Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mr. Eugenides on Anti-Establishment Conservatism

There are a couple of things I'd like to expand upon from my post on Anti-Establishment Conservatism following Mr. Eugenides' reply.

Firstly, I think it is important to note that while my tone is calm and I no longer consider myself a libertarian (although my differences with libertarianism are primarily about the nation state, security and radicalism rather than gay marriage, abortion etc. on which I am still liberal) I do not consider the biases towards anger and libertarianism in the blogosphere to be a problem. Libertarianism is a great converting, argumentative philosophy and well suited to the blogosphere. Anger is fun and I very much enjoy swearblogger articles. I think a variety of styles is what makes reading blogs worthwhile and if every blog were written like mine I'd give up on it all. Those who condemn the swearbloggers are the same earnest killjoy swarm that makes much political debate offline such a bore.

"Matt’s suggestion is that by defining ourselves as “outsiders” we lose an opportunity to influence the mainstream of right-of-centre British politics, choosing instead to snipe from the sidelines. There’s some truth in this. I don’t label myself as an outsider, though; I don’t follow the example of DK and head for UKIP, because I think there’s some truth in the contention that it’s better to be a small voice in a crowd than a loud one in the wilderness (plus, I think they’re loons). And neither, as I noted earlier, am I a ‘crusader’ (if one is allowed still to use that word); I’m not so pompous as to think that my opinion matters a jot in the wider scheme of things, or that repeatedly calling Jack McConnell a pug-faced moron is going to help galvanise a national consensus against him."

My fear is that, although I do not believe it is something to which Mr. E. has generally succumbed, the blogosphere is beginning to build an assumption that this kind of loner outsider crusading is its proper role. I see evidence for this assumption beginning to take hold in the "is Iain Dale a member of the establishment debate", the description used by 18 Doughty Street and elsewhere. My case is that if we can build or maintain the distinction between being anti-consensus and anti-leftist and being anti-establishment then we will be more persuasive, more conservative and more correct. I think Mr. Eugenides agrees with me on this although he may be right that I overstate the extent of the problem right now.


Gracchi said...

I also think we lose if we argue in too much of an anti-establishment line because of the temptations therein which I don't think you or Mr E suffer from at all of then descending into conspiracy theory.

I like you am in favour of an inclusive blogosphere. My blog and Mr E's blog are very different but I would hope its possible to enjoy both. What I object to is bad writing not particularly who is doing it and as for Dale I think he is very good at what he does.

Anonymous said...

Dude. There is plenty of time for you to grow up and not take yourself and others so seriously.