Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Ralph’s Manifesto

...Hancock is really cooking with gas, as they say, on the pomocon blog. He’s issued a deeply thoughtful and most timely manifesto, which has produced a lively and
provocative discussion. At no extra charge, he’s added a great and deeply personal reading list. Click and scroll is my advice to you all.

Discussions - 2 Comments


I guess I was a little disappointed in this site, and quite frankly in the Lawler book. It strikes me as a site whereby the same blogger names take off their snarky political hats and try to sound more erudite. But the references to postmodernism are fundamentally misleading. More appropriately it should be called just mo-cons, not pomocons, since all the intellectual parameters are drawn from moderns and from Strauss. But there is no serious or critical engagement with Strauss thought, just sycophancy. A discussion of postmodernism requires an engagement with the sources of those movements, not rounding up the usual suspects like Fukuyama, Bloom, Percy, or Lasch. Locating the issue as something between Pascal and Rousseau just shows your complete lack of contemporary grasp of the issue.

Maybe a serious consideration of the arguments of Kant and Nietzsche and Heidegger as themselves conservatives, would have been more helpful, and the legacies of French deconstruction, German hermeneutics, Negri’s marxianism, post-structuralism and phenomenology are what is needed. It is Heidegger through whom all these rivers flow, certainly not Strauss.

It is also annoying to repeat this phrase ‘rightly understood’. It is like the NLT bloggers repeating the phrase ‘our Sarah’ as some sort of cutesy code phrase. Postmodernism ‘rightly understood’ just seems to mean postmodernism as understood by right-wing political theorists who want to sound like they are relevant to contemporary theoretical discourse but with no grounding in the original texts of postmodernism. Or it comes across as saying: we are correct in our assessments of the entire postmodernist movement, even prior to any engagement with the more serious works of that movement. It consigns your work to not being read by anyone outside your think tank realm.

Anyone can take a movement and make an adjectival frame out of it, like 'existential conservatives' - but it is not anything new or even interesting to do so.

But other than that, what did you like?

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