This The New Republic book review is one of the more disturbing things I’ve read in awhile. It basically claims that Republicans have no positive ideas of their own, and are motivated out of a general hostility to justice. Other than being deeply, deeply ignorant of history, where it’s been pretty decisively shown that current Republican ideas are positive value statements and at least 150 years old, it’s also deeply ignorant of political philosophy. Who can listen to the Republican right without hearing the voices of Locke, Kant and Hume? Who can deny that Republican rhetoric, concerns and ideals have an illustrious intellectual genealogy, even if you think it’s cruel and outdated? We can quibble over interpretations of Adam Smith, but who can argue that the Hayekian reading isn’t valid? Did the author of (either the book or the review) read The Road to Serfdom? How about Two Concepts of Liberty? It’s more than offensive, it’s more than arrogant, it’s more than infuriating, and it’s more than a personal accusation. It’s wrong. And because it’s wrong, it is not even useful: it will lead to persistent misreadings of the right wing by the left wing.
It’s appalling that books can be written by those hostile to a group of people striving to “explain” their minds in a simplistic, biased and uneducated way. I’m ashamed that this was written.