"So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left." Deuteronomy 5:32
Paul at The Aesthetic Elevator brings to light the phenomenon of The Artist as Closet Republican.
Coming out as a conservative - of any kind - in many art circles takes some major chutzpah.
I remember knowing I was out of place back in art school. I thought liberalism was nuts, but I never would have called myself a Republican and am even less tempted to become one now.
I sensed that a lot of the leftist agitprop I heard from professors and other students was hogwash, but it took me longer to begin to see the problems with the knee-jerk conservatism from the right that was often a response to it.
Still, I was glad when I heard Rush Limbaugh on the radio for the first time back in 1991. It was very liberating and encouraging to hear someone - anyone - of national prominence having so much fun lampooning the old liberal cliches, and giving the hand-wringers on the far left a poke in the eye.
Not that I have ever been a regular Dittohead. I've always had areas of disagreement with Rush, and never more so than over the issue of torture. I also see problems with the kind of chemically pure capitalism that gives free rein to guys like Bernie Madoff. If it weren't for original sin, Capitalism might be a perfect system, but I could see some making the same argument for Communism.
I have come around to what Chesterton and Belloc called Distributism and what the Church calls Subsidiarity... the idea that everything ought to be accomplished at the lowest and most local level possible. Big Business and Big Government are equally enemies of the Distribustist idea, and so far from being in competition with one another are in fact partners in the ongoing project of taking from the common family any right or incentive to look after their own property, produce their own goods or make their own decisions. Why spend two or three evenings by the fireplace carving your mother a new hardwood stirring spoon, when you could work that same amount of time at The Plant and make enough money to bury her in a pile of machine made wooden spoons?
(Stop reading and think for a minute about what we have lost in making that trade)
Property and estate taxes make it practically impossible to ever really own a piece of land or a house. They are never finally yours, free and clear. Living "off the grid" - or even substantially independent of the grid - is actively discouraged in both modern law and commerce.
You must have legal tender, and for that you need A Job, and once you have A Job, you will have little time or energy to worry about much else.
But don't fret! The government will raise your children in the public schools and prepare them for their own Jobs and to be compliant citizens, while the corporations will, through the media, prepare them to be good consumers and to take passionate stands on approved and allowable political positions (Red, or Blue?). They will never miss the Old Farm. Besides, they can watch stories about farm life on the high resolution flat-screen. They can also Google "farm life" and find enough information to choke a horse.
There is an opportunity, with this current economic downturn, to perhaps re-learn a few of the things we have forgotten. There is maybe a chance for Small is Beautiful to be discussed without being laughed to scorn. There is a little more time, maybe, for carving a spoon by the fire.
Addendum: Over at What's Wrong With the World Francis Beckwith explains why he is a conservative, and...
Professio has further thoughts...