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Response to rrneck (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 07:01 PM

8. I've read some of that one.

I remember it - it's been out a while - there are quite a few people doing really good science writing for the general public.

What I see as the future of conservatism - as a way for them to reframe themselves so that they don't stray from the fundamentals of their mindset, but adapt to reality, is through the ideas of community and tradition. That's what one of them is already doing.


In her book The Need for Roots, the French writer Simone Weil points to one particular lacuna in modern democracy’s theoretical self-understanding. She argues that “to be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul…. A human being has roots by virtue of his real, active, and natural participation in the life of a community which preserves in living shape certain particular treasures of the past and certain particular expectations for the future.” If this is the case, then a society characterized by hypermobility, a society that seems to take a sort of satisfaction in its own deracination, would be ill-equipped to fulfill a central human need. According to Weil, the modern condition of rootlessness is not merely geographical or even cultural but spiritual as well. Writing of mid-twentieth-century France, but sounding as if she could be writing to twenty-first-century Americans, Weil describes “a culture very strongly directed towards and influenced by technical science, very strongly tinged with pragmatism, extremely broken up by specialization, entirely deprived both of contact with this world and, at the same time, of any window opening to the world beyond.” Human beings have a need for geographical roots in a particular place embodying particular traditions, habits, and practices. But equally, humans require roots in a transcendent world, a world of spirit, a world of moral truth. In short, the uprootedness of the modern world is both spiritual and geographic.

Weil was an important thinker for conservatism in the 1960s - so they can even call it a return to their roots as they leave the science deniers with no party to stand for them.

...but that's what we need - conservatism that includes the idea of actual conservation of our earth. They can also appeal to the religious right, tho, with the idea that god made humans caretakers of the earth and they have been sinful to not create govt. policies that respect that command from god.

anyway, I can live with that conservatism, because it has the capacity to be humane by extending the idea of group to community. Of course, this could also end up as gated communities with the riff raff buzzed in to deliver the escargot pizzas, too. Republicans need to call upon Teddy Roosevelt's legacy as their totem, not Hayak.

but, yeah, it's hard to address problems this big b/c the scale is so large - at a more reasonable level of state, not nation state - we have to deal with who finances campaigns - and vested interests in say, oil and gas are not gonna want to talk about changes.

I don't know if we have the capacity to change before something so ground shifting happens that we cannot change - i.e. it's forced upon us, with all the human misery that would include.

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