Janan Ganesh, John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge: on the Politics of The Political Present. Old Socialist Comments

How irresistible is the apercu of Mr. Ganesh: ‘…the shrewdness of his Democratic challenger Joe Biden…’ Mr. Biden is a Neo-Liberal dinosaur, being advised by, among others, his political contemporary Chris Dodd.
America is, was, and will always be the ‘Republic’ founded upon land stealing, and genocide against indigenous peoples, not to speak of the eventual war with Mexico, in this nations fulfillment of its ‘Manifest Destiny’!

One wave of American Immigrants, became settled and turned ‘Nativists’ who rejected the next generation of arrivals, from Southern and Eastern Europe, Italians, Slavs and Jews fleeing programs. See Irving Howe’s ‘World of Our Fathers: The Journey of the East European Jews to America and the Life They Found and Made‘, the novel by Betty Smith ‘A Tree Grown in Brooklyn’ and the movie directed by Elia Kazan. These two books examples of our celebrated heritage of what can be best expressed by a riff on America’s Queer Poet Walt Whitman’s ‘we contain multitudes’. Except for the indigenous peoples and others relegated to the margins!

The Immigrant made America! What Mr. Ganesh elides from his political meditation, on Trump is the very persistence of the ‘Nativism’ of ‘The Proud Boys‘, ‘The Bugaloo Bois’ and ‘The Oath Keepers’! The Political/Economic psychosis of Neo-Liberalism produced the discontent that birthed these overt expressions of a toxic Nativism – some how with the defeat of Trump by the shrewd Joe Biden, at the least magical thinking. These men express a more deep seated discontent, of a class of American’s who suffered from the misbegotten Neo-Liberalism, extolled with un-puzzling relish in this newspaper.

For those readers with an appetite for a more pungent exercise in ‘Centrist Apologetics’ , in sum Conservatism, look to ‘Right Nation’ authors John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, two of the most notorious political re-write men in ‘Conservative Journalism’, at Bloomberg Opinion. These two practitioners of conservatives necromancy need to be quoted at length:

Headline: The Crisis of Conservatism

Sub-headline: The right has been the natural party of government in America and Britain for four decades. Now it needs to reinvent itself.

However, the right has also been more dynamic, generating the intellectual light that the moon can do no more than reflect. Since 1979, modern conservatism has produced nearly all the important ideas that have changed the political universe, from privatization to welfare reform to “broken windows” crime policy. These ideas may sound obvious today, but they were widely regarded as “crazy” when they were first floated in the work of maverick intellectuals, such as Milton Friedman in economics and James Q. Wilson in social policy. Indeed, those ideas became so mainstream that they changed the left, too. Clinton and Blair, the two most successful left-leaning politicians of the past 40 years, were often accused of being conservatives. Clinton balanced the budget and reformed welfare. Blair gave his party a new name, New Labour, and abandoned the dream, laid out in Clause 4 of the Labour Party constitution, of nationalizing the means of production.


John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge put Mr. Ganesh’s essay into proper perspective, about the how of the practice of political apologetics can be practiced. Their ‘Right Nation’ was an exercise in ‘History Made To Measure’, that George F. Will praises on the cover of the paperback, I found on the remainder table. What is compelling to me, is that where ever I start to read in this book, I have a feeling that I have read it before, its like a rhetorical ghost. I subscribed and read The Economist from the mid-1990 until around 2015. I always read Bagehot, the nom de plume of Adrian Wooldridge regularly. And Right Nation reads more like a collection of essay. strung together under a title.

Old Socialist


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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