If you’ve been following this blog so far this week, you can tell I’m fairly clearly on the left side of the political spectrum – especially by American standards. Nevertheless, the blogs I personally read most often and find most interesting right now are avowedly conservative (and American): Front Porch Republic, and
Why are these the most interesting? First, it’s always good and mind-opening to know how the other half thinks, and these sites have very intelligent and well written conservative commentary. But there’s considerably more than that. They’re not typical right-wingers by any means. They’re generally strongly environmentalist and deeply disillusioned with George W. Bush, while at the same time hostile to abortion and gay marriage. In a sense these sites are all about being genuinely conservative: wanting to preserve the traditions and ways of life accumulated through generations, against the capitalist market – and the government that supports it, and the libertine pop culture that it creates. The philosopher they take as a founder is Wendell Berry, a public intellectual who defends (and lives) the life of the simple self-sufficient farmer.
What you’ll find there is, in short, a consistent public philosophy, probably more consistent than either the left or the right usually is. Moreover, it’s a philosophy concerned with making us better people, which is something I believe to be absolutely essential – compared to libertarians and liberals, for whom the greatest concern is often just making sure people can have and do more of what they want.
I have many criticisms of this philosophy – the “crunchy” views as well as the right-wing views. But I nevertheless find it tremendously stimulating, one of the most thought-provoking sets of ideas around today. It’s something I have learned a good deal from already, and expect to learn a good deal more.
Tom (Grundlegung) said:
Thanks for posting this — that Front Porch Republic site looks excellent, even to an unrepentant Marxist like myself.
No problem, and welcome to the site. One of the points they regularly make is that radical and green lefties often have more in common with traditionalist conservatives than they do with liberal capitalists on the left or right.