It would be shocking to rightists of the 19th century how common it is for rightists of today to have made their peace with socialism. The fighting hatred for terms like ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ that persisted even through much of the 20th century made it so that, in the West, it became necessary to redefine different planks of the socialist platform as ‘democratic’ or, for people who did not know how Communism was referred to in Russia, ‘progressive.’
One of the reasons for this is because socialism tends to be so dogmatically, militantly secular. When people say ‘militant atheist’ today, they usually mean a guy in a fedora who posts a lot on reddit. In the earlier 20th century, they meant a man who used rifles and whatever else he had on hand to kill religious believers, deprive them of their property, torture their priests, rape their women, criminalize worship, and scourge religious influence from the culture at large.
So, the militant atheists of the time were members of militaries or guerrilla groups, with a mandate from their superiors in the international Communist conspiracy to do what needed to be done.
In the earlier 20th century, before the late 1960s, the culture was still by and large profoundly religious in a way that most younger Americans would have a hard time understanding. They may have been marginally less religious than the typical European of the 17th century, but they tended to believe that the Bible was a sacred text, and that religion was the moral basis for contemporary philosophy.
Imagining that the Nazis won World War II is a popular jumping-off point for a lot of speculative fiction. The reader is supposed to feel glad that the Nazis did not in fact, win.
Unfortunately, a more brutal, cruel, and anti-human government won World War II — the Soviet Union. The United States at the time, and for a long time afterward, was substantially honeycombed with people who were either sympathetic to or reporting directly to the Soviet government.
One of the main effects of this is that the Western world, despite the collapse of the USSR and the implosion of its sphere of influence, came to resemble what conservatives of the earlier 20th century would readily recognize as a secular socialist state, with Christianity relegated to vestigial or subordinated status, the living faith reduced to a way to spend a Sunday, with sincere Christians repeatedly harried and legally attacked when trying to practice their beliefs in a sincere way.
If you don’t believe that the Communists won World War II, ask yourself whether or not it’d be easier to argue Paul the Apostle’s position on marriage in any of America’s most conservative magazines with a circulation above 50,000 subscribers. You would be likely to be lynched if you did so under your real name. If you related this fact to an average American man from 1895, he would feel appalled, regardless of whatever there might be in the Constitution around the prevention of the establishment of a state church.
Another sign of the enduring appeal of socialism is that it is nearly impossible to make strong arguments against it, even in venues labeled as rightist, without receiving endless whines and quibbles from people sympathetic to this or that socialist position. That is how complete the socialist victory in the realm of culture in particular has been, even if the progress that they have made on issues of economic policy may not have been as complete as some have hoped it to be.
Consider that Americans today will tend to learn that the implementation of plank after plank of the socialist platform represent progress, rather than the destruction of what our ancestors had considered their sacred way of life. Only the terrible quality of state education is a source of salvation there, because even the most ardent drones tend to be less than perfectly indoctrinated.
This is the reason why it should not be given an inch: there aren’t all that many inches left to give.