Saturday, October 21, 2006

dumbing-down of conservatism

* raimondo:
"The widely noted dumbing-down of conservatism has elevated the clueless, the vapid, and the downright dangerous to leadership positions in the movement. The radio shouters and boob-tube oracles have reduced the thoughtful philosophy of Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, and Frank S. Meyer to the braying, mindless sloganeering of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter. Their Bizarro World "conservatism" is an inversion of the original: it means big government and the surveillance state at home, and a "revolutionary" policy abroad. The noted conservative philosopher Claes Ryn aptly describes the post-9/11 Right as "neo-Jacobin," because it seems to have been generated by sheer bloodlust and a will to dominate.
It was never about "weapons of mass destruction," or Mohammed Atta supposedly high-fiving the Mukhabarat at Prague airport, and it sure as heck wasn't about "democracy," either. It was all about the "Ledeen Doctrine" – the joy of bashing "some crappy little country" against a wall. We did it because we could do it, if only for its cathartic effect.

The glee at the prospect of so much death and destruction is disturbing, to say the least, but these people condemn themselves out of their own mouths.
The Ledeen Doctrine – or what might be more properly called the Ledeen-Goldberg Doctrine – is surely "abstractly pro-war." It values war for its own sake, and glories in the cruelty of it. It is an expression of brazen sadism as the meaning and motive of U.S. foreign policy. Goldberg claims that not many war supporters held to this satanic doctrine: that is, not many agreed with him and Ledeen about the necessity of ritually sacrificing "some crappy little country" to the war god on a regular schedule. I, however, beg to differ. After all, this is not the sort of sentiment one would normally be proud of, or even admit to. In any case, the desire to punish the Arab world in some significant way as "payback" for 9/11 made the choice of targets largely irrelevant. According to the Ledeen-Goldberg Doctrine, it didn't have to be Iraq. It could just as easily have been Syria, Lebanon, Iran, or Pakistan.
I'm sure Goldberg would find much amusement in the concept that he was not so much pro-war as anti-antiwar, if only he had the wit to think of it. Yet one can only wonder at the complete vapidity of such a stance, which expects to be taken only half-seriously: it's an affectation substituting for a real argument, worn like an actor's mask. Every once in a while, however, the mask slips, and we get the Ledeen-Goldberg Doctrine, i.e., pure evil."

* i've been meaning to post superteemu's comment from the other day:
"I don't know the reason behind Raimondo's love affair with Putin - do the Russians simply pay him, or does he wear tinfoil hat press-formed from thick aluminium sheet, obstructing blood flow to make him think that all foreign US adversaries are "good".

I was established reader and supporter of AWC for years, but those sermons made me cancel my backing some time ago. Here, "living next to a bear", we have enough independent experts of Russia of our own, reporting of concentration of power to Putin men. True - lots of good things happening there too - but on many fronts, the developments looks even worse than on US."

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