Rick’s last two posts, one on Drones and the other on the XL Pipeline, reminded me that I’ve been promising a reading list on the curious new trend of a merger between the Tea Party right and the anarchist left, in such diverse areas as military policy, pentagon spending, environmentalism and so forth. So here goes: Anybody who hasn’t read Break Through; From the Death of Environmentalism to the Politics of Possibility by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger really can’t even pretend to understand the trend of grass roots pragmatic environmentalism. These folks have written a remarkable book about the back firing of current environmental policy, and the entrenched Big Green NGO’s who have really put their organizational agendas ahead of the planet’s needs. Mark Dowie wrote Conservation Refugees; the Hundred Year Conflict Between Global Conservation and Native Peoples–a very well respected treatise published by MIT Press on the consequences of well intentioned NGOs making things worse, not better. Heather Rogers recently published Green Gone Wrong; How Our Economy is Undermining the Environmental Revolution. Makes you realize that smart and effective environmental policies cannot easily exist in the same political administration that also tries to appease Big Labor and Big Green. Start with those three.
The April 2013 issue of Reason had a review by Aeon Skable of Gary Chartier’s extraordinary new book, Anarchy and Legal Order: Law and Politics for a Stateless Society, published by Cambridge University Press. The fact that Reason is even reviewing the book is telling on the issue of the growing merger of right wing libertarianism and left wing anarchism. Check out this quote: “it is perhaps a mark of the progress of libertarian ideas that there are now understood to be several difference kinds of libertarianism. While some people associate the philosophy with conservative thought, there is also a segment hat identifies itself with the ‘left’.” It is becoming easier and easier for a anarchist Democrat to change his registration to Republican without changing his fundamental political beliefs.
While you are reading through Reason, check out Matt Welch’s article, Toward a Libertarian Foreign Policy, about Rand Paul and his drift toward left leaning Democrats and away from traditional Senate leadership.
I have a review copy on my desk of a book being published by a major academic press this summer. It starts with the rather startling notion that the town that is fast becoming the staunchest bastion of conservatism in Massachusetts is…Provincetown. The author, who is a major academic, opens the book by talking about a gay couple, two men, who operate a bed and breakfast in Provincetown. Once they were able to marry, and this major social and cultural issue no longer dominated their lives, they noticed that there biggest hurdles were economic–dealing with unfair Massachusetts state and federal taxation and regulation that harmed their small business. As the book notes, once cultural issues are removed from certain communities, these communities lose their primary coalition affinities. As the book also documents, Latino communities in America, dominated by the Church, trend toward the Republican Party when immigration is removed as a fundamental issue. Certain communities, the book relates, trend toward small business ownership due to inherent racist or social biases (I’m not agreeing with that by the way) meaning that gays, Latinos, Asians and Jews, as well as highly educated blacks, increasingly find their interests lie not with the Democrats, but with libertarian Republicans. Once this book comes out, you can review the statistics on growing Asian conservatism in San Francisco, Gay Log Cabin Power in Massachusetts, Black Republican Empowerment in Detroit and St. Louis and the growing Republicanism of San Antonio Latinos.
I’ll report back on that last one when the publication date is announced.