Freedom Through Technology

Trump? No, Hayek, Schaeffer, and McCarthy

February 23, 2021 ·

The Trump movement is more accurately called the Hayek/Schaeffer/McCarthy movement. Born from the fusion of Friedrich Hayek’s Mont Pelerin movement, Francis Schaeffer’s Religious Right (via his Christian Manifesto’s call to political action staged from L’Abri), and McCarthy-era anti-communist propaganda.

It first gained significant political power in Republican Party politics in the aftermath of Nixon’s fall from grace when Ronald Reagan was elected to the presidency, and gained further momentum in the Tea Party era.

This movement has mass-line-like characteristics, outliving the failures and subsequent dethroning of its various figureheads, like Paul Ryan or Donald Trump. This is the source of its perennial successes, as more left-oriented movements tend to redirect their energies into mainstream centrist Democratic Party figures once the power plays of their figureheads–especially Bernie Sanders–fail. They lack the crystallization of their opposition behind mass movements, and rather direct their energies into charismatic figures.

Activists should take note.

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