Ben Mabie of Viewpoint Magazine speaks with Melinda Cooper about the politics of kinship in the era of neoliberalism, as discussed in Cooper’s book, Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and New Social Conservatism. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full interview. An excerpt appears below.
“BEN MABIE: Now a year into the Trump presidency, would you say that the family remains that key reference point for the organization of Republican Party politics?
MELINDA COOPER: Trump remained somewhat protean during his campaign; he was a lightning rod for very different tendencies on the right but has settled into something more recognizable now he is in power. As it now stands, the Trump presidency (and by implication the Republican Party) is defined by the same alliance between neoliberal and social conservative tendencies I analyzed in the book. Except it has moved further to the extremes on both sides. My book focuses for the most part on the alliance between neoconservatism and Chicago school/Virginia school neoliberalism. The rise of Trump was accompanied by an alliance between paleoconservatism and a peculiar American translation of Austrian neoliberalism, represented by someone like Murray Rothbard. The aristocratic and anti-government tendencies in Austrian neoliberalism find a new home in the American South. Paleoconservatism was rejected by the neoconservatives because of its overt racism, its opposition to Civil Rights and its anti-Semitism. The alt-right have moved back to paleoconservatism and so have revived the fortunes of the Ku Klux Klan and a myriad of other white nativist formations on the far right. Austrian neoliberalism has had little direct impact on policy or economics in the US but has flourished as a political movement, in the guise of Ron Paul and various libertarian gold bugs.”