On Matthew Continetti, Irving Kristol’s True Heir by American Litterateur

I was not acquainted with the name of Matthew Continetti until I listened to Left,Right and Center on Friday November 18,2011 where he was the substitute Right Wing thinker. He seemed a bit supercilious,a bit too taken with himself, in the way of that phalanx of thinkers that crowd the airwaves and blight the very notion of serious thought. I came across this essay at The Weekly Standard by Mr. Continetti, titled Anarchy in the U.S.A: The Roots of American Disorder via a tweet from RJCHQ . Mr. Continetti can write with style,verve and he can be very persuasive. He is the true intellectual heir to the mantle of Irving Kristol, one of the creators of Neoconservatism. Mr. Kristol’s son William, the inheritor of that mantle by birth, is not in any way a writer, but a nearly competent but plodding propagandist. Mr. Continetti has a gift to put it succinctly. Now, he shows an ability to easily manifest contempt and disdain for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, and the Utopians that appear in his essay as actors in his historical vignettes, to demonstrate the vacuity and nihilistic character of the Anarchists movement and the danger of that Utopianism. While he roundly condemns the ‘Left Utopians’, he leaves utterly blank the ‘Right Utopians’ in his very readable comments: that Right Wing iteration of Utopianism are the believers in Free Market Economics from Thatcher and Reagan to our present historical moment.And the intellectual advocates of this ‘Right Utopianism’are the familiar ones of Hayak,Friedman, Rand, to name but three. And the political actor who codified the notion of Free Market Economics was the Utopian New Democrat, Bill Clinton. The power of that Utopian delusion was that it eventually infected both political parties. Mr. Continetti in his essay writes a self-consciously selective history of Utopianism, a self-serving history that attempts to smear and defame those who disagree with his Utopian delusion, i.e. the viability of Free Market Economics as the totalizing answer. The Anarchists and Utopians have come to prominence because of the world wide economic collapse of 2008 and the economic stagnation that is our present condition. The bitter and unacceptable news, of the failure of the Free Market as idea and practice, as his own untouchable Utopianism, is at the very core of the denial of Mr. Condinetti, although his disdain and contempt have an entertainment value, they are, in the end, the malicious servants of his propaganda assault on the newest manufactured enemy of the moment. Here is a list of some of the many protagonists that people this long but fascinating screed:

Kalle Lasn , Robert Owen, New Lenark community, New Harmony,Charles Fourier, Daniel Guerin,Bakunin, Kropotkin, Goldman, IWPA,Weathermen,Zapatistas

 

American Litterateur

 

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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