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May 24, 2004

Which Conservative Ideology?

Matt Y agrees that GOP power has actually been quite successful in helping the wealthy but this isn't part of conservativism the ideology-- which he equates with "traditional morality and small government."

But the triumph of pro-corporate market fundamentalism is a core part of at least a wing of conservatism, from Milton Friedman to supply side economics to the Federalist Society. These folks always were always more concerned about government protecting property interests than limiting government per se. Look at intellectual property rights-- the economic right has been demanding that China -- China for gods sake-- increase its government repression to get rid of software and entertainment piracy.

That Matt sees this stuff as tangential to "true" conservatism is exactly the point-- like a lot of liberals he's more obsessed with the culture war, while thinking the economic war can be managed once a few good technocrats are put into office under a nice liberal President.

While I'll defend Clinton relative to Reagan and the Bushes and want Kerry to win, Robert Rubin or the equivalent that Kerry will appoint is not going to confront head-on the economic warfare that working people are facing, at both the government level and by private sector corporate organizing. And the fact that liberals don't take the economic component of conservatism seriously enough is exactly why the rightwing can get away with it given the often deadening media silence.

Posted by Nathan at May 24, 2004 07:33 AM