What’s CP?


Reid says:

(He's still thinking about what to say here...)

Barry says:

“Conservative” means, placing a high value on political and economic freedom, constitutional democracy, local government, independence, and property rights, versus the opposites of those things, which are: coercion, dictatorship, big federal government, dependency, and theft.  It also means, taking a serious interest in history, specifically in learning all possible lessons from the past, in order to make new mistakes instead of repeating the same old ones. “Proletariat” means, common, ordinary people like Joe Sixpack, as opposed to aristocratic elites. The conjunction of the two terms seems important now, because of the widespread and stubborn belief in the old Marxist hypotheses that the aristocracy is naturally conservative and the proletariat naturally liberal.  Consider, for example, the liberal and aristocratic Thomas Franks, writing in his book “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” He says that if Joe Sixpack from Wichita votes Republican, Joe is necessarily voting irrationally and “against his own interests”. I don’t see it that way. In my view, Joe is smarter than Franks thinks he is, and he understands his own interests better than Franks does. Joe might rationally vote for either a Democrat or a Republican, depending on how the candidates’ platforms relate to his own values about freedom, independence, property rights, etc., which have every bit as much importance to him as they do to his rich neighbors. Maybe more. Thus, when Franks says that he doesn’t understand how Joe could rationally vote for a conservative politician, I think the best available response is to say, “You’re right: you don’t understand that. But we’d be happy to explain it to you, if you’re interested.” Hence this blog.

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