A Suggestion to Jonah Goldberg – How About This Idea for a Sequel?
Earlier today I noted that, from what I can tell Jonah Goldberg’s book, Liberal Fascism, is intended to make the term fascist meaningless, the same way Reagan made the term fiscally responsible meaningless. I admit to not having read the book – merely a review that was pretty fawning and that seems to have pleased Goldberg.
But still, I was thinking where Goldberg could go from here… and the idea of sequel came to me: Progressive Conservativism, wherein Goldberg could argue that conservatives are the true progressives. I won’t bother to flesh it out, but here are some points he could use as notes:
1. On the economy, the theme for conservatives is Schumpeter’s creative destruction. That’s all about progress, as opposed to keeping things as they are. And they don’t want to do it the old-fashioned way Adam Smith described. Nope, if the big boys get in trouble, they deserve a bail out. Even the method of promoting progress progresses!
2. Conservatives like the military but don’t like taxes. When you think about the ramification of these two facts, they want to try an experiment (i.e., progress!) – what happens when you create a large, heavily armed organization and don’t raise enough money to pay them? (I think most conservatives ignore the fact that this experiment has actually been tried before, and the outcome is always the same.)
3. Conservatives aren’t fond of environmental rules and regulations. What could be more in line with rejecting the past than looking to a future where nature itself is completely transformed from what it was in the past? Pump enough garbage into the air and we’ll learn to eat lead and breathe sulphur and like it. At least those of us who choose to do so will. Those who reject progress will not. And that will also be progress.
4. And then there’s science. Conservatives not only want progress in science, they want science itself to undergo progress for once. Since Galileo showed up, science has consisted of observation, formulation of hypotheses, testing, and evaluation of hypotheses. But conservatives have introduced a streamlined approach, applicable to biology, atmospheric sciences, and pretty much everything else: say it and make it so (or, as in the parlance of the current Presidential administration, creating its own reality). Keep the naysayers quiet and what’s left can only be the truth. That is progress. (Of course, this one has been tried in the past too, but apparently things come around.)
Anyway, that’s what I got for now, but I figure its a good start. Progressive Conservativism by Jonah Goldberg – look for it on bookstore shelves in a few years.