What Is Nationalism? Look Back at Evolution of 2 Theories

Last month at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, DC, well-heeled and well-credentialed intellectuals gathered for a conference on “National Conservatism.” The men and women at the conference looked to give intellectual heft to a Trumpian—and, if things go well for them, a post-Trumpian—nationalist movement. Future historians will write about it.
The Limits of Conservative Ideas
A historian of conservative ideas changes his mind
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Topics discussed included the American tradition, America as a nation, how “big business hates your family” and immigration.
On one afternoon panel, Amy Wax, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the daughter of immigrants, gave the conference's most controversial remarks, initially reported by Vox, speaking on “American Greatness and Immigration: The Case for Low and Slow.”


Wax's talk was based on an academic article she published last year which attacked the national discussion about immigration as one-sided and naïve. “Academics and journalists,” Wax wrote, “too often neglect vital aspects of the debate surrounding immigration to our country and to Europe — primarily from the Third World to the Western or First World.”
Wax says she's asking for an honest discussion. But her ostensibly neutral accounting of right, and, frankly, far-right, claims about certain immigrants' alleged inability to assimilate into Western society effectively mainstreams the views of racists like John Derbyshire and Jared Taylor, whom Wax mentions, and the fringe website VDARE.

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