Saturday, May 30, 2009

proposition on the retreat of conservatism

(1) The philosophy of deregulation cannot be severed from the conservative paradigm, and deregulation has, without a doubt, proven to be a failure.

(2) Unregulated capitalism inevitably produces a byproduct of a marginalized subaltern periphery -- even if you believe that capitalism EVENTUALLY lifts everyone up. In order to contain the social unrest and geopolitical fallout, the state must get bigger and bigger. It's true that the current stewards of conservatism are fools and tools, but the paradoxes of conservatism are structural, not contingent.

This doesn't mean there won't be a conservative revival, a successful reassertion of the ideology even in the face of material reality. Not like that never happens. It may be more difficult, however. Or, following the predictions of various Trotskyists, it will re-emerge in a more violent, fascistic form. The statements coming out of the defiant Republican peanut gallery lately (secession, racist and sexist remarks towards Obama and Sotomayor, inappropriate accusations of socialism) do resemble incipient fascism.

All of this emerged from an impression I had earlier today that some conservatives I know have kind of disengaged from politics rather than vigorously defend their principles. While there are notable examples of crossover (seldom further than becoming moderate democrats excited about Obama), there may be more disengagement than crossover. Again, just an impression. Don't hold me to it.

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