A New Politics

2004-02-06

The traditional picture of political alignments is left vs. right, liberal vs. conservative. The always-provocative Frederick Turner argues that the traditional picture may soon be rotated 90 degrees. The result? A spectrum that is libertarian vs. communitarian rather than liberal vs. conservative. (Never mind that the original meaning of 'liberal' was what we nowadays call 'libertarian', and that modern-day communitarians are quite conservative.) Jay Manifold thinks that sounds good, but disagrees about the likelihood of such a major realignment.

Me, I'm becoming more and more anti-political. Is the best politics no politics? Thoreau said:

I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, "That government is best which governs not at all."

Put me down as a Thoreauvian in that regard.

Paradoxically, I'm not in a huge hurry to create a fully voluntary society (no bomb-throwing revolutionaries need apply at this domain), in part because I'm still not sure what it would look like, in part because I think it's too early, and in part because I think there are matters more important than fighting the state. So I guess for now I'm a moderate anarchist...


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