John Lukacs, in his book Historical Consciousness, makes the following interesting point on the relationship of ideas and aesthetic impulses, which are reflected in one’s view of other nations:
The so-called isolationism of many Americans in 1940-1941 and the McCarthyism of others in the 1950’s often cloaked deeper, more hidden national and cultural preferences: relative Anglophobia and relative Germanophilia played their roles in these instances. Conversely, the Anglophile (and sometimes Francophile) sympathies of American humanist intellectualism in our times represented, too, something more than ideological preferences: they reflected historical inclinations toward certain cultural prototypes, since man of these people saw in Britain and in France still partial representatives of the ideas and of the culture of the Enlightenment; on the other hand the Germanophile (and often Hispanophile) sympathies of many American “conservatives” reflected not merely hidden sympathies for Hitler or Adenauer or France but their inclinations toward romantic, neo-medieval, and generally anti-Enlightenment cultural tendencies.
It seems that these tendencies express themselves today in the conflict of America’s mostly Catholic conservative intellectuals, including Russel Kirk, Father Sheehan, and Patrick Buchanan. All wrote as critics of the market-oriented, liberal American consensus, while its defenders were mostly establishment Protestants and Jews, as well as agnostics. This divide expressed itself within the conservative movement’s clash between paleoconservative authors–Sobran, Francis, Fleming–and their opponents in the mainstream and neoconservative right, such as Lowry, Goldberg, Krauthammer, Podhoretz, and company. These ideological disagreement typically echoed in each group’s attitude about NATO, Russia, and Israel. In contrast, the Francophilia of the far left is well documented, as is their sense of identification with the political structures and sexual attitudes of Scandanavian societies. Their seems little anti-Enlightenment feeling in their ranks, other than in the occasional “primitivist” celebration of places like Chiapas and Tibet.