"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wFriday, April 05, 2002

TWO RIGHT WING DUST UPS: The first fracas is between Weyrichite William Lind and the Discovery Institute's Philip Gold. Gold notes, correctly, that cultural conservatives are losing traction in the area of collective morality because, frankly, nobody likes a scold anymore. But he also says something much more substantial.

"Cultural conservatives," Gold says "have never really understood diversity..." They look at all the bad aspects of it and diagnose it as rot, through and through; a perception that is "not wrong, just grievously incomplete." The project that most label diversity attempts "to create a civilization in which there exists no normative center, no matter how tolerant and benign, from which all else is deviation, no matter how accepted or acceptable."

This isn't a vision that Gold completely buys into, but he sees its appeal and understands that its effects have not all been disastrous. He sees the future cultural skirmishes - called Culture War II - as a battle between centrifugal and centripetal forces, in which cultural conservatives are fighting for limited victories, trying to persuade rather than scold their fellow men into seeing that they at least have a point. And, through persuasion, they may be able to affect the country for the better.

Enter Lind, who argues, a la Paul Weyrich’s famous Moses-like call, for the cultural conservatives to come out and separate themselves from their fellow pagans. Lind uses homeschoolers as an example of people who are “freeing themselves and their families from the deadly conditioning mechanisms of Brave New World - television, video games, public schools, pop music, etc.” Gold’s problem, says Lind, is that he is “in Washington” and thus cannot see a giant grass roots movement being mobilized in "fly-over land" to take back the masses from the blanking amoral elites.

Yes, Gold is in Washington. Washington State. Methinks that Gold, whose new book I'm reviewing for a future issue of The Stranger, is the more persuasive of the two. But maybe I'm unclean for even suggesting that.

Second, sometimes NRnik Ben Domenech has a meditation on Christian libertarianism. Such analyses are usually badly written, abstract, boring, overly dogmatic and have the net effect of making me want to either change the channel or strangle myself with my shoelaces, but this one was lucid and almost enjoyable.

posted by Jeremy at 2:07 PM