Wednesday, April 13 – Corey Robin: Reactionaries Redux


Wednesday night at 8 on KPFK 90.7 FM:  COREY ROBIN.  I love this show, first aired on Bibliocracy Radio in March, 2012, and just now all too darn topical, or even more, sadly or hilariously or both.  Substitute “Trump” or “Cruz” for “Romney” and it almost makes sense.  Or nonsense.  Robin is one of my favorite political theorists.  He is a journalist, professor at Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center and, best of all, a student, as it were, of the Right.  Corey Robin has tried to explain and interpret the so-called “conservative” movement in a way that few others have dared.  His persuasive and ferociously entertaining take-apart of the Right arrived at a moment in which it revealed so much of itself but which nobody else seemed brave enough to notice. In a series of essays from his new collection, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, Corey Robin (published in 2011) he elaborated on a point which almost never seems to be articulated, challenging the — generous, or perhaps lazy — assessment of conservatism most consistently presented:  as a multi-faceted and thoughtfully complex intellectual tradition.  This leaves most people either shrugging or encouraged, always, to accept the equivalency of ideas and missing the more obvious, if somehow difficult point.  Instead, Corey Robin argues the point.  He surveys what has been the Right’s shared motivation and behavior:  a reaction (!) to liberation and social and economic justice movements.  It is, he says, a counterrevolutionary movement which struggles always to find a new way to say and do the same thing, over and over again:  No to liberation, progress, freedom.  Corey Robin is author of a previous collection:  Fear:  The History of a Political Idea.  Thanks for listening live on the radio, online or whenever you like as a free download at the Audio Archives.