The theme is the intellectual decline of the right; I really am curious; can anyone write a decent foundation that they are in decline from.
commenter Charles in response to my post on whether the crisis in American conservatism will spread to Australia.
There are different elements to political movements, often with overlapping memberships, which can include interest groups, social groups, political parties and intellectuals. The intellectuals will often have influence well beyond their numbers, as the people most able to coherently articulate the movement’s goals and arguments. Their loss of confidence in their own side can be a sign of an actual or coming crisis in the broader movement; while their success in public debates and growing confidence can be a sign that a movement is on the rise.
In American politics, we are seeing that loss of confidence. Richard Posner’s own recent book and the post I quoted yesterday are one sign of this. Here is a man with ideas about markets that have in the past been on the radical end even for free marketeers (such as his idea for a market in babies) who now says that ‘we need a more active and intelligent government to keep our model of a capitalist economy from running off the rails.’ We have former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett calling for tax increases in a new book. Conservative intellectual Ross Douthat co-wrote a book calling for the Republicans to support government intervention to win back the working class vote.
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