Sunday, December 02, 2012

The Next Kirk?

This is a medium-length interview with a number of juicy one-liners about the (D)/Meliorists.

Unfortunately, the Professor's outlook for America is a bit dim.  But, like Kirk, Babbitt, Madison, (et al), he understands "why"--something the (D) chipmunks cannot do.

...[Leo] Strauss had studied ancient Greek texts, which emphasized among other things that "within democracy there is good and bad, free and slave," and that "democracy can produce a slavish mind and a slavish country." [Belloc's Servile State, e.g.] The political task before every generation, Mr. Mansfield understood, is to "defend the good kind of democracy. And to do that you have to be aware of human differences and inequalities, especially intellectual inequalities." 

American elites today prefer to dismiss the "unchangeable, undemocratic facts" about human inequality, he says. Progressives go further: "They think that the main use of liberty is to create more equality. They don't see that there is such a thing as too much equality. They don't see limits to democratic equalizing"—how, say, wealth redistribution can not only bankrupt the public fisc but corrupt the national soul....

Stop to think about this next statement:

..."The Republicans should want to recover the notion of the common good," Mr. Mansfield says.

Ummnnhhhh, ya' think?  Now--to be clear--Prof. Mansfield defines "common good" in a different way than I might--but it is also a useful, if utilitarian, tool, and certainly should be part of the toolbox.

He does get the Big Things right:

..."Democrats have their cultural argument, which is the attack on the rich and the uncaring," Mr. Mansfield says. "So Republicans need their cultural arguments to oppose the Democrats', to say that goodness or justice in our country is not merely the transfer of resources to the poor and vulnerable. We have to take measures to teach the poor and vulnerable to become a little more independent and to prize independence, and not just live for a government check. That means self-government within each self, and where are you going to get that except with morality, responsibility and religion?"

Where, indeed?

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