Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Anarchy in the USA

"For, whatever was the case in de Tocqueville's day, not the passion for egalitarianism but individualist, that is anti-authoritarian, antinomian, though curiously legalistic, anarchism has become the core of the value system in the U.S.A."

- Eric Hobsbawm (sigh, now paywalled, but excerpted here)

Yes -- and it's especially odd that it's the conservatives who seem to lead in (supposedly) antiauthoritarian attitudes. They portray themselves as insurgents against the supposed liberal establishment, who makes horribly restrictive rules against their freedom to fire guns in restaurants and drive SUVs in duck blinds.

Our politics are twisted up in weird ways that makes it almost impossible for one side to understand itself, let alone the others.

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