Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The free market that ate conservatism

Andrew Sullivan, addressing a reader's question why the Republican Party has embraced the lunatic right, posits:
The only real explanation that I can come up with is that the interests of "movement conservatism, the business" trumps patriotic conservatism as a political philosophy in the GOP.

The power of the conservative industrial complex - utterly cynical enterprises like Eagle Publishing and Fox News, for example - is real and has done a huge amount to destroy an uncynical and constructive conservatism.
There's an irony here. There's long been a tension in American conservatism between defense of "traditional values" on one hand, which include deference to established authority as well as Biblically-based sexual morality, and free market fundamentalism on the other. The latter, with its hostility to regulation, undermines traditional values by removing all restraints on the entertainment and advertising industries. Those industries have eviscerated public discourse, swallowed much of the news industry, and now hold the free market party itself hostage to a cadre of quasi-fascist screamers.

1 comment:

  1. Yes … but the free market fundamentalists depend on the rabid support of Bible-based fundamentalists to keep movement conservatism afloat. Maybe you were alluding to that bizarre phenomenon when you mentioned the irony of the situation.

    I'm a liberal Christian, and the alliance between the free market extremists and populist Christianity makes me crazy.

    But the fundamentalist Christians are pulling the rug out from under their own feet the whole while. Bizarre! Put it down to false consciousness, I suppose.