Comments: The Human Comedy Is Less Funny When It Involves Giant Servings Of Ultra-Violence

And yet, oddly enough, Red State Son is rarely mentioned on other bl*gs. It's almost as if the comfort of other lefties were threatened by Dennis Perrin or something.

Posted by Sully at October 14, 2005 01:09 PM

You know back in 2000, I had this idea that if people really had a choice they wouldn't sit around and peck at a bunch of ossified post-WWII liberalism. The cold war was over. That sort of capital friendly social liberalism was deader than bugshit.

I was way, way, wrong.

People have a choice and what I never foresaw was conservativism becoming a revolutionary movement. They are winning and will win. They will win because they have ideas. They are crazy, totally wrong ideas, but they are the resistance while todays liberalism bunkers in, accepts their ideas and just tries it's ass off to maintain the status quo.

They are going to get their ass kicked, now into the future. The future is going to be worse, doesn't matter who wins. The only thing I've ever heard from a conservative is "You are the reactionaries now, we have the ideas". They do. They are slap your forehead against the concrete stupid ideas, but by God, they really are something different from post-70's neoliberalism which can't excite anyone who isn't picking sides against the stupid ideas of the right.

Posted by Ed Marshall at October 14, 2005 08:30 PM

Conservates have ideas -- they always do. Because conservatism is simply the existing system mirrored in the realm of ideas, and the existing system by definition always exists.

But the ideas of conservatism, in the long run, can't be put into practice because the existing system is always changing. (Heraclitus: you can't step into the same stream twice. Marx: it's a dialectical system, which is constantly throwing up and resolving new conflicts.) So conservatives always trip themselves up eventually, though it may take a while for that to become evident.

It's usually much harder for the opponents of conservatism to come up with clear, universally persuasive ideas, since to do so requires, among other things, a clear vision of the future -- where the system is going -- which one needs a well-polished crystal ball to acquire (anyone who has a functioning crystal ball to sell, let me know; I'd find one handy). Also, progressives continually quarrel over ideological angels-on-a-ping nonsense.

But sometimes, when the present reality becomes unbearable (as in the 1930s), the populace will reluctantly listen to progressives. And I have a feeling that such a time is coming.

Posted by jonj at October 15, 2005 11:38 AM

That's "angels on a pin," obviously.

Posted by jonj at October 15, 2005 11:39 AM

What ideas? I hear one idea - that the American economic and political system is the best possible, the absolute peak of human civilization, the "end of history".

Are there other ideas? Why would there be other ideas once you have this idea?

Posted by abb1 at October 15, 2005 02:29 PM

OK, if you want ideas contradicting the idea that the American economic and political system is the best possible ... then you have to look to the radicals. There are oodles of them on the Web; I assume you can use Google to find them.

The problem is that they obviously stand a snowball's chance you-know-where of practically influencing American politics. So what you want to look for, if you are interested in practical politics, are the moderate progressives' ideas. And again, there are oodles of them available for free from your nearest computer. Just Google for obvious key words, such as "moderate progressive," "Democrats," etc.

The reason almost no one, including apparently you, abb1, knows that progressives have any ideas is that the mainstream media have a policy of completely ignoring them, and most people are too lazy to look for information anywhere but in the MSM. But if you are connected to this blog, I would assume that you know how to look for information outside the MSM. So what's your problem?

Posted by jonj at October 15, 2005 03:42 PM

I don't have a problem. People said that conservatives have ideas and I'm asking what these ideas are, apart from the obvious one that I mentioned.

Posted by abb1 at October 15, 2005 05:08 PM

Interesting talk by Eric Foner in which he also mentions the "single sustainable model":

(the whole lecture and Q/A are worthwhile, but if you want to go directly to the section where he speaks about the model, they begin around minute 43).

Posted by sk at October 15, 2005 08:13 PM