This is interesting news. We have sometimes been critical of FPR (see here, here, here and here), but I consider this good news. As I said in the Policy Review post below, the left has journals for every conceivable niche, but the right has only a few. Likewise with publishing companies. There are all sorts of niche left-wing presses, but very few “conservative” presses and most of them primarily churn out books from “conservative” celebrities. This is a welcome development.
Archive for the 'Political Philosophy' Category
Scott McConnell has a post up at TAC acknowledging Lawrence Auster’s health issues. He also discusses Austerism. His take on Auster is surprisingly similar to mine. I’m surprised that McConnell is that familiar with Auster, but Auster’s frequent criticism of TAC probably accounts for his familiarity.
An openly Marxist magazine calls for scuttling the Constitution. Marxists know their projects require the heavy hand of omnipotent government if they’re ever to be implemented. And the whole point of the Constitution (and further reinforced by the Bill of Rights) was to LIMIT the power of the central government.
We are entering the Era of Interesting Times.
There is something about the spotlight and garnering the praise of others that must be like crack, because once these centrist Republicans who like to bash other Republicans get a taste of it, they can’t seem to stop. Take a look at this story. I’m not sure what kind of a site BuzzFeed is, but I get the feeling the author may just get what Huntsman is up to. Even the title seems to be needling him a bit.
When it comes to highlighting his party’s deficiencies, Huntsman has never been shy. In fact, his ascent to national notoriety has been fueled and fed by regular, headline-grabbing attacks on the GOP — a habit that has turned him into every Democrat’s favorite Republican, and every Republican’s favorite punching bag.
Since I have already beat up on Mr. Huntsman before, I won’t rehash that old ground. I want to focus on one part of his critique specifically.
“The minute that the Republican Party becomes the… anti-science party, we have a huge problem.”
Anti-science? This may also be a reference to the evolution vs. creation debate, but it is clearly a reference to climate change which is mentioned earlier in the article. The science of climate change aside, since Huntsman’s concerns are allegedly about the future electoral viability of the GOP, then is he suggesting that there is mass popular support for measures that would have a significant impact on carbon emissions? Which policies would those be? Would the GOP improve their electoral prospects if they supported a large increase in the gas tax? Cap and trade? Since that went over so well last time. If championing climate change is such a winner with voters, why did Obama drop it like a hot potato? I think Jon Huntsman is more concerned with making the GOP more acceptable to his social circle than he is about the GOP’s electoral prospects in general.
I have never been hostile to Wendell Berry, but I have never quite understood the veneration some crunchy con/Front Porch Republic types seem to have for the guy. Well now he has come out rather obnoxiously for gay marriage and some conservatives are disappointed to say the least.
“If I were one of a homosexual couple — the same as I am one of a heterosexual couple — I would place my faith and hope in the mercy of Christ, not in the judgment of Christians,” Berry said.
Um Wendell, the Bible condemns homosexual behavior as a sin. The Church has recognized this from the beginning as did Jews before them. Under Jewish law, a law Christians believe was written by God Himself, homosexual acts were a capital offense. That’s pretty serious business.
Of course all Christians place their “faith and hope in the mercy of Christ,” but they don’t get to rewrite the rule book based on modern PC sensibilities. How silly does Berry’s quote sound when we replace homosexuality with some other sins that haven’t yet gotten the PC reprieve.
If I were an adulterer I would place my faith and hope in the mercy of Christ, not in the judgment of Christians.
If I were a thief I would place my faith and hope in the mercy of Christ, not in the judgement of Christians.
This is true, adulterers and thieves should place their faith and hope in the mercy of Christ. It is the only hope they have. But they don’t get to write thievery and adultery out of the list of things condemned by the Bible and go on about their adultering and thieving ways.
A group of “conservative” “leaders” have issued a statement denouncing Boehner’s Plan B. The group reads like a Who’s Who of Conservative Inc. But this is the problem with opposing Conservative Inc. per se. Occasionally they get something right. They should be opposed when they are wrong and worked with when they are right. Here they are right.
Prominent conservative leaders … scheduled a press conference this afternoon to denounce Speaker John Boehner’s “Plan B” tax increase for addressing the fiscal cliff. Some are accusing Grover Norquist of giving cover to the establishment to facilitate this cave-in and hand President Barack Obama a liberal victory.
This is pathetic! I actually didn’t think Norquist would cave. Sadly, I guess I was wrong.
I hope this makes Sean and the rest of the moderation caucus happy. And make no mistake about it, moderation is what this is. You can toss around the names Burke and Kirk all you want, this is not responsible conservatism or realistic conservatism or any other kind of conservatism. It is moderation. It is moving to the center. It is conceding an important element of the fight to the left.
I want to know how Sean and Gallupo and the rest of the gang think it strengthens the Republicans’ hand to cave rather than to go down fighting! Obama stood tall and Boehner and Norquist et al flinched. That’s what people are going to see, and that’s what happened. This makes Obama look large and in charge and Boehner and Norquist look like a bunch of (I’m just going to say it) groveling bitches.
I’ve got news for Boehner, Norquist, and company. All revenue bills MUST originate in the House. The House is controlled by Republicans. The way to tackle this fiscal cliff issue is to repeatedly pass bills making the current tax rates permanent, and let the Dem controlled Senate and the President whine about it. But don’t send then any bills that raise taxes. No tax increase gets to the Senate and the President unless the Republican controlled House sends it to them. Then when we go plunging over the fiscal cliff (which does what the moderation caucus wants anyway – raises taxes and cuts spending ) scream from the rooftops that the Dems forced a tax increase despite the best efforts of the Republicans to hold the line.
Ask yourself this, how do you think Ron Paul is going to vote on “Plan B.”
If the Constitution Party is smart, they should start writing up the press releases now: “Republicans Raise Taxes!”
And for those who decry outside influences holding the GOP hostage, one huge reason why the GOP sees the fiscal cliff as intolerable is because it would cut defense and make the defense contractors unhappy. So again, I hope you’re happy. The anti-tax lobby takes it on the chin and the defense lobby wins.
No surprise here. Erick Erickson proves once again that he is nothing but a mouthpiece for the Establishment. If any authentic voice of conservative resistance rears it’s head, you can always count on Erickson to quickly attempt to purge it. (See here, here, here, and here) Does he know he’s being a tool of the Establishment in which case he is malicious or does he not realize that he is a tool in which case he is a fool.
Posted under Conservatism & Constitution Party & Democrat Party & Election 2012 & Libertarian Party & Mitt Romney & Obama & Paleoconservatism & Political Philosophy & Republican Party & Ron Paul & Third Party & Virgil Goode
We at Conservative Heritage Times have been inspired by the TAC symposium to do one of our own, although one with more of a paleo edge. I’m actually not sure symposium is the best characterization of this. It is a virtual symposium I suppose. But I’m going with it because we are blatantly riffing (not ripping ) off TAC’s effort.
Not all the people here would be best described as paleoconservatives, and some would not claim that label, but the attempt was to try to get people who might be considered part of the paleo/traditionalist sphere. I asked CHT’s own contributors, plus people I know (both actually and virtually) whom I thought would represent a broad cross section of the paleo/traditionalist sphere, plus some of our regular commenters. Other of our regular commenters volunteered their services.
In order to avoid the appearance of favoritism, I have arranged the contributions in alphabetical order by first name. I am still expecting some more to roll in. They will be added in their appropriate alphabetical order as they do. Please check back frequently and please promote this on Facebook, Twitter, with you email contacts, etc. Thanks, enjoy and discuss. The endorsements commence below the fold. ~ Red
TAC has a “symposium” of multiple writers discussing whom they plan to vote for. Some endorse voting for one of the major party candidates and some endorse not voting, but several endorse third party votes or write-ins. Some of the writers include Andrew Bacevich, Justin Raimondo, Paul Gottfried and friend of this website Sean Scallon.
Daniel Larison has a separate endorsement here that wasn’t included in the symposium for some reason.
Samuel Goldman has a separate endorsement here because Hurricane Sandy precluded his participation in the symposium.
Here is a summary of the endorsements.
Romney — 4 (Coombs, Pinkerton, Tippins, Zmirak, Antle and Birzer leaning)
Obama — 4 (Bacevich, Hadar, McConnell, Millman, Giraldi in a pinch)
Goode — 1 (Scallon, Brimelow and Gottfried would if they could)
Rand Paul — 1 (McCarthy)
Hapsburg Monarch — 1 (Lind)
Not voting/ambivalent/unclear — 7 (Dreher, Dougherty, Gordon, Murphy, Raimondo [rooting for Obama], Richman, Russello, Beer, Sailer)
Well it’s not really versus, but versus makes for a more intriguing title.
Anyway, Scott McConnell responds here to a comment Tom Piatak made in a previous thread. Read McConnell’s post, but to sum it up briefly he suggests that the problem for the middle class is less the underclass from below (the Obamaphone lady) and more the elite class from above which has disconnected itself from America. He makes a good point, but it isn’t either or. It’s both, a point Paul Gottfried makes in the comments section.
My (somewhat intemperate in hindsight) comment is below. It addresses the issue and expresses my frustration with the TAC style of critique.
Both Scott and Tom are correct. The elites have formed a coalition with the underclass and minorities against the middle. The elites buy and pander for the allegiance of minorities. They maintain discipline among the white urban upper class through an “I’m not one of those flyover country Philistines” class identification. This is the dynamic that Codevilla pointed out in his article/book The Ruling Class. What is so frustrating is that TAC contributes to this “I’m not one of those Philistines” dynamic, either knowingly or not (you tell me), with the nature of its criticism. For every one “Movement conservatives are such dodo heads” post there should be at least 10 “Get down off your high horse you bunch of pathetic PC preening self-loathers” posts directed at the SWPL liberals who make that coalition possible. Not that conservatives should be beyond criticism. It just that the criticism of them needs to be identifiably “red” and not contribute to the zeitgeist already arrayed against us.
Thomas Fleming is posting a series of articles discussing the origins and distinctives of paleoconservative thought. As he explains in the comments of the first essay, the posts are excerpts of what may become a book on the subject. He is now up to post three. The articles are interesting as is the discussion that follows.
The American Conservative (TAC) recently posted an article entitled “Confessions of a Former Republican.” It is by self-described Rockefeller Republican/RINO Jeremiah Goulka and describes his journey to the left and away from the GOP. As you might expect from TAC, it details his discouragement with Republican foreign policy, but also delivers a lot of standard liberal tropes about the poor, minorities, etc.
I sometimes wonder if TAC is deliberately trying to confirm suspicions about it and antagonize conservatives. The article originally appeared at Tom Dispatch. A site like Tom Dispatch is where it belonged. It does not belong at TAC if they want to maintain any credibility with the conservative base, the group they are presumably trying to influence.
I plan to expand this soon.
Why do we refer to the DC regime as the Evil Empire? Here’s one example:
The US has long held in its possession verified documentation proving the 1940 Katyn forest massacre of several thousand Polish POWs was committed by the Soviet Union. Why did Washington conceal it: to cover-up for its wartime ally Josef Stalin. …
The released papers now prove that the US officers informed their country of the concealed murder scene and the evidences some months after their 1943 visit.
The historians who spoke with the Associated Press called it “the most dramatic revelation” as it shows that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his administration were getting information early on from credible US sources illustrating it was the Soviet Union behind the massacre.
The finding further supports suspicion that regardless of the verified knowledge, Roosevelt chose not to make it public and wrangle with Josef Stalin, an ally whom the Americans were counting on to defeat Germany and Japan during World War II.
After all, what’s a little genocide between friends?
The purpose of the Katyn Massacre was to deprive Poland of its intellectual elite, which would certainly have led resistance to a communist takeover of their country. Stalin’s orders were to execute 25,700 Polish “nationalists and counterrevolutionaries.” The victims were Poland’s officer corps, men who in civilian life were an educated and motivated elite the Soviets had to eliminate.
Not only does the Katyn Massacre provide a shocking illustration of DC’s brutal history, it also sheds light on the true nature of leftist ideology. It’s a sham. For all their talk about the “equality of all people,” deep down, lefitists know their ideology doesn’t match reality. People are not equal. Some are smarter, stronger, or faster than others. That’s why the procrustean ideology of the left is inevitably doomed – human nature mocks it.
David Weigel of Slate has an article on the Cato Ayn Rand issue as well. As I said below, this doesn’t bode well.
What’s the difference between a Cato Institute libertarian and an Ayn Rand objectivist? Cato’s libertarianism is a theory of government. Objectivism is a theory of life. Rand’s philosophy, as close watchers of the presidential race have started to learn, insists that “the pursuit of [man’s] own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.”
The way this strikes in the real world—the way it separates objectivists from other libertarians—is in foreign policy. Since the war on terror broke out, Cato’s been a bunker for non-interventionists. Its foreign-policy shop is staffed with critics of the Iraq war.
Objectivists don’t see foreign policy that way. The Ayn Rand Institute, founded in 1985 by Rand’s intellectual/financial heir Leonard Peikoff, has spun off arguments for war rooted in a philosophy of self-preservation. Shortly after 9/11, the man who’d inherited a movement and $750,000 from Rand published “End States Who Sponsor Terrorism,” whose title summed it up. “The choice today is mass death in the United States or mass death in the terrorist nations,” wrote Peikoff. “The greatest obstacle to U.S. victory is not Iran and its allies, but our own intellectuals.”
Here is an article by Jordan Bloom on Randian foreign policy. Bloom does a good job of piecing together Rand’s own foreign policy views, but it is the modern day Randians that I’m concerned with. There isn’t a less obnoxious group of belligerent war hawks than those people who consider themselves the modern heirs of Rand’s philosophy. Some of these clowns make John Bolton look like Gandhi. I don’t really get the connection between Rand and preemptively bombing Iran other than Objectivism is a dehumanizing philosophy and bellicose foreign policy looks at “enemies” as less than human. But what is concerning about this is that a Randian, John Allison, is taking over for Ed Crane at Cato. Does this mean that Cato, just about the only significant voice for non-interventionism in DC, will have a change of direction? In my opinion it doesn’t bode well. Time will tell.
I like and respect Gary DeMar. While I don’t agree with all his theology, he is an able advocate for his positions. That’s why I have always been so baffled by his knee-jerk general election support of the Republican Party and his steadfast refusal to consider a third party candidate. (This isn’t a new position for him.)
Here is his latest “response” to the the “no lesser of two evils” argument.
You’ve heard anti-Republican critics say, “I just can’t vote for the lesser of two evils.” If this is true, then you can never vote since we’re all evil, although some are more evil than others. I have a number of Calvinist friends who use the “lesser of two evils” argument. If you know anything about Calvinism, then you know the acronym TULIP. The “T” in Tulip stands for Total Depravity. It also goes by the names total inability or total corruption. It’s not that a person is pure depravity but that all his actions and thoughts are tainted by evil. Sin has corrupted every part of our being.
This means that any choice of a political candidate is a lesser of two totally depraved people. The people that say they will not vote for the lesser of two evils will get one of the two evils whether they vote or not. In this election, they may get the greater of two evils. And it’s not just the greater evil of one man we may get, but we may get the greater of two evils when it comes to judges, new laws, executive orders, wealth confiscation, and a whole lot more. The past four years should be a wake-up call to the no lesser than two evils crowd.
How do you make one of those smilies that rolls its eyes, because that’s what I’m doing as I write this, rolling my eyes?
Wick Allison, the publisher of The American Conservative and a noted Obama”con” in 2008, says he plans to vote for Obama again.
This is so absurd that I can’t help but think it has to be a type of pose. A way of showing that you’re so disgusted by the shallow conservatism of mainstream conservatives that you’ll vote for the Dem just to spite them. At the same time, not insignificantly I expect, you win the praise of Obama supporters and other “serious” people. There is simply no excuse for anyone who considers himself a conservative to vote for Obama over voting third party. Allison mentions Gary Johnson but doesn’t mention Virgil Goode.
And some people wonder why no one takes TAC seriously.
Note: The Masthead describes Allison as the President/CEO, not the publisher, but the article describes him as the publisher.