September 24, 2004

THE LIMITS OF TOLERATION:

Bush and the rise and rise of the right: Australia and the rest of the world should get used to the ascendency of the US right (Gregory Hywood, September 23, 2004, The Age)

US allies and foes alike should understand this radical approach to strategic policy is no aberration. The conservative agenda is now deeply embedded in the thinking of the American polity.

In shaping Australia's security arrangements, John Howard has grasped the new American reality. Mark Latham has yet to do so. Labor still seems imbued with the notion that there is some serious moderate alternative. If it is, it is only in detail, not intent.

In their new book The Right Nation - Conservative Power in America, US correspondents for The Economist, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, explore the unique nature of American conservatism.

They note this style of conservatism, which blends individual freedom and morality, exists in no other Western country. They note the contradictory nature of the movement: godless, academic neo-conservatives co-exist with fundamentalist Christians; Western libertarians snuggle up to southern militarists.

But these groups subsume their substantial differences in their common dislike of liberal orthodoxy. It is a movement bound together by the notion of certainty, a point Bush grasped perfectly when he united conservatives in the war on terror.

"For the (American) Right terrorism is a simple thing: for the rest of the world it is a complex debate," Micklethwait and Wooldridge write. They quote a key Republican strategist as saying: "Our people, like the President, deal in absolutes. They (our European allies and the Democrats) are relativists."


Neocons and libertarians are loathe to admit it but their ideologies are completely dependent on the predomination of society by Judeo-Christian morality, so the alliance is natural, if reluctant.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 24, 2004 11:07 AM
Comments

What are you again, OJ? A Theo-con? Is that a slur?

Posted by: at September 24, 2004 4:30 PM

I would consider myself a theocon.

Posted by: oj at September 24, 2004 4:54 PM
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