许多保守派似乎没有意识到的一件事是社会和经济保守主义之间存在非常严重的紧张关系。社会保守主义涉及反对改变权力和关系结构的激进社会变革。经济保守主义涉及捍卫市场资本主义。然而，后者往往会破坏前者。我的朋友Feddie在Southern Appeal上本周写了一篇文章，哀叹他所看到的关于当今美国各种社会问题的猖獗的个人主义和“我的文化”。显然，我不同意他对案情的许多看法，但这不是今天的重点。问题在于，Feddie和许多其他社会保守派一样，在社会问题方面肯定不是自由主义者。他的论点是，社会自由主义是不道德的，缺乏健康社会所必需的价值观：“可悲的是，大多数美国人都认为没有什么比他们的个人幸福更重要。但是，拥抱这种激进的个人主义形式对社会产生了深远的影响。 ：它创造了一种死亡和绝望的文化。“我怀疑你几乎可以得到任何其他社会保守派的反应。通常情况下，回应也会用宗教术语表达，尽管我认为人们也可以用世俗的方式构建它。无论你是否同意，我认为有可能以一致和合理的方式构建论证 – 即，不是自相矛盾，不是自私，不是虚伪。但是，一旦我们超越了这一论点的狭隘范围并提出一个非常有趣的问题，就会出现一个问题：为什么这只适用于社会关系，而不适用于经济关系？精细。但这是我的问题。为什么在经济领域也没有同样的逻辑呢？你知道Feddie在这样说话时听起来像什么吗？卡尔·马克思。马克思认为西方自由主义（古典自由主义 – 意味着自由至上主义，而不是特德肯尼迪）也是道德上的破产者。西方自由主义的自由本质上是不道德的，因为它让人们在更强大的人的控制下“自由地”挨饿和过着可怕的生活。马克思希望将一种有价值的秩序强加给不道德的经济自由主义。这与Feddie应用的逻辑完全相同，只是马克思将其应用于经济领域而非社会领域。因此，我们的社会保守派希望在社会关系上建立一个价值体系，而不是拥有一个“自由市场”，人们可以自由地做他们想做的事情，但如果有人建议对经济实行价值体系，他们会感到害怕。自由市场“因为人们应该自由地做他们想做的事情。为什么有一套社会关系标准和另一套经济关系标准？一个更基本的问题可能是：为什么这种区别甚至会产生 – 为什么社会和经济关系被视为如此根本不同？当然，存在一些差异，但这些差异真的足以保证如此明显的分歧吗？是不是更连续？我认为大多数保守派都在指责错误的受害者。他们环顾四周，哀叹道德秩序的衰落，社区的衰落，家庭的衰落，以及从吸毒到青少年怀孕的各种社会弊病的增加。然而，问题是他们把它归咎于错误的人。他们把它归咎于20世纪60年代或好莱坞，说唱音乐，大学教授，或结束学校祈祷，或缺乏十诫导致的道德沦丧。对于他们（这是至关重要的），真正的问题是“道德价值观”中“衰落”的一些抽象概念，但这个概念是定义的。但那是错的人，我的朋友们。真正的罪魁祸首是自由市场资本主义。保守派认为传统社会秩序崩溃的原因很大程度上是由具体的经济力量引起的，而不是由更为抽象的道德价值概念的抽象衰落引起的。看看乔纳[戈德伯格]所说的话 – “市场推翻了既定的习俗，他们把落户的社区夷为平地，抹去了整个生活方式。”这是真的，对吧？您认为导致全球原教旨主义反弹的是什么？值？那有什么意思？不，这是由全球化的具体压力造成的。市场正在改变世界秩序并吓跑人们 – 无论是通过技术还是移民或经济混乱。
One thing that many conservatives seem unaware of is the presence of a very serious tension between social and economic conservatism. Social conservatism involves opposing radical social changes that alter the structures of power and relationships. Economic conservatism involves defending market capitalism. The latter, however, tends to undermine the former. My friend Feddie over at Southern Appeal wrote a post this week lamenting the rampant individualism and the “me culture” that he sees with respect to various social issues in America today. Obviously, I disagree with many of his views on the merits, but that’s not the point today. The point is that Feddie, like many other social conservatives, is most certainly not a libertarian with respect to social issues. His argument is that social libertarianism is amoral and lacks the values necessary for a healthy society: “Sadly, most Americans have bought into the idea that nothing matters more than their personal happiness. But embracing this form of radical individualism has a profound effect on society: It creates a culture of death and despair.” I suspect that you’d get basically the same response from just about any other social conservative. Usually, the response would be couched in religious terms as well, though I suppose one could frame it in a secular way as well. Whether you agree with it or not, I think that it would be possible to frame the argument in a way that’s consistent and reasonable — i.e., not self-contradictory, not self-serving, and not hypocritical. A problem occurs, though, once we move beyond the narrow confines of this argument and ask a very interesting question: why is this only applied to social relationships and never to economic relationships? Fine. But here’s my question. Why isn’t that exact same logic applied in the economic sphere as well? You know who Feddie sounds like when he talks like this? Karl Marx. Marx viewed Western liberalism (classical liberalism – meaning libertarianism, not Ted Kennedy) as morally bankrupt as well. The freedoms of Western liberalism were inherently amoral because it was content to let people “freely” starve and live horrible lives under the control of the more powerful. Marx wanted to impose a value-laden order upon an amoral economic libertarianism. It’s the exact same logic that Feddie was applying, except that Marx applied it to the economic realm rather than the social realm. So we have a situation where social conservatives want to impose a value system on social relationships instead of having a “free market” where people are free to do what they will, but they freak out if anyone suggests imposing a value system on the economic “free market” because people should be free to do what they will. Why one set of standards for social relationships and another for economic relationships? A more fundamental question might be: why is that distinction even made — why are social and economic relationships treated as if they are so fundamentally different? Granted, there are some differences, but are the differences really enough to warrant such a sharp division? Isn’t is more a continuum? I think that most conservatives are blaming the wrong victim. They look around and lament the decline of the moral order, the decline of the community, the decline of the family, and the increase of various social ills from drug use to teen pregnancy. The problem, though, is they blame it on the wrong man. They blame it on the moral decline caused by 1960s, or Hollywood, or rap music, or college professors, or ending school prayer, or the lack of the Ten Commandments. To them (and this is critical), the real problem is some abstract notion of a “decline” in “moral values,” however that concept is defined. But that’s the wrong man, my friends. The real culprit is free-market capitalism. So much of what conservatives see as the breakdown of traditional social orders were caused by concrete economic forces, and not by some abstract decline of the even more abstract concept of moral values. Look at what Jonah [Goldberg] said – “Markets topple established customs, they raze settled communities and erase whole ways of life.” That’s got to be true, right? What do you think is causing the worldwide fundamentalist backlash? Values? What does that even mean? No, it’s caused by the concrete stresses of globalization. The markets are changing the world order and scaring the hell out of people – whether through technology or immigration or economic dislocation.