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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
Twilight of Conservatism -- John Derbyshire on NRO
One of the reasons I love John Derbyshire is that he is so cynical. (Another is that he trained as a mathematician, and wrote a great book about the Reimann Hypothesis, but that is a post for another day.) While other writers in National Review cheerfully make the case for conservative principles, Derbyshire always gently reminds us that things are going to hell. He reminds us that at the heart of conservatism are a deep suspicion of both state power and of human nature.

His most recent article is even more pessimistic than usual. He makes the case that Labor's recent victory marks the end of conservatism in England and that conservatism in America is also in its last era. He concludes
I believe, in fact, the trend lines show that we in the conservative movement are living in false hope. Our recent apparent advances — the breaking of the media monopoly, the defeat of Jean-Jacques Kerry and his sidekick John "ATLA" Edwards — are not indicative of any permanent revival, but only transient death-fevers, like the bright flushed complexion that comes at the last stages of tuberculosis.

Britain today, the U.S. tomorrow. There will be no more Churchills or Thatchers, no more Coolidges or Reagans, no more Rehnquists or Scalias. We are living in the twilight of conservatism.
Read the whole thing. I need a drink.
I hate to be optimistic (I'm usually the pessimist), but I think he's as wrong as Fukuyama was when he announced the end of history.
You mean history didn't end? I better get to the dry cleaners, stat.
Irina: I hope you're right. I have to believe that there are still some who want smaller gov't, individual liberty, and are skeptical of utopian social engineering.

Ralphie: You just wanted to say "stat" 'cause you learned it from that medical TV show you posted about.
Not true.

I learned it from ER, like everybody else.
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