I'm the real conservative here!
That's what Mittens used to say in the Republican debates (or so I heard), along with Guvna Perry, Herman Caine, and the rest of the mental midgets contending for the nomination that year.
Except it's true of me. I really AM the real conservative here.
How many people do you know who would like to repeal the entire 20th century, and quite a bit of the one preceding? You know me, so you know at least one.
I despise liberal technocracy, and the bland academics and bureaucrats who claim to have things under control. Remember "shock therapy" and lobotomy?
Industrial production, at the start, was guaranteed to bring great wealth to everyone, but crushing poverty is more widespread in the industrialized world than it ever has been before. Industrialism has indeed produced enormous wealth, but it seems to have all become concentrated in the hands of the producers,
About 100 years after the advent of industrial production, World War I came on, and modern modes of production were immediately recognized to be the source of unprecedented and unbelievable destructiveness, just as they gave rise to incredible creativity. The millions of WWI dead were the harvest of industrial methods applied to warfare.Both World Wars were spasms of industrial grade carnage, and Hitler even applied railroads, state of the art incinerators, and Zyklon B crystals to the science of murder.
But today's scientists and researchers are still assuring us that a better world is coming, with genetic engineering, with new breakthroughs in medicine, with computer technology which delivers 100 lbs of information per second.
We're drowning in information, and starving for knowledge.
We're promised food enough to feed the whole world, but will it be edible? If it's not fit for human consumption, it's not food. However, in this century, household food and crop production will return with intensity and surprising results.
And while it's not earth shattering, music has been amplified and technified and tweaked to the point where it sounds dreadful (Do Justin Bieber and Richard Marx have backup bands, or backup machines?) Like home grown tomatoes, the wonderful subtleties and warm tones of acoustic guitar and piano, real instruments, have made a comeback lately, and appreciation of acoustic music generally, often used to revist great music of the past, is growing.
I should mention the advent of television also, although the less said about the uses that platform for advertising and political propaganda has been put to, the better.
What is conservatism, if not the desire to return to older ways? Industrial capitalism swept over first European societies, then was disseminated to the rest of the world, badly compromising the old authorities of church and family, demolishing older and in many cases finer, more detailed, and much more costly methods of production, ending the old, slow pace of banking and exchange. Many of these prostrate technologies, methods and attitudes now deserve another look. What good does it do to produce tons of stuff cheaply if none of it is worth having?
Worst of all are the scientific technocrats, so sure of their own superiority and flawless characters that they don't hesitate to play God, tampering with genetic structure, cloning animals, monocropping unto dustbowls, and telling of the wonders they can do. Mary W. Shelley wrote a wonderful examination of the danger of playing God, which always turns out badly.
I look for things to start shaking hard next year, as the excesses, cronyism, and blatant criminality of the latter stages of industrial capitalism come to a head. Think of it this way: 1814, 1914, 2014.