DiscoverKnow Your EnemyFrank Meyer: Father of Fusionism
Frank Meyer: Father of Fusionism

Frank Meyer: Father of Fusionism

Update: 2021-11-103
Share

Description

Matt and Sam dedicate an entire episode to an under appreciated but indispensable figure in the founding of post-war conservatism: Frank Meyer, the father of "fusionism."

Meyer was  a man of  contradictions: an ex-communist ideologue who longed for consensus; a cantankerous, unyielding debater who kept his friends and rivals close; a bohemian, individualist Jew who argued vociferously for freedom and against repressive orthodoxies, but who converted to Catholicism on his death bed. In this episode, we explore his life, work, and legacy — including a close reading of his most famous book, In Defense of Freedom: A Conservative Credo. Along the way, we ask some big questions: Why was it so important for Meyer to find a philosophical justification for fusing the traditional and libertarian strains of the conservative movement? How did he go about doing it? And did it work? 

Today, many — especially younger — conservatives consider fusionism to be a dead consensus, a marriage of erstwhile convenience in which one partner, economic libertarians, got everything they wanted, while the other, Christian traditionalists, have seen unfettered capitalism and licentious liberalism destroy the precious permanent things they had hoped to conserve: Church, family, and community.  As the seams of the fusionist alliance fray, we look back to the man who conceived it in the first place. 

This one is for the nerds. We hope you enjoy it! 

Further Reading: 

Frank S. Meyer, In Defense of Freedom: A Conservative Credo (Regnery, 1962)

George H. Nash, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945 (Basic Books, 1976)

Jeffrey Hart, The Making of the American Conservative Mind: National Review and Its Times (ISI Books, 2006)

Garry Wills, Confessions of a Conservative (Doubleday, 1979)

Kevin J. Smant, Principles and Heresies: Frank S. Meyer and  the Shaping of the American Conservative Movement (ISI Books, 2002)

Various, "Against the Dead Consensus," First Things, March 21, 2019

Frank S Meyer, "The Twisted Tree of Liberty," National Review  Jan 16, 1962

L. Brent Bozell Jr. "Freedom or Virtue," National Review, Sept 11, 1962

...and don't forget to subscribe on Patreon for access to all of our bonus episodes!

 

Comments (2)

Will Shogren

Frank Meyer sounds like an obnoxious fucking gasbag, honestly. I have a high school and it isn't particularly difficult for me to see the contradictions in calling Lincoln a tyrant with no mention of Confederate slavery.

Jan 2nd
Reply (1)
00:00
00:00
x

0.5x

0.8x

1.0x

1.25x

1.5x

2.0x

3.0x

Sleep Timer

Off

End of Episode

5 Minutes

10 Minutes

15 Minutes

30 Minutes

45 Minutes

60 Minutes

120 Minutes

Frank Meyer: Father of Fusionism

Frank Meyer: Father of Fusionism

Sam adler-bell, Matthew Sitman