The other day, I was looking around for ideas and stumbled across this article at the ironically named American Conservative. I mock the name of that site because there’s not much about it that is conservative. Even their anti-war positions are reflexive and not very well thought out. Rod Dreher has been the main guy for a while and he has lurched from one fad to the next, looking for a cult he can join that will give meaning to his life. The new editor appears to be trying to make the site more like other legacy right operations.
That article got my attention, because at the top was this note, “Editor’s Note: This is the first in a collaborative series with the R Street Institute exploring conservative approaches to criminal justice reform.” I had never heard of the R Street Institute. There are so many of these rackets around Washington, it is hard to keep up. I looked up their financial and saw right away that it was the usual cast of subversives. Any operation with David Frum must be working against the interests of white American. That’s axiomatic now.
If you look at the R Street website, they pitch themselves as a generic libertarian sort of operation. The word “free market” has become an abracadabra word to the donor class that subsidize these outfits. It basically means these guys are OK with the cultural strip mining that passes for capitalism these days. Just as over-class jargon about “diversity” always signals a war on white people, the use of “free market” means a war on the middle class by the globalists that see America as nothing more than a pirate’s cove.
Ironically, these R Street guys have landed on prison reform as an issue they will champion as conservative. Anyone over the age of 45 knows that “prison reform” is code for “throw open the prison doors so the blacks can run wild.” There’s never been a prison reform effort with the goal of making the streets safe. Instead, it’s either a libertarian fetish for anarchy and free weed or a Progressive assault on order. The effort to make this a conservative principle is just another example of the death of conservatism.
Now, the Right was always just the dancing partner for American Progressivism. A great way of putting it is from Robert Louis Dabney, “American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition.” You’ll note that he wrote that over a century ago. What tends to lead people into dissident politics is the realization that the so-called conservatives are just body men for the people they claim to oppose. Their ideas are intended to enhance, rather than reject, the morality of the Left.
The reason the modern Right seems like a barren field with tumbleweed bouncing across it is that their dancing partner is now just a shuffling zombie. The Left has not generated a serious insight about modern society in over a generation. Their last big public policy idea was ObamaCare. Otherwise, it has been a series of bizarre gestures toward increasingly narrow fringe groups. They are the dog that caught the car. The Left has a free hand to do what they please in America and they have no idea what to do.
The result of this lack of ideas is that politics is now just a combination of money grubbing and hysterical public tantrums. The hilariously over-the-top reactions in the media to Trump’s meeting with Putin is a good example. None of these people can tell us why Putin is suddenly the devil. They don’t even try. Instead, they carry on like teenagers in a slasher film. They took turns trying to outdo the previous loon’s contrived outrage. It’s as if they are trying to scream the devil into existence, so they can have a reason to scream.
Much gets written about the impact of cosmopolitan globalism on the middle class and the cultural identity of western nations. It is assumed that the people doing this to us have a purpose, but in reality they are working on inertia. They don’t move forward toward a goal, rather, they just move forward because that’s what they do. The politicians are feckless airheads and their advisers are craven ninnies. Everything is a bust-out now, not because they are crooks, but because they can’t think of another reason to get up in the morning.
That’s the other consequence of cosmopolitan globalism. It hollows out the intellectual elite, just as it kills the middle-class. This was evident a century ago, the last time the world was sure globalism was the cure. The great powers staggered into the abyss, because they lacked the ability to question their own policies. A war that should have never started, went on for years, because both sides kept doing the same things over and over, hoping for a different result. They murdered themselves for lack of a new idea.
Of course, I could have the cause and effect backwards. Maybe the cultural collapse of the West naturally makes one-world utopianism appealing. The Left ran out of ideas fifty years ago and the Right has been on fumes since the 1980’s. Europe has not had a new idea since Marxism. Without a reason to argue and debate, maybe it is natural to assume there is nothing left to debate. All the big problems have been solved and it is time to step into the glorious future. The lack of competition has made our ruling class dull.