A Split Within Conservatism

Folks, I’m preparing classes, both are completely new preparations, very much outside my field, so I have nothing fun to share, unless you are desperately in need of a lecture on the differences and, much more curiously, similarities between the totalitarian regimes in Ukraine and Spain in the twentieth century. (Bonus points for those who can point out the similarities beyond the obvious point that they were both totalitarian.)

In the meantime, I’m suggesting this great link from JD Vance on the transformations within modern conservatism. See or read, also, Tucker Carlson’s great monologue from January, 2 referenced at the link. Short recap for the very busy: there are some conservatives who are waking up to the sheer unadulterated idiocy of the belief that “the market is always right” and other conservatives are reacting like the hysterical fools that they are. It’s a great development, and I obviously hope that this awakening finally puts an end to “the wisdom of the markets” dogma.

Sorry, got to run, the course on totalitarian regimes won’t teach itself.

29 thoughts on “A Split Within Conservatism”

      1. “I’m responsible for the art part ”

        Oh please, please, pleeeeeaaaase make your art list available, especially totalitarian propaganda (one of my biggest personal failures is my enduring love of propaganda art – even for ideas I despise).


          1. // We aren’t doing the propaganda art because it’s very hard to find in English.

            Very hard to find analysis of the art, not the paintings themselves, right?

            Won’t you show any communist paintings / art at all? Even if just for contrast?

            // I love the paintings. They transmit my memories of the USSR perfectly. This is what I see in my mind when I hear the word socialism.

            This is what I see when I remember my childhood and early teens in the 90ies.


            1. I’m a literature person. I’m mostly doing literature. But it’s actually a great idea to bring in some paintings after advising students that I’m not qualified to provide a professional analysis.

              There are also going to be two movies. One is Donbass by Loznitsa (which I’m dying to see.) I’ll post a review once I see it.


              1. \ There are also going to be two movies. One is Donbass by Loznitsa (which I’m dying to see.) I’ll post a review once I see it.

                Haven’t watched it since didn’t have desire to see miresy I saw in my childhood multiplied by 10 or by 100, but am eager to read your review. Which is your second movie?

                Also, which movies do you refer to by “Soviet propaganda movies”? Haven’t watched many movies,but am always planning to watch more. 🙂


              2. Will somebody finally discuss Tucker with me? I feel a lot more enthusiasm towards him than towards this course. Which is probably not a good sign, especially since my co-teacher detests Tucker.


              3. Ok, an example. Cossacks of the Kuban (1950). https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cossacks_of_the_Kuban

                It’s probably the most shameful propaganda piece of all. It shows incredible gastronomic opulence in the countryside that was perishing of post-war hunger in real life. There is a great scene in Solzhenitsyn’s The First Circle where imprisoned scholars rebel against being shown this shameless movie.


              4. Or take the Oscar winner Moscow Doesn’t Believe in Tears. It’s not only part of the pro-patriarchal turn of the 1970s, but also an exaltation of the Soviet class mobility through hard work. A total lie, obviously.


        1. // Oh please, please, pleeeeeaaaase make your art list available, especially totalitarian propaganda

          I am unsure this anti-propaganda is what you want, but I liked it and wanted to share:

          В то время, как официальное советское искусство развивало в социалистическом реализме традиции академической школы, со второй половины 20 века параллельно начало развиваться андеграундное искусство, которое интересовалось совсем иным.



          1. I love the paintings. They transmit my memories of the USSR perfectly. This is what I see in my mind when I hear the word socialism.

            In the course, I’m going to do Ukraine’s executed Renaissance and then some contemporary artists to show how they are trying to bring about the rebirth of Ukrainian art. It’s very very hard to find anything in translation. But I got a really great gift from the Ukrainian embassy that is helping.


        1. “Triumph of the Will”

          It’s skillful great movie making, but I’m thinking more in lines with North Korean movies (I went through a phase of watching some on youtube) or stuff from the Cultural Revolution (Bright Red Star, Mine warfare, Breaking with Old Ideas)
          Again the philosophy and political ideas are horrible and hateful, but the form itself is mesmerizing (for terrible me).


          1. I love Soviet propaganda movies with an uncommon passion. Many of them are real works of art. I can look for ones that have English subtitles and post a list here. And then we can all add to the list from different countries.


  1. // All Soviet movies were propaganda movies. Name your favorite ones and I’ll explain how it’s propaganda.

    “Moscow doesn’t believe in tears” and “Office Romance” are certainly propaganda of terrible gender roles despite women being CEOs / heads of their institutions in both. 🙂


    1. But remember that this was very new in 1970s-early 1980s. Gender roles were portrayed very differently in the 1930s-1960s. The patriarchal turn began in the 1970s when the children of the post-war era came of age. They were the intended audience. It’s their mentality, their aspirations.


  2. The movie I keep wanting and then not watching is “Quiet Flows the Don.” Haven’t watched “War and Peace” either.

    I did watch 2 series of My Brilliant Friend and then stopped for now because they were so despressing. Mike published the quote from the novel which was also read in the movie with cocroach-like insects representing “tiny, almost invisible animals” :



    1. The movie War and Peace is better than the novel but that’s not saying much since even being hit on the head with a sack of potatoes is better than the novel. And yes, I experienced both,so I can compare.

      I’m not watching the series but I loved the novels. The second and the third are the best. The fourth is the weakest.


  3. ” Cossacks of the Kuban (1950)”
    Back when I took a course on “Film in Eastern Europe” (early 80s) one of the books was “The Most Important Art” (a survey of film in different Iron Curtain countries). A lot of it was too a-political and/or non-judgemental (discussing very good and very mediocre films as if they were of equal importance) but I’ve always remembered its scorching dismemberment of that movie (almost disbelief at the hypocritical mendacity that could produce it). Even after I forget the name of the movie I remembered the absurd horror of it…. now I see it’s on youtube with subtitles, so I guess I’m going to have to watch it…


  4. “Will somebody finally discuss Tucker with me? ”

    I promise I’ll track down his famous monologue(s) and get back with you on that (probably won’t have time till Friday…)


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