Friday, March 10

The Right Exhibits far More Cultural Diversity than Does the Left

I read something about the Crunchy Cons book the other day (I can't find the column) and of course, doing a quick Google search, I found the Crunchy Con blog over at NRO, and plenty of mentions all around. It's interesting, because I think my mother is like this. She is big on natural things, organic foods, and living a healthy lifestyle, but she is pro-life (Thank GOD!), deeply committed to our faith, and most definitely not a liberal.

Gene Veith has an interesting piece on the various shades of conservatives, and the healthy diversity we have on the right. That's a lot more than you can say about the left. He commented on Crunchy Cons:
There are even "granola conservatives," or, in columnist Rod Dreher's memorable phrase, "crunchy conservatives." These folks resolutely oppose mass society, pop culture, cookie-cutter industrialism, big corporations, and the various travesties of both modernism and postmodernism. They can come across as environmentalists, valuing nature over commercial development, and they tend to prefer organic food. But unlike leftists, they oppose abortion, are skeptical of feminism, and tend to be religious. They are conservatives because they are pre-modernists.
Random House has the "Crunchy Con Manifesto" which I thought was very interesting. I'm including it here, with some comments.
A Crunchy Con Manifesto

1. We are conservatives who stand outside the conservative mainstream; therefore, we can see things that matter more clearly. [I hope and desire that this be the case for me, but I can't honestly say that is the case.]

2. Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character. [This is true, and a clear danger to the continued improvement of our society. Not that economic growth is bad! Far from it, economic prosperity has saved millions of lives, and improved the quality of life for millions more. I hope I can stay focused on what matters--people's and families' lives being changed and improved.]

3. Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government. [I have failed on this one. This does NOT mean big government should regulate big business. It means there needs to be process for greater accountability from big business. This is a principle that goes way back to Adam Smith and Wealth of Nations.]

4. Culture is more important than politics and economics. [Not sure. Perhaps we need to define what is culture, and what is economics.]

5. A conservatism that does not practice restraint, humility, and good stewardship--especially of the natural world--—is not fundamentally conservative. [Good point. I agree. It's time that conservatives took back the issue of natural conservation, and made it a sensible thing. It should not be the issue of the extremist.]

6. Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost always better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract.

7. Beauty is more important than efficiency.

8. The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our senses to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom. [I agree. Taking a step back, or taking a break, always helps. But, I do think there can be authentic beauty through media. It's not usually from the pop-culture though.]

9. We share Russell Kirk's conviction that "the institution most essential to conserve is the family." [Yes, yes, yes!]