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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Finally: My political movement has mobilized!

It is always been dificult to admit that my sensibilities have been conservative, in religion, in philosophy, and in politics as well, especially in politics. This is very much due to the fact that I work in highly academic enviroments and politics is not a hill I care to die on. But it is also due to the fact that my prefered political persuasion has an intellectual pedigree that remains obscure and is often confused with backwardness. It would seem that a conservative view is just mere unenlightened dogmatism and this is substantiated by the fact that many people are conservative because they are unenlightened dogmatists.

But a good conservative will consider both the Socratic effort to come to terms with the ignorance that is obscured by cheap and inherited opinions and also the limits of standards of analyis, precision, and demonstration. A conservative may appear to be naive but this naivete is the result of reflection and conscientious choice, a higher order state of mind that is not mere naivete.

I would go into it further but I never had the ambition to make this much a political blog. However, I cannot ignore the fruity appeal of the new blog going on over at National Review Online, devoted to the phenomena of Granola Conservativism -- a version of politics where right wing values are combined with left wing sensibilities. (See link in title.)

I say that its appealing on a sentimental level. I prefer organic food self-reliant strategies, alternative medicine, small communities, folk and blues, and so on. I also do not accept the materialist, economis reductionist, and negative rights only posture of the core of the Republican party. And I am influenced by the culture of the sixties at my age. So its not suprising that I should like this so much.

But from what I've seen so far "Crunchy Conservatvism" is just the classic position of Aristotle, Burke, Weaver, and the Southern Agrarians, and so not really different. A possible exception with this is that apparently CCs are not so devoted to it as to become a kind of strong utopianism. They don't seem to be interested so far in adopting a rigid Distributivist model of economics which is both untenable and disasterous. This helps me to see CCs as something between traditional cultural conservatives and the neoconservatives who think that traditionalists are vapid. In that sense my own view is that there is a need for something like a mediation. Neocons have discovered something in showing how social science underscores the value of and provides a source for criticising social policy in a richer and more morally engaging sense than the mere economics of the hardcore libertarians. But even they may be too dismissive of ordinary sensibilities to appreciate the reasons for saving the appearances.

Crunchy Conservativism appears to not want to be another form of identity politics which is also attractive about it. The convergence of right and left folkways is other than expected and not something that had been aimed at. It certainly makes for an interesting discussion topic.

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