Skip

Conservatism is true
June 19, 2011 5:46 PM   Subscribe


 
Almost forgot: via Roger Ebert
posted by blue_beetle at 5:52 PM on June 19, 2011


Fareed Zakaria liberal? Wikipedia begs to differ.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:53 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cripes.. we have shifted pretty far to the right when Zakaria doesn't sound comparatively out-to-lunch. Can we just go ahead and call the modern GOP the Nationalist party already?
posted by edgeways at 6:03 PM on June 19, 2011 [13 favorites]


Part of the problem is that conservatives highly value a past that either didn't exist, or existed under conditions that don't exist now. The Laffer Curve is a good example of this - but it's only true for items that are discretionary purchases, and the tax has to be so high as to discourage the purchase. On top of that the quantity of tax that affects the outcome of Laffer Curve economics will vary over time - it's not something you can set in stone and say "this much". There used to be high taxes, but despite the fact that income taxes are at record lows, the "taxes are too high" meme simply resonates well with people.

Really, I suppose that anti- intellectualism, a reactionary response to Marxist intellectualism and "effete Europeans", such as Neville Chamberlain, has really evolved into a complete rejection of critical thinking in any form.

It's a good article. And it's worth pointing out that, despite it's cliche status, Reagan would be too moderate for the Republican Party now. The right is trying too hard to pull more to the right, and the left really has, by and large, gone along with them.
posted by Xoebe at 6:04 PM on June 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


I wouldn't call Fareed Zakaria a liberal.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:05 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Many Republican businessmen have told me that the Obama Administration is the most hostile to business in 50 years. Really?

Only morons like Chris Matthews take this bait.
posted by any major dude at 6:05 PM on June 19, 2011


I think I missed the part that describes "how conservatism lost touch with reality". I noticed a lot of "conservatism has lost touch with reality", and examples of that, but I didn't notice the "how".
posted by Flunkie at 6:05 PM on June 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


FZ GPS is the only political TV show worth watching. He seems the only guy who actually has ideas for fixing problems instead of the standard Partisan bullshit.
posted by SirOmega at 6:06 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm with Flunkie here - the whole piece seemed too much puff, not enough substance. Hell, there was barely enough meat on the bones to qualify for a decent debate here.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:06 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not that that will stop anybody from having the same old argument.
posted by jonmc at 6:08 PM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


FZ GPS is the only political TV show worth watching. He seems the only guy who actually has ideas for fixing problems instead of the standard Partisan bullshit.

Exactly.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:12 PM on June 19, 2011


Can we just go ahead and call the modern GOP the Nationalist party already?

I'd have more respect for them if their ideology was actually reducible to nationalism.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:15 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was a Republican. Now I am a Democrat. I really don't feel that my ideology or my beliefs have changes that much. However, now the Democrats say what the Republicans used to say. If I had been a Democrat previously, I can't imagine how angry I would have been now.

However, the Democrats seem to be moving even farther to the right than my previous Republican self would have felt comfortable with. I really don't know what to do. I know I am not alone, but I haven't seen any kind of movement to align myself with.
posted by Quonab at 6:16 PM on June 19, 2011 [37 favorites]


changes = changed :/
posted by Quonab at 6:17 PM on June 19, 2011


How long has your head been in the sand if you're just now realizing how out of touch modern conservatives are?

One glaring example that I've been bringing up for years:

Ronald Reagan is now Saint Reagan, the uber-Republican. When Reagan was president, real Republicans didn't even like him. He was from Hollywood, he used to be a Democrat, he raised taxes, he was friendly with Tip O'Neill, he had the audacity to speak to the Russians...

If these guys can so blithely rewrite history from 30 years ago, what do you think they're going to do if they actually get the reins of power?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:20 PM on June 19, 2011 [34 favorites]


If I had been a Democrat previously, I can't imagine how angry I would have been now.

Pretty fucking angry.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 6:22 PM on June 19, 2011 [59 favorites]


I believe that the republican party stands a good chance of splintering at its convention. The far right is so far gone that even Romney or Huntsman are unpure. There will be walkouts.
posted by R. Mutt at 6:23 PM on June 19, 2011


... for false values of true.
posted by Flunkie at 6:38 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Romney seems to be a good guy, relatively in touch with reality or as much as the party base will let him. Huntsman seems to be mini-Romney with extra foreign policy sauce. Maybe the Mormons will save the GOP for the realists but I doubt it.
posted by Bwithh at 6:41 PM on June 19, 2011


I'd have more respect for them if their ideology was actually reducible to nationalism.

They are much closer to the ideology of the Know Nothings, which was an anti-immigrant movement from the mid 19th century US. At the time the immigrants in question were mostly Irish and German Catholics.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:47 PM on June 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


If these guys can so blithely rewrite history from 30 years ago, what do you think they're going to do if they actually get the reins of power?

Cough ... Dubya ... cough.
posted by Max Power at 6:51 PM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


If these guys can so blithely rewrite history from 30 years ago, what do you think they're going to do if they actually get the reins of power?
Cough ... Dubya ... cough.
As unbelievable as it seemed a few scant years ago, I feel like today's Republicans have left even Dubya behind in the dust in their party's all-out race to the lower limits of suitability for higher office.

If my choices were "Dubya or Palin", "Dubya or Bachmann", or "Dubya or McDonnell", I would vote for Dubya in a heartbeat. Then I would wash my hands.
posted by Flunkie at 7:00 PM on June 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


I mean "O'Donnell".

I blame a witch for this mistake
posted by Flunkie at 7:02 PM on June 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


I believe that the republican party stands a good chance of splintering at its convention. The far right is so far gone that even Romney or Huntsman are unpure.

They are both Mormon, and (in all likelihood to date) both are also the most electable of all the Republican candidates so far. This presents a difficult dilemma for a party which tries so much to stay rooted in cultural and religious Protestantism, especially on the activist level. It's not something a lot of the base can overlook, and those people are going to be the ones who vote in the primaries.

Well, at least it will be an entertaining primary season, even if in a morbid way. I do see many fine moments to come on the Daily Show and Colbert. And for those of you who think Herman Cain is the one to watch- just wait. Trust me... the crazy ain't even started yet.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:10 PM on June 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Romney/Bachmann

that's the ticket.

bwhahaha
posted by edgeways at 7:19 PM on June 19, 2011


I noticed a lot of "conservatism has lost touch with reality", and examples of that, but I didn't notice the "how".

It started in 1971 with the Powell Manifesto with help from theologian Francis Schaeffer's A Christian Manifesto in 1982. It's been driven forward by secretive groups like the Council for National Policy. Basically it's a deliberate strategy to radically alter the nature of American culture & government.
posted by scalefree at 7:24 PM on June 19, 2011 [8 favorites]


I blame a witch for this mistake

If there's one thing I learned from that election, it's that Christine O'Donnell is not a witch. Everything else that happened around that time was hazy and dreamlike.

Unfortunately for O'Donnell, I only vote for witches. Alas.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:30 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


It started in 1971

I believe Barry Goldwater is widely credited as the father of the modern conservative movement, who rose to prominence in the early '60s. At the time he was considered pretty far on the fringe, going so far as to reject the New Deal, but his ideology inspired the Republican Party of today as well as the libertarian movement.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:41 PM on June 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Conservatives are fixated on winning at any cost. They're literally on a crusade. The Republicans sold their souls to the devil when they started prying Dixie away from the Democrats with the Southern Strategy. Main street Republicans like Mitt Romney are the survivors of a soon to be extinct breed.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:00 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yep, Goldwater, combined with the loss of the Dixiecrats after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. President Johnson even acknowledged that the Democratic party would lose the South for a generation.

The Right has wanted to cement it's dominance for decades, never more so did they seem so close in doing that as after 9/11, with Rove actively admitting he saw 50 years of GOP dominance, any president other than someone as inept and short-sighted (and let's face it limited) as Dubya, with the aptitude to see the dangers in the financial markets sooner might've moderated and reined in Wall Street enough, and not over-reached in Iraq, might've done just that.

But again and again and again, the Right is become it's own worst enemy, Burning demographic bridges right and left...

The thing that is deeply unsettling to me is how the Right now even still acts as if they're on the precipice of that cemented majority and dominance, with the magical thinking that denies their deep and dominant role in the disastrous policies of the Aughts, and the 90s and the whole 30 year period of supply-side Reaganomics that has decimated some of the healthiest middle and working class communities in the country in lieu of the money industries, Wall Street and the Big Banks....with an eye on a globalistic model that doesn't raise all boats, but lowers all boats to a Capitalist wunderland of cheap labor.

Someone once wrote on the Blue one of the best things I ever read, and I'm paraphrasing: I wish the Democratic party would become the new Republican party and the Green Party became the new Democrats. and perhaps prophetic as the GOP reaches further and further towards a purity and extremism that is nothing but a neo-nationalism, and let's face it, even has an element of ideological superiority in it in the form of this dangerous and infantile idea of an American Exceptionalism, that can be nothing but the ugly head of Nazism. And Americanized Nazism.
posted by Skygazer at 8:03 PM on June 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Part of the reason for the rise of the reality-free Republicans has to be 9/11. When people are afraid, it's easy to dispense with critical thinking.

But now with the death of OBL (and hopefully no-one mad enough to replace him), one can't help thinking that Republican extremists have run out of road.
posted by storybored at 8:38 PM on June 19, 2011


edgeways: "Romney/Bachmann"

Remember all the hand-wringing that some dead-ender would assassinate Dubya in order to hand the Presidency to Cheney?

Given that the usual drill is that the veep slot goes to an ideological attack-dog type, to cement the base... I kind of worry about a ticket like you describe.
posted by Rat Spatula at 9:18 PM on June 19, 2011


All I'm saying is, Nixon 2016.
posted by gjc at 9:27 PM on June 19, 2011


krinklyfig: "And for those of you who think Herman Cain is the one to watch- just wait. Trust me... the crazy ain't even started yet."

I'm wondering about Perry, what with the massive Christian revival/prayer event he's hosting (in a stadium!) in August.

storybored: "Part of the reason for the rise of the reality-free Republicans has to be 9/11. When people are afraid, it's easy to dispense with critical thinking.

But now with the death of OBL (and hopefully no-one mad enough to replace him), one can't help thinking that Republican extremists have run out of road.
"

I'm pretty sure that as far as Republican circles go, the new Osama-esque demonic bogeyman is Obama himself. A very large segment (a majority?) of conservative voters is convinced that he is straight-up evil.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:31 PM on June 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” - Sinclair Lewis

This could almost be a parody of much the Republican Party if it weren't so scary. They don't have the ability to even formulate the notion "What if they're right and I'm wrong?"
posted by Daddy-O at 9:40 PM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Unlike the abstract theories of Marxism and socialism, it started not from an imagined society but from the world as it actually exists. From Aristotle to Edmund Burke, the greatest conservative thinkers have said that to change societies, one must understand them, accept them as they are and help them evolve.

This demonstrates a stunningly ignorant grasp of Marxism (and socialism).
posted by joe lisboa at 9:45 PM on June 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


Many Republican businessmen have told me that the Obama Administration is the most hostile to business in 50 years. Really? More than that of Richard Nixon, who presided over tax rates that reached 70%, regulations that spanned whole industries, and who actually instituted price and wage controls?

Okay, now he is on to something. In a good way.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:48 PM on June 19, 2011


The "Left," on the other hand, has abandoned Marx, embraced globalism and become anti-Christian. No wonder that the Right, bad as it is, does so well.
posted by No Robots at 9:57 PM on June 19, 2011


i respect Fareed but this article fails on one major point : THE PEOPLE HE IS DESCRIBING ARE NOT POLITICAL CONSERVATIVES.

what he is describing is a synthesis of Dominionist politics shrouded in an Ultra-Nationalism that is nothing more but (g)Libertarian anarchist desire to defend white privilege at all costs.

what these people espoused has nothing to do with financial conservatism and even less with true christian values. what they espouse is "fuck you, got mine". plain and simple.
posted by liza at 10:06 PM on June 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


@NoRobots: anti-Christian

you have got to be kidding me
posted by liza at 10:08 PM on June 19, 2011 [7 favorites]


@Liza
Most Socialists are content to point out that once Socialism has been established we shall be happier in a material sense, and to assume that all problems lapse when one’s belly is full. The truth is the opposite: when one’s belly is empty, one’s only problem is an empty belly. It is when we have got away from drudgery and exploitation that we shall really start wondering about man’s destiny and the reason for his existence. One cannot have any worthwhile picture of the future unless one realises how much we have lost by the decay of Christianity.--"As I please" / George Orwell.
posted by No Robots at 10:23 PM on June 19, 2011


When Reagan was president, real Republicans didn't even like him.

Burn in Welfare Queen Hell, blasphemer!!

We will desecrate your body! You will never rest with the heroes in Bitburg Cemetery!
posted by orthogonality at 10:28 PM on June 19, 2011


“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” - Sinclair Lewis
I'm sorry to be a nitpicker, but I see this quote attributed to Sinclair Lewis a lot, and it's not by him. Close, though: It (well, something very like it) was actually written as a description of a book written by Lewis, decades after Lewis had passed away.
posted by Flunkie at 10:36 PM on June 19, 2011


The "Left," on the other hand, has abandoned Marx, embraced globalism and become anti-Christian.
Name a politician on the American left who is anti-Christian, please.
posted by Flunkie at 10:37 PM on June 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


what exactly are you calling the left?
and why trot George Orwell?

look, am an atheist so am glad to stomp on religions when they're entangled with politics, but to say liberals, progressives or the left have left god behind is tomfoolery. the issue is that many democrats took to heart what i call the Cuomo Doctrine: dont impose your religion upon everybody else's politics.

here's Cuomo's money quote :
The Catholic Church is my spiritual home. My heart is there, and my hope.

There is, of course, more to being a Catholic than a sense of spiritual and emotional resonance. Catholicism is a religion of the head as well as the heart, and to be a Catholic is to say, “I believe,” to the essential core of dogmas that distinguishes our faith.

The acceptance of this faith requires a lifelong struggle to understand it more fully and to live it more truly, to translate truth into experience, to practice as well as to believe.

That’s not easy: applying religious belief to everyday life often presents difficult challenges.

It’s always been that way. It certainly is today. The America of the late twentieth century is a consumer society, filled with endless distractions, where faith is more often dismissed than challenged, where the ethnic and other loyalties that once fastened us to our religion seemed to be weakening.

In addition to all the weaknesses, dilemmas, and temptations that impede every pilgrim’s progress, the Catholic who holds political office in a pluralistic democracy—who is elected to serve Jews and Muslims, atheists and Protestants, as well as Catholics—bears special responsibility. He or she undertakes to help create conditions under which all can live with a maximum of dignity and with a reasonable degree of freedom; where everyone who chooses may hold beliefs different from specifically Catholic ones, sometimes contradictory to them; where the laws protect people’s right to divorce, to use birth control, and even to choose abortion.

In fact, Catholic public officials take an oath to preserve the Constitution that guarantees his freedom. And they do so gladly. Not because they love what others do with their freedom, but because they realize that in guaranteeing freedom for all, they guarantee our right to be Catholics: our right to pray, to use the sacraments, to refuse birth control devices, to reject abortion, not to divorce and remarry if we believe it to be wrong.

The Catholic public official lives the political truth most Catholics through most of American history have accepted and insisted on: the truth that to assure our freedom we must allow others the same freedom, even if occasionally it produces conduct by them which we would hold to be sinful.

I protect my right to be a Catholic by preserving your right to believe as a Jew, a Protestant, or nonbeliever, or as anything else you choose.

We know that the price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that they might someday force theirs on us.

This freedom is the fundamental strength of our unique experience in government. In the complex interplay of forces and considerations that go into the making of our laws and policies, its preservation must be a persuasive and dominant concern.
the only republican you will be hearing speaking even remotely like this is the "lost cause" Ron Paul. sad that he would be considered too "far out" with Republican dogma because, among other things, he believes the government has no business meddling in people's private lives ESPECIALLY when it comes to matters of religion.
posted by liza at 10:46 PM on June 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


the only republican you will be hearing speaking even remotely like this is the "lost cause" Ron Paul. sad that he would be considered too "far out" with Republican dogma because, among other things, he believes the government has no business meddling in people's private lives ESPECIALLY when it comes to matters of religion.
This is not true. For example.
posted by Flunkie at 10:53 PM on June 19, 2011


Another example.
posted by Flunkie at 10:55 PM on June 19, 2011


The whole country has lurched right. My Democratic President has lawyers attempting to argue that dropping bombs from drones does not count as "hostilities" according to — you know what, I don't care what it is according to, that's self-serving nonsense and tortuous logic. I am starting fresh with Get Your War On and it seems relevant all over again.

Is it too late to clone Carter?
posted by adipocere at 11:20 PM on June 19, 2011


Romney seems to be a good guy, relatively in touch with reality

The key word in that: relatively.

As people have noted, the "mainstream" Republicans are a long way out there in terms of taxation, social rights, etc.

Some thought that the likes of Bachman and Palin serve nicely as foils, make the likes of Romney look relatively sane and palatable when there's generally not much difference in their views.
posted by ambient2 at 12:43 AM on June 20, 2011


Canada has gone the other way. The old Reform party was well stocked with young-Earth creationists and anti-choicers. As Conservative party leader, Stephen Harper didn't drive those people away but he did push them down and keep them quiet. We'll have to see if they come out of the woodwork now that the Conservatives are in power.

The Conservatives appear to be led by sane, intelligent evil people, as opposed to the deranged, delusional evil people who run the American Republican party.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:54 AM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The "Left," on the other hand, has abandoned Marx, embraced globalism and become anti-Christian. No wonder that the Right, bad as it is, does so well.

And here I was, thinking that sounds pretty good.
posted by Amanojaku at 3:40 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


This demonstrates a stunningly ignorant grasp of Marxism (and socialism).

I think it's quite accurate, with the proviso that one applies it to Marxism as practiced in the USSR and Warsaw Pact states, rather than Marxism in theory.
posted by acb at 3:52 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mitt Romney looks like a president should look if all the stereotypes are true.

Romney/Gingrich 2012 - you heard it here first.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 3:59 AM on June 20, 2011


For a group that has "lost touch with reality", conservatism certainly seems to be on the cusp of effecting sweeping, future-altering change in this country, with the full, vocal backing of a very sizable portion of the nation.

I never thought I'd see the eternal third-rail of US politics, Social Security, touched in any negative way. Yet, the radicals in the House have successfully held the economy hostage (via the debt ceiling) and it now looks that SS will, in fact, be subject to serious cutting. Even AARP is on-board, now. That's pretty damned impressive work for being out-of-touch with reality.

And I'm not seeing any reason to believe the situation will get better after 2012.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:30 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it too late to clone Carter?

As is often the case, The Onion got there first:

Way I see it, America needs a president who's gonna somehow un-royally screw up the Middle East, do some serious cleaning up after you dropped your pants and took a steaming dump all over the fucking environment, and—boom!—restore dignity, honor, and all that shit to these United States.

See, I got solutions to all your problems—I got 'em right here in my big, hairy ballsack.

You better get down on your hands and knees and kiss Jimmy Carter's rosy-red Georgia-peach-picking ass and beg me to run your fucking country again, because there's no way I'm ever gonna come to you fuck-knobs and politely ask you if I might please be a presidential candidate in your precious fuckin' election. So you can just bite my cock. I've had it with you jerkoffs and your jerkoff candidates.
posted by Jakey at 4:52 AM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Link for previous comment.
posted by Jakey at 4:53 AM on June 20, 2011


If one of the Tea Party clowns gets elected, it's going to mirror one of those movies where the regular joe somehow becomes president or king or whatever, but instead of their folksy hometown ideas saving the country, it's going to drive us deeper into the economic and intellectual depression we are experiencing. They might even touch of some new wars just for the hell of it, or completely break something important like Social Security or Medicare.

Just consider this: these fucking morons can't understand that if you cut taxes and start wars thus increasing military spending and find yourself in deep deficit that the solution is to raise taxes and stop wars and decrease military spending.

If the GOP wins in 2012 and tell me to love it or leave it, I'll know it's time to permanently go for the latter. I guarantee a lot other people tired of living under a violently anti-human, poor-hating police state will be joining me.

posted by notion at 6:26 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The "Left," on the other hand, has abandoned Marx, embraced globalism and become anti-Christian.

I would strongly disagree with the last of these. I know a lot of self-identified liberal or progressive folks who consider themselves Christians. Not all people of faith are right-wing fundamentalists, and not everyone on the left is an atheist.
posted by aught at 6:38 AM on June 20, 2011


The "Left," on the other hand, has abandoned Marx, embraced globalism and become anti-Christian.

In my opinion, true Christianity has very many things in common with "the Left" (and the "the Right"). Those would would sacrifice others for their own welfare, no matter what their political affiliation, should not consider themselves Christian.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:44 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's just that it is easy for the Right to say that it is pro-Christian, anti-globalist and working for the little guy, while the Left remains silent on these points.
posted by No Robots at 8:14 AM on June 20, 2011


Name a politician on the American left who is anti-Christian, please.

Leftist opinion on Christianity is shaped not by politicians, but by New Atheists like Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens.
posted by No Robots at 8:46 AM on June 20, 2011


> The Conservatives appear to be led by sane, intelligent evil people, as opposed to the deranged, delusional evil people who run the American Republican party.

This, 100%. Stephen Harper knows exactly what he's doing, whereas Rob Ford is just an idiot.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:55 AM on June 20, 2011


Leftist opinion on Christianity is shaped not by politicians, but by New Atheists like Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens.

Are these leftists? Hitchens, who supported the Iraq War, and Harris, who, in The End Of Faith, tried to sell a neoconservative hard line to the non-Republicans? (I don't know much about Dawkins' politics other than his views on religion, but I don't recall him pushing generally leftist positions outside of that.)
posted by acb at 9:10 AM on June 20, 2011


Are these leftists?

No, they are not. So, then, why do so many Leftists allow their opinion of Christianity to be shaped by these people?
posted by No Robots at 9:14 AM on June 20, 2011


why do so many Leftists allow their opinion of Christianity to be shaped by these people?

Prove that this is the case.
posted by grubi at 9:27 AM on June 20, 2011


If one of the Tea Party clowns gets elected, it's going to mirror one of those movies where the regular joe somehow becomes president or king or whatever, but instead of their folksy hometown ideas saving the country, it's going to drive us deeper into the economic and intellectual depression we are experiencing.

Yes, but, as long as there remains even one Democrat left standing anywhere in the US, they will still trot-out the liberal boogeyman and drive through even more tax-cutting.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:11 AM on June 20, 2011


>Prove that this is the case.

Are you aware of any significant Leftist opposition to the Theory of Evolution, anyone at all who maintains that Jewish and Christian opposition to the Theory of Evolution is anything other than reactionary and anti-scientific?
posted by No Robots at 10:14 AM on June 20, 2011


So you have no proof, then. Got it.
posted by grubi at 10:16 AM on June 20, 2011


Ah yes, the "both sides of the debate" canard.
posted by acb at 10:17 AM on June 20, 2011


Leftists commonly equate anti-evolutionism with Rightist politics:
Anti-evolution ideas have returned with force due, in part, to the political and ideological aims of the Bush administration and the powerful US Christian fundamentalists.--"The ‘intelligent design’ controversy" / Socialism Today 96 (November, 2005).
This in spite of the fact that Marx himself provided one of the first and sharpest critiques of the reactionary ideology underlying the Theory of Evolution:
I'm amused that Darwin, at whom I've been taking another look, should say that he also applies the ‘Malthusian’ theory to plants and animals, as though in Mr Malthus’s case the whole thing didn’t lie in its not being applied to plants and animals, but only — with its geometric progression — to humans as against plants and animals. It is remarkable how Darwin rediscovers, among the beasts and plants, the society of England with its division of labour, competition, opening up of new markets, ‘inventions’ and Malthusian ‘struggle for existence’. It is Hobbes’ bellum omnium contra omnes and is reminiscent of Hegel’s Phenomenology, in which civil society figures as an ‘intellectual animal kingdom’, whereas, in Darwin, the animal kingdom figures as civil society.--Marx to Engels
The Left cannot succeed as long as it attempts to reconcile socialism with the Theory of Evolution. It must be Marx or Darwin—Marx contra Darwin.
posted by No Robots at 10:40 AM on June 20, 2011


You are still not showing how those particular thinkers are influencing the American left.

Also, your shifting argument... it's weak. It's not based on any real facts; it's based on a single statement and a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution.
posted by grubi at 10:46 AM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


what these people espoused has nothing to do with financial conservatism and even less with true christian values.

No true Scotsman, etc. They call themselves conservatives and Christians.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:56 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Question: Atheism seems to sell in the United States. There are "New Atheist" best sellers. At the same time, "New Atheists" claim to be repressed by widespread American religious sensibilities. Why is atheism having such resonance?

Mitchell Cohen: Best sellers have contexts. The context today is a reaction against politicized and intolerant religious fundamentalists who have acted aggressively to impose their views of the world on American politics and public life for several decades. A strong intellectual challenge to them has been long overdue.

--"The New Atheism: An Interview with Mitchell Cohen"
posted by No Robots at 11:10 AM on June 20, 2011


My dad is a serious rightie, but he loves broccoli. How do you reconcile that?
posted by notsnot at 11:35 AM on June 20, 2011


No Robots, it sounds more like you have an axe to grind than a point to make. Just knock it off.
posted by grubi at 11:35 AM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Left cannot succeed as long as it attempts to reconcile socialism with the Theory of Evolution. It must be Marx or Darwin—Marx contra Darwin.

This may be the most desperate attempt at intellectualism I have personally witnessed.
posted by notion at 11:44 AM on June 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


"If I had been a Democrat previously, I can't imagine how angry I would have been now."

Just imagine what it's like for those of us who don't/can't identify with either.
posted by Eideteker at 11:51 AM on June 20, 2011


No Robot:The Left cannot succeed as long as it attempts to reconcile socialism with the Theory of Evolution. It must be Marx or Darwin—Marx contra Darwin.

You know, the end of my days I will despise the Republicans and Fox and the rest of the Right-Wing radio jackasses for not only encouraging, but giving credence to this kind of facile, superficial, absolutist bullshit thinking, that is flaw on top of flaw on top of flaw.

Back way way waaaay up...
posted by Skygazer at 12:48 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


No Robots, you obviously have some axes to grind. I suggest you take them elsewhere and not ruin this thread with your personal issues.
posted by deanc at 1:00 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


so Marx smacks down Darwin for saying his biological observations are applicable to economics and somehow this means that "the left", whatever that means, needs to reject evolutionary theory?


oh.


you can tell it's the end of the semester, because the undergrads have begun their summer trolling :P
posted by liza at 3:15 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The baby boom pushed to the left when they were young, pushing to the right now that they are old. Soon, they will be all go away....
posted by R. Mutt at 3:26 PM on June 20, 2011


>the the undergrads have begun their summer trolling

Undergrad? Moi? Now, that is just sheer flattery.
posted by No Robots at 3:47 PM on June 20, 2011




It is very much worth reading.

In respect of the fact that it's a conservative pointing out some of the failings of the GOP/TP, it has some merit. On the other hand, it also contains a couple of WTF moments, too.

The Ryan plan solves the problem the way leftists used to: by a radical ideological shift.

That's a ridiculous equivalence. It's like saying "The PLO would solve the problem of racial inequality the way Gandhi used to: by a radical ideological shift".

and

Douthat, Brooks, Zakaria, Bacevich, Bartlett, Frum, Manzi, Salam, Lomborg, Mac Donald, et al. are still thinking.

I'm not familiar with the work of all of these people, but any definition of the word "thinking" that includes Brooks and Lomborg as practitioners does not promise much for the quality of their work, or that of Sullivan.
posted by Jakey at 2:23 AM on June 21, 2011




Because many leftists believe what virtually all scientists believe about science, leftism is anti-Christian?
posted by Flunkie at 5:10 AM on June 21, 2011


In reply to mumimor: one line stood out to me from the article, describing the world of the 50s and 60s that the boomer generation destroyed:

"In a world in which J.P. Morgan and Cornelius Vanderbilt have been rendered obsolete, reduced to historical curios, to a funny old-style man, imprisoned in gilt frames, the professionals—the scientists, engineers, professors, lawyers and doctors—correspondingly rise in both power and esteem."

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive. Sigh...
posted by lucien_reeve at 8:45 AM on June 21, 2011


I was just making the Nozick piece an fpp. Still tempted. What I find interesting is that the man's error was exactly the same one Rand makes. Assuming a sui generis provider of a good.

I love Malcolm Gladwell's chapters in Outliers on accidents of birth. Not only the circumstances of one's parents, but the decade, the year, even the month of one's birth. Zôon politikòn, bitchez.

posted by Trochanter at 10:06 AM on June 21, 2011


Damn!!! sorry about the underline
posted by Trochanter at 10:06 AM on June 21, 2011


« Older Blue Peter garden not included   |   My Pussy Belongs to Daddy Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post