Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Quotation Of The Day:Andrew Bacevich May Turn Me Into A Conservative Edition

From this post at The American Conservative:
Well, I’ll admit to prejudices, so let me lay them out.
(Fans of Ayn Rand or Milton Friedman will want to stop reading here and flip to the next article. If Ronald Reagan’s your hero, sorry—you won’t like what’s coming. Ditto regarding Ron Paul. And if in search of wisdom you rely on anyone whose byline appears regularly in any publication owned by Rupert Murdoch, well, you’ve picked up the wrong magazine.)
The conservative tradition I have in mind may not satisfy purists. It doesn’t rise to the level of qualifying as anything so grandiose as a coherent philosophy. It’s more of a stew produced by combining sundry ingredients. The result, to use a word that ought warm the cockles of any conservative’s heart, is a sort of an intellectual slumgullion.
Here’s the basic recipe. As that stew’s principal ingredients, start with generous portions of John Quincy Adams and his grandson Henry. Fold in ample amounts of Randolph Bourne, Reinhold Niebuhr, and Christopher Lasch. For seasoning, throw in some Flannery O’Connor and Wendell Berry—don’t skimp. If you’re in a daring mood, add a dash of William Appleman Williams. To finish, sprinkle with Frank Capra—use a light hand: too sweet and the concoction’s ruined. Cook slowly. (Microwave not allowed.) What you get is a dish that is as nutritious as it is tasty
Niebuhr and Lasch challenge and are as relevant today as ever. A student gave me a single volume collection of Henry Adams works. His life in politics was, to put it mildly, fascinating. I admit that I don't recall reading anything by Williams or Bourne. Further, Capra is cloying, but every thinking person should read O'Connor's short stories annually.

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