Jordan Bloom At The American Conservative: ‘When You Have No Hometown To Go Back To’

Full piece here.

-There’s no place like home

-Language is the only homeland (for poets, especially).

It’s a challenge to try and keep up with the demographic changes going on in America right now.

Do you want to be around family?  Do you need to be around family for economic reasons?  Where is meaning and group membership coming from in your life?

‘As Linker points out in his review, it’s the idea of returning home that separates the Drehers and Kauffmans from simply advocating ruralism. He writes, “If you live in a coastal city or suburb, the supremely unconservative message appears to be: Pull up your shallow roots and relocate to a region of the country where you can start over with a simpler, more humane, and happier life.”’

I suspect this may be part of a larger conservative trend, seeking to regroup around family, church, civic clubs and perhaps, a concept of home.  It should be pointed out that a large open market and economic liberalism don’t necessarily lead to social conservatism, at least as some of the current thinking on Margaret Thatcher’s England suggests in her wake.  You can wrest the economy from the unions and from the maw of nationalization, but so much economic freedom may be at odds with the good, moral, upstanding, civic-minded citizens desired on that vision.

In a word:  rooted.

The Reagan and Thatcher eras had in common a fight against socialism, or creeping statism and secular communitarianism and collectivism.  If your ‘community’ tends to be a city, then diversity and multiculturalism will likely have more relevance in your life as practical glue to bring various people together, even if you live in a religious enclave.  If you live in a city, your politics is more likely to be machine politics, and corrupt in many cases, and a path for immigrants to attain a better life and more control.  Such is human nature.

This may also be a bend in the road at which we can observe conservatives and libertarians more likely to part company.  Libertarians tend to draw a ring around the individual and proceed from there.

Here’s a quote from this short essay I wrote, trying to contrast Brooklyn hipsters (many of whom, I maintain, come from the suburbs), and Charles Murray’s vision together (perhaps not successfully):

‘I can understand why many conservatives and traditional thinkers are upset about the decline, as they see it, of our culture.  They arguably control much less of it than before, and have much less influence in the public square than they used to, as does organized religion.  Many people with conservative views feel targeted by Hollywood and the media generally, as though it’s turned against them, espousing ideas which undermine the virtues and duties which maintain civil society.  Even the technology sector tends to vote non-Republican.

Enough! goes the refrain.

Perhaps we could take a look at hipster culture for some clarification (about much I will invariably be wrong):

Instead of how many conservatives might want individuals to live;  looking for meaning and group membership through church and civic organizations, intimacy and love directly through marriage, and vocation through traditional means of work, many hipsters (those who can afford it) withdraw into a bubble of irony, seeming to lack outward enthusiasm for anything.

They tend to seek meaning and group membership (while remaining totally individualistic) through the arts, fashion, music and popular music.  There is some real drug-use there, and a few real artists.  There are definite counter-cultural undercurrents as well.  Intimacy and love are explored further away from marriage, but maybe not terribly far (gay marriage is now the hot topic).  Vocation for hipsters often incorporates ideas of the local, communal, environmentally sustainable, and more often anti-corporate. Sometimes it can veer into the collectivist.

Haven’t we seen these folks before?  I’ve heard the argument that they are less radical, and milder copies of the beats and original hipsters.’

How are the economy and technology, meaning and family, the rural/urban, red state/blue state divides, affecting your life?

Are we inevitably drifting towards a secular, more European-style society?


First National Bank of Houlton, Maine

Related On This Site:   Richard Epstein, libertarian law/economics thinker at Chicago, says family, churches, and clubs aren’t enough, and open markets and a growing pie should fill in the gaps in a pluralist society of over 300 million people: Link From A Reader: ‘Richard Epstein Introduces Chicago’s Best Ideas To Students’

Is technology making isolated individuals out of us, eroding civil society? Adam Garfinkle At The American Interest-’Hey, You’re Truly Unlimited: Didn’t You Know?’

What might the 3 wings of conservatism be?:  Monday Quotation From Charles Kesler And A Few Thoughts on Conservatism

Charles Murray is trying to get virtue back with the social sciences, and admits we can’t turn back time:The Hoover Institution Via Youtube: Charles Murray On ‘Coming Apart’

Good luck doing having a conservative revival in The People’s Republic Of California:  Victor Davis Hanson Via Youtube Via Uncommon Knowledge: ‘The New Old World Order’Victor Davis Hanson At The City Journal: ‘California, Here We Stay’

Some concentrated wealth on top, a stalled legislature with members who know how to play the game…and a service sector beneath…that probably can’t go on forever: …From The WSJ: ‘Joel Kotkin: The Great California Exodus’

The NY Times op-ed writer and a practicing Catholic? William Saletan and Ross Douthat At Slate: ‘Liberalism Is Stuck Halfway Between Heaven And Earth’…Douthat’s The Grand New PartyRoss Douthat At First Principles: ‘The Quest for Community in the Age of Obama: Nisbet’s Prescience’A Few Thoughts On Robert Bork’s “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”

How does Natural Law Philosophy deal with these problems, and those of knowledge?  Yes, Edmund Burke opposed the French revolution Sunday Quotation: Edmund Burke On The French Revolution

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Categories: California, Culture, Current Events, Demographics, Economics, Media, Politics, Public Debate, Religion, The 60's

Author:chr1

An independent blogger seeking to discuss deeply while keeping an open mind. I'm mostly on the right, but living in Seattle I have to think about what that means on a daily basis. I like to read philosophy.

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