Understanding Conservative Anti-Capitalism

This short-essay was published on Areo Magazine on January 22, 2020.

There’s recently been an unexpected growth of anti-capitalist sentiment in conservative circles. The relationship between capitalism and conservatism is not as harmonious as many suppose. Conservatives embraced libertarian economics largely because, following World War II, free markets seemed like the only valid alternative to the failing model of the Soviet Union, and a prerequisite to countering the threat of socialism. In the second half of the twentieth century, enthusiasm for small government came to be seen as one of the core ideological principles of conservatism.

But the marriage between conservatives and libertarians—known as fusionism—is not as inevitable as it might seem. For example, while libertarians think liberty is about permitting completely free trade in goods and services, traditional Christians think of freedom as…

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Cover photo by Lex Villena

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