Wednesday, November 28, 2007


What following random links gets you: Yglesias links to he of the doughy pants, who writes:
We live in an unconscious civilization, as John Ralston Saul might put it, where premises are assumed at the most fundamental level.
Let me just venture a guess that a) Jonah Goldberg hasn't actually read any of John Ralston Saul's work, and if I'm contradicted on A than I venture b) he didn't understand any of it.

One of the arguments in The Unconscious Civilization was that western societies had been captured by the idea that the economy was more important than politics, that capitalism caused freedom, whereas Saul argued that, to the contrary, that capitalism caused enormous abuses of people's dignity, which then led to revolutions, which led to democracy.

He also argued that modern conservatives fundamentally misread Adam Smith when he talked about "unproductive elements" in society. While rightists read that and hear "welfare queen", Smith was talking about middle management on the one hand, and dead weight patronage on the other.

Not that Jonah Goldberg would know anything about getting a job he'd never earned. Who's his mom again?

Update: There's of course a deeper irony here. Goldberg is regularly chiding liberals for not being in touch with their founding texts, but here he is, quoting an author and text who's explicit point in his book is that the demigods of the Church of the Right have been alarmingly misinterpreted by their current followers.

Seriously, WTF? Did Jonah look at the cover one day and think, "Hm. Unconscious Civilization. I bet I know what that means...."

1 comment:

Chet Scoville said...

Goldberg is a deeply deeply stupid man. But we knew that already.