MORE THAN JUST ECONOMICS
"The point of life is not to become a more satisfied shopper..." Amen to that. Rod Dreher's "crunchy conservatism" manifesto gets a good review from George Nash, author of that definitive account of the evolution of the American Right. [Subscriber-only link] I presume that David Cameron's New Tories have already ordered copies in bulk?
Mr. Dreher is... a passionate environmentalist, a devotee of organic farming and a proponent of the New Urbanism, an anti-sprawl movement aimed at making residential neighborhoods more like pre-suburban small towns. He dislikes industrial agriculture, shopping malls, television, McMansions and mass consumerism. Efficiency--the guiding principle of free markets--is an "idol," he says, that must be "smashed." Too often, he claims, Republicans act like "the Party of Greed." ..."Crunchy Cons" is not a pallid work of sociology. It is a rousing altar call to spiritual secession from an America that Mr. Dreher sees as awash in materialism, consumerism and "lifestyle-libertarian" thinking.
More about Dreher's philosophy in this National Review article. William Buckley meets William Morris, you might say. Sounds good to me:
The music we like - jazz, hard country, bluegrass, Cuban son - is something you can only hear on, umm, public radio or see on public television. When we began talking about buying a house, we realized we wanted something old and funky, in the sort of neighborhood that your average Republican would disdain. We found that though the Shiite environmentalists drive us nuts, there was also something off-putting about the way many conservatives speak with caustic derision about environmental conservation. Two weeks ago, some conservative friends were driving me down the Pacific Coast Highway, and I was overwhelmed by the beauty, as they are. "I'm afraid we have to tip our hats to the tree-huggers," said one. "If it weren't for them, much of what you see would be covered with tract houses and malls."