Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Mr. Crunchy Con Expresses His Gratitude a very classy way for my uncharitable criticisms of his celebration of his own way of life. There really is something to crunchy idealism, once you get past its selective nostalgia and overbearing judgmentalism about decent, ordinary Americans. One big issue raised by Dreher and Dr. Pat Deneen: Does liberalism depend on virtues that liberalism can’t help but erode? Does liberalism have within it the seeds of its own destruction? (I’ve said more than once that there might be something a little too Marxist about the crunchies and their theorist MacIntyre, but Marx might not be totally wrong about everything.)

Discussions - 8 Comments

Good stuff from both Dreher and Deneen(follow link). Useful clarifications of their positions.

The gentlemen in question show that friendly criticism can be useful to all concerned. A nice moment in an ongoing (and, to my mind, unresolvable) debate among friends and fellow travelers.

I have to disagree about the crunchy con/Marxist link. Marxism is fundamentally a materialistic ideology, while the CC's seem to reject the idea that striving for material goods should be the aim of society. In this respect at least, they are total opposites.

I didn't see a link to your review. Is it online?

Kudos to Dreher--that really is a classy admission especially since Peter's review of him,while spot on in my view,can be pretty tough.
John, I think the connection Peter is drawing between Marxism and the Crunchies is twofold: both forward a searching critique of the impact liberalism has on the conditions for virtue and both seem to go too far in linking the possibility and exercise of virtue to material conditions. I really do appreciate both Dreher's and Pat's comments and the project of identifying the many ways modernity is hostile to virtue is an indispensable one---nevertheless, setting aside the issue of whether or not we're stuck with virtue we're certainly stuck with modernity and so the moet needful task is finding those parts of modernity that are conducive to virtue, or that can be practically transformed into something conducive, or that even make make clearer what virtue is...

Of course Rousseau could explain most of this problem, but neither the paelo cons nor the neo cons will listen. One is hung up in tradition, the other in philosophy. Any wonder why the GOP isn't getting along? Not to me.

Ivan, I can't tell you how much I loath the term "modernity".

As for the concept itself, it is largely defined by both a material and a cultural Marxism. Anyone who imagines it is at odds with Marxism is not paying attention.

Coining little phrases like 'bobo's and 'crunchy cons' is a pathetic substitute for serious thought.

Silly pseudonyms like Stertinius are pathetic substitutes for real names.

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