June 2, 2008
THREE DECADES OF CONSERVATISM REGNANT AND ALL WE HAVE TO SHOW FOR IT IS GLOBAL PEACE AND PROSPERITY:
The Problem With Conservatism Is Conservatism (Greg Anrig, June 2, 2008, American Prospect)
George Packer's New Yorker piece, "The Fall of Conservatism," and the reactions to it among leading thinkers on the right leave little doubt that the patient under scrutiny is indeed gravely ill. But the wide assortment of sometimes contradictory diagnoses and cures suggested by various despondent conservatives in Packer's article and elsewhere all seem to miss the central problem: The main idea that propelled the conservative movement's political success -- that replacing the government with free-market forces would make everyone better off -- simply hasn't worked in practice.
Household net worth at the end of 2007 was $57.7 trillion and, as we avoid this supposed recession too, the American economy will have grown for 25 uninterrupted years since the conservative movement's success began. In addition, abortion has been significantly curtailed, we've added almost a hundred million new Americans, life expectancy is at record levels, crime rates have fallen precipitously, etc., etc. etc.. And not only have we liberated scores of nations but we are in one of the most peaceful epochs in human history and global GDP is growing at 4 or 5%. Little wonder that every country in the Anglosphere and nearly every party (with the conspicuous exception of the post-Bill Clinton Democrats) has adopted Third Way politics.
If this is what failure looks like, six billion folks need a whole lot more.Posted by Orrin Judd at June 2, 2008 1:05 PM