Monday, November 03, 2008

The Way Out, pt III

Somewhere in my personal list of useless conservatives, Austin Bramwell has a place of honor. So I was somewhat surprised to find that I actually agree with most of his latest effort for the American Conservative. His point is that various conservative intellectuals don't need the conservative movement to thrive. In fact many of them will do better if they are not regarded as being attached to it. (Though, let's also acknowledge that policy implementation and electoral coalitions do require the conservative movement, but we'll leave that for another day.)

In any case, Bramwell mentions an interesting group of scholars, many of which wouldn't be identified as conservative to most people anyway. It's funny that Bramwell cites them as failures of the conservative movement, in particular the failure of the conservative movement to produce and nurture such people. Of course the unspoken assumption behind this is that the such people in some way "ought" to belong to conservative movement. And the only reason why Bramwell assumes this in the first place is that we all take for granted that the liberal establishment essentially been brain dead for thirty years or so and so any public intellectual with a modicum of creativity or who has broken through the ossification of the modern academy is assumed to be conservative by default.

It's very likely we'll need some ideas that we've never thought of before to get out of the straits that we're in. If Sen Barack Obama continues to be a rubberstamp for the liberal Democratic establishment, we'll never get them.

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