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From: Dan Parmenter <dan@lec.com>
Subject: (urth) politics
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 07:58:29 

From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>

>	4. He is fully capable of sympathizing with anti-establishment movements,
>as we see in "Hour of Trial." But notice that while Gene Wolfe marches with
>the radicals, he does so praying the Lord's Prayer!

Which is of course well within the traditions of "radicalism" here, as
in the civil rights movement.

>	5. The whole PC movement is so incredibly bigoted and anti-intellectual
>that it is hard to see why anyone, conservative or liberal, would credit it!

I think the value of what is loosely described as the "PC movement"
might be that despite the examples you gave of conservatives opposed
to colonialism, it seems harder to find such critiques among today's
mainstream conservatives, though Pat Buchanan occasionally goes in
that direction.  Of course Buchanan seems like a pretty marginal
figure among mainstream conservatives these days, despite his
demonization by the "PC" crowd.  The severest critiques of American
colonialism these days seem to come out of the left.  Consider Noam
Chomsky who, despite calling himself an anarchist is pretty clearly in
the leftist tradition.  His critiques of American corporations and
foreign policy and in particular, his views on how the media
whitewashes these things are extremely influential in the academic
lefty world.  And of course, not all academic lefties are particularly
hardcore "PC" on quite a range of other issues.  But that's part of
the problem with the straw-man called "PC".  People who believe in
real affirmative action, which much like Catholicism bears little
resemblence to what is often called "affirmative action", end up
getting tarred with same brush as those who insist on calling
overweight people "vertically challenged".

From: Miles Goosens <outdoorminer@mindspring.com>

>Not to go entirely off-topic, but what Jim is talking about serves to
>highlight the radical disjuncture between what most people think
>"conservative" means vs. what academics usually mean by the same term.  As
>Jim points out in #1, philosophical conservatism often questions the
>morality of a "laissez-faire" market-driven economy, whereas those
>popularly identified with "conservatism" usually fetishize "free markets"
>and, in at least this sense, embrace liberalism just as heartily as
>But if you tell people that their "conservatives" are really liberals,
>you'll get nothing but puzzled stares.

I believe what you are talking about what is generally known as
"classical liberalism" of the sort that Milton Friedman articulates
rather well.  I think that this is just a semantic game and is best
avoided; however, the essential point is taken that these labels are
indeed quite slippery.  One of the real annoyances of modern life is
when one is asked to characterize one's "politics", as if this could
be as easily summed up in a few short conversational nuggets.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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