Crushes in the conservative world

The Strib reprinted a column by Andrew Klavan, from the LA Times, about the conservative coming out of playwright David Mamet. It is equal parts crooning about the superiority of the conservative ideals and liberal bashing.

Gush Alert

Mamet, on the other hand, is a pillar of the arts. I don’t know if he’s America’s greatest living playwright, but I’m hard-pressed to think of a better one.

Now this confuses me a little

The journey that Mamet, 60, has made from being what he calls a “brain-dead liberal” to acknowledging the genius of philosophers such as Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman is a difficult one for an artist.

Milton Friedman as a philosopher, I thought he was an economist. That 1976 Nobel Prize in Economics reinforces my impression of him.

“Yes,” we might say to ourselves, “it certainly does seem that history has vindicated those warmongering right-wingers who opposed the Soviet Union. And really, in secret, one must admit that women and men are pretty fundamentally different. It does seem true, as well, that government programs manifestly worsen the problems they’re designed to solve, whereas freedom in markets and ideas always seems strangely to improve things. … But that doesn’t mean I’m a conservative! Conservatives are mean, racist, sexist, greedy — and they hate gay people, who are an artist’s colleagues and friends! I’m nothing like that.”

So Mamet and Klavan are going to be protesting the economic stimulus package and the recent bailout of Bear Stearns, after all that is government intervention, a tainting of the purity of the free market, which at times is like a whole new religion (without tax exempt status). Where are those protests?

But he also will discover a right wing he never knew. He will discover thinkers who seek historical and moral truth as if it really mattered, and writers who defend liberty as if it were what in fact it is: the prerequisite of full humanity. Rather than the low and tiresome obsession of the left with the color of people’s skins, he will find people who embrace a philosophical colorblindness. He will meet women of intelligence and competence who — mirabile dictu — don’t despise men and manliness but openly admire them.

Ah, colorblindness, code for we can’t be overly racists any more, so instead we will cry racism when programs (affirmative action) attempt to balance that institutional racism that exists in American society.

Where are the all the conservative writers who are decrying the loss of civil liberties to the Patriot Act? And on the woman issue, I am sure seeing independent woman who consider themselves equals (and maybe still be attracted to Brawny man) causes Klavan to cross the street at night, they are so scary and dangerous.

I did a little looking at this Klavan person, he is now a contributing editor to a quarterly magazine by the Manhattan Institute. What kind of company does he keep at the MI?

Looking toward the future, the Manhattan Institute launched the Young Leaders Circle in January 2007, to provide a forum for young professionals in the New York metropolitan area interested in free-market ideas and public policy. The circle already has over 100 members, who hear such leading thinkers as David Brooks, Shelby Steele, William Kristol, and Steve Forbes discuss the pressing issues of the day in an evening lecture and cocktail party series.

Of course, this same quarterly journal also features a well known name from the run up to the Iraq invasion, Judith Miller.

The MI is very free-market (which also means anti-regulation) and looks to be libertarian with healthy doses of self-reliance (anti welfare, will social welfare) in their ideology. Clearly a think tank that is at odds with my world outlook. Although one of their writers did come out against the Bear Stearns bailout.



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