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Monday, February 20, 2006

Finally, a term for me: "crunchy con"

Meet Rod Dreher, a conservative who is critical of capitalism.

One area which particularly bugs me is protection of Florida wildlife.

I was listening to talk radio one day and the obviously-northern caller referred to manatees as...

speedbumps on the water.

Now I don't mean to sound feral Floridian, but that's not funny. There's a good chance someone will pull a scimitar and split you ear-to-ear for saying something like that down here.

No, sorry, that's cartoons in Denmark.

Anyway, many of us don't cotton to your Yankee "jokes" about killing off our native animals. Honestly, if the alligator eats you, most of us will excuse the alligator. You have NO right to swim in our lakes. Anyone raised here would agree. So don't run over our manatees, kill our gators, or poison our birds.


In Mr. Dreher's view, consumer-crazed capitalism makes a fetish of individual choice and, if left unchecked, "tends to pull families and communities apart." Thus consumerism and conservatism are, for him, incompatible, a fact that mainstream conservatives, he says, simply do not grasp. He warns that capitalism must be reined in by "the moral and spiritual energies of the people." It is not politics and economics that will save us, he declares. It is adherence to the "eternal moral norms" known as the Permanent Things.

Much of the world does not think you are what you spend. Understanding this fact, and putting consumerism in perspective, is critical to understanding and living happily in the world.

Rod's world sounds livable even if you don't agree with everything he argues.

Mr. Dreher sees "Crunchy Cons," in part, as "a handbook of the resistance." He advocates homeschooling. He applauds community-supported agriculture, small businesses, simple living, historic preservation and much else that promotes a "sacramental" (non-utilitarian) sense of life. You cannot be truly conservative today, he avers, without being countercultural.

1 comment:

tamara lush said...

Hi Chip! I am a reporter for a Florida newspaper and am doing a story on crunchy cons. Could I interview you? Please call me at 305-754-0835. My name is Tamara. Thank you!