Friday, November 25, 2011

The Real Problem With Even "Honest" Conservatives

Let's face it, almost all Conservatives in the public discussion today are a bunch of phony and radical hooligans, as the following piece from Paul Krugman's blog indicates.  But anyone with good common sense already kind of knows that. 

So, I would also advance the observation that the real problem with even "honest' conservatives like David Frum is that their core philosophy is selfish, wrong-headed, and punishing.  We live in a time of towering accomplishments in the economic capacity to produce abundant material wealth as well as in the scientific and medical developments for safeguarding human health and prolonging independent, vital and enjoyable life-spans.  The criminal fact is that the Conservative philosophy is permanently wedded to an outmoded and repeatedly proven misguided set of social norms and relations. 

This general construct, if you will, insists on the inevitable concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a very few at the expense of the disadvantage, deprivation, and denial of democratic rights for the vast majority.  Such inevitably results from the operation of crass capitalism when unbridled, unregulated, and utterly untempered by humane rules of the road.  But Frum and others like him remain married to it regardless the needless massive pain and social pathology it causes.  Frum acknowledged as much himself in an NPR interview the other day concerning the piece Krugman cites.  Frum said the problem which is causing all the extremism on the Conservative side is that "we are entering a period of economic austerity" and no one wants to responsibly address that exigency. 

And that my friends is as precise a statement of the baseless conclusions a pinched and puritanical moral overlay to economic analysis produces.  We as a society and a species have worked hard and successfully to be able to progress beyond being repeatedly cast down as victims to an eternal roll of the Wheel of Fortune which alternately turns up the good and the bad.  All we need is a sufficiently humane moral outlook to allow our productive skills and scientific prowess to provide a more abundant and secure life for all.

From Krugman:

November 25, 2011, 8:26 am

Their Own Facts

David Frum of “Axis of Evil” fame — who is some kind of distant cousin of mine — has an excellent piece in New York explaining his apostasy from the modern GOP. Best line:
Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics. Outside this alternative reality, the United States is a country dominated by a strong Christian religiosity. Within it, Christians are a persecuted minority. Outside the system, President Obama—whatever his policy ­errors—is a figure of imposing intellect and dignity. Within the system, he’s a pitiful nothing, unable to speak without a teleprompter, an affirmative-action ­phony doomed to inevitable defeat. Outside the system, social scientists worry that the U.S. is hardening into one of the most rigid class societies in the Western world, in which the children of the poor have less chance of escape than in France, Germany, or even England. Inside the system, the U.S. remains (to borrow the words of Senator Marco Rubio) “the only place in the world where it doesn’t matter who your parents were or where you came from.”
Frum himself isn’t completely free of this alternative reality. He still insists that Obama is building a much bigger government, which just isn’t true; there’s health reform, which will require subsidies in the vicinity of 1 percent of GDP to operate, but there are no other major expansions of government on the table.
Still, it’s a good piece; would that more old-style Republicans were willing to open their eyes and see that the party they once supported has been transformed into a madhouse.

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