In response to Thers's list of the Top Six Conservative Microorganisms, I offer the Top Seven Conservative Commies. These men and women were born too soon to witness, and applaud, the global triumph of conservatism. As a result, they're generally considered to be members of the radical left. However, their inherent conservatism is obvious by virtue of the ineluctable fact that anything interesting, important, or useful is inherently conservative.
1. Karl Marx
Beneath its fashionable Marxist veneer, Das Kapital is probably the best guide to marketing and investment ever written. If you want to end up on the winning side of the class struggle, pick up this book and learn how commodity fetishism can make you rich!
2. Mikhail Bakunin
Bakunin advocated "absolute rejection of every authority... that...sacrifices freedom for the convenience of the state." Clearly, he would've been a staunch supporter of Ronald Reagan, who famously said:
In my own mind, I was a citizen representing my fellow citizens against the institution of government.3. Peter Kropotkin
Like Bakunin, Kropotkin was an anarchist, making him a fellow-traveler of anarcho-libertarianism, and therefore libertarianism, and therefore conservatism. His book Mutual Aid shows that government welfare programs are unnecessary because people can and will take care of themselves. As a critique of Darwinist dogma, Mutual Aid paved the way for the groundbreaking discoveries of the intelligent design movement. Also, unlike the "Blame America First" crowd, Kropotkin sided with the United States in World War I.
4. Walter Benjamin
Benjamin's messianic mysticism, his stolid respect for tradition, his pessimism about government, and his obsessive worry about the threat of chemical warfare all mark him as conservative at heart. To enlightened eyes, his Arcades Project is a celebration of the spiritually liberating power of capitalism that compares favorably with the oeuvre of James Lileks. Also, he corresponded cordially with conservatives like Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss, while infuriating real commies like Brecht. And amazingly enough, he actually foresaw his own posthumous induction into the conservative movement: "Not even the dead will be safe from the enemy, if he is victorious."
5. Vladimir Mayakovsky
As Ann Althouse informs us, "To be a great artist is inherently right wing." So that settles that. Plus, Mayakovsky eventually repudiated Bolshevism, pretty much.
6. Emma Goldman
How people could so consistently mistake the author of My Disillusionment in Russia and My Further Disillusionment in Russia for some kind of lefty is beyond me! Also, Goldman clearly elucidated the evils of feminism:
[W]oman is confronted with the necessity of emancipating herself from emancipation....Kate O'Beirne would wholeheartedly agree!
7. Trofim Denisovich Lysenko
Few conservatives have been so effective at challenging hidebound scientific orthodoxy as Lysenko. Throughout his life, he refused to sacrifice his independence of mind for the evanescent pleasure of being in the mainstream. Its true that some of his understanding of genetics was lacking...but who among us could not say the same? The important thing is, at a time when the rest of the scientific world was marching in lockstep, Lysenko followed his conscience and the principles of free inquiry. (And you better believe he'd know how to handle any environmentalist wacko who tried to interfere with the factory system!)