A Leftist Guide to the Right: Examining the Reactionary Tradition

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This class will introduce the political right to leftists interested in knowing more about their most staunch opposition. We’ll examine some of the major conservative and reactionary intellectuals and authors, trying to understand their arguments and learning how to respond to them effectively. This will include academics and luminaries such as Edmund Burke, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Carl Schmitt along with more popular figures such as William Buckley and Thomas Sowell. The course will also help distinguish between different strands of right wing thought and politics. Attendees will learn the distinction between classical liberals, reactionaries, conservatives, the far right, and fascism. By the end one should leave with a more sophisticated and complete understanding of the political right, and be better equipped to combat and resist their arguments and positions while advocating for progress and equality.


Your Instructor


Matt McManus
Matt McManus

Matt McManus is a Course Director at the University of Calgary, and the author or co-author of The Rise of Post-Modern Conservatism and Myth and Mayhem: A Leftist Critique of Jordan Peterson amongst other books.



Course Curriculum


  1: Introduction: What is the Political Right?
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  2: The Roots of the Political Right in Antiquity: Aristotle, Scholasticism, and Responses
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  3: The Birth of Reaction: Edmund Burke and Joseph de Maistre.
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  4: Possessive Individualism and the Defense of Capital: John Locke and James Madison.
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  5: Friedrich Nietzsche and the Birth of Aristocratic Radicalism.
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  6: Fascism and its Defenders: Carl Schmitt, Evola, and Mussolini
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  7: Civilization Must Be Defended!: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents.
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  8: Neoconservatism, Fusionism, and Post-Modern Conservatism in the 20th and 21st Centuries.
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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts January 1 and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

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