Fusionism (pt 1 1/2)

I’d meant to post some thoughts on Frank Meyer over the weekend but got a little sidetracked. My recent American Conservative article on fusionism and “liberaltarianism” is now on-line here, however, and I’ll comment on Meyer sometime in the next several days.

Even better, TAC has also put online articles by Andrew Bacevich (on the Baker Reportand the surge) and Darryl Hart (on developments within the Religious Right). Check ’em out.

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5 thoughts on “Fusionism (pt 1 1/2)

  1. Dain Fitzgerald February 12, 2007 / 8:59 pm

    Just read your article. Great stuff. Though you are more conservative than myself, I appreciate any nuanced explanation of political goings on.

    I think it’s sad the direction Cato Institute took after Rothbard. Seems as if it is nothing more than a factory for the production of “bright young things”, intellectual economists as “efficiency experts for the state”. The lack of any outrage over the massive loss of life in Iraq or the attempt at overseas beauracracy in the guise of “spreading democracy and ‘free’ markets” is a testimony to this.

    Let’s compare. I spent one summer at the Mises University, where I was exposed to rich historical analysis of the degradation of the American creed. Dry economics, yes, but also philosophy and as I said, history. A very systematic presentation and excellent conference over all.

    The next summer was spent at and IHS conference held in Chicago. A more basic exposure to neo-classical economics such as the “tragedy of the commons” concept. Other than that, some contemporary discussions on stuff like the drug war and a lecture on John Stuart Mill, who is apparently actually quite milquetoast as far as libertarianism goes. A good time was had, but hardly as stimulating or intellectually engaging. As I had expected, no discussion of imperialism, war and the like.

  2. Joe Populist February 13, 2007 / 6:53 pm

    Frankly, let the “libertarians” go over to the liberals and the left, both share the same secular humanist hatred of religion and traditional values. Libertarianism ranging from the cult of Ayn Rand to the anti-Americanism of Murray Rothbard to the plantation fuedalism of Southern Artistocrats, it’s all the same—the philosophy of elitism and oligarchy. The mirror image of Marxism, the “utopianism of the Right”, libertarianism is as destructive ideology as was utopian communism, almost as despotic and totalitarian in reality, yielding in reality nothing close to it’s utopian promises.

    The “conservative” movement, the success of the Republican Party was built on Nixon’s “Silent Majority”…the rejection of the “Identity Politics” and social engineering of the Great Society, Urban Renewal, forced busing and so on. What does Libertarianism have to offer these voters?

    A more likely coalition—and much more of a threat to the dominance of the Republican Party would be the paleo-conservatives, the Russell Kirk original conservativism, the middle class moving back to the Democrat Party. The kind of politics that elected Senator Jim Webb, the kind of stuff that Michael Lind described in his book, “The Radical Center”.

    As the Republican Party—and the conservative movement that sustains it—becames a coalition of Southern racist Dixiecrats and the cosmopolitan elitism of Wall Street and Park Avenue, the middle class has little incentive to stay with a philosophy that denigrates their traditional beliefs and undermines their economic security.

  3. David February 17, 2007 / 5:05 pm

    Did you hear the joke about libertarians/free marketeers? 2 University of Chicago professors walking down the street who see a $20 bill lying on the sidewalk. They think about picking it up, but keeping walking because it’s much more likely that they are both suffering mutual simultaneous hallucinations than that the free market would be so inefficient as to leave a $20 bill lying around.

    Credit to Steve Sailor for that one.

  4. Joe Populist February 17, 2007 / 5:34 pm

    Fitz sed: I think it’s sad the direction Cato Institute took after Rothbard. Seems as if it is nothing more than a factory for the production of “bright young things”, intellectual economists as “efficiency experts for the state”. The lack of any outrage over the massive loss of life in Iraq or the attempt at overseas beauracracy in the guise of “spreading democracy and ‘free’ markets” is a testimony to this….discussion of imperialism, war and the like.”

    I couldn’t agree more with “Fitz”. The lack of criticism by the so-called “libertarians” of modern “imperialism” is just more proof that it’s merely a front for the views of the CEO classes, defense of the interests of the Leisure classes, and lobbyists for various private special interests.

    In fact, the original critic of British style imperialism was none other then Adam Smith, whose simple observation that imperialism is always leads to economical bankruptcy. Smith made the simple observation that the cost of a military sufficiently large enough to dominate foreign markets & raw materials alwyss costs much more then the additional tax revenue that these markets and resources generates.

    What with the projected costs of the war a $1 Trillion to conquer and occupy Iraq, the cost of this particular application of “free market” idealism is about twice what the value of the oil in the ground is. The US adventure in Vietnam damaged the economy giving us years of “stagflation”…the cost of Iraq to the economic strength of the US will be far worse.

    Fitz is also right when he implies that all that Rothbard/Von Mises/Hayek rhetoric is hiding something way more sinister. Aside from a few misled idealists of good conscience, the difference between a “libertarian” and a “neo-con” and a “New” Democrat of the Democratic Leadership Conference variety on foreign policy issues is small indeed. Last time I looked, aside from a few isolated individuals, most the CATO is supportive of the so-called “War on Terror” to defend “free markets” from Islamic “extremism”.

    As for culture war issues, of these three varieties of “libertarianism”, the DLC Democrat is actually a little more respectful of traditional values and religion, and the interests of working folk, and the economic security of the middle classes.

  5. michele July 15, 2012 / 12:17 pm

    Hello,
    the link to your article is now invalid. Could I ask you to email it at michele.arpaia[at]gmail.com ?

    Highly appreciate.
    Michele

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