On perusing this site the other day, my Mum, one of this blog’s most existing readers, commented that I cam across as more radical than I am in real life. Well Mum – hi by the way! – apologies, but this post will do nothing to allay your fears. For I am going to endorse two recent posts on the troubles of capitalism.
First, Nick Cohen, about whom I’ve banged on endlessly since starting this blog, wrote a cracking article for the Observer about how nowadays even the right is focused on capitalism’s flaws. He cites several examples of right-wingers departing from conservative orthodoxy in the wake of the financial crisis, beginning with Chrystia Freeland’s recently published book Plutocrats, before going on to mention the neo-conservative Henry Jackson Society, and Jesse Norman, an MP often tipped to be the next Tory leader.
To this list, I would add: Ferdinand Mount, a Thatcher cabinet minister and author of a recent book entitled The New Few: Or a Very British Oligarchy; former Telegraph editor Charles Moore, who in 2011 wondered if the left had been right all along; David Frum, former Bush speech-writer, who was dismissed from the conservative think-tank The American Enterprise Institute for his heretical views; and the Economist newspaper, which back in the 90s endorsed John Major over Tony Blair and Bob Dole over Bill Clinton, but in the 00s endorsed Obama over both McCain and Romney.
My second endorsement is for Gene’s post over at Harry’s Place, which suggests that conservatives who bewail the supposed coarsening of our culture should, rather than blame a nefarious liberal agenda, look to their own free market values. He’s right, says I: because sex sells, it is advertising, an essential expression of capitalism, that has done more to sell sex than even the most ardent liberal activist.
Just so nobody gets too worried, before ending I will just briefly say that I think capitalism, broadly construed, is better than all the other systems; but, like Irving Kristol, I will restrict myself to only two cheers.