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February 21, 2006

The "Crunchy Cons" get some organization

Rod Dreher, an editor at the Dallas Morning News and contributor at The Corner, has been writing about what he calls "Crunchy Cons" or conservatives who have a bit of environmentalism and perhaps a touch of social ethic about them. Rod has turned this idea into a book and now has a permanent blog location on NRO for the Crunchies.

I may not be conservative enough to qualify as one of Rod's Crunchy Cons, but I sure like their ideas and approach. The new site features a "Crunchy Con Manifesto" (gotta get me one of those "manifesto" things.) Item number two summarizes the whole movement nicely:

2. Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff, and insufficiently concerned with the content of our individual and social character.

I think you could same the same about most of modern culture, not just the conservatives.

Personally, I'm whole-heartedly on board for most of the ten points, except perhaps for #6 and #7, which deal with reverence for the "Small, Local, Old, and Particular" and a suspicion of the drive for efficiency. I'm not going to argue against these ideas, but as much as I revere the old (much of the music on my iPod is more than 300 years old) I have a lot of faith in the new as well. I also like efficiency, but like any positive drive, it an be twisted to bad ends. Perhaps I am too technophilic to qualify as a true Crunchy Con.

In any case, the best thing here is someone taking a stand for the very old-fashioned conservative idea of stewardship and preservation. That the stewardship of the earth and its resources has become somehow associated with Leftist thinking is a mystery and a great shame. I would toss in concern for the climate as well. These issues ought to transcend politics, but, having been captured by the crafters of partisan "spin" have been terribly distorted and abused.

Rod indicates a suspicion of "Big Business" as well, linking it to "Big Government." There is some truth in this view, a lot of truth actually, but Rod should be careful to avoid the "anti-business" label. The environment and the climate have been unfairly characterizes thusly and it clouds the discussion. There is a lot of opportunity for business in the environmental challenges and also a great risk. Climate change is not good news for the agriculture industry, which despite lack of "coolness" is a very big dollar industry for the U.S. and others.

I have ordered Rod's book and will report on it. In the meantime, keep an eye on the new blog.

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Posted by Jay on February 21, 2006 at 01:42 PM | Permalink


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