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Elspeth
01-09-2012, 06:00 PM
I suggest registering and commenting if you get the chance. :)

The Conservative Mind (http://chronicle.com/article/The-Conservative-Mind/130199/)




It's been a rotten few months for the nation's wealthiest 1 percent. From the senatorial candidacy of Elizabeth Warren to Occupy Wall Street, economic elites have faced a concerted attack on their riches and power, their arrogant and unaccountable ways. And you can hear it in their voices, or at least the voices of their spokesmen. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor declared, "I, for one, am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country." Mitt Romney told an audience in Florida that "I think it's dangerous—this class warfare." So rattled is George Will that he's been forced to pull out a playbook from an older time. All but calling Warren a Communist, he accused the Oklahoma-born scholarship kid of believing that the government "is entitled to socialize—i.e., conscript—whatever portion" of an individual's property "it considers its share."

After decades of "compassionate conservatism," "a thousand points of light," and "Morning in America," dark talk of class warfare on the right can seem like a strange throwback. So accustomed are we to the sunny Reagan and the populist Tea Party that we've forgotten a basic truth about conservatism: It is a reaction to democratic movements from below, movements like Occupy Wall Street that threaten to reorder society from the bottom up, redistributing power and resources from those who have much to those who have not so much. With the roar against the ruling classes growing ever louder, the right seems to be reverting to type. It thus behooves us to take a second look at the conservative tradition, not just its current incarnation but also across time, for that tradition provides us with an understanding of why the conservative responds to Occupy Wall Street as he does....

...Despite the very real differences among them, workers in a factory are like secretaries in an office, peasants on a manor, slaves on a plantation—even wives in a marriage—in that they live and labor in conditions of unequal power. They submit and obey, heeding the demands of their managers and masters, husbands and lords. Sometimes their lot is freely chosen—workers contract with their employers, wives with their husbands—but its entailments seldom are. What contract, after all, could ever itemize the ins and outs, the daily pains and continuing sufferance, of a job or a marriage? Throughout American history, in fact, the contract has served as a conduit to unforeseen coercion and constraint. Employment and marriage contracts have been interpreted by judges to contain all sorts of unwritten and unwanted provisions of servitude to which wives and workers tacitly consent, even when they have no knowledge of such provisions or wish to stipulate otherwise.

Until 1980, for example, it was legal in every state for a husband to rape his wife. The justification for this dates back to a 1736 treatise by the British jurist Matthew Hale. When a woman marries, he argued, she implicitly agrees to give "up herself in this kind [sexually] unto her husband." Hers is a tacit, if unknowing, consent, "which she cannot retract" for the duration of their union. Having once said yes, she can never say no. As recently as 1957, a standard legal treatise could state, "A man does not commit rape by having sexual intercourse with his lawful wife, even if he does so by force and against her will." If someone tried to write into the marriage contract a requirement that express consent had to be given in order for sex to proceed, judges were bound by common law to ignore or override it. Implicit consent was a structural feature of the contract that neither party could alter. Through that contract, women were doomed to be the sexual servants of their husbands.

Every once in a while, however, the subordinates of this world contest their fates. They protest their conditions, join movements, make demands. Their goals may be minimal and discrete, but in voicing them, they raise the specter of a more fundamental change in power. They cease to be servants or supplicants and become agents, speaking and acting on their own behalf. More than the reforms themselves, it is this assertion of agency that vexes their superiors...

...Conservatism is the theoretical voice of this animus against the agency of the subordinate classes. It provides the most consistent and profound argument for why the lower orders should not be allowed to exercise their independent will, to govern themselves or the polity. Submission is their first duty; agency, the prerogative of elites. Such was the threat Edmund Burke saw in the French Revolution: not merely an expropriation of property or explosion of violence but an inversion of the obligations of deference and command. "The levelers," he claimed, "only change and pervert the natural order of things."

...Today's conservative may have made his peace with some emancipations past. Others, like labor unions and reproductive freedom, he still contests. But that does not alter the fact that when those emancipations first arose as issues, his predecessor was in all likelihood against them. Michael Gerson, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, is one of today's few conservatives who acknowledge the history of conservative opposition to emancipation. Where other conservatives like to lay claim to the abolitionist or civil-rights mantle, Gerson admits that "honesty requires the recognition that many conservatives, in other times, have been hostile to religiously motivated reform," and that "the conservative habit of mind once opposed most of these changes." Indeed, as Samuel Huntington suggested a half-century ago, saying no to such movements in real time may be what makes someone a conservative throughout time.

Given the reactionary thruST of conservatism, Occupy Wall Street may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to the right. Thoughtful conservatives have long understood the symbiotic relationship between the right's intellectual—and ultimately political—vitality and insurgencies from the left. Friedrich Hayek accurately observed that the political theory of capitalism "became stationary when it was most influential" and "progressed" only when it was "on the defensive." Frank Meyer, intellectual architect of the fusion strategy that brought together the libertarian and traditionalist wings of the Republican Party, noted that it was "ironic, though not historically unprecedented," that bursts "of creative energy" on the right "should occur simultaneously with a continuing spread of the influence of liberalism in the practical political sphere."

Conversely, conservative writers like David Frum and Andrew Sullivan have worried of late about the intellectual flabbiness of the contemporary right: A movement that once seemed the emblem of heterodoxy has succumbed to stale thinking and rote incantations. But if Occupy Wall Street turns out to be a movement rather than a moment—if it has real staying power; if it moves from public squares to private institutions; if it starts to divest the elite of their privileges and powers, not just in their offshore accounts but in their backyards and board rooms—it could provide the kind of creative provocation that once produced a Burke or a Hayek. The metaphor of occupation is threatening enough; one can only imagine what might happen were it made real. And while the mavens of the right would probably prefer four more years to four good books, they might want to rethink that. They wouldn't be in the position they're in—when, even out of power, they still govern the country—had their predecessors made the same choice.


There's a lot more, but this joker has actually published an academic book out of this garbage. This is what passes for academics these days.

NJCardFan
01-09-2012, 07:36 PM
Well, this is all you need to see to gain insight of the liberal mind:

Santorum
spreadingsantorum.com/
Santorum 1. The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex. 2. Senator Rick Santorum.

Elspeth
01-09-2012, 08:08 PM
Well, this is all you need to see to gain insight of the liberal mind:

Clearly you have missed my remarks on that topic ;):

http://www.conservativeunderground.com/forum505/showpost.php?p=473796&postcount=4

JB
01-09-2012, 08:13 PM
Well, this is all you need to see to gain insight of the liberal mind:Ug. It's bad enough I had to read this in B/W.