Conservative Critiques of Capitalism

Feb 24, 2024, 9:00 am5:00 pm
Laura Wooten Hall, Room 301 (Kerstetter Room)
Free and Open to the Public


Event Description


This conference proposes to examine conservative critiques of capitalism, with a particular focus on the United States. What does it mean to critique capitalism from a conservative perspective? What exactly are the alternatives that such critiques presuppose? Our current moment seems to mark a shift in conservative attitudes towards capitalism. A conventional historiography holds that a market-friendly “fusionist” consensus dominated right-wing politics since the Reagan era. After the 2008 financial crisis, however, this consensus exploded, and figures from Integralists to the Alternative Right have critiqued what’s variously called neoliberalism, globalism, and the like. This conventional historiography can be probed from multiple angles. For example, neither the neoliberals nor fusionists were especially market fundamentalist. Has there been an epochal shift? Further, there’s a long tradition of conservative critiques of capitalism in the United States. From George Fitzhugh to the Southern Agrarians, conservatives have both critiqued capitalism and attempted to theorize alternatives. How can examining these past episodes shed light on today’s critiques? Finally, there’s also the question of the global context: American conservatives are frequently in dialogue with figures in other countries. Examples include the fusionists and Wilhelm Röpke, or the symbiosis between contemporary Integralists and Orban’s regime. How do other national and global contexts shape and inform conservative critiques of capitalism in the United States?

For access to papers, email Kim Girman, [email protected]


Melinda Cooper, Australia National University
William Callison, Uppsala University
Joe Lowndes, University of Oregon
Alberto Toscano, Simon Fraser University
Bethany Moreton, Dartmouth College
David Walsh, Yale University
Casey Eilbert, Princeton University
Josh Vandiver, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Hannah Gurman, New York University
Whitney McIntosh, Columbia University
Utku Cansu, Princeton University
Tristan Hughes, Princeton University
Daniel HoSang, Yale University


9 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. - New Conservatisms

Presenters: Daniel Hosang, Melinda Cooper, Bethany Moreton, Utku Cansu

Commenters: A. Toscano, D. Hosang

10:35 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. - Currency, bureaucracy and critiques of neoliberalism

Presenters: Whitney McIntosh, Casey Eilbert, David Walsh

Commenters: B. Moreton, C. Eilbert

12:45 p.m. to 1:55 p.m. - Left-Right Coalitions

Presenters: Tristan Hughes, Joseph Lowndes, Hannah Gurman

Commenters: J. Lowndes, W. McIntosh

2:10 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. - Interwar period and conspiracies.

Presenters: Alberto Toscano, Will Callison, Josh Vandiver

Commenters: T. Hughes, U. Cansu