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Rejecting Modern Materialism: The Rise of the Crunchy-Conservatives
Catholic Exchange ^ | March 31, 2006 | Pete Vere JCL

Posted on 03/31/2006 7:39:09 AM PST by NYer

Over this past weekend, I had the opportunity to read Rod Dreher’s Crunchy Cons. This is a book that has been stirring up conservative circles since its release this past winter. Dreher is a popular Generation-X conservative writer and a convert to Eastern Catholicism. He has worked for a number of publications, including the National Review, the New York Post, and the Washington Times. He is now a full-time writer and editor with the Dallas Morning News.

A Manifesto for the Family

In Crunchy Cons, Dreher sets out to chronicle how “Birkenstocked Burkeans, gun-loving organic gardeners, evangelical free-range farmers, hip homeschooling mamas, right-wing nature lovers, and their diverse tribe of countercultural conservatives plan to save America (or at least the Republican Party).” What Dreher has tapped is a lively coalition of conservatives who believe that family and community ought to come before unrestrained free-market capitalism.

In fact, Dreher’s nine-point “Crunchy Con Manifesto” includes the following long recognized by social and paleo-conservatives: “3. Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government”; “4. Culture is more important than politics and economics”; and “9. We share Russell Kirk’s conviction that ‘the institution most essential to conserve is the family.’” In defending these points, Dreher takes aim at the culture of lust and greed undermining American society in our day.

“Sex and commerce are fine things, but man cannot live by Viagra and the Dow Jones alone,” Dreher writes. “A life led collecting things and experiences in pursuit of happiness is not necessarily a bad life, but it’s not necessarily a good life either. Too often, the Democrats act like the Party of Lust, and the Republicans the Party of Greed. Both are deadly sins that eat at the soul, and crunchy cons believe that both must be resisted in our personal and communal lives.”

Putting Families Back Together

Throughout the book, Dreher provides several examples of how lust and greed undermine American society and what crunchy conservative families are doing to counter this perverse influence. “Strong, healthy individuals and strong, healthy societies cannot be made without strong, health families,” Dreher states in defense of homeschooling families. “Kids today marinate in a sexually aggressive popular culture that teaches them that life is supposed to be an erotic free-for-all.”

In a chapter explaining how modern architecture dehumanizes its occupants, Dreher notes the reason why children are often left to marinate in public schools, daycare facilities, and the popular sewage that passes for culture. The answer, to the shame of conservatives and progressives alike, is greed. Parents confuse their wants with their needs. The pursuit of the McMansion, the annual family cruise and a third luxury vehicle means more time at the office for each parent, more time in a daycare facility for the child, and less actual family interaction.

Even home time is not necessarily family time in modern North America. “Each kid has a television and a computer in [his] room,” observes David Holme, one of Dreher’s crunchy correspondents. “There’s a six-foot TV in the living room. People just tend to sit in front of them and go to mush. The houses are so large that people go off in their own little area, and they don’t interact. You never run into anybody, so you never have to play a game with anybody. People get to be like strangers living at the same address.”

Thus Dreher draws a conclusion that many other conservatives find uncomfortable: “The undeniable fact is that free-market, technology-driven capitalism, for all its benefits, tends to pull families and communities apart by empowering individuals and encouraging — even mandating — individualism.... Civil society has been routed over the past thirty years.”

The Little Things Count

Dreher’s solution to this problem is simple: we must return our focus to family, our community and church. We must renounce the selfishness of lust, avarice and covetousness, and we must one again seek to be good stewards of creation over which God has given us dominion. Finally, we must pay attention to the needs of the soul and not just those of the flesh. “Politics and economics will not save us,” Dreher concludes. “If we are to be saved at all, it will be through living faithfully by the Permanent Things, preserving these ancient truths in the choices we make in everyday life.”

Dreher chronicles how many families are living out their crunchy con convictions. From homeschooling to organic and family farming, from turning off the television to turning on the oven and enjoying a good home-cooked meal, crunchy cons are doing little things to restore a more natural pace within the family. For at its essence the crunchy con philosophy is about living in harmony with the natural world as wise stewards entrusted by God with the care of His creation.

This last point has escaped Dreher’s critics in my opinion. Their most common complaint is that Dreher never gets around to presenting a plan for moving the crunchy con ideology forward. He does not have to present some grand plan; rather it is the little things that move crunchy conservatism forward. As Dreher repeatedly points out in his book, big things happen when enough people look after the little things.

“Maybe I’m too optimistic,” Dreher writes, “but I think there’s a growing army of crunchy-con homeschooled kids, not only learning academics at a higher level than most of their conventionally schooled generational peers, but also learning how to think — and, moreover, learning how to think independently and counter-culturally. This is especially true if their primary teachers — their mothers and fathers — make certain that the core convictions of their faith are the sun around which all the academic learning orbits. When these kids enter mainstream society in large numbers, we could see the beginning of a quiet cultural revolution.” And since many of these children come from Republican families, as Dreher painstakingly chronicles throughout his book, the GOP is more likely to be the political vehicle used by these young crunchy cons to bring about this quiet counter-cultural revolution. But if so, it won’t be the Republican party of today, it will be the one they rebuild.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Canada; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Philosophy; Politics/Elections; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: catholic; conservative; crunchycon; crunchycons; dreher; education; homeschool; materialism; parents; republican; vere
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Pete Vere is a canon lawyer and a Catholic author. He recently co-authored Surprised by Canon Law: 150 Questions Catholics Ask About Canon Law (Servant Books) with Michael Trueman and More Catholic Than the Pope (Our Sunday Visitor) with Patrick Madrid. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada.

1 posted on 03/31/2006 7:39:12 AM PST by NYer
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
Catholic Ping - Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


2 posted on 03/31/2006 7:39:36 AM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: NYer; qam1

major bump!!


3 posted on 03/31/2006 7:47:10 AM PST by gobucks (Blissful Marriage: A result of a worldly husband's transformation into the Word's wife.)
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To: NYer

I am a "Crunchy Con" and didn't know it! I am glad to see Gen-X'ers embracing this idea. I agree completely with his thesis!


4 posted on 03/31/2006 7:48:11 AM PST by yellowdoghunter (I sometimes only vote for Republicans because they are not Democrats....by Dr. Thomas Sowell)
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To: NYer
The answer, to the shame of conservatives and progressives alike, is greed. Parents confuse their wants with their needs. The pursuit of the McMansion, the annual family cruise and a third luxury vehicle means more time at the office for each parent, more time in a daycare facility for the child, and less actual family interaction.

See these two related threads for more about how Freepers feel about the values of this mushrooming group of conservatives. Great find NYer!!!!!!!!!!!!

"I am a Stay-at-Home Wife".

My Pregnant (Again) Wife wants to quit her job - need advice.

5 posted on 03/31/2006 7:52:23 AM PST by gobucks (Blissful Marriage: A result of a worldly husband's transformation into the Word's wife.)
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To: NYer
not only learning academics at a higher level than most of their conventionally schooled generational peers, but also learning how to think — and, moreover, learning how to think independently and counter-culturally.

I'm seeing this alot with home schooled kids.

Kids actually getting their hands dirty; learning self sufficiency; carpentry, raising animals for food etc...

6 posted on 03/31/2006 7:55:57 AM PST by zarf (It's time for a college football playoff system.)
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To: NYer

Great article.

I agree completely.


7 posted on 03/31/2006 8:00:12 AM PST by Pessimist
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To: NYer

Down with Greed Capitalism. Up with Entrepreneurial Capitalism. Historically, there is an interesting comparison between the English cities of Manchester and Birmingham. Manchester become the monster textile, single industry "capitol" of England, and then went into decline. Birmingham was a center of "garage" entrepreneurial capitalism (think Silicon Valley), and thrived greatly and
continually.

For several years I served on a Mayoral task force on street vending. One spouse of a major corporate executive said at a meeting, "we don't want to see any vendors near


, they RUIN the cityscape." The big business interests in the city tried by fair means and foul to get rid of vending. I guess they thought it was ruining the cityscape. Many tourists think it IS the cityscape. Unfortunately it seemed that anti-vendor moves were occurring in a number of cities, it almost seemed coordinated from above. How can any self-respecting Republican be against working hard, taking care of family, and being an entrepreneur? The "crunchy" movement sounds like a great thing.


8 posted on 03/31/2006 8:05:06 AM PST by gleeaikin
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To: NYer
Oh, my gosh - I may be a crunchy con! I cook from scratch, grow my own veggies, hunt and fish, knit socks, and read the Bible!

And I'm still mad about the savings and loan scandal!

Do we have to go to meetings or wear those ugly rubber bracelets to belong?
9 posted on 03/31/2006 8:08:44 AM PST by Gingersnap
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To: don-o; laney; goldstategop; netmilsmom; SC33; Capriole; stevio; GOPJ; SuziQ; D-Chivas; ...

Crunchy conservative ping!


10 posted on 03/31/2006 8:12:32 AM PST by Pyro7480 (Sancte Joseph, terror daemonum, ora pro nobis!)
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To: NYer

Mr. Dreher is absolutely correct in his enthusiasm for "crunchy" conservatism. He is incorrect, however, in giving it a new name. "Crunchy" consveratism is nothing more than real, traditional conservatism of the altar-family-throne type. Since the Revolution of 1789, true conservatism has been overwhelmed by liberalism, whether of the statist sort (the Left) or the market variety (the Libertarians). The political landscape today is a battleground between two liberalisms: The liberals, out-and-out hedonists who turn to the State Almighty to keep society functioning despite the damage done to it by the uncontrolled pursuit of pleasure by the Mob; and "conservatives" -- libertarians, substituting social Darwinism for State power with megacorporations keep the Mob distracted from the wreck of society by sating them with floods of cheap food and consumer products. Big Government liberalism or Big Business liberalism -- that's the choice for people today.

Although I have had some problems with Mr. Dreher's actions in the past, his recognition of the resurgence of true ("crunchy") conservatism is to be commended. A return to the altar, family, and throne politics of the past is our only hope.


11 posted on 03/31/2006 8:14:44 AM PST by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan Any questions?)
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To: NYer
What Dreher has tapped is a lively coalition of conservatives who believe that family and community ought to come before unrestrained free-market capitalism.






I agree, as long as the approach is one of values promoted in the institutions of culture, rather than policies enforced by government. Any civilization has at least three sectors. The cultural, the economic and the political. Politics should limit its concern to protecting rights. An over empathsis on economic concerns needs to be addressed in the cultural sector.
12 posted on 03/31/2006 8:19:17 AM PST by rob777 (Personal Responsibility is the Price of Freedom)
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To: B-Chan
i>"Crunchy" consveratism is nothing more than real, traditional conservatism of the altar-family-throne type.

Exactly. And although I wasn't quite sure of the meaning of "crunch conservatism" until now, it's what I have been all along. To me, what he is describing here are the things worth conserving. And by conserving and building up these things, other things will be transformed and become worth conserving too.

13 posted on 03/31/2006 8:21:36 AM PST by Southside_Chicago_Republican (A tiny figure, tattered and torn, moving across the barren landscape.....)
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To: NYer

What a bunch of generalizations. Sorry, but it's the Democrats I see driving around in Hummers, living in the 12-room houses in the high-end neigborhoods, dressed in designers duds and working in middle and upper management. Conservative kids more often than not are just that. One television, if any, in the living room, home schooling, and modest behavior and consumption. Am I the only one who sees this guy as disastrously misled and misinformed?


14 posted on 03/31/2006 8:39:00 AM PST by redhead (www.opinions3.com and http://halfbakedsourdough.blogspot.com, if you would like to read more...)
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To: yellowdoghunter

Our familiy is there too. Though I'm not sure that I like having a label now. ;^)


15 posted on 03/31/2006 8:39:58 AM PST by stevio (Red-Blooded Crunchy Con, American Male (NRA))
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To: qam1

ping


16 posted on 03/31/2006 8:40:23 AM PST by t_skoz ("let me be who I am - let me kick out the jams!")
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To: gobucks; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; m18436572; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

17 posted on 03/31/2006 8:51:30 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: NYer

Good article. I'm 25 and fit into this category. I have a bunch of these people in my circle of friends. Some of them are early to mid 30s and have little kids.

We never really needed a name for it like "Crunchy Conservatism", we just call ourselves "good, old school traditional Americans".


18 posted on 03/31/2006 8:52:41 AM PST by t_skoz ("let me be who I am - let me kick out the jams!")
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To: NYer

I think these views are pretty much identical with the so-called "distributists", like G.K. Chesterton & Hillaire Belloc.


19 posted on 03/31/2006 8:53:49 AM PST by Ozone34
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To: redhead
I actually have several relatives who are rock-solid, church-going Republicans, who are completely focused on material things (and they truly believe that these things are necessities - expensive vacations, and replacing cars every 2-3 years). Their kids are not disasters, but they aren't what you'd call happy, either.

I think that Dreher is onto something important.
20 posted on 03/31/2006 8:56:13 AM PST by horse_doc
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To: yellowdoghunter
I'm a "Crunchy Con" too. We fled the suburbs two years ago for a rural life. I'm no farmer and may have been cursed with a black thumb, but I'm going to try my hand at gardening this spring/summer. I buy from farmers markets whenever I can (a Whole Food store is a 45 minute drive) and we're planting as many trees on our 2 acres as we can afford.

Life in suburbia was too noisy in so many ways. The traffic, the bigger and better jobs, the materialism, the pressure on our kids, etc. Enough was enough!

21 posted on 03/31/2006 9:00:01 AM PST by Kieri (Dump "Dangerously Incompetent" Debbie, Support Keith Butler for Senate)
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To: Toddsterpatriot; Mase; expat_panama; CowboyJay
There was a thread a while back where somebody was arguing that the end-result of capitalism is some form of lawlessness, or whatever. Was it you CowboyJay? If so, then this thread's for you.
22 posted on 03/31/2006 9:03:33 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: NYer

I still prefer being a South Park Republican


23 posted on 03/31/2006 9:09:40 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: NYer

I guess I'm a counter cultural crunchy con.


24 posted on 03/31/2006 9:18:03 AM PST by Carpe Cerevisi
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To: NYer
Thanks for the ping.

I've actually read excerpts from this book published on the Web-and passages from the book itself-recently, and agree with most of the sentiments Dreher expresses.

I can't say I fully share his mystical relationship with food-I suppose because it involves an ancestral European relationship with the earth that my family has gradually discarded as they've embraced America over the centuries, although my last name, believe it or not, means "pear tree" loosely translated-but I do appreciate the value of his words in this respect, especially the part of this book where he explains the benefits of being able to go to the farmer's markets that take place in this city every week.

When I have some more surplus cash to splurge on some of my favorite books I'll probably pick up a copy of Crunchy Cons.

25 posted on 03/31/2006 9:45:44 AM PST by Do not dub me shapka broham ("The moment that someone wants to forbid caricatures, that is the moment we publish them.")
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To: NYer
Dreher has earned the ire of several of his former colleagues at National Review for what some call his high self-regard and the undeserved disdain he exhibits for broad swaths of principled free market conservatives.

For myself I can only say that, as a conservative, I've never thought of the market as a god, never worshipped capitalism, and always understood the trade-offs any economic system presents to those who participate in it. The market is simply a tool, the best tool ever devised for creating wealth. It's not the 'be and end all' of life, and if Dreher maintains that principled conservatives, with the exception of certain Randian types, have said otherwise in the modern era, he's simply mistaken.

26 posted on 03/31/2006 9:52:18 AM PST by beckett (Amor Fati)
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To: Pyro7480

Thanks for the ping...


27 posted on 03/31/2006 10:03:25 AM PST by GOPJ (Peace happens when evil is vanquished -- Cal Thomas)
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To: Pyro7480; Mrs. Don-o

read later!!


28 posted on 03/31/2006 10:04:10 AM PST by don-o (Don't be a Freeploader. Do the right thing. Become a Monthly Donor!)
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To: redhead
What a bunch of generalizations. Sorry, but it's the Democrats I see driving around in Hummers, living in the 12-room houses in the high-end neigborhoods, dressed in designers duds and working in middle and upper management.

Statistics don't back your observation. It's the Hummer-driving, 12-room house exurbs that are the Republican strongholds in this country.

29 posted on 03/31/2006 10:10:26 AM PST by Potowmack ("In politics, madame, you need two things: friends, but above all an enemy." Brian Mulroney)
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To: stevio
Our familiy is there too. Though I'm not sure that I like having a label now.

I have always been there, as has my family. I'll just keep doing what I have been doing. I'm not especially thrilled with being labelled, though--just another socio-demographic pigeonhole.

30 posted on 03/31/2006 10:10:54 AM PST by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly.)
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To: qam1

In that case, what are the smug levels among the Crunchy Cons? Not to Clooney levels, to be sure, but still...


31 posted on 03/31/2006 10:23:44 AM PST by AmishDude (Amishdude, servant of the dark lord Xenu.)
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To: NYer

Crunchy on the outside? Soft and loving on the inside? I must put the Eucharist at the center of my heart and my life or I won't have any motivation for anything or anyone.


32 posted on 03/31/2006 10:33:12 AM PST by SaltyJoe (A mother's sorrowful heart and personal sacrifice redeems her lost child's soul.)
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To: NYer

This is not on my reading list. The political debate, and the resulting society, have been shaped into a Marxist dialectic. Greed is not good, and the definition of Capitalism (Labor, Capital, and Capital Owners) is a straw man cast system intended to make communism look good.


33 posted on 03/31/2006 10:39:26 AM PST by Dead Dog
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To: jwfiv

I think we might be crunchy.


34 posted on 03/31/2006 10:49:58 AM PST by Serb5150 ("Tesla, you don't understand our American humor." —Thomas Edison)
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To: NYer

seems the MSM is trying to push this as "catholic liberal democrats".

This has all the stink of a media effort to produce "me too" democrats for religion.


35 posted on 03/31/2006 11:01:37 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: Kieri

I'm closer to this than any other conservative viewpoint I've seen expressed.

I take the train to work, have tried doing some container gardening, live below my means, etc.

Generally I'm not one for such labels, but I guess this sorta fits. Kinda.


36 posted on 03/31/2006 11:04:31 AM PST by Betis70 (zoom zoom)
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To: B-Chan

You're quite right: this is an "older" conservatism, sometimes called "virtue" conservatism (as contrasted to "liberty" conservatism), with roots in Russeell Kirk and G.K. Chesterton and --- probably Louis IX, hey? I think Dreher invented the "crunchy" tag just as an entree or a teaser for people who might not already be familiar with the tradition.

I've got to thank Peter Vere for his good review of Dreher's book. Some critics have missed the point entirely, imagining that Dreher just wants
people to define their identity via a more refined consumerism, for instance expensive free-range chicken rather than cheap poultry-factory Tyson wingettes.

Vere (and you, B-Chan) correctly noted that Dreher is making much bigger points (like recovering a human scale for farming and a family centered way of living and a humane attitude toward other living beings) -- all
of which is consonant with a Catholic personalist philosophy.

Thanks for getting it...


37 posted on 03/31/2006 11:09:50 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Crunchy.)
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To: redhead
Where does Dreher lay this out in terms of Republicans vs Democtrats? (Cite and quote, please.) That's just what he doesn't do. He does tend to make this a conversation-within-conservatism, but that doesn't have much to do with party politics. So no, I don't see Dreher creating or alluding to stereotypes of Republicans per se.

And once you've hung around at Free Republic long enough, you'll see lots of soi-disant "conservatives" who are contemptuously down on marriage and family, whose response to porn is "where can I get me some 'a that?" and who think the most important Trinity is Me, Myself, and I.

If you haven't run into that yet, bless you, you are fortunate indeed.

"One television, if any, in the living room, home schooling, and modest behavior and consumption." Way to go. I'm with you, redhead.

38 posted on 03/31/2006 11:19:17 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Crunchy.)
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To: beckett

"I've never thought of the market as a god, never worshipped capitalism, and always understood the trade-offs any economic system presents to those who participate in it."

You are absolutely correct; too many in our movement have a Walter Williams-like reglious belief in unrestrained capitalism, that the market is ALWAYS right, and that the "law" of supply and demand was handed down along with the 10 Commandments!


39 posted on 03/31/2006 11:31:51 AM PST by Colonel Batguano (Purity of essence)
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To: 1rudeboy
"Was it you CowboyJay? If so, then this thread's for you."

I do appreciate the ping.

Capitalism is a fine thing. I believe it is an important component of a free and prosperous society. Just another tyranny however when all else is sacrificed upon its' altar. Enterprise (ambition based) capitalism is a positive force. When unprincipled greed is elevated to the status of religion, bad things happen.

40 posted on 03/31/2006 11:39:37 AM PST by CowboyJay (Rough Riders! Tancredo '08)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
You're right: He didn't mention parties. That was my error.

"And once you've hung around at Free Republic long enough, you'll see lots of soi-disant "conservatives" who are contemptuously down on marriage and family, whose response to porn is "where can I get me some 'a that?" and who think the most important Trinity is Me, Myself, and I."

Right again. I should drink more coffee before I hit the "Post" button... And, yes, I've been here since 2000, and I've seen all kinds.

41 posted on 03/31/2006 11:41:56 AM PST by redhead (www.opinions3.com and http://halfbakedsourdough.blogspot.com, if you would like to read more...)
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To: NYer
This last point has escaped Dreher’s critics in my opinion. Their most common complaint is that Dreher never gets around to presenting a plan for moving the crunchy con ideology forward. He does not have to present some grand plan; rather it is the little things that move crunchy conservatism forward. As Dreher repeatedly points out in his book, big things happen when enough people look after the little things.

Does this mean that Dreher believes his philosophy can be implemented through persuasion and inspiring personal examples, rather than being imposed by the state?

It would be remarkably refreshing if that was so, and on that basis alone I would wish him luck, despite whatever personal quibbles I have with his philosophy.

Could someone who has read his books fill me in on his position concerning the role of the state?

42 posted on 03/31/2006 11:45:47 AM PST by timm22
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To: Colonel Batguano
You are absolutely correct; too many in our movement have a Walter Williams-like reglious belief in unrestrained capitalism, that the market is ALWAYS right, and that the "law" of supply and demand was handed down along with the 10 Commandments!

I think you may be exaggerating a bit. The only people who would come close to that description are anarcho-capitalists, who make up only a small portion of libertarians. Among conservatives in general, they make up a tiny fraction. I'm sure we could name a few on this site, but that would probably be because their rarity makes them stick out in our minds.

Most conservatives/libertarians believe in SOME role for the state and some activities that should remain outside of the market; the building of roads, national defense, the establishment of courts of law, legilative bodies, etc. Furthermore, most recognize the need for certain restraints on market activities, like prohibiting fraud or imposing fines or restrictions on pollution output. And I think most can point to certain market outcomes we don't like. I, for instance, find the branding phenomenon in clothing to be repulsive.

There are very, very few on our side who believe in an unrestrained, infallible market. There ARE quite a few (thankfully) who recognize that correcting the faults of the market is quite often worse than the problems being addressed. Some of us defend the market not for what it makes, but for what is required to make it work- individual rights.

43 posted on 03/31/2006 12:01:57 PM PST by timm22
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To: NYer
Good discussion. I don't know if "crunchy conservatism" is really going to amount to much as a movement. It's more that there are tendencies running through society as a whole, as a generation settles down to raise kids, and these tendencies are going to be felt in conservatism as they are in other aspects of American life.

Some things, like Birkenstocks and organic foods are going to remain distinctly minority tastes, but other things -- a turn against mini-mansions and SUVs and towards home-schooling and localism -- may become more prevalent without people really propgandizing much for them. The people who oppose them today may find themselves part of the trend without really being aware that they've changed their behavior.

Young people who grew up in affluence and conspicuous consumption turn against it and look for greater simplicity and authenticity (and perhaps in turn, their kids get fed up with their crunchy parents and turn back to ambition and acquisitiveness).

"Throne and altar" conservatism? Maybe a little bit, but distributism and localism haven't always gone hand in hand with monarchy or orthodoxy. The localists' wish for independence and a quiet life can come into conflict with the desire of kings and bishops for greater control. There's a "low church" or Quaker or pietist simplicity involved that doesn't always sit well with highly developed ideologies.

44 posted on 03/31/2006 12:07:41 PM PST by x
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To: NYer

I guess I'm at least a semi-meta-pseudo-quasi-crunchy-con.
I make my own cider, sausage, pickles and sauerkraut. I collect guns and have serious doubts about the benefits of both big government and big business.


45 posted on 03/31/2006 12:10:06 PM PST by Panzerlied ("We shall never surrender!")
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To: longtermmemmory

One thing Rod Dreher sho' nuff ain't is a liberal Democrat. He IS Catholic, though.


46 posted on 03/31/2006 12:26:17 PM PST by Mrs. Don-o (With a capital "C")
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To: x
Young people who grew up in affluence and conspicuous consumption turn against it and look for greater simplicity and authenticity

There are even those of us from the BB generation who have given it all up in search of respite from the din of society.

47 posted on 03/31/2006 12:26:43 PM PST by NYer (Discover the beauty of the Eastern Catholic Churches - freepmail me for more information.)
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To: All
I am not debating this statement:
“Kids today marinate in a sexually aggressive popular culture that teaches them that life is supposed to be an erotic free-for-all.”
I will say that many conservatives do not live in that world so they are totally unaware of the coming changes regarding this. This may or may not be good news but the coming GenX contributions to this pop culture often reflect the devastation and hopelessness brought about by the last few decades of pop culture garbage. What I am talking about is still very cutting edge but it will be more evident very soon. GenX got sold a bill of goods by the TV and they know it. Small early examples of what I am talking about can be seen in Fight Club and South Park.
48 posted on 03/31/2006 12:32:35 PM PST by The Toll
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To: TR Jeffersonian

ping


49 posted on 03/31/2006 12:54:13 PM PST by kalee
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To: The Toll
devastation and hopelessness and southpark?

he sounds like the taliban trying to bring in religious rule.
50 posted on 03/31/2006 1:16:11 PM PST by postaldave (McCain, you traitorous bastard)
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