A reader suggests that there may be some post fodder in the Richard Posner’s recent comments about the decline of the American ‘conservative’ movement. These are the key passages:
My theme is the intellectual decline of conservatism, and it is notable that the policies of the new conservatism are powered largely by emotion and religion and have for the most part weak intellectual groundings. That the policies are weak in conception, have largely failed in execution, and are political flops is therefore unsurprising. The major blows to conservatism, culminating in the election and programs of Obama, have been fourfold: the failure of military force to achieve U.S. foreign policy objectives; the inanity of trying to substitute will for intellect, as in the denial of global warming, the use of religious criteria in the selection of public officials, the neglect of management and expertise in government; a continued preoccupation with abortion; and fiscal incontinence in the form of massive budget deficits, the Medicare drug plan, excessive foreign borrowing, and asset-price inflation.
…And then came the financial crash last September and the ensuing depression. These unanticipated and shocking events have exposed significant analytical weaknesses in core beliefs of conservative economists concerning the business cycle and the macroeconomy generally.
I’ll leave detailed discussion of the American scene to others who follow it more closely than I do, though Posner’s list seems broadly right to me. What struck me most when I read it was (again) the large differences between the political right (I’ll use this is as a less confusing catch-all term than Posner’s ‘conservatism’) in America and Australia.
Continue reading “Will the crisis in American ‘conservatism’ spread to Australia?”