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The Intellectual Incoherence of Conservatism
Ludwig von Mises Institute ^ | March 4, 2005 | Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Posted on 03/04/2005 5:12:44 AM PST by kjvail

Modern conservatism, in the United States and Europe, is confused and distorted. Under the influence of representative democracy and with the transformation of the U.S. and Europe into mass democracies from World War I, conservatism was transformed from an anti-egalitarian, aristocratic, anti-statist ideological force into a movement of culturally conservative statists: the right wing of the socialists and social democrats.

Most self-proclaimed contemporary conservatives are concerned, as they should be, about the decay of families, divorce, illegitimacy, loss of authority, multiculturalism, social disintegration, sexual libertinism, and crime. All of these phenomena they regard as anomalies and deviations from the natural order, or what we might call normalcy.

However, most contemporary conservatives (at least most of the spokesmen of the conservative establishment) either do not recognize that their goal of restoring normalcy requires the most drastic, even revolutionary, antistatist social changes, or (if they know about this) they are engaged in betraying conservatism's cultural agenda from inside in order to promote an entirely different agenda.

That this is largely true for the so-called neoconservatives does not require further explanation here. Indeed, as far as their leaders are concerned, one suspects that most of them are of the latter kind. They are not truly concerned about cultural matters but recognize that they must play the cultural-conservatism card so as not to lose power and promote their entirely different goal of global social democracy.1 The fundamentally statist character of American neoconservatism is best summarized by a statement of one of its leading intellectual champions Irving Kristol:

"[T]he basic principle behind a conservative welfare state ought to be a simple one: wherever possible, people should be allowed to keep their own money—rather than having it transferred (via taxes to the state)—on the condition that they put it to certain defined uses." [Two Cheers for Capitalism, New York: Basic Books, 1978, p. 119].

This view is essentially identical to that held by modern, post-Marxist European Social-Democrats. Thus, Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD), for instance, in its Godesberg Program of 1959, adopted as its core motto the slogan "as much market as possible, as much state as necessary."

A second, somewhat older but nowadays almost indistinguishable branch of contemporary American conservatism is represented by the new (post World War II) conservatism launched and promoted, with the assistance of the CIA, by William Buckley and his National Review. Whereas the old (pre-World War II) American conservatism had been characterized by decidedly anti-interventionist foreign policy views, the trademark of Buckley's new conservatism has been its rabid militarism and interventionist foreign policy.

In an article, "A Young Republican's View," published in Commonweal on January 25, 1952, three years before the launching of his National Review, Buckley thus summarized what would become the new conservative credo: In light of the threat posed by the Soviet Union, "we [new conservatives] have to accept Big Government for the duration—for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged . . . except through the instrument of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores."

Conservatives, Buckley wrote, were duty-bound to promote "the extensive and productive tax laws that are needed to support a vigorous anti-Communist foreign policy," as well as the "large armies and air forces, atomic energy central intelligence, war production boards and the attendant centralization of power in Washington."

Not surprisingly, since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, essentially nothing in this philosophy has changed. Today, the continuation and preservation of the American welfare-warfare state is simply excused and promoted by new and neo-conservatives alike with reference to other foreign enemies and dangers: China, Islamic fundamentalism, Saddam Hussein, "rogue states," and the threat of "global terrorism."

However, it is also true that many conservatives are genuinely concerned about family disintegration or dysfunction and cultural decline. I am thinking here in particular of the conservatism represented by Patrick Buchanan and his movement. Buchanan's conservatism is by no means as different from that of the conservative Republican party establishment as he and his followers fancy themselves. In one decisive respect their brand of conservatism is in full agreement with that of the conservative establishment: both are statists. They differ over what exactly needs to be done to restore normalcy to the U.S., but they agree that it must be done by the state. There is not a trace of principled antistatism in either.

Let me illustrate by quoting Samuel Francis, who was one of the leading theoreticians and strategists of the Buchananite movement. After deploring "anti-white" and "anti-Western" propaganda, "militant secularism, acquisitive egoism, economic and political globalism, demographic inundation, and unchecked state centralism," he expounds on a new spirit of "America First," which "implies not only putting national interests over those of other nations and abstractions like 'world leadership,' 'global harmony,' and the 'New World Order,' but also giving priority to the nation over the gratification of individual and subnational interests."

How does he propose to fix the problem of moral degeneration and cultural decline? There is no recognition that the natural order in education means that the state has nothing to do with it. Education is entirely a family matter and ought to be produced and distributed in cooperative arrangements within the framework of the market economy.

Moreover, there is no recognition that moral degeneracy and cultural decline have deeper causes and cannot simply be cured by state-imposed curriculum changes or exhortations and declamations. To the contrary, Francis proposes that the cultural turn-around—the restoration of normalcy—can be achieved without a fundamental change in the structure of the modern welfare state. Indeed, Buchanan and his ideologues explicitly defend the three core institutions of the welfare state: social security, medicare, and unemployment subsidies. They even want to expand the "social" responsibilities of the state by assigning to it the task of "protecting," by means of national import and export restrictions, American jobs, especially in industries of national concern, and "insulate the wages of U.S. workers from foreign laborers who must work for $1 an hour or less."

In fact, Buchananites freely admit that they are statists. They detest and ridicule capitalism, laissez-faire, free markets and trade, wealth, elites, and nobility; and they advocate a new populist—indeed proletarian—conservatism which amalgamates social and cultural conservatism and socialist economics. Thus, continues Francis,

while the left could win Middle Americans through its economic measures, it lost them through its social and cultural radicalism, and while the right could attract Middle Americans through appeals to law and order and defense of sexual normality, conventional morals and religion, traditional social institutions and invocations of nationalism and patriotism, it lost Middle Americans when it rehearsed its old bourgeois economic formulas.

Hence, it is necessary to combine the economic policies of the left and the nationalism and cultural conservatism of the right, to create "a new identity synthesizing both the economic interests and cultural-national loyalties of the proletarianized middle class in a separate and unified political movement."2 For obvious reasons this doctrine is not so named, but there is a term for this type of conservatism: It is called social nationalism or national socialism.

(As for most of the leaders of the so-called Christian Right and the "moral majority," they simply desire (far worse from a genuinely conservative point of view) the replacement of the current, left-liberal elite in charge of national education by another one, i.e., themselves. "From Burke on," Robert Nisbet has criticized this posture, "it has been a conservative precept and a sociological principle since Auguste Comte that the surest way of weakening the family, or any vital social group, is for the government to assume, and then monopolize, the family's historic functions." In contrast, much of the contemporary American Right "is less interested in Burkean immunities from government power than it is in putting a maximum of governmental power in the hands of those who can be trusted. It is control of power, not diminution of power, that ranks high.")

I will not concern myself here with the question of whether or not Buchanan's conservatism has mass appeal and whether or not its diagnosis of American politics is sociologically correct. I doubt that this is the case, and certainly Buchanan's fate during the 1995 and 2000 Republican presidential primaries does not indicate otherwise. Rather, I want to address the more fundamental questions: Assuming that it does have such appeal; that is, assuming that cultural conservatism and socialist economics can be psychologically combined (that is, that people can hold both of these views simultaneously without cognitive dissonance), can they also be effectively and practically (economically and praxeologically) combined? Is it possible to maintain the current level of economic socialism (social security, etc.) and reach the goal of restoring cultural normalcy (natural families and normal rules of conduct)?

Buchanan and his theoreticians do not feel the need to raise this question, because they believe politics to be solely a matter of will and power. They do not believe in such things as economic laws. If people want something enough, and they are given the power to implement their will, everything can be achieved. The "dead Austrian economist" Ludwig von Mises, to whom Buchanan referred contemptuously during his presidential campaigns, characterized this belief as "historicism," the intellectual posture of the German Kathedersozialisten, the academic Socialists of the Chair, who justified any and all statist measures.

But historicist contempt and ignorance of economics does not alter the fact that inexorable economic laws exist. You cannot have your cake and eat it too, for instance. Or what you consume now cannot be consumed again in the future. Or producing more of one good requires producing less of another. No wishful thinking can make such laws go away. To believe otherwise can only result in practical failure. "In fact," noted Mises, "economic history is a long record of government policies that failed because they were designed with a bold disregard for the laws of economics."3

In light of elementary and immutable economic laws, the Buchananite program of social nationalism is just another bold but impossible dream. No wishful thinking can alter the fact that maintaining the core institutions of the present welfare state and wanting to return to traditional families, norms, conduct, and culture are incompatible goals. You can have one—socialism (welfare)—or the other—traditional morals—but you cannot have both, for social nationalist economics, the pillar of the current welfare state system Buchanan wants to leave untouched, is the very cause of cultural and social anomalies.

In order to clarify this, it is only necessary to recall one of the most fundamental laws of economics which says that all compulsory wealth or income redistribution, regardless of the criteria on which it is based, involves taking from some—the havers of something—and giving it to others—the non-havers of something. Accordingly, the incentive to be a haver is reduced, and the incentive to be a non-haver increased. What the haver has is characteristically something considered "good," and what the non-haver does not have is something "bad" or a deficiency. Indeed, this is the very idea underlying any redistribution: some have too much good stuff and others not enough. The result of every redistribution is that one will thereby produce less good and increasingly more bad, less perfection and more deficiencies. By subsidizing with tax funds (with funds taken from others) people who are poor, more poverty (bad) will be created. By subsidizing people because they are unemployed, more unemployment (bad) will be created. By subsidizing unwed mothers, there will be more unwed mothers and more illegitimate births (bad), etc.

Obviously, this basic insight applies to the entire system of so-called social security that has been implemented in Western Europe (from the 1880s onward) and the U.S. (since the 1930s): of compulsory government "insurance" against old age, illness, occupational injury, unemployment, indigence, etc. In conjunction with the even older compulsory system of public education, these institutions and practices amount to a massive attack on the institution of the family and personal responsibility.

By relieving individuals of the obligation to provide for their own income, health, safety, old age, and children's education, the range and temporal horizon of private provision is reduced, and the value of marriage, family, children, and kinship relations is lowered. Irresponsibility, shortsightedness, negligence, illness and even destructionism (bads) are promoted, and responsibility, farsightedness, diligence, health and conservatism (goods) are punished.

The compulsory old age insurance system in particular, by which retirees (the old) are subsidized from taxes imposed on current income earners (the young), has systematically weakened the natural intergenerational bond between parents, grandparents, and children. The old need no longer rely on the assistance of their children if they have made no provision for their own old age; and the young (with typically less accumulated wealth) must support the old (with typically more accumulated wealth) rather than the other way around, as is typical within families.

Consequently, not only do people want to have fewer children—and indeed, birthrates have fallen in half since the onset of modern social security (welfare) policies—but also the respect which the young traditionally accorded to their elders is diminished, and all indicators of family disintegration and malfunctioning, such as rates of divorce, illegitimacy, child abuse, parent abuse, spouse abuse, single parenting, singledom, alternative lifestyles, and abortion, have increased.

Moreover, with the socialization of the health care system through institutions such as Medicaid and Medicare and the regulation of the insurance industry (by restricting an insurer's right of refusal: to exclude any individual risk as uninsurable, and discriminate freely, according to actuarial methods, between different group risks) a monstrous machinery of wealth and income redistribution at the expense of responsible individuals and low-risk groups in favor of irresponsible actors and high-risk groups has been put in motion. Subsidies for the ill, unhealthy and disabled breed illness, disease, and disability and weaken the desire to work for a living and to lead healthy lives. One can do no better than quote the "dead Austrian economist" Ludwig von Mises once more:

being ill is not a phenomenon independent of conscious will. . . . A man's efficiency is not merely a result of his physical condition; it depends largely on his mind and will. . . . The destructionist aspect of accident and health insurance lies above all in the fact that such institutions promote accident and illness, hinder recovery, and very often create, or at any rate intensify and lengthen, the functional disorders which follow illness or accident. . . . To feel healthy is quite different from being healthy in the medical sense. . . . By weakening or completely destroying the will to be well and able to work, social insurance creates illness and inability to work; it produces the habit of complaining—which is in itself a neurosis—and neuroses of other kinds. . . . As a social institution it makes a people sick bodily and mentally or at least helps to multiply, lengthen, and intensify disease. . . . Social insurance has thus made the neurosis of the insured a dangerous public disease. Should the institution be extended and developed the disease will spread. No reform can be of any assistance. We cannot weaken or destroy the will to health without producing illness.4 I do not wish to explain here the economic nonsense of Buchanan's and his theoreticians' even further-reaching idea of protectionist policies (of protecting American wages). If they were right, their argument in favor of economic protection would amount to an indictment of all trade and a defense of the thesis that each family would be better off if it never traded with anyone else. Certainly, in this case no one could ever lose his job, and unemployment due to "unfair" competition would be reduced to zero.

Yet such a full-employment society would not be prosperous and strong; it would be composed of people (families) who, despite working from dawn to dusk, would be condemned to poverty and starvation. Buchanan's international protectionism, while less destructive than a policy of interpersonal or interregional protectionism, would result in precisely the same effect. This is not conservatism (conservatives want families to be prosperous and strong). This is economic destructionism.

In any case, what should be clear by now is that most if not all of the moral degeneration and cultural decline—the signs of decivilization—all around us are the inescapable and unavoidable results of the welfare state and its core institutions. Classical, old-style conservatives knew this, and they vigorously opposed public education and social security. They knew that states everywhere were intent upon breaking down and ultimately destroying families and the institutions and layers and hierarchies of authority that are the natural outgrowth of family based communities in order to increase and strengthen their own power. They knew that in order to do so states would have to take advantage of the natural rebellion of the adolescent (juvenile) against parental authority. And they knew that socialized education and socialized responsibility were the means of bringing about this goal.

Social education and social security provide an opening for the rebellious youth to escape parental authority (to get away with continuous misbehavior). Old conservatives knew that these policies would emancipate the individual from the discipline imposed by family and community life only to subject him instead to the direct and immediate control of the state.

Furthermore, they knew, or at least had a hunch, that this would lead to a systematic infantilization of society—a regression, emotionally and mentally, from adulthood to adolescence or childhood.

In contrast, Buchanan's populist-proletarian conservatism—social nationalism—shows complete ignorance of all of this. Combining cultural conservatism and welfare-statism is impossible, and hence, economic nonsense. Welfare-statism—social security in any way, shape or form—breeds moral and cultural decline and degeneration. Thus, if one is indeed concerned about America's moral decay and wants to restore normalcy to society and culture, one must oppose all aspects of the modern social-welfare state. A return to normalcy requires no less than the complete elimination of the present social security system: of unemployment insurance, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, public education, etc.—and thus the near complete dissolution and deconstruction of the current state apparatus and government power. If one is ever to restore normalcy, government funds and power must dwindle to or even fall below their nineteenth century levels. Hence, true conservatives must be hard-line libertarians (antistatists). Buchanan's conservatism is false: it wants a return to traditional morality but at the same time advocates keeping the very institutions in place that are responsible for the destruction of traditional morals.

Most contemporary conservatives, then, especially among the media darlings, are not conservatives but socialists—either of the internationalist sort (the new and neoconservative welfare-warfare statists and global social democrats) or of the nationalist variety (the Buchananite populists). Genuine conservatives must be opposed to both. In order to restore social and cultural norms, true conservatives can only be radical libertarians, and they must demand the demolition—as a moral and economic distortion—of the entire structure of the interventionist state.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: aynrand; conservatism; gop; hoppe
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1 posted on 03/04/2005 5:12:44 AM PST by kjvail
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To: kjvail

What a poorly-researched piece. Socialism and conservatism are highly opposed to one another; of course a "socialist conservativism" or some similar such nonsense is incoherent. That's why it's at best a fringe.

Conservatism in the US today bears zero resemblance to what the article alleges is conservative.


2 posted on 03/04/2005 5:19:50 AM PST by thoughtomator (Not available in stores - for a limited time only)
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To: kjvail
"In order to restore social and cultural norms, true conservatives can only be radical libertarians"

That's ridiculous.

3 posted on 03/04/2005 5:19:50 AM PST by Pietro
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To: kjvail

The author sure spent a lot of time trying to define the undefinable. Conservative is a broad term.


4 posted on 03/04/2005 5:20:04 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Reading is fundamental. Comprehension is optional.)
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To: kjvail
American conservatism in rooted in Christianity. Never-mind the establishment of the U.S. of A has it's roots there as well.

What fodder!
5 posted on 03/04/2005 5:21:53 AM PST by odoso (Millions for charity, but not one penny for tribute!)
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To: kjvail

Yup. Sounds mostly right. I guess that makes me some type of archaiocon. ;^)


6 posted on 03/04/2005 5:22:07 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: thoughtomator; Pietro

I agree with you both. The author basically broke wind.


7 posted on 03/04/2005 5:22:08 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Reading is fundamental. Comprehension is optional.)
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To: kjvail

Doh, no wonder, this guy is is to libertarian as Pat Buchanan is to conservative. In other words, fringe and of questionable sanity.

http://www.hanshoppe.com/


8 posted on 03/04/2005 5:22:26 AM PST by thoughtomator (Not available in stores - for a limited time only)
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To: kjvail

So many words; so little coherence.


9 posted on 03/04/2005 5:24:38 AM PST by libertylover (Being liberal means never being concerned about the truth.)
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To: thoughtomator
Narcissistic website: homepage has 7 photos...of him!
10 posted on 03/04/2005 5:26:10 AM PST by Airborne Longhorn
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To: kjvail

"true conservatives can only be radical libertarians"
__________________________________________

If these clowns had their way, The Soviet Empire would be the dominant power in the world today


11 posted on 03/04/2005 5:28:24 AM PST by pissant
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To: kjvail

bump


12 posted on 03/04/2005 5:29:50 AM PST by foreverfree
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To: kjvail
However, most contemporary conservatives (at least most of the spokesmen of the conservative establishment) either do not recognize that their goal of restoring normalcy requires the most drastic, even revolutionary, antistatist social changes, or (if they know about this) they are engaged in betraying conservatism's cultural agenda from inside in order to promote an entirely different agenda.

We have a Bingo!!

13 posted on 03/04/2005 5:30:49 AM PST by nonliberal (Graduate: Curtis E. LeMay School of International Relations)
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To: pissant

Well, actually, if they 'had their way' in the sense that you mean, then the Nazi Reich would be the dominant power in the world today.

That's in part why he's not entirely right, just mostly right..


14 posted on 03/04/2005 5:32:16 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: kjvail

Dear kjvail,

Interesting read. Thanks for posting it.

Can't say I agree with it all, but it's from an interesting perspective.

And it seems to come out pretty close to my own views of Buchananism.

Are you going to ping the Crown Crew?


sitetest


15 posted on 03/04/2005 5:36:08 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: thoughtomator
Socialism and conservatism SHOULD be highly opposed. Unfortunately the political paradigm has shifted so far left then when a conservative "finds common ground" with the far far far left (most of the democrat party) the resulting legislation is leftist. For example instead of reforming social security the conservative position should be getting rid of social security. Instead of crowing about the sunset of the "assault" weapons bill conservatives should be pushing for the repeal of all gun control laws. Welfare shouldn't be reformed...it should be scrapped. You can oppose a far left position and still be on the left.

Ironically the Dems are self destructing because they have gone so far left. Most Americans still have an unhealthy view of communists and that is what the dems are at this point. Conservatives have to maintain the ideology of the constitution in order to take back America and shut down the socialist experimentation.

16 posted on 03/04/2005 5:38:49 AM PST by Durus
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To: thoughtomator; Airborne Longhorn
Doh, no wonder, this guy is is to libertarian as Pat Buchanan is to conservative. In other words, fringe and of questionable sanity.

He is a radical to be sure, in his book he makes a convincing argument that we must be radicals if we hope to in any way roll back the Levithan state.

Narcissistic website: homepage has 7 photos...of him!

He is that too LOL

"In order to restore social and cultural norms, true conservatives can only be radical libertarians" That's ridiculous.

I found this difficult to fathom initially too, until I studied the issue fruther. Hoppe's ideas focus on the concept of "natural order, very Burkean overall. Society cannot be artifically created from the top down it must develop naturally. He makes an excellent case for this by examining the social mileau of Europe after the collapse of Rome where no central authority existed.

17 posted on 03/04/2005 5:39:27 AM PST by kjvail (Judica me Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta)
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To: kjvail
There is no recognition that the natural order in education means that the state has nothing to do with it. Education is entirely a family matter and ought to be produced and distributed in cooperative arrangements within the framework of the market economy.

bump

18 posted on 03/04/2005 5:39:41 AM PST by Semaphore Heathcliffe
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To: kjvail
Today, the continuation and preservation of the American welfare-warfare state is simply excused and promoted by new and neo-conservatives alike with reference to other foreign enemies and dangers: China, Islamic fundamentalism, Saddam Hussein, "rogue states," and the threat of "global terrorism."

What a windbag.

Anyone who can put "rogue states" and "global terrorism" in quotation marks to imply that they are constructs of the conservative imagination is completely denying reality.

It is so typical of anti-war types to simply ignore our right and obligation to have felt FEAR on that day, and proceed to defend ourselves.

19 posted on 03/04/2005 5:40:59 AM PST by wayoverontheright
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To: thoughtomator
In contrast, much of the contemporary American Right "is less interested in Burkean immunities from government power than it is in putting a maximum of governmental power in the hands of those who can be trusted. It is control of power, not diminution of power, that ranks high."

Exactly.

Challenging, but interesting read.
20 posted on 03/04/2005 5:43:59 AM PST by SalukiLawyer
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To: AntiGuv

Well its great to be a "redical libertarian" in theory. Unfortunately, the world is governed by those with powerful militaries. Always has been, always will be. Either you pony up the tax $$ to defend your national interests, or you get swallowed by an evil opponent.


21 posted on 03/04/2005 5:44:52 AM PST by pissant
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To: kjvail
Still reading this piece, but a comment on the following:
There is no recognition that the natural order in education means that the state has nothing to do with it. Education is entirely a family matter and ought to be produced and distributed in cooperative arrangements within the framework of the market economy.

It's a confident claim, but one which would be difficult to substantiate. Since modern humans appeared, the social group has almost always been larger than the isolated, single family, and the social group has always had an interest in educating its young members in the ways of the group. The author is either wrong about what the 'natural order' is with respect to education, or else is using the words 'natural order' in an idiosyncratic way.

22 posted on 03/04/2005 5:45:26 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: kjvail

I didn't say he was radical. I said he was fringe and of questionable sanity.

This article epitomizes strawman arguments. A socialist result from the political process is not derived in any way from conservatism. He consistently mischaracterizes conservatism by assigning the policies of socialists within the GOP to conservatives, which is not true, and which he does not and cannot prove.


23 posted on 03/04/2005 5:45:26 AM PST by thoughtomator (Not available in stores - for a limited time only)
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To: kjvail
By relieving individuals of the obligation to provide for their own income, health, safety, old age, and children's education, the range and temporal horizon of private provision is reduced, and the value of marriage, family, children, and kinship relations is lowered. Irresponsibility, shortsightedness, negligence, illness and even destructionism (bads) are promoted, and responsibility, farsightedness, diligence, health and conservatism (goods) are punished.

The compulsory old age insurance system in particular, by which retirees (the old) are subsidized from taxes imposed on current income earners (the young), has systematically weakened the natural intergenerational bond between parents, grandparents, and children. The old need no longer rely on the assistance of their children if they have made no provision for their own old age; and the young (with typically less accumulated wealth) must support the old (with typically more accumulated wealth) rather than the other way around, as is typical within families.

Consequently, not only do people want to have fewer children—and indeed, birthrates have fallen in half since the onset of modern social security (welfare) policies—but also the respect which the young traditionally accorded to their elders is diminished, and all indicators of family disintegration and malfunctioning, such as rates of divorce, illegitimacy, child abuse, parent abuse, spouse abuse, single parenting, singledom, alternative lifestyles, and abortion, have increased.

Nails it.

24 posted on 03/04/2005 5:46:19 AM PST by Semaphore Heathcliffe
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To: SalukiLawyer

I disagree completely. How anyone can assert such a thing in the face of the Reagan Revolution is ridiculous! If there's one thing that all conservatives of every stripe agree on, it is in the reduction of taxes, which is pretty much the definition of the diminuition of government power.


25 posted on 03/04/2005 5:48:34 AM PST by thoughtomator (Not available in stores - for a limited time only)
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To: snarks_when_bored
Since modern humans appeared, the social group has almost always been larger than the isolated, single family, and the social group has always had an interest in educating its young members in the ways of the group.

What is your definition of "modern humans" the last 50 years? The last hundred? The most basic social group has always been the family. All social group larger then a family were, until very recently, products of multiple and interrelated family groups. Again it is only until fairly recently that anything other then higher education or specialized training was done outside the home. How long have we had government run schools in this country? How long have their been government run schools globally?

26 posted on 03/04/2005 5:55:49 AM PST by Durus
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To: thoughtomator

If you believe there is nothing wrong with this country that the election of more good Republicans wouldn't fix, then yes, you and I will simply have to disagree.

The piece doesn not set out a practical political program. But it does invite people to think about the values and principles that should guide their politics.


27 posted on 03/04/2005 5:56:12 AM PST by SalukiLawyer
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To: kjvail



BRILLIANT, SIMPLY BRILLIANT!!


28 posted on 03/04/2005 5:58:48 AM PST by Al Gator (God did not give us life so that we could run and ask a bureaucrat what to do with it.)
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To: snarks_when_bored

Dear snarks_when_bored,

I think that your criticism of Hoppe has some validity, although Hoppe acknowledges that the provision of education extends beyond the family. But Hoppe is right that in the natural order, the state has nothing to do with it.

Hoppe allows for involvement of entities outside the family when he says, "produced and distributed in cooperative arrangements within the framework of the market economy."

Where I think your criticism is valid is that Hoppe restricts the extra-familial involvement in education too narrowly, at least as I read it.

As a homeschooler, I can tell you that Hoppe has outlined approximately how we operate. Education is entirely our responsibility. And, we do engage in cooperative arrangements to further the education of our children. We buy a private curriculum, we buy other educational enhancements from other private and semi-private offerors.

But the language Hoppe uses seems to miss an important feature of our experience, which is the cooperative arrangements that are not really oriented toward the market economy. We do a lot of things with other homeschooling families that are not really "commercial" or "market-based" in conception, motivation, or practical application. I guess if you want to draw the definition of "markets" broadly enough, you could possibly include all these other activities, but to me, that's a mindless reductionism.

Many of the cooperative arrangements in which we homeschoolers participate are based on bonds of friendship, social cooperation, fraternal sentiment, religious identity, caring for one another, altruism, and principled morality. I think that they are not well-described by "the framework of the market economy."


sitetest


29 posted on 03/04/2005 5:58:49 AM PST by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: kjvail
This is a long read and I'm going to have to study it in more detail to make coherent arguments - but what I see right off the bat....

He doesn't like Buchanan.
He lambasts Buchanan, almost, from the get go.
Can't say as I blame him but he spends an awful lot of time on a man that conservatives have already turned from.

He doesn't like the, "Leviathan state".
Well, that's good. Some government is needed but as the saying goes, "That which governs least governs best".

He's a libertarian.
That's not all bad, as long as it's a small 'l' and not a large 'L' libertarian.
I would put myself into a conservative, small 'l' libertarian category.

As for having to become a radical to be a conservative.....
To change, almost, anything in the govt nowadays you have to be somewhat of a radical.
Just don't take it too far.

30 posted on 03/04/2005 5:59:12 AM PST by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: SalukiLawyer

Where did you get that from? Where did I state or imply anything even close to "there is nothing wrong with this country that the election of more good Republicans wouldn't fix"? Or did you mean to post to someone else and accidentally ping me?


31 posted on 03/04/2005 6:00:34 AM PST by thoughtomator (Not available in stores - for a limited time only)
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To: kjvail
Multiculturalism = Balkanization = loss of country

Loss of authority = non-caring parents = disrespect

Sexual libertinism = social disintegration = illegitimacy

Social nationalism = entitlements = government control

Liberalism = talk the talk = “the people’s rights” = litigate = then sit down

Conservatism = duty = responsibility = non government control

Through Political Correctness all truth is censored and history is re-written; this breeds moral and cultural decline and degeneration. Tinkering with the Republic’s duty, the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence is the work of the Socialist; maintaining the Republic and all it stands for is the work of the Conservative; the latter does the heavy lifting to keep our nation free from other ideologues who don’t want the responsibility of maintaining a Republic...Duty, Honor, Country.

32 posted on 03/04/2005 6:00:49 AM PST by yoe
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To: kjvail
Multiculturalism = Balkanization = loss of country

Loss of authority = non-caring parents = disrespect

Sexual libertinism = social disintegration = illegitimacy

Social nationalism = entitlements = government control

Liberalism = talk the talk = “the people’s rights” = litigate = then sit down

Conservatism = duty = responsibility = non government control

Through Political Correctness all truth is censored and history is re-written; this breeds moral and cultural decline and degeneration. Tinkering with the Republic’s duty, the United States Constitution and Declaration of Independence is the work of the Socialist; maintaining the Republic and all it stands for is the work of the Conservative; the latter does the heavy lifting to keep our nation free from other ideologues who don’t want the responsibility of maintaining a Republic...Duty, Honor, Country.

33 posted on 03/04/2005 6:00:50 AM PST by yoe
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To: Durus
All social group[s] larger then a family were, until very recently, products of multiple and interrelated family groups.

And that disagrees with what I said, how? "Multiple and interrelated family groups" define what a social group is among humans. And it is in the interest of social groups (so defined) to educate their young.

34 posted on 03/04/2005 6:01:29 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: thoughtomator

I think you are still strapped into your chair, and you believe reality is the shadows the puppet masters are casting on the walls in front of you.

The author of this piece has left the cave, and come back to describe what he has seen.

You aren't ready to accept that reality.


35 posted on 03/04/2005 6:04:55 AM PST by Al Gator (God did not give us life so that we could run and ask a bureaucrat what to do with it.)
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To: sitetest
Home-schooling is fine with me. But most of today's parents are either unqualified to do it (they just don't know enough) or else lack the time to do it because of their work requirements. Public education is an old idea—the ancient Athenians employed it, for example. So it's not as if the idea suddenly popped into existence in the minds of the cabal behind the 'modern welfare state'.
36 posted on 03/04/2005 6:07:06 AM PST by snarks_when_bored
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To: kjvail

Why do I somehow not trust a piece written about "correct" socialist conservatism written by a German? Didn't they try that once? Oh yeah.... back in the forties.....


37 posted on 03/04/2005 6:10:00 AM PST by Terabitten (A quick reminder to the liberals. The election in Iraq was done NOT IN YOUR NAME.)
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To: kjvail

Bump for later read. Thanks for the post.


38 posted on 03/04/2005 6:10:28 AM PST by PGalt
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To: Al Gator

I am a conservative.

I am also aware of the radical changes in our government necessary to fully implement the conservative agenda.

However, I am not engaged in a betrayal of conservatism in order to promote global social democracy, as is the essential crux of the author's article. I am adamantly opposed to socialism, and more so I regard oppostition to socialism as an essential component of conservatism, hence my reference to the Reagan Revolution.

The entire article is therefore premised on a fallacy.

And until those here who disagree with me resort to logic rather than mysticism and come up with a persuasive argument, I will steadfastly hold to this conclusion.


39 posted on 03/04/2005 6:11:03 AM PST by thoughtomator (Not available in stores - for a limited time only)
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To: pissant

Well, I am a moderate libertarian. The main point upon which I agree with this author is that modern conservatism has by and large embraced big government.


40 posted on 03/04/2005 6:11:59 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: thoughtomator

What, the "people who disagree are delusional" argument didn't sway you? ;)


41 posted on 03/04/2005 6:13:15 AM PST by general_re ("Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith, but in doubt." - Reinhold Niebuhr)
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To: AntiGuv

Wrong, REPUBLICAN RINOS have enbraced big Government.

Conservatives are still Conservatives.


42 posted on 03/04/2005 6:13:57 AM PST by Area51 (Illegal Immigration: 20 Million Mexicans can't be wrong.)
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To: general_re

No, but the "puppet masters" has me fnording.


43 posted on 03/04/2005 6:14:20 AM PST by thoughtomator (Not available in stores - for a limited time only)
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To: AntiGuv

I don't think you can come up with any more proof than the author has (none) to support that argument.


44 posted on 03/04/2005 6:16:30 AM PST by thoughtomator (Not available in stores - for a limited time only)
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To: thoughtomator
The key objection to this author, in my view, is that he uses "statism" and "socialism" as if they were synonymous, and that's definitely not true. So, this is his logic:

modern conservatives are statist (true), therefore modern conservatives are socialist ( which is not strictly true).

However, this is not a proper use of the term socialism as commonly understood. Which is not to suggest that the conservative leadership hasn't acquiesced to much of the socialist welfare state, but that is distinct from the statist policies that have been advocated by most conservatives since decades ago.

45 posted on 03/04/2005 6:17:55 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: thoughtomator

What would you cut?


46 posted on 03/04/2005 6:18:48 AM PST by AntiGuv ()
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To: Pietro
while the left could win Middle Americans through its economic measures,

Why do the libs keep shoving this old cancard down everyones throat? This is their holiest and most sacred belief - that they alone know the truth that social collectivism is the one and only way to run the economies of the world.

No facts or history will disuade them, they only need better propaganda to convince the masses that they are right. There must be a gene that increases susceptibility to mass psychosis. It's the only explanation.

47 posted on 03/04/2005 6:18:51 AM PST by Podkayne (marg bar eslaam hegemony)
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To: snarks_when_bored
The point is while groups existed that were larger then a single isolated family group it was still, in fact, mostly a family group. That is quite unlike what we have now. A town is not a family, a state is not a family, and the country isn't a family.

"the social group has always had an interest in educating its young members in the ways of the group"

If you are referring to the actual family then that is fine. If you are referring to a govt. then that is called indoctrination and was a prime method of changing society in the USSR.

48 posted on 03/04/2005 6:19:12 AM PST by Durus
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To: AntiGuv

From our federal government? Anything and everything not explicitly authorized by the Constitution. And I consider this to be the conservative position.


49 posted on 03/04/2005 6:20:08 AM PST by thoughtomator (Not available in stores - for a limited time only)
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To: thoughtomator
Mysticism? I am "mystified" about this accusation!!

Socrates wasn't dealing in spiritualism, he was trying to explain societal blinders.

All nonsense aside, the basic point of this long article is that many conservatives haven't realized that while their houses may be in order, their foundations have shifted.

Socialists have been very successful in pulling us, with microscopic incrementalism, to the left.

We are now in the position that we argue our points from left of center while thinking we are on the "right".

Try to get a so-called conservative to accept that the income tax is nothing more that theft, and you will be labeled a "kook".
50 posted on 03/04/2005 6:20:18 AM PST by Al Gator (God did not give us life so that we could run and ask a bureaucrat what to do with it.)
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