Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Michael Novak: Americans love belonging to a real, concrete nation

Just yesterday Lawrence Auster had a great post on how mainstream conservatives oppose globalism when it's promoted by leftists and Democrats but support it when it's promoted by Republicans. As if to prove the point, Michael Novak, in the course of criticizing Barack Obama for not wearing an American flag lapel pin, posted the following at National Review Online's The Corner today:
Real patriotism, [Obama] clarified, is loving the ideals of a country and dissenting from policies not in line with those ideals.

Here Obama points to a huge divide between left-wingers and ordinary Americans. Ordinary Americans do not love a mere “ideal” out in never-never land. They love the land, the soil, the mountains, the plains, the history, the bloody battles, the mistakes, the rises and falls, the real human history of an altogether human people, the particular, imperfect people of the United States.
This is the same Michael Novak who wrote a long, blustering article called "Global Liberty" saying that Western nations must spread the universal ideals of democracy and capitalism across the globe, who wrote a book called Universal Hunger for Liberty arguing among other things that the concept of liberty has deep roots within Islam, who has in fact made an entire career of pumping out inane, vacuous books and articles (any time I attempt to read anything by Novak I become so frustrated by the sheer emptiness of his prose that I promptly give up) arguing that all people the world over have an innate longing for liberty and that we must spread democracy and capitalism everywhere so that this longing in everyone can be fulfilled. But now that Barack Obama is promoting globalism, suddenly the great thing about us is that we love our land, soil, mountains, plains, and history.


Smith/Wesson said...

Old school, traditional conservatism kicked the bucket a long time ago. Right now the mainstream Republican party is represented by an unholy combination of Evangelicals,neocons, and corporate interests that seek to spread their bad ideas to other countries while allowing the riff raff of those countries to come here.

Great blog, by the way. I'm also a medical student (just finished year 1) dealing with these same issues. The future looks quite grim. It's good to find a like-minded individual in a sea of imbeciles.

Hermes said...

I agree that the neocon and corporate interest influences in the Republican party is a bad thing, and I agree that to the extent Evangelicals ally with them, it is an unholy alliance. I want to make sure, however, that you don't think the presence of evangelicals is itself unholy. There seems to have arisen in recent years a view, held especially on the center-left, that "real" conservatives or Republicans are supposed to be just less extreme libertarians, and that a strong religious presence or advocacy of the values of traditional Western Civilization somehow represents a highjack of "true" conservatism. If that's where you're coming from, I urge you to read some early writings of the conservative movement like The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk. Hopefully you will see that not only was religion an integral part of the conservative movement from the beginning, but that in order to have a free society that emphasizes self-reliance and personal responsibility, religion is necessary.

Smith/Wesson said...

Conservatism and Western Civilization are intertwined with Christianity, I absolutely agree. My post was not an attack on Christianity or Evangelicals by any means. It does disturb me that many churches, particularly many Protestent denominations (I'm Methodist, myself), have been touting liberal ideas for quite some time. My only hope is in some Catholic conservatives such as Pat Buchanan, although many Catholic entities are pro-globalism as well. I will read "The Conservative Mind" anyway. I probably already agree with what it has to say. Only one way to find out.

Hermes said...

Another interesting point along those lines is how liberal corporations themselves have become. Corporate work environments are every bit as PC as universities, and many corporations today have "Chief Diversity Officers." Yet the left cannot realize this--they continue to view corporations as old boys' clubs where rich old white men in top hats smoke cigars while stomping on women, blacks, and homosexuals

Lawrence Auster said...

I just came upon this post. Great job in catching Novak out in his unbelievable reversible (though of courrse he doesn't acknowledge that he's reversing himself). I've posted something about it here.