder the impact of massive immigrationrnand militantly antiwhite andrnanti-Western multiculturalist movementsrn—have to do with whether thernAmerican nation, as a political unity andrnas a cultural identity, will live or die.rnConservatism, as it came to be definedrnin the Reagan-Bush era, has nothingrnto sav about such issues because itrnrefuses to admit their rele’ance, and itrnrefuses to admit their relevance becausernmost of its exponents are preoccupiedrnwith proving that they are compatiblernwith the same political and culturalrnforces that have brought the nation andrnits civilization to the brink of destruction,rnwith proving that Malcolm X andrnMr. Clinton are really conservatives andrnthat immigration and unrestricted freerntrade are rcalK tonics for the nation. Indeed,rnthe defuncto-cons tvpicallv regardrnsome of the most dangerous of suchrnforces as signs of health. If, however,rnthe survival issues now arising arc notrnaddressed by political forces capable ofrnresolving them, the nation, its culture,rnand its people are likclv to go over thernbrink and not come back. It won’t bernconservatism that resolves them.rnThe passing of conservatism, then,rncannot be mourned. Like any speciesrnthat slips into the evolutionary twilight,rnit was unable to respond to the challengernit encountered, and good riddance to it.rnI’he task for Americans who are intentrnon the survival of their nation and itsrncivilization now is not to revive anythingrnlike the species that has just expired butrnto evolve a new movement, a new politicalrnand ideological category that transcendsrnleft and right, capable of perceivingrnthe current challenges andrnformulating the measures necessary tornmeet them. With a slate clean of therndefuncto-cons, we now may be able torncreate such a movement. ^rnERIC VOEGELIN INSTITUTErnDr. Ellis Sandoz, Directorrn(College of Arts and Sciences, LSU)rnResearch, conferences, and publications on Political Philosophy and Constitutional QovernmentrnLoumana State Universityrn240 Stubbs HaUrnBaton Rouse, LA 70803-5466rnIn Defense and for the Future of CivilizationrnForinformation, call: AC 504/388-2552 • FAX 504/388-2540rn10/CHRONICLESrnrnrn