Principalities & Powersrnby Samuel FrancisrnWhose Modernity?rnWhen Pat Buchanan’s new book, ThernGreat Betrayal, appeared in April, thernhsteria that greeted it was entirely predictable.rnNot only does Mr, Buchananrnchallenge the free trade orthodoxy that isrndominant among economists and policymakersrnin both political parties, but hernalso makes clear that the economic nationalismrnhe champions is only a part ofrna much deeper challenge to the Americanrnpower structure. His “new nationalism”rnis thus a bit more than a deviationrnfrom economic orthodoxy, and the hysteriarnthat greeted the book was a bit morernthan the outrage that the guardians of orthodoxyrnalways experience wheneyerrntheir pet dogmas are found to haye maderna mess on the living room floor. Especiallyrndisturbing to Mr. Buchanan’s conservativerncritics is that this maverick journalistrnstill refuses to shut up and go awayrnand that his views are beginning to blossomrninto a full-scale political movementrnwith a vision of the nation and its identityrnradically at odds with that of the chieftainsrnof the “mainstream right.” ‘W’Tiatrndrove the paranoia about Pat this timernwas not so much fear of the consequencesrnof his ideas as the grim realizationrnthat he and his ideas just might be onrnthe eve of actually having consequences.rnThe main attack from the right on Mr.rnBuchanan’s book appeared in NationalrnReview (April 20), v-ith something like arnbook review by Wall Street Journal editorrnRobert Bartiey, followed by a kind of review-rnessay by the magazine’s Washingtonrnreporter, Ramesh Ponnuru, followedrnyet again by a largely sympathetic analysisrnof the Buchanan political phenomenonrnby the magazine’s ex-editor,rnJohn O’Sullivan. The issue sported arncover photograph of Mr. Buchanan duringrnthe 1996 Arizona primary wearing arnblack cowboy hat, holding aloft a huntingrnrifle, and emitting the irrepressiblerngrin that seems to gloat over the anticipatedrnpleasure of blowing the heads offrnhis adversaries. Although the magazinern”tactically” endorsed Mr. Buchanan’srnpresidential efforts in 1992, National Reviewrnis now edited by Mr. O’Sullivan’srnsuccessor, Richard Lowry, who makes nornsecret of his opposition to Mr. Buchananrnand his ideas on trade policy, limitingrnimmigration, or an “America First” foreignrnpolicy. Devoting the cover story ofrnthe magazine to an attack on Buchananrnmay therefore be read as a declaration ofrnprinciple by Mr. Lowry as well as a declarationrnof war against “Buchananism”rnby the magazine itself, despite the presencernof Mr. O’Sullivan’s friendly piece.rnThe kindest thing to say about Mr.rnPonnuru’s “reporting” is that it is mostlyrnwrong. Devoted mainly to misleading orrninaccurate characterizations of Mr.rnBuchanan’s columns opposing the PersianrnGulf War, the article sedulouslyrnsearches out what its author imagines arernelementarv’ contradictions and bloopersrnin Mr. Buchanan’s thinking. Seeking torndiscredit Mr. Buchanan’s case againstrnNATO expansion, Mr. Ponnuru smirksrnthat “In the old days, he thought the Sovietsrnwould interpret conciliator)’ movesrnas weakness; we could help Kremlinrndoves only b’ shooting down hawks.rnNow that Russia is weaker, it’s imperativernnot to provoke her nationalists by expandingrnNATO.” Mr. Ponnuru evidentlyrnthinks he’s got Mr. Buchanan by therntonsils. Someone needs to explain tornhim that even though Russian communistsrnand Russian nationalists live in thernsame country, the former were our enemiesrnwhom it was appropriate not to conciliaternwhile the latter are not (at leastrnyet) our enemies, whom it is appropriaternnot to antagonize by needless threats likernan expanded NATO. To those of Mr.rnPonnuru’s strategic genius, of course, therndistinction between enemy and non-enemyrnis meaningless. What is meaningfulrnis whether Russia and other countries onrnthe global-democratic hit list do what werntell them. That mentality has been arnmain target of Buchanan and other paleoconservativesrnever since the Gulf War,rnbut Mr. Ponnuru still misses the point.rnMr. Ponnuru’s piece is perhaps thernmagazine’s concession to old-timernBuchanan-bashers who can’t forgive himrnfor his wisecrack about the “amen corner”rnat the time of the Gulf War massrnneurosis, but the magazine’s piece de resistancernis Mr. Bartley’s “review,” overrnwhich old-timers as well as newcomers tornBuchanan-basherv’ will smack their lips.rnEntitled “The Great Betraval,” the reviewrnis less a consideration of the meritsrnof the book (in Mr. Bartley’s mind, it hasrnnone) than a protracted accusation thatrnBuchanan himself is the real traitor—tornAmerican conservatism.rnMr, Bartiey has long been one of thernmain spokesmen for a version of neoconservatismrnthat glories in unrestricted freerntrade, virtually unlimited immigration,rnand equally unlimited foreign militaryrnintervention for the purpose of “spreadingrndemocracy,” During the Gulf War,rnhis editorial page hectored the Bush administrationrnnot to stop in Kuwait but torngo on to Baghdad, overthrow the regime,rnand establish a “MacArthur regency”rnthat would dispense the lollipops ofrnAmerican democracy, capitalism, andrnHollywood culture. Yet Mr. Bartiey is nornchauvinist. Indeed, in his review, hernmakes sport with a quotation attributedrnto him by National Review editor PeterrnBrimelow (and cited by Mr. Buchanan)rnthat “The nation-state is finished.” Mr.rnBartiey claims Mr. Brimelow “put thisrnhyperbolic phrase in my mouth” andrnthat “it bears only a passing resemblancernto my views.” I have no doubt that Mr.rnBrimelow quoted him correctly, and thernresemblance between the quotation andrnhis views is more than passing.rnMr. Bartiey commences his review byrnrecalling that “the initial manifesto ofrnNational Review famously declared thatrnits posture would be that it ‘standsrnathwart histor)’, yelling stop,'” a posturernwhich he believes was justified b’ therncollapse of Soviet communism. He thenrnrehearses the various elements in thern”conservatiye coalition” that NationalrnReview built, and the triumph of thatrncoalition in the presidency of RonaldrnReagan. But now appears Pat Buchananrnand his call to renounce free trade, internationalism,rnopen immigration, and thernglobal economy. We can see how farrnMr. Buchanan has strayed by the factrnthat he quotes approvingly from JohnrnSweeney of the AFL-CIO on the needrnfor an increase in American wages.rnIndeed, pronounces Mr. Bartiey, “Politically,rnit’s difficult to see what Mr.rnBuchanan’s platform has to do with conservatism,rnexcept perhaps in the sensernthat Mr. Sweeney’s AFI^CIO is the mostrnreactionary force in American politicsrn)ULY 1998/37rnrnrn