Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Whither Red Toryism, or Does Reaction Have a Future?

Russell Arben Fox has done what the Pithlord has not, and read the Bouchard-Taylor report. Keeping up a somewhat Canadian theme, he has interesting reflections on Red Toryism in light of all the "whither the right" talk going on in the Great Republic right now.

One thought I had (and it is hardly original) is that we do live in George Grant's world as well as Francis Fukuyama's in the following sense: the only meaningful opposition to capitalism is conservative or reactionary. It is easy enough to oppose capitalism on the ground that as a result of its subversive and out-of-control dynamics, everything solid melts into air. It is absurd to oppose it on the grounds that it fetters the development of the forces of production.

We can be conservatives -- upholding some existing institution (possibly even biological humanity) against the trinity of individualism-science-markets. We can be reactionaries, deciding it is all too late anyway. Or we can be libertarians and decide the future's so bright we have to wear shades.

At the same time, it does not seem that any viable political coalition can be based on being consistently conservative or consistently libertarian. The trade union and lifelong marriage both seem doomed, but no one is really going to defend or oppose them both (except for intellectual circles as politically irrelevant as the reactionaries who refuse political engagement on principle).

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