It is somewhat ironic that Steve Bainbridge would cite Russell Kirk's ideas as a basis for a renewed conservative-libertarian fusionism. Kirk himself despised libertarians, whom he called "chirping sectaries" in the title of one of his essays. In that same essay, he wrote that "[t]o talk of forming a league or coalition between these two [conservatives and libertarians] is like advocating a union of ice and fire." He even claimed that a socialist-conservative alliance was a more viable possibility than a libertarian-conservative one:
Conservatives have no intention of compromising with socialists; but even such an alliance, ridiculous though it would be, is more nearly conceivable than the coalition of conservatives and libertarians. The socialists at least declare the existence of some sort of moral order; the libertarians are quite bottomless.
The essay also displays a number of typical shortcomings of Kirk's work, including the difficulties he had in understanding ideas opposed to his own (not just libertarianism, but also others), and a tendency to resort to ad hominem attacks.
Unlike such conservatives as Frank Meyer and Bill Buckley, Kirk was an opponent of fusionism, not a supporter of it. To the extent that conservatives embrace his ideas, the chances of a revival of fusionism are reduced.
UPDATE: In fairness to Bainbridge, I should note that he also cites Meyer in his post, more prominently and extensively than Kirk. However, he cites the latter's critique of the Bush 41 administration as part of the possible basis for a new fusionism without considering Kirk's lifelong hostility to libertarianism and fusionism.
Related Posts (on one page):