annuities, and home-ownership (the suburban homeownernas the yeoman). In addition, the New Deal experience hadnwarned them about the evils of central control. They begannto see the homeowner and the consumer as the foundationnof modern society, and government legislation, regulation,nand bureaucracy as threats. It was not difficult for them tonsee that internationalist foreign policy, especially foreignnmilitary and economic aid, was the New ‘Deal writ largenaround the world.nThat the America First legacy involves the problem ofnmodernization was expressed recently in a September booknreview in the New Republic. The reviewer was discussingnconservative support for Moise Tshombe, who sought anconfederation of autonomous provinces of the Congo rathernthan the CIA’s centralized military despotism:nThe same shift and tension appeared innconservative responses to the Nigerian civil war.nHuxleyish (Elspeth Huxley) sympathies for gallantnIbos were generally overridden by America-Firstern”realism,” which perceived a strong Americanninterest in preserving a pro-capitalist, pro-Western,nand potentially oil-rich national government innLagos.nThis was preceded by the following insights into Americannattitudes on foreign policy:nThe examples of 1776, and of Franklin Roosevelt’snconstruction of a powerful, centralized,ncapitalist-welfare state permitted many liberals tonfantasize, in the characteristically teleologicaln”modernization” discourse of that silver age, thatnindependent Africa was following cheerfully ifnbelatedly in American footsteps.nBy 1970, however, this rosy consensus hadnlargely broken down. Some intellectuals, workingnthe individualist-moralist side of the liberal street,nbecame upset over the plainly brutal treatmentnof oppositions and minorities by postcolonialnauthoritarian regimes. If African states had the rightnto self-determination, they were certainly notnpermitted the right to abandon “basic humannvalues.” Such liberals sympathized with Biafra andndenounced the “anti-Semitic” pogroms against thenIbos in 1966-67. Others, more enchanted withnKeynesian welfare-capitalism, tended to accept thenclaim that “African nationalists” had the right tonrun their countries in accordance with localnconditions and traditions, provided that the generalntrajectory of their regimes could’ be read in an”progressive” New Deal light. These peoplenconjured up the dangers of tribalism andnsectionalism, and Lincoln’s use of strong-armnmethods to “save the Union,” to insist on the neednto support the “nationalist” military regime ofnGeneral Yakubu Gowon and its look-alikesnelsewhere on the continent.nDespite the reviewer’s bizarre attribution of America Firstn”realism” to military, diplomatic, and financial interventionnby the U.S. government, to which America First “realism”nwould be totally opposed, there is an important recognitionn26/CHRONICLESnnnof the difference between true America First conservatismnand the pseudo-conservatism of the State Department andnWhite House that has adopted a Dag Hammarskjold-type ofnidealism that runs roughshod over local customs and autonomy.nAmerica First conservatism challenged these fantasiesnregarding “modernization” and saw the violations of humannrights by U.S.-supported governments as proof of annessential corrupt foreign policy.nAmerica First realism saw traditions and customs asnevolving institutions that responded to new ideas and newnchallenges, some good and some bad. It opposed Westernngovernment conquests around the world, while remainingnneutral about Western individual merchants, missionaries,nsightseers who wish to bring trade, medicine, education, orntourism to foreign peoples who wished to accept them.nAmerica First realists were not surprised that the postcolonialnleaders, who had been trained in the best ideas ofnWestern interventionism, of Keynesianism and of the welfarenstate, violated human rights. Having been subjected tonthe human rights violations of Roosevelt, they were notnsurprised that Big Brother led to spying and prosecutions.nThe Keynesian welfare state cannot accept the traditionalnsocieties it encounters.nAmerica First conservatism is the view of the ordinarynAmerican, the silent majority, who wishes to be left alone by’nthe state. It is the view of the 19th-century American whosenonly contact with the state was with the postman, and itnholds that the world is made up of human beings with thensame nature but with varying customs and institutions.nAmerica First conservatism is cosmopolitan, but not interventionist.nIt is possible that the cosmopolitanism of the AmericanFirst legacy can include those who when visiting abroad feelna sense of American superiority. While accepting foreignncultures on their own terms, most would still prefer to returnnto their own home, street, and church. But it is contrary tonthis tradition to belitde American culture and to speak of thensuperiority of anything foreign. One is reminded of JohnnLukacs’ contention that American attitudes on foreignnpolicy parallel the literary contrast between palefaces andnredskins. The redskin authors — like Mark Twain, WillanGather, H.L. Mencken — relished American attitudes, personalities,nand characters, while the palefaces — like HenrynJames — preferred Europe (especially England) and Americansnwho acted English. There was no mistaking the redskinnin Bob Taft, Barry Goldwater, and~ Ronald Reagan. Whennthe New Left spoke of an abstract Prairie Power, it was thenRepublicans who produced the concrete voters for the SagenBrush Rebellion.nIt is the paleface Americans who make up the Establishmentnand fill the bureaucracy, especially in the StatenDepartment and foreign aid and international informationnagencies. The American public — the redskins — tend tonresent their hectoring and advocacy of financial and otherninvolvement by the taxpayers in foreign affairs. We find thenbullying of these palefaces annoying. Think how offensiventhey must be to other people around the world. n