Sunday, August 27, 2023

Jefferson & Ahmari?

Sohrab Ahmari has put out a new book.  It will set the hair of your garden-variety Libertarian (and Republo-DeepStater) on fire, of course.  A review begins this way: one should be shocked when a conservative says something unkind about the free market. Still, those unfamiliar with any right-wing tradition predating Reagan react to someone like J.D. Vance as if he were a monstrous novelty. How could one favor raising corporate tax rates and also oppose to abortion? What fresh, illiberal hell is this?! The incomprehension of liberal thinkpiece artisans in the face of the “new” Right is a testament to the success of neo-cons at convincing Americans that the Right has always stood firmly on a platform of outsourcing jobs and clear-cutting nature preserves.

Of course, reasonably well-read conservatives know better. They have some familiarity with Russel Kirk, Christopher Lasch, Eugene Genovese. They know well the argument that unchecked capitalism, by commodifying every part of life, erodes traditions, bonds, and morals. Certainly, readers of Front Porch Republic need no remediation in this concept. So, while Sohrab Ahmari’s new book, Tyranny, Inc: How Private Power Crushed American Liberty–And What to Do About It, will provoke splenetic head-wagging from neo-cons, and fretful befuddlement from liberals, porchers may well ask whether another work by a conservative that calls for reigning in markets has anything new to say. It does. Or, at least, it says it in a new way....

The reviewer wants to persuade us that Thomas Jefferson is really the godfather of the Populist movement and that FDR's New Deal/Labor Laws combo was just the right thing to do!

Well.......maybe.  Robbing the Robber Barons was not all that bad an idea at the time.  But as time marched on, the pendulum swung the other way;  soon the Robber Barons were the 'poverty-stricken' and--far more rewarded--their pimps, Al & Jesse.  Currently, the Robber Barons are the very healthy "refugees" of military age, the Pimps of Pansexualism (especially the surgeons and shrinks), and others of the Neurotic Class, such as those who are profiteering on the weather with made-up "charts and graphs."

The reviewer, an earnest young fellow, never mentions morality except to slam the early 20th-C 'barons', deservedly so.  But he would do well (as might Ahmari) to bring up the topic of morals more often, and try applying it to the Current Hotness and its pimps.

Or so we think.

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