AMERICAN CONSERVATISM UNMOORED The Dissident Right’s Adoption of Leftist Agitational Strategies

Ethan Stoneman, Joseph Packer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The last decade witnessed a drastic reconfiguration of American conservatism by way of a newly emergent and energized dissident right. Beyond the question of ideology, this article argues that an essential aspect of this realignment occurs at the level of strategy, specifically with the adoption of agitational tactics pioneered by the progressive left. It attempts to make sense of this sea change, first, by tracing in broad strokes the history of American conservatism’s opposition to much of what passes for agitational politics. It then examines the right’s seemingly abrupt adoption of three species of agitational practice: Alinsky-styled radicalism, identity politics, and accelerationism. It concludes by discussing the implications of this shift, in terms of what it means both for the future of conservative discourse and for leftist groups who must now take into account the possibility of having to outmaneuver their own set of tactics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-350
Number of pages21
JournalCultural Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Alinsky
  • accelerationism
  • agitational politics
  • dissident right
  • white identity politics


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