‘The Economist’ Panics Over ‘Growing Peril’ of National Conservatism

orban trump
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Economist magazine warns this week of the “growing peril” of a national conservatism that is spreading like wildfire around the planet.

National conservatism is “dangerous and it’s spreading,” The Economist intones forebodingly in this week’s cover story. “Liberals need to find a way to stop it.”

The cover features a red MAGA cap stretched vertically to fit a slew of nations following the lead of American populism: “Make America, Hungary, Italy, France, Israel, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland great again.”


Today, Donald Trump, Viktor Orban, and “a motley crew of Western politicians” have constructed “a statist, ‘anti-woke’ conservatism that puts national sovereignty before the individual,” the magazine opines, somewhat disingenuously.

“These national conservatives are increasingly part of a global movement with its own networks of thinkers and leaders bound by a common ideology,” the article declares. “They sense that they own conservatism now — and they may be right.”

Globalists indeed have cause for concern as populists enjoy victory after victory in countries like Argentina (oddly absent from The Economist’s list), Italy, Germany, and France.

The piece reads like a call to arms against a movement that seems to grow stronger by the day as people around the world grow fed up with being governed by ideologically driven, progressive globalist elites blithely uninterested in the real problems faced by ordinary people.

Today’s national populists “do not see the West as the shining city on the hill, but as Rome before the fall — decadent, depraved and about to collapse amid a barbarian invasion,” the article states.

Curiously, the article insists that national conservatism is the “politics of grievance,” in what appears an act of willful blindness to the dominance of grievance in the woke politics that populists abhor.

The piece also warns progressives that once in power, conservatives will attempt to “capture state institutions, including courts, universities and the independent press,” which the Left has always considered its proper domain.

In a welcome — if odd — moment of honesty, the article recognizes the legitimacy of several underlying issues that have strengthened the conservative cause, namely the blight of illegal migration, fear that the next generation will grow up to be poorer than the present one, and the realization that institutions such as universities and the press “have been captured by hostile, illiberal, left-leaning elites.”

“Liberalism’s great strength is that it is adaptable,” the piece concludes cheerfully, and liberalism “can adapt to national conservatism, too,” but for the moment, “it is falling behind.”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.