Wednesday, June 25, 2008


"Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy." - Wendell Berry

"He drew a circle that shut me out
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout
But love and I had the wit to win;
We drew a circle that took him in." - Edwin Markham


ChrisC said...

As these were posted at almost exactly the same time as your reply to my previous comment, I flatter myself my comments may have had some influence. I like Wendell Berry and feel it is worth pointing out that while free marketeers, libertarians, fascists and neo-conservatives, even some anarchists, may describe themselves (or be described by others) as conservatives, it is on closer inspection hard to see eactly what it is they want to conserve or what worthwhile would be conserved if their ideas were realised. It is the 'natural communities' as God's providence that I see are at the heart of conservatism politically. Free markets, globalisation, individualism and other utopianism of the right are just as damaging to these as are the utopias of the left.
As to the second quote and the accusation that 'natural communities' imply some degree of exclusivity, this is of course a fair one. However, something that I have observed is that those who might call themselves conservatives are generally more sociable with those who might hold opposing views on the left than vice versa. I put this down to the importance of progress in the thought of the left; if one is opposed to this progress of society one somehow is 'anti-human' and therefore to be despised. Others might put it down simply to the conservatives feeling guilty, I suppose! I give these thoughts in a non-partisan spirit, however provocative. While not expecting you to agree, your thoughts would be interesting.

Simon Barrow said...

Regarding your first comment - there wasn't any direct connection. But then, maybe I don't quite think as you think I think? I agree wholly with the second sentence. The third might possibly lead to a naturalistic fallacy. Agree re utopianisms (though I don't go with John Gray wholly on this, because I think exemplary communities, processes and projects (many of which may be far from 'natural') can take us well beyond what realpolitik says is possible, without degenerating into ideologised wishful thinking. Ah, "progress"... a dodgy notion all round, when attached to singular ideologies. I do agree that there are many on the left who love the idea of "the people" but not actual people, as someone once pointed out!