Posts tagged ‘Barry Goldwater’

Taking Krugman to the Woodshed

My friend Brink Lindsey is usually pretty measured in his writing.  So it was entertaining to see him take Paul Krugman out to the woodshed:

How can someone as intelligent and informed as Krugman
concoct an interpretation of the post-World War II era that does such
violence to the facts? How can someone so familiar with the intricate
complexities of social processes convince himself that history is a
simple matter of good guys versus bad guys? Because, for whatever
reason, he has swapped disinterested analysis and scholarship for
ideological partisanship. Here,
in a revealing choice of phrase, he paraphrases Barry Goldwater's
notorious line: "Partisanship in the defense of liberty is no vice."

To be a partisan is, by definition, to see the world partially
rather than objectively: to identify wholeheartedly with the
perspectives of one particular group and, at the extreme, to discount
all rival perspectives as symptoms of intellectual or moral corruption.
And the perspective Krugman has chosen to identify with is the
philosophically incoherent, historically contingent grab bag of
intellectual, interest group, and regional perspectives known as
postwar American liberalism.

Of course, over the period that Krugman is addressing, the contents
of that grab bag have changed fairly dramatically: from
internationalist hawkishness in World War II and the early Cold War to
a profound discomfort with American power in the '70s and '80s to a
jumble of rival views today; from cynical acquiescence in Jim Crow to
heroic embrace of the civil rights movement to the excesses of identity
group politics to a more centrist line today; from sympathy for
working-class economic hardship to hostility to working-class culture
and back again. Yet with a naive zeal that leaves even Cuomo visibly
nonplussed at several points in the interview, Krugman embraces the
shifting contents of this grab bag as the one true path of virtue.

Employment Opportunities

The Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute is looking for a Director of Administration and a Director of Development.  If you have always wanted to convert your desire for small government into a paying job, this might be your chance.  From their web site:

The Goldwater Institute was founded in 1988 by a small group of
entrepreneurial Arizonans with the blessing of Sen. Barry Goldwater.
Like our namesake, the Goldwater Institute board and staff share a
belief in the innate dignity of individual human beings, that America
is a nation that grew great through the initiative and ambition of
regular men and women, and, that while the legitimate functions of
government are conducive to freedom, unrestrained government has proved
to be a chief instrument in history for thwarting individual liberty.
Through research and education, the Goldwater Institute works to
broaden the parameters of policy discussions to allow consideration of
policies consistent with the founding principles of free societies....

With the legislature introducing thousands of new bills every year,
it's nearly impossible for the average person to know when or where his
liberties are threatened, much less do anything about it. The Goldwater
Institute works on behalf of Arizonans to keep watch on government and
to expand school choice, restore economic liberty, protect private
property, and affirm Arizona's independence against unconstitutional
federal encroachments.

Republicans Running Away from Property Rights?

Readers of this blog will know that every time I have read condemnations of Janice Rogers Brown with quotes from her that are "out of the mainstream", I have become more enamored of her. 

JRB is opposed by the left and the Democratic Party because she is a strong supporter of property rights against government intervention.  Reason has an interesting article noting that while Democrats in Congress were quick to attack her small government libertarianism, Republicans pointedly did not in turn embrace it.  First, a reminder of why Brown makes everyone nervous:

Property and contract are, for her, the lifeblood of liberty; and when, in
the late 1930s, the country and the Supreme Court began treating property
rights cavalierly, they set loose an inexorably advancing leviathan state.
To Brown, moreover, it makes no sense to treat speech and privacy rights as
sacrosanct but property rights as trivial, when the Founders viewed all
those rights as of a piece.

More striking than Brown's philosophy is her tendency to express it in
language reminiscent of Barry Goldwater in his intemperate prime. In a 2000
speech to the Federalist Society in Chicago, she said, "We no longer find
slavery abhorrent. We embrace it. We demand more. Big government is not just
the opiate of the masses. It is the opiate: the drug of choice for
multinational corporations and single moms; for regulated industries and
rugged Midwestern farmers and militant senior citizens." She spoke of the
Supreme Court's belated acquiescence to the New Deal as "the Revolution of
1937," resulting today in "a debased, debauched culture." There is much more
in this vein, and not just in her speeches. In a 2002 dissent involving a
San Francisco housing regulation, she declared that private property "is now
entirely extinct in San Francisco," replaced by "a neo-feudal regime."

And the Republic response?

Otherwise, Republicans ran away from Brown's ideas as fast as their legs
could carry them. Specter listed, approvingly, government regulations she
has upheld. Sessions: "She has ruled on hundreds of cases affirming
government regulations, for heaven's sake." Sen. Jim DeMint, (R-S.C.):
"While she would likely describe herself as a person who believes in small
government and limited regulations ... Justice Brown has voted consistently
to uphold economic, environmental, consumer, and labor regulations." Lott:
"She has consistently voted to uphold regulations in every walk of life."
You would almost think she was Walter Mondale.

It is depressing to me to think the Republican party is returning to its 1970's big-government conservative roots.