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Thursday, November 18, 2004

Conservative? Liberal? Republocrat? Demolican? No diff...

From the always insightful, clear, and convincing Anthony Gregory at LewRockwell.com, excerpts from his latest, Down With Left and Right:
The Republican and Democratic Parties have none of the virtues of the radical Left or hard-core Right, and most of the pitfalls. They don’t seek to abolish private property like the nuts on the Left, or, at least at this moment, wage total war on the entire Middle East, like some of the nuts on the Right want to. But they incrementally deliver the worst of the fringe brands of statism, even as they give us none of the antiauthoritarian inclinations you’d find on either side.

The two major parties are nearly identical. They govern from the center, pursuing the same policies with different rhetorical and aesthetic cloaks to disguise them. The Republicans build up the warfare-police-welfare state, dressed up in a way that dishonestly appears to honor tradition, national security, the family, and capitalism. The Democrats give us a welfare-warfare-police state that dishonestly appears to appeal to the values of equality, international humanitarianism, the working class, and liberal democracy.


The reality is this: the confused secular blue state socialist types are just as capable of right-wing warfare, when they’re in power, as the confused religious red state conservative folks, who are in turn just as capable of welfarism when they’re the ones in power. The problem is the power. I would argue that, right now, the Right is in fact more dangerous because they’re in power. Even the good Rightists become less of a check on government when the bad Rightists run the state.

But does it really mean anything to be on the Left or Right? Culturally, it might mean something, even a great deal. It might say something about one’s attitude toward homosexuality, immigration, abortion, gun ownership, prayer in schools, hunting, rock concerts, or diet. Politically, this often translates into bitter division over manufactured controversies, trivialities, and issues that shouldn’t be issues at all. Once the state gets involved, the two sides yell and scream at each other about whether the government should license homosexual marriages or teach Creationism in schools. From a purely principled point of view, most of these stakes, as artificially high as they have been raised by the political process, shouldn’t be cause for such resentment between people. If there were no government schools or government marriage licenses, the political issues surrounding them would disappear in an instant.


[T]hat’s the real difference, politically, between Left and Right these days. It’s become a stupid fight between tofu and rib eye, between rock music and country-western.

For those of us who like rib eye and rock music – or who prefer to have all these choices available – we have nowhere to go, at least in the established political spectrum. Let us work toward abolishing this preposterous Left/Right nonsense, and show the good people on both sides that they’re allying with their own enemies in a false battle, when instead they should be working with us to get the government to leave us alone so we can all pick our own meals, choose our own music, and pursue our own happiness in what precious little time we have in this world.


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