About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page


Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 17, No Sanction: 0
Post 0

Friday, September 17, 2010 - 4:35pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
A Brief History of Modern Conservatism in America.

Conservatism is a fairly new political movement. There have been those who supported a strictly interpreted constitution and greater respect for the balance of power between states and the federal government from the beginning of the Republic. But an actual movement probably can't arise until things have moved far from the positions the movement opposes. In the case of modern conservatism, young men returned from WWII and surveyed the results of FDR's continuation of the the progressive politics that started in the late 1800's.

The Time-Line:

The timeline looks like this: Russell Kirk's book "The Conservative Mind" in 1953 is thought to have kicked off modern conservatism. W. F. Buckley, Jr. started National Revview in 1955. Barry Goldwater's book "The Conscience of a Conservative" took him to the Presidential nomination in 1964. In the 70's the religious right formed - we saw the beginning of The Moral Majority. Opposition to communism remained a unifier for the different factions and the cold-war need to maintain a strong military would have made it harder to support a separation between those who wanted a global military presence and those who wanted to pull back more to our own borders. The Reagan era focused on the cold-war military confrontation with the Soviet Union. But they also engaged in deregulation, massive tax cuts, privatization, and reducing welfare. The rhetoric was consistently pro-America and pro-Free Enterprise. Until the 90's conservatives were found in both Democratic and Republican party. Now it is almost exclusively Republican.
----------

Christians who are Conservatives, or a Conservatives who happens to be a Christians?

There have been two major splits in the Conservative movement (as best I can tell). One is the division between those who may or may not be religious, but don't make religious positions their primary goal in politics and those whose primary motivation appears to be religious in nature. It isn't a division that is precise and it isn't always a useful understanding since many of those who make up the religious right don't always wear that label. They often hide the degree to which it is religion that motivates them. The real dividing line in my mind would be which comes first for them, the constitution or a religious belief. Those who founded the conservative movement believed in God but they were, in the beginning, comfortable with separation of church and state. The new religious right is not.
---------

Old versus New - Its really Small Govt versus Big Govt

The next division or split amoung the conservatives is between the "old conservatives" - labeled 'paleoconservatives' and the "new conservatives" - labeled 'NeoConservatives.' Michael Harrington, a democratic socialist, coined the current sense of the term neoconservative in a 1973 Dissent magazine article concerning welfare policy. It was used in a derogatory fashion for sometime, and then taken up as an acceptable label later on. [Much of this, and the timeline came from Wikipedia.]

Wikipedia helps to paint a better picture of the difference between the old and new conservatives by quoting from each side. "Paleo historian Thomas Woods elaborates on the divergence in the conservative movement, and the ascent of the neoconservatives, and their distinguishing features from more traditional conservatives:

The conservativeís traditional sympathy for the American South and its people and heritage, evident in the works of such great American conservatives as Richard M. Weaver and Russell Kirk, began to disappear... [T]he neocons are heavily influenced by Woodrow Wilson, with perhaps a hint of Theodore Roosevelt. ... They believe in an aggressive U.S. presence practically everywhere, and in the spread of democracy around the world, by force if necessary. ... Neoconservatives tend to want more efficient government agencies; paleoconservatives want fewer government agencies. [Neoconservatives] generally admire President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his heavily interventionist New Deal policies. Neoconservatives have not exactly been known for their budget consciousness, and you won't hear them talking about making any serious inroads into the federal apparatus.


Then Wikipedia quotes the Neocon, Irving Kristol:
"Neocons do not like the concentration of services in the welfare state and are happy to study alternative ways of delivering these services. But they are impatient with the Hayekian notion that we are on "the road to serfdom." Neocons do not feel that kind of alarm or anxiety about the growth of the state in the past century, seeing it as natural, indeed inevitable... People have always preferred strong government to weak government, although they certainly have no liking for anything that smacks of overly intrusive government. Neocons feel at home in today's America to a degree that more traditional conservatives do not. Though they find much to be critical about, they tend to seek intellectual guidance in the democratic wisdom of de Tocqueville, rather than in the Tory nostalgia of, say, Russell Kirk."

-----

Note that it is possible to have someone on the religious right who identifies with the political positions of the Paleocons or with the Neocons. Strong religious concerns work for them, or are totally absent, in either the old or the new.
-------

More Labels:

Some individuals refer to themselves as Reagan Conservatives - usually to distinguish themselves to some degree from Neocons, even if they don't fully side with the paleocons. If someone identifies themselves more as a Goldwater conservative, they are distancing themselves still further from the Neocons.


-----

Just as the Neocons were winning....

The paleocons were being replaced, distanced and maginalized. Neocons had been getting the good political appointments under Bush, big government money flowed to their causes, and they were clawing their way to 'moral' high ground by accusing Paleocons of being isolationists (many are), racists (only a few are), and mean-spirited and stupid. Under Bush they saw their heyday - multiple wars and budgets gone crazy at home. The religious right was also happy as they could be without overturning Roe v Wade and doing something permanent about gay marriage. But the mass of Americans were feeling a disquiet, a sense that things weren't on track as they should be. With the election of Obama, and the continuation of the far left congresses progressive agenda, the terms paleocon and neocon have moved closer to being artifacts of history. A fuzzy new term, "Tea Party" has replaced them both in vigor and effect.
-----

And now....

At this point in time, a Tea Partier can be one for religious reasons... that remains a constant in the conservative realm. But the big change is that the Tea Party has thrown out previous forms of conservatism and adopted a set of general political principles instead. It is about 99% Republican, but it is not in the Republican party. The Republican party now has to come to it, to woo it, to attempt to coopt it and use it. In important ways it is outside of the party and keeps its strength by staying out.
------------

Where Next?

There are important questions that arise out of this new turn in the history of modern conservatism. What will tomorrow's conservatives hold as principles? How much of the educational aspect of the Tea Party movement will be absorbed by the average American? And what will the proportions be between those who are primarily religious and those who aren't in the new Tea-Party/Conservative movement? And in the struggle between the Republican power structure and this new grass-roots-based ideological force, where will the Republican party end up?

Post 1

Friday, September 17, 2010 - 4:56pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Steve,

This bugger is so good it should be posted as an RoR article.

Bravo.

Ed


Post 2

Friday, September 17, 2010 - 5:52pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Thanks, Ed.

Post 3

Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 8:46pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
As a media and government bureaucratic force the neocons are still very much with us.

As everyone on ROR knows the Tea Party movement is very inconsistent.  For criticism that might not sit well with many here see James Bovardís review of one of them:  "ĎTea partyí activists" page 1 page 2.

By the way this ROR thread is an offshoot of Birds of a Feather (the theme being that though Ayn Rand Institute writers denounce neoconservatism they promote several individual neocons again and again).



Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 4

Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 10:48pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mark,

There is very good reason for that article to NOT sit well with anyone that values shrinking the size and power of government.

That is a sad article. It's too bad that some Libertarians can't see past their noses and end up attacking our natural allies and fellow advocates for freedom. Mr. Brovard reads like a bitter man who is unhappy that the Tea Party didn't ask him which liberties they should defend first and foremost. Here he has been writing books all these years about the liberties that are most holy to him... and, the ones that he feels most excited about... which at least bring him some love from the left. But now these ingrates, many of whom are more conservative than libertarian come along and hold their parties without making the Home Coming King.

These are a large portion of the population that work for living, probably not in the media or publishing world and most don't work with ideas for a living. They are also mostly new to political ideology. They have decided that free enterprise is being lost, that Capitalism isn't bad like they'd been told, that government is too big, that spending is at criminal levels, that politicians had reached new heights of incompetence and dishonesty, that the constitution was no longer being observed, and they decided they wanted those thing changed before it was too late.

I, for one, celebrate this new army to hit the field, this large grass roots revolution. I wouldn't want to hurt Mr. Brovard's feelings, but I don't think he was getting the job done by himself. I don't think all of the pundits and writers lined up end to end (kind of an awful mental image) were going to get the job done without help. The job requires that the people get fired up, donate money, let one another know that they aren't alone, and then go cast votes in large numbers.

What makes that article sad is that instead of attacking these people that want a small constitutionally limited government, he could have written about what is good in the Tea Party movement and he might have found more support for the liberties that he is most interested in. After all, these people are likely to be feeling pretty strong after they sweep out the old congress, and pretty angry after they see what the lame ducks do, and ready to tell their new congress what needs doing.

And, as a side note, some of us do see fundamental Islam as a serious threat (even those who would never agree to a patriot act or support the war in Iraq or nation building in Afghanistan - that doesn't mean we want to take a pacifist's position - or isn't that what he implies we should take? The article didn't say).

One question. I couldn't tell from Mr. Brovard's blog page, but am I wrong in thinking that he supports the 9/11 conspiracy theory?

I applaud Mr. Brovard's strong defense of habeas corpus, probable cause, and his opposition to rampant militarism. And, I don't mind that most of the time he only has this one drum he wants to beat. But I find no value in attacking our allies. I get angry to see these attacks on the one source of Rand Paul's successful primary campaign, this one source of sweeping the house of progressives. This one source of votes from which we can reverse the decades of creeping socialism and authoritarianism and collectivism.

From the liberals and the mainstream media I expect no better. From Mr. Brovard I do.

Post 5

Sunday, September 19, 2010 - 11:48pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Very interesting piece, Steve!

Post 6

Monday, September 20, 2010 - 8:50amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Steve,

Itís a sad article only because what it points out is sad: that Objectivismís natural allies are being swindled into supporting the likes of Sarah Palin.

I donít think Mr. Bovard is bitter. Heís naturally unhappy with what he experienced and reported. People who think highly of Bush are not people he Ė or I Ė would want to support. That they "donít work with ideas for a living" is no excuse when the ideas are so baldly bad, like Torture USA. Such people are not allies of Objectivism.

> ... am I wrong in thinking that he [James Bovard] supports the 9/11 conspiracy theory?

The accepted conspiracy theory is that no one in the U.S. government knew about the attack in advance, which was perpetrated solely by arabs working out of Germany and Florida.

He is aware of the facts surrounding the first World Trade Center bombing. See his article here, and the NYT article here.

Perhaps the closest Mr. Bovard comes to sympathy with those who question the usual account of the 9/11 attack is:
The 9/11 Servility Reflex
where he says: "... the existence of conspiracy nuts does not make the government honest."


Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 7

Monday, September 20, 2010 - 10:32amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mark,

I don't want to continue our discussion for this reason: We are at a turning point in history. I first read Ayn Rand in the late sixties. There have been a few points in time since then that I thought we were about to see a sudden change and I wanted to rush to the ramparts and join in battle. But they were just hopes and possibilities that didn't come into being. But right now, this decade, it is real and it is starting - it is time to rush to the ramparts. Before now it was reasonable to see us intellectuals as educating others but also squabbling among ourselves. No more. Now if someone next to you is voting for the small government candidate they are an ally. You don't have to get in bed with them and any strange other beliefs they have.

For example, Glenn Beck is as far from what I believe in religion as you can get. He openly asks people to get on their knees and to pray to God every night, and says that God is where our rights come from. Where as I have been an Atheist since I was 14. But on the political level Beck is this revolution's Tom Paine. It is in the numbers. If people don't mobilize and vote then all of us who spend our days with ideas will never see them implemented. You mention Sarah Palin. I support her wholeheartedly in the work she has done supporting candidates in the primaries to oust the GOP machines candidates. Without her I doubt that Rand Paul's numbers would have been high enough to win the primary.

I no longer feel the least bit comfortable with those who continue to attack individuals or groups that are key allies in the battle. It feels almost like a kind of treason. Fighting, with the Tea Party people, to make our government smaller, and more constitutional is not giving sanction to those ideas I don't believe in. It does not diminish my willingness to attack ideas I don't believe in. I'm not going to compromise any of my beliefs. And I'm going to support my allies in all the ways that they are my allies.

When you are at war, you don't spend your time, your energy, your ammunition, firing on your allies. And you ask them not to fire at you. Defeat the common enemy and then go back to focusing on the differences that remain.

James Brovard should understand this. You should understand this. Neither of you should be attacking the Tea Party. And, it is time to put aside attacks on ARI and its people. That doesn't mean you need to stop attacks on the ideas that you disagree with. Can you do that? Can you stop attacking people and shift to attacking the ideas only? Do you understand that ARI and its people are our allies in the battle to change who is in Washington? Yaron Brook was on TV yesterday on Freedom Watch and the comments he made were only on economic issues and I'd bet that neither of us would disagree in even the tiniest bit with one word he said.

So, please don't bother to reply if you don't understand or don't agree because I'm not even open to a discussion on this issue at this point.

Post 8

Monday, September 20, 2010 - 12:39pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Steve wrote:

> ... if someone ... is voting for the small government candidate they are an ally. You donít have to get in bed with them and any strange other beliefs they have.

Sure, but Palin is not a small government candidate. Look at her Alaska record, listen to what she says.

> Without her I doubt that Rand Paulís numbers would have been high enough to win the primary.

If Palin had said this it would be like the fly sitting on a chariot wheel who exclaimed "What dust I raise!" I think Palin is acting like the opportunist she is, that any support is the other way around. Itís disappointing that Rand Paul associates with her.

War is the health of the state, as the saying goes, the big government state. The Iraq War alone approaches a trillion dollars.

You say I Ė not to mention Mr. Bovard Ė should understand your point of view, as if myĖ and his Ė understanding were deficient. Naturally I think itís the other way around, that you should understand that there is no war that the U.S. did not initiate, that the problem is with our own government, as noted in Mr. Bovardís "The 9/11 Servility Reflex" article (see post 6 above), as noted on ARI Watch, and by Free Reed in "Requiem for Reason":
"Actions have consequences. If you support Batista, you will engender Fidel. If you support the Shah, you will get Khomeini. If you attack Moslems, you will get bin Laden."

> ... it is time to put aside attacks on ARI and its people. ... ... [They] are our allies in the battle to change who is in Washington ... Yaron Brook was on TV yesterday on Freedom Watch and the comments he made were only on economic issues and Iíd bet that neither of us would disagree ...

Attacking a personís ideas is attacking the person. In a lecture Yaron Brook once said in so many words that the Iraq War had nothing to do with our bad economy. Why promote a man who can utter such an absurdity when you can promote much more consistent people.

If Yaron Brook had wanted to change Washington he wouldnít have promoted the Iraq War and Torture USA. Donít trust the creep Ė talk about attacking the person!

Personally Iíd rather have a bad economy than perpetual war. But then I donít think those are opposites.


Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Post 9

Monday, September 20, 2010 - 3:19pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit


Sanction: 12, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 12, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 12, No Sanction: 0
Post 10

Monday, September 20, 2010 - 3:31pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mark,

We have nothing more to communicate with one another. To me, you have become a kind of enemy. I expected this was likely to happen because I've seen that you never seem to separate ideas from the people. It is always the people you are attacking. I don't think you really see the distinction. That's too bad, because it is a debilitating kind of concrete-bound mentality that is below someone of your intelligence level. Maybe if I knew more about you I'd see someone with broader levels of interests and passions, but you remain somewhat secretive here and at your web-site that doesn't do anything but attack ARI.

Don't worry about the wars. We soon will not be able to pay to send even a few hundred soldiers into battle. Cuba didn't let go half a million government workers because it has changed it's ideological stripes, it did so because it doesn't have any more money. That is where we are headed.

You foolishly said that you would prefer a bad economy to a perpetual war. Foolish, because you aren't imagining what 'bad' means when unemployment exceeds 40%, when it takes a wheel-barrow to hold enough paper money to buy a loaf of bread, and when starvation is the number one cause of death. They asked the Austrians what they found to be the worst experience: A world war, a depression, or the run away inflation they had suffered. They were overwhelmingly in agreement that the destruction of the currency was the worst thing of all and that they would endure losing another world war and go through another depression if it would save then from doing hyper-inflation again.

The speed with which an economy goes from where we are now to that ugly bottom is stunning. But don't let anyone distract you from taking shots at ARI or Sarah Palin. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns!

I'd be quite happy to stand beside Yaron Brook, Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck in this battle - despite any differences. It's my hope that this will disgust you enough that you'll move on to post your people-smears elsewhere. There is something strange about a person that claims to be aligned with freedom but attacks Objectivists, Libertarians and Conservatives when we are under attack domestically by progressives and socialists and abroad by Islamic religious freaks.

(Edited by Steve Wolfer on 9/20, 3:38pm)


Post 11

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - 8:32amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Itís simply false to say ARI Watch attacks people personally beyond the ideas they profess (yes, ARI praising Daniel Pipesí website is an intellectual act). ARI gets criticized on ARI Watch, from an Objectivist point of view, because thatís the whole point, its focus. The website is very much needed in Objectivist circles.

The "Objectivists" it attacks advocate the evils you can read about on the website, and itís not just a little bit of evil.

Not everything the ARI crowd says is wrong but there are much better people who say the right things that they do. It is those we should support, not an opportunistic neocon-backed puppet like Sarah Palin.

Iíd rather have a bad economy than perpetual war, but then I think the latter causes the former. Ending foreign aid and foreign meddling and foreign invasions really is necessary for prosperity (and freedom) at home.

Elect Palin (who tells us what we want to hear, after increasing government spending as a city mayor 55% and as a state governor 31%) president and prosperity will be ours, not. Who cares who she supports.

In the long run it wonít do us any good to replace Obama with another Bush.

Hereís a list (maybe incomplete) of the candidates Palin has supported. Most hold neocon views such as pro-immigration (even as they pay lip service against it), pro foreign aid to Israel, pro-war. Most are supported by Kristolís The Weekly Standard (nothing much there on Tim Burns, itís against OíDonnell).

Wins ...
South Carolina: Nimrata Randhawa Haley
Nevada: Sharron Angle
Alaska: Joe Miller

Losses ...
Kansas: Todd Tiahrt
Georgia: Karen Handel
Pennsylvania: Tim Burns

TBD ...
Delaware: Christine OíDonnell

(Edited by Mark on 9/21, 9:56pm)


Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 12

Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 7:05amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
"Itís simply false to say ARI Watch attacks people personally"

"an opportunistic neocon-backed puppet like Sarah Palin"


I have no idea who you are or what your website is all about, nor am I much of a fan of Sarah Palin. But I hope you realize by saying the above I quoted you've lost all credibility.


(Edited by John Armaos on 9/23, 7:05am)


Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 13

Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 11:20amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Steve:

Really enjoyed your summary. It's a keeper, for sure.

What rallying theme can gays, straights, artists, athiests, priests, businessmen, vegans, meateaters, pacifists, military, criminals, cops, musicians, plumbers, accountants, stock brokers, rodeo clowns, students, teachers, ... and Amway salemen all possibly line up behind, sufficient to dedicate their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, etc?

In the end, it can only be the right to be free from each other.

To not be subject to forced associations, the tyranny of neither 'my skin uber alles' nor 'most skins uber alles.'

To live their one and only lives under 'one skin, one driver.'

Free to freely associate.

Else, its a graceless clawing struggle to rule 'most skins uber alles' instead of respecting 'one skin, one driver.'

That concept of freedom must be thwarted by lovers of forced collectivism, by those who seek to rule us all by balkanizing us against each other, turning us all into special interests jockeying for control over the guns of government, to assert La Cosa Nostra, in the name of Our Thing uber alles.



Post 14

Thursday, September 23, 2010 - 12:24pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Thanks, Fred.



Post 15

Friday, September 24, 2010 - 1:06pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
In response to my statement that ARI Watch doesnít attack people personally (thinking of ARI people, but itís OK to include others) John Armaos cites the following reference from ARI Watch, about Sarah Palin: "an opportunistic neocon-backed puppet" -- and concludes that yours truly has "lost all credibility."

In fact Sarah Palin is an opportunistic puppet (not to say political hack) backed by the neoconservatives, particularly Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard. Sure, this is a personal remark, in that it is about a personís thought and action. If that sort of personal remark is out of bounds then all politicians are above criticism.

However the phrases "attacking someone personally," "making a personal remark" etc usually mean attacking someone for something irrelevant to a discussion of their ideas. For example, the person is ugly, speaks with a lisp, and walks with a curious loping gate, therefore he is a scoundrel.

If by a "personal remark" about a someone you mean any remark about him, then of course ARI Watch is rife with personal remarks.

All this is obvious. Itís difficult not to suspect that John is straining to trash what he doesnít like for some other, unstated, reason.


Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Post 16

Friday, September 24, 2010 - 6:46pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Mark

"In fact Sarah Palin is an opportunistic puppet"


Well what is an 'opportunistic puppet' and what makes her one and how is that relevant to any of the ideas she presents?

"Sure, this is a personal remark, in that it is about a personís thought and action."


This is obvious, you don't attack the argument but rather attack the man making the argument by suggesting some dishonest ulterior motive. And after you are logically challenged on this, you resort to the same tactic with me:

"Itís difficult not to suspect that John is straining to trash what he doesnít like for some other, unstated, reason."


You make the mistake of thinking I care what opinion or suspicion you hold of me. You are not presenting any evidence here you are capable of holding a rational opinion let alone of strangers on the internet you know nothing about.





Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 18, No Sanction: 0
Post 17

Friday, September 24, 2010 - 7:07pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
John, what would happen if either of us made the following statement?
Mark is an opportunistic puppet of the anarchists and pacifists - he is just another internet hack obsessively driven to vent any anti-ARI rhetoric he can make up. He is clearly backed by, and tightly linked to the far left with his rabid attacks on Sarah Palin."
It is my hope that people here on RoR would point out that it was a case of unsupported attacks on someone's personal motivations, smears through non-essential associations, and cheap, unfair rhetoric.

Post 18

Friday, September 24, 2010 - 7:21pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Well, I'm satisfied.  Is anyone is still interested in interacting with Mark?

If there are no takers, I don't plan on approving any more of his posts.


Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 6, No Sanction: 0
Post 19

Saturday, September 25, 2010 - 6:00amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
[crickets]

Post to this threadPage 0Page 1Forward one pageLast Page


User ID Password or create a free account.