American Consequences - February 2019

conservatism (at least in part) because it serves to reduce fear, anxiety, and uncertainty; to avoid change, disruption, and ambiguity; and to explain [the need for] order. Allow me a personal note and an anecdotal observation. As a political writer in Washington, I have spent most of my professional life surrounded by every ideological type, from gold bugs to open- borders absolutists, from Marxists-in-disguise to anarcho-capitalists, and every stop in between.

take a chance with the freewheeling and undetermined outcomes of the marketplace. If you want to “avoid change and disruption,” stay as far away from capitalism as possible. Which leaves us with a question: How can pseudo-scientists maintain their distorted caricature of free marketers in the face of such obvious contradictory evidence from the real world? Well, the stakes are very high. It’s important to left-wing researchers to belittle their political opponents by attacking their psychological dispositions. It’s even more important to discredit, indirectly but conclusively, the ideas of their political opponents by attacking the opponents themselves. After all, the world that capitalism creates – a world of prosperity, innovation, personal liberation, social mobility, and material progress – is hard to argue with. But if a belief in capitalism is little more than an irrational artifact of mental illness, arguing against it is beside the point. Social “science” tells us so.

If you want to “avoid change and disruption,” stay as far away from capitalism as possible.

Conservatives generally, and right-leaning libertarians especially, are nearly always the most ardent defenders of free markets. And free markets are the surest paths to change and disruption, which the social psychologists tell us conservatives want to avoid at all costs. Indeed, anyone who hopes to “reduce fear, anxiety, and uncertainty” is more likely to embrace the (misleading and self-defeating) nostrums of the managerial state than

Andrew Ferguson is the author of Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course on Getting His Kid Into College . He is a former speechwriter for President George H. W. Bush and was one of the founding editors of The Weekly Standard.


February 2019

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