Thursday, April 21, 2005

The anti-moderns

It's good to see the right wing feeling more free to express its inherent dislike of modern Western culture. Today's National Review has an article about the new Pope; in it, the writer states:

In this regard, the consumerism and relativism of the West can be just as
dangerous as the totalitarianism of the East: It's just as easy to forget about God while dancing to an iPod as while marching in a Hitler Youth rally. There's a difference, to be sure, but hardly anyone would contest the observation that in elite Western society, as in totalitarian Germany, the moral vocabulary has been purged of the idea of sin. And if there's no sense of sin, then there's no need for a Redeemer, or for the Church.


(Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan)

It's such an odd partnership, this Republican Party marriage of right-wing Christian activists and pro-business conservatives. The pro-business side opposes any interference with their right to make money, while the Christian conservatives despise Western consumerist (read: capitalist) culture.

Anyway, I like that Republicans are emboldened now to make these retro views more widely known, as there is a similar undercurrent to anti-globalization leftists that I find unsettling. I've been hearing about this new movie called Mondovino, which purports to expose the wine industry's capitulation to the forces of homogenization (read: global capitalism). There is probably a good point here, at least as it refers to the art and business of wine-making, but it's clear that the director is motivated by a general horror at big business and the spread of big business across the globe. This is a view held by certain leftists, who are convinced that the world's masses are being oppressed by the increasing availability of cheap goods. And, not say, pleased that their standard of living is improving. This view strikes me as unpleasantly condescending. If the "barking mad brigade" (as my English fiance deftly called them) of right-wing theocons make it clear that they too hate modern capitalist culture, maybe it'll take away this viewpoint's populist cache that some leftists find so attractive.

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