Friday, March 03, 2006

"Crunchy conservative" silliness...   posted by Arcane @ 3/03/2006 04:09:00 PM

For a few weeks now I've been reading NRO's blog on Rod Dreher's new book, Crunchy Cons. This supposed "movement" is ridiculously silly, and the very idea that this individual is being taken seriously by people on the right is sort of scary...

One thing that has really turned me off to this guy is just how similar his rhetoric is to old-school European reactionaries who rejected industrial civilization and imagined some kind of romanticist-inspired agricultural communal utopia.

But the biggest thing I really dislike about him is his complete and utter ignorance concerning foreign policy and national security; no political manifesto can be complete unless it lays out a general set of principles and policies concerning these two key issues. I wrote an e-mail to him a few months ago, and then sent it to him again, to which he never replied. So, I sent it to a few people at NRO, again to which there was never a reply. This man simply does not care about them at all.

Conservatives should find Rod Dreher's desire to ignore foreign policy deeply disturbing. Any analyst who ignores the fact that our foreign policy directly influences our domestic policy, and in more than a few cases takes precedent, is just asking for trouble. Dreher, quite frankly, is downright ignorant.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where competition between nations, economically and militarily, forces us to be ultra-capitalistic in our behaviors, since it drives innovation forward and keeps us ahead of the game. If we limit ourselves and tie ourselves down with more and more regulations, as would be necessary to subordinate the economy to the vision of Dreher, we begin playing with our survival as a nation. It is imperative that we keep this nation not only at the very top of the hierarchy of nations, but maintain a large and constantly growing gap between us and the rest.

So, while I sympathize with the thoughts and feelings of the likes of Chesterton and Tolkien and maybe even wish that we could build a utopian society that takes their concerns seriously, it would be impossible to do so without limiting the scientific and technological progress that brought about Western dominance and that helps maintain American global hegemony. The two are nearly antithetical to each other and how one can reconcile them is beyond me. I have told countless pro-life conservatives that their desire to put limits on such things as stem-cell research would limit our ability to compete internationally in biotechnology using the same argument, and have persuaded a few, but Dreher seems to be a lost cause.

He reminds me of Thomas Jefferson, who wanted to turn the United States into an agrarian utopia. Luckily, Alexander Hamilton was more influential, stating that, "Those who do not industrialize become hewers of wood and haulers of water." To further quote Hamilton, "It had been said that respectability in the eyes of foreign nations was not the object at which we aimed; that the proper object of republican Government was domestic tranquility and happiness. This was an ideal distinction. No Government could give us tranquility and happiness at home, which did not possess sufficient stability and strength to make us respectable abroad." Thus, it follows that a government that subordinates the economy solely to domestic concerns will eventually lose the strength necessary to maintain American global hegemony. If Dreher were in charge back then, we'd be hewers of wood and haulers of water instead of the most powerful nation the world has ever seen.