July 23, 2004

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same...

That old passion for power which has been ever innate in man increased and broke out as the Empire grew in greatness. In a state of moderate dimensions equality was easily preserved; but when the world had been subdued, when all rival kings and cities had been destroyed, and men had leisure to covet wealth which they might enjoy in security, the early conflicts between the patricians and the people were kindled into flame. At one time the tribunes were factious, at another the consuls had unconstitutional power; it was in the capital and the forum that we first essayed civil wars.

-- Tacitus, History, 2.38, c.109 AD

Posted by cerebus at 7:25 AM

The Essential Contradiction

Conservatives are generally disdainful of so-called popular culture. They describe it as immoral, decadent, degraded and degrading.

Conservatives also claim that their own values represent the majority of Americans. Hollywood is "out of step with America" and so on.

If the majority of Americans actually shared right-wing conservative values, then popular culture wouldn't be so damn ... popular, would it?

So either conservatives are, by and large, hypocrites who privately imbibe of the immoral popular culture they publicly assail, or their values are simply not representative of the majority of Americans.

They simply can't have it both ways. You can't simultaneously decry the culture and appeal to it.

I tend to the latter view, FWIW. Conservatism in America is a shrinking minority view. While they may win a battle now and again, their war on the rest of us is already lost; if not in my generation, then in my children's, or their children's generation.

What's more, I think deep down inside most of them know it, or they wouldn't fight so hard.

Posted by cerebus at 6:35 AM