Publication Details

Ashbolt, A., Reviews: Suburban Warriors - The origins of the New American Right; The Book of Jerry Falwell - fundamentalist language and politics; Blinded by the Right - the conscience of an ex-conservative, Australasian Journal of American Studies, 22(2) 2003, 131-134.


The triumph of a neoliberal economic doctrine in America has been accompanied by, indeed partly propelled by, a conservative social and moral agenda. The paradox is this - as neoliberalism cuts its swathe through tradition, remaking the social order out of the ruins of a New Deal consensus, it removes the material conditions that can sustain social and moral conservatism. Thus it is that the Supreme Court recently upheld the doctrine of privacy in Lawrence vs. Texas and effectively challenged state laws banning sodomy. In a dissenting decision, Justice Antonin Scalia warned that the Court had taken the wrong side in the "culture war". What Scalia failed to realize was that the culture war (or a significant part of it) becomes significant now only when it suits the architects of economic policy.