Postmodern Conservatism

Here’s the Skeptic Lawyer introducing a guest post by Lorenzo:

[SL: there was a time, not so long ago, when conservatives and libertarians could afford to be smug about the intellectual miasma in which left-liberals and progressives had lost themselves. It is unfortunate–and does us little credit–that when a decent number of left-liberals reacted in horror to the colonisation of their political tradition by postmodernism and social constructivism, conservatives and libertarians stood on the side and giggled, forgetting that poisonous memes, once they kick off, have a nasty habit of spreading.

And here’s a quotation from Lorenzo’s excellent essay:

Attitude uber alles
One answer for conservatives was being socially conservative: but that proved to have some difficulties, particularly in alienating the youth vote. There was an alternative answer available: simply turn ‘conservative’ into a ‘hurrah’ word where attitude is everything.

There was even a model for this: for it is exactly what the collapse of the socialist ideal had led progressivist politics to. That is, post-modernism: where attitude is everything, for truth is a dispensable convention and concern for consequences passé as it got in the way of displaying one’s virtue. (Stephen Hicks’ analysis traces the origins and patterns of post-modernism.)

Enter, stage right, the PoMo conservatives: mindless, obsessive and should-know-better opponents of inflation and tellers of economic history (fiction?) seeking to (or actually) sabotaging intelligent monetary policies (some of which is tangled up in macro-economics’ lack of a common analytical language); law-and-order conservatives endorsing torture (relabelled, in true PoMo style, as ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’) thereby rejecting one of the deepest traditions of the common law; business-and-growth spruikers ignoring issues of ethics, transparency and consequences in the systematic destruction of prudence. People without any sense of the heritage they are allegedly in favour of conserving reducing ‘conservatism’ to a set of attitudes, departure from which is heresy and whose consequences undermine a heritage of which they clearly have no understanding.

Read the whole thing (it’s not too long.)



33 Responses to “Postmodern Conservatism”

  1. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    11. August 2011 at 06:33

    That’s a very nice essay.

    “There was an alternative answer available: simply turn ‘conservative’ into a ‘hurrah’ word where attitude is everything.”

    I think you will be pleasantly depressed by this article:

    Yes, it seems Perry will win. I suspect the constituencies that Obama thinks he is defending will suffer massively, and just maybe this will teach them a lesson. Or, maybe not. There may be no republic left in 2020.

    Allow me to link your thoughts to Sumners – “Strong Money” and “Austrianism” are macho words now. It’s cool/tough/gritty/macho to say “we should man up and take our medicine”. Look at the folks who write about Plosser vs. Janet Yellen.

  2. Gravatar of John Thacker John Thacker
    11. August 2011 at 07:07

    Mindless and obsessive opposition to inflation is nothing new, though. Surely the discussions of the Great Depression should reveal that.

    I also have little patience with those (including the President) who decry the torture of waterboarding but offer as their solution transferring the prisoners to the torture of SuperMax prisons. In my mind, SuperMax prisons are a worse torture, and as a “solution” it is equally one of “attitude,” of doing “our thing” instead of theirs. (I similarly have little patience with those who view increased assassination by drone as inherently better too, but that seems to be the other prong of the current “solution.”)

  3. Gravatar of John Thacker John Thacker
    11. August 2011 at 07:09

    Executing a possibly innocent or brain damaged man to show your leadership qualities is nothing new either– and nor is attacking someone for doing it for partisan reasons. (Recall Ricky Ray Rector.)

  4. Gravatar of Mike Sandifer Mike Sandifer
    11. August 2011 at 07:10

    Perhaps this is a trend:

    There was also that David Frum piece about WSJ versus Krugman, but Frum doesn’t exactly strike me as a typical conservative.

  5. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    11. August 2011 at 07:59

    It is a nice essay, but I think it is likely wrong.

    Perhaps I can get some clarity from Lorenzo.

    I contend that libertarian / conservatism USED to fail because it tried to stop the onslaught of change.

    Now it is pro-active. Now it is engaged MORALLY in delivering the desired ends by any means necessary.

    1. Citizens taught to pay no taxes will resist new taxes.
    2. A bankrupt state will be despised and forced to choose between the public workers and the good causes they claim to work towards.
    3. As long as we have guns, the progressive wish of UK style riots will NEVER happen here – the Koreans with AK-47’s kept their shops safe during the LA riots. It is impossible to discuss conservatism without saying OUT LOUD “guns are where rights come from.”

    Non-frugal government is theft. Pure and simple.

    If you stand for smaller government in a Democracy there is only one WORKABLE path – you hack it.

    Social conservatism is a Red Herring. AT best it is a states’ rights issue, at worst it is just another thing you stomach to make sure your pay low taxes.

    When someone appeals to government to get their social rights, they need to be VERY CAREFUL they don’t also grow government, because if they do that – they make small government advocates their enemy for no good reason.

  6. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    11. August 2011 at 08:08

    I usually like Lorenzo’s contributions here (we seem to be the only contributors who know the significance of Willi Muenzenberg, for instance), but I think something is missing from his analysis. While I agree that there are lots of smug conservatives for whom thinking is painful, some of Lorenzo’s argument seems to be violative of his own points.

    Take what he had to say about torture. Well, just what is ‘torture’? Turning the air conditioning on and off? Sleep deprivation? Physical exercise? We do all that to military enlistees, and more. We even waterboard Navy Seals and CIA agents as part of their training.

    Is tricking someone to get information out of them torture? Added to which, the Gitmo detainees aren’t even lawful combatants. They violate all the rules of ‘civilized’ warfare themselves. It’s hardly clear why they deserve due process.

  7. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    11. August 2011 at 08:47


    “Social conservatism is a Red Herring. AT best it is a states’ rights issue, at worst it is just another thing you stomach to make sure your pay low taxes.”

    I am sure Alfred Hugenberg’s conservative German National People’s Party (DNVP) thought the same thing when they formed that coalition in 1933 with you-know-who. The GOP is suddenly realizing they have made a Hugenberg bargain. Oops.

    “Now it is engaged MORALLY in delivering the desired ends by any means necessary.”

    Too bad technology has not yet created an intelligence filter for blogs. Delivering the desired ends by any means necessary is the definition of amoral. That places you squarely in the camp with Jean Paul Sartre and Malcom X.

    If the liberals and conservatives both apply this as their standard, then civil society ends. We are at social war. The tea party is already there.

    Have you ever considered the possibility that, just maybe, you are evil?

  8. Gravatar of skepticlawyer skepticlawyer
    11. August 2011 at 08:57

    Many thanks for the link and your kind words. Our blog is a UK/Australian joint production, so Lorenzo is asleep right now, while it’s early evening here (in the UK) and I’m about to take the dog for a run. We’d be delighted to host people’s comments and questions over at our place, so please feel free to swing by.

    Just be aware that your first comment will be held up in moderation until one of the admins lets you out of the filter. After that, you can comment freely. We like to know who (or what!) we’re letting in 🙂

  9. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    11. August 2011 at 09:12

    “If the liberals and conservatives both apply this as their standard, then civil society ends. We are at social war. The tea party is already there.”


    If both sides do it, your side loses and does what my side says. My side just got tired of being nice.

    The Tea Party owns the hard assets, has 40% of the votes and all the guns – and they buy all the policeman’s ball tickets.

    Your side hates the phrase, “beggars can’t be choosers,” and is staring at check-mate.

    I’m aware of the words I choose to use… and you mis-applied amoral.

    Evil is a violation of negative rights. Positive rights don’t exist.

  10. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    11. August 2011 at 09:36

    Morgan, the separation of positive and negative liberties (a la Berlin) is an intellectual facade that helps you sleep at night. Everything depends on the initial allocation of property rights. The “state of nature” was a myth, but was a useful justification of a social structure that found itself questioning divine right.

    Edmund Burke, for all that libertarians claim to love him, knew this quite well. Locke’s happy/nice state of nature was the fairy tale response to Hobbes, and Burke despised them both (even though he agreed with Adam Smith on many economic matters). Burke was closer to Aristotle in many ways; he presupposed that men were social/political animals.

    “Burke denied that a “state of nature” ever
    existed. Rather, civil society is our true state
    of nature, not “a savage and incoherent
    mode of life.” Man is “by nature reasonable,”
    hence our natural state is “where
    reason may be best cultivated, and most
    predominates. Art is man’s nature.””

    Modern day conservatives have forgotten Burke. Lorenzo is dead on – conservativism to them means whatever they want it to mean. Just like morality to you means whatever you want it to mean.

    “My side just got tired of being nice.”

    Oh please. Your side was never nice… Once upon a time, however, it was principled.

    “The Tea Party owns the hard assets, has 40% of the votes and all the guns…”

    You are borderline committable – an excellent example of the subject of Lorenzo’s essay.

  11. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    11. August 2011 at 10:12


    The endgame began in 1980. It was Reagan and Bush “spending all of the money”:

    1. re-anchored expectation on taxes.
    2. increased spending on non-Democrat voters.

    Now if this leads to your side somehow convincing society that ALL of them (including the middle class) must eat higher taxes for the kind of social democracy you favor – then you will be right.

    BUT IF instead, we now quickly gut the power of public employees, and begin aggressively automating government and rolling back regulations in favor of greater economic growth including limiting free medical care based on what the cheapest out of patent treatments are (without a bunch of crazy “externalities” calculus on the environment), then I win.


    I like the theory guys ok, but I don’t need them much for my arguments on state of nature.

    We only have to look at what happened immediately after the the fall of the USSR.

    Smart competent little guys had to pay big dumb guys enough to stand around and protect their property with threats of violence.

    That is where property rights come from.

    So when we codify government it occurs in service to that basic concern, those that have hard assets will spend what they need to, so as to secure their property rights.

    After that, everything else that you aim for government to do is up to debate – a debate you have with the guys who own hard assets.

    Which means that it is a numbers game:

    1. What # of people have enough hard assets that they feel like Stats kind of change means LESS for them?

    2. What kind / amount of power (force) do they have to fight against Stats – if they don’t like his policy agenda?

    I’m not saying anything surprising here, it is all very rational and obvious.

    MY POINT is that there are a HUGE number on my side in #1, there are a tens of millions of holders of land and houses and capital…

    If there were not this many active “haves” in this country Stats would far better argument.

    See mine is a true state of socialized nature, where the growth of the states WORKS TOWARDS the rules written by the self-interested individuals…

    In my analysis, Rawls is exactly right. Disparity does not matter, what matters is are our poorest and weakest better off than in other countries.

    UK say yes!

  12. Gravatar of StatsGuy StatsGuy
    11. August 2011 at 11:13

    “eat higher taxes for the kind of social democracy you favor”

    I don’t favor high tax social democracy. 70% of Americans favor the policies I favor.

    Even 66% of Tea Party folks…

    You seem to think the number of people who think “like you” is much higher than it actually is. Perhaps because people who think like you are so very very loud, and never bother to check their data.

  13. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    11. August 2011 at 11:28


    Tea Party folks ME INCLUDED like infrastructure, but when we think about it, we imagine as a Davis-Bacon free, hire private services, without lots of enviro-red tape.

    I’m not arguing for no government, not in the least.

    I’m saying your argument is with the holders of hard assets, and that they are the final DECIDERS, and since that is true…. your side needs to re-think HOW you go about getting government projects done.

    I know that when how you change how your side does government spending, you and I will agree far more often on what government should do.

  14. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    11. August 2011 at 11:36

    I would like to thank Scott (and many of the excellent commenters here) as much of what they have had to say fed into the essay. And Scott for his link and kind words.

    Patrick: I stated what I thought was torture here. The issue of what to do with folk who are not PoW’s in any useful sense but are at war with us is a tangled, but separate, issue. (Indeed, Gitmo was a solution poisoned by being extended to torture.) Ordinary interrogation techniques such as trickery are clearly not torture.

  15. Gravatar of Eric Mroey Eric Mroey
    11. August 2011 at 12:02

    As long as we have guns, the progressive wish of UK style riots will NEVER happen here – the Koreans with AK-47’s kept their shops safe during the LA riots. It is impossible to discuss conservatism without saying OUT LOUD “guns are where rights come from.”

    1) Riots clearly happened in LA where you admit that there were guns. They happened in Newark, where my Grandparents and their parents had Guns, but chose to leave the city permanently. So screw you with your “riots will NEVER happen here”. They will eventually happen in the USA (though I won’t pretend to know when, why or where; I really don’t know). And people with guns and a false sense of invincibility will be killed along with others.
    2) Willingness and ability to kill others is a source of power. But it is a poor basis for a civil society.

  16. Gravatar of Patrick R. Sullivan Patrick R. Sullivan
    11. August 2011 at 13:03

    No offense, but the article you link to explaining your thinking on torture isn’t your strongest work, Lorenzo. In fact, much of it could be turned against you; why can’t it be said that you’re engaging in ‘outraged tribalism’?

    Again, I’m not trying to be offensive, I just don’t see anything useful in your argument.

  17. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    11. August 2011 at 13:07

    Eric, “a willingness to kill others is a very poor basis for civil society.”

    That SOUNDS GREAT, but…

    A willingness to kill others to protect your private property (including yourself) has proven to be the basis of the most successful country in the history of the world.

    Look, I’m not advocating Deadwood. I simply say in any intellectual discussion of the state – that is where the social structure BEGINS. Little guys accepting and paying for violence to keep big guys at bay.

    After that, all LOGIC says anything else folks might want to see done, there’s now an established system and established parties that have a vested interest, and entire MO… the folks with power want to maintain what they have.

    The winning argument I’m making is not about guns – guns are force multiplier.

    The wining argument is about the huge # of property holding stake-holders that have no interest in personally having less than they have now – for some greater good.

    That THOSE folks also have 200M guns is not meaningless. Pretending it doesn’t matter makes you sound redunkulous. SEE THE UK.

    What’s funny is that I personally favor policies that bring even more haves into the system. To me the mistake the left makes is that they try to argue with the haves.

    Whereas I think there are natural splits within the community of haves, that the left should learn to exploit for its good cause.

    But the current “POMO Liberal” will kiss the ass of the oligarchs, but not the Country Club SMB owner. And their inability to get along with the big fish in small ponds – is why they lose so often.

  18. Gravatar of Paul Zrimsek Paul Zrimsek
    11. August 2011 at 13:08

    Andrew Sullivan really holds the patent on this sort of thing: First, you invent your own definition of conservatism which has almost nothing to do with what conservatives actually believe, then you explain how this failure represents a moral failing on their part, and not the uselessness of your made-up definition.

  19. Gravatar of Bonnie Bonnie
    11. August 2011 at 13:13

    Maybe we should think about making KSM and his ilk read Krugman until they scream and tell us everything we want know. It wouldn’t take long at all. Although, some might think that’s too much rough treatment.

    The label “conservative” has been stretched to mean many different things, just like the lable “liberal.” They both have been overused and abused to where throwing them around is really like scraping a pat of butter over too much bread. Those on the more conservative side of things find ourselves in a coalition tent with a very large range over overlapping views with common interests in mind, from neo-cons to constitutionalists, to the rare anarcho-capitalist in the bunch. None of them can be pinned down as a model conservative with any real certainty. So if someone were to write an essay about it, it would be helpful for them to define what they think a conservative is, and then maybe it would be easier for me to understand.

    One of the people I follow closely is Thomas E. Woods Jr. He did a promo video for his book “Nullification” called “Interview with a Zombie.” In the video he is attempting to discuss the Principles of ’98 to a zombie who has his own talkshow, and the zombie just keeps getting it all wrong. The point here is that there are people like the zombie on both sides of the political divide; people who just cannot follow the golden thread of logic you give them, no matter the facts presented or how intelligent your argument. I have found such people in the conservative movement, very few however, and it is quite maddening. I don’t think it is fair, however, to paint everyone in the movement with that broad zombie brush, just like I don’t paint the entire modern liberal movement with the same sort of socialistic nationalist brush.

    If anyone is interested in Tom’s video, you can find it on youtube by doing a search for interview with a zombie. He has a great blooper reel up there too.

  20. Gravatar of Scott Sumner Scott Sumner
    11. August 2011 at 18:10

    Statsguy, Yes, there is a macho attitude in many conservatives–including Perry (but less so Romney.)

    John, Yes, but note that the article criticizes both sides.

    Mike, But in the UK both the left and right are too far left for me. I’m with the Swedes–privatize, privatize, privatize.

    Morgan, You are a somewhat progressive conservative–with lots of reform ideas. But I see a problem of many modern conservatives just sticking their heads in the sand, and not confronting issues. Obviously it’s a mixed bag, and as you know I am a fan of Texas, despite my Perry reservations.

    Patrick, I don’t feel well enough informed about the torture issue to argue the point forcefully–other than to say I am against torture. There are so many conflicting stories about what or wasn’t done that it’s hard to know precisely how bad the torture was, or how systematic the worst torture was. In any case it was a big mistake, as even aside from the dubious morality any intelligence gains were dwarfed by the PR costs. This is true even if the amount of torture was relatively minor (as the right claims), especially when compared to other government abuses like the war on drug using Americans.

    The left thinks it’s big scandal that the right wasn’t up in arms over 400 hundred people in Guantanamo. Maybe so, but the bigger scandal is that the left isn’t up in arms over the 400,000 innocent drug users in prison.

    skepticlawyer, I have the same comment policy.

    Paul, I think many conservatives “actually believe” inflation is currently a bigger danger than unemployment, and that global warming is a hoax, and that torture is OK.

  21. Gravatar of Contemplationist Contemplationist
    11. August 2011 at 21:27

    This is overanalyzed and overwrought. No offense though. The reason they are against monetary stimulus is because the Austrian view has spread and even become mainstream! For example, Fed keeping interest rates low leading to the housing bubble is now ‘common wisdom.’ This pomo stuff is an epicyclic model that is totally unnecessary. Views change – Will Wilkinson had a far better explanation – that Milton Friedman was responsible for monetary sanity among conservatives, and since his departure Austrianism has taken hold.

  22. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    11. August 2011 at 21:32

    Patrick: it is very strange to be told that defending the common law heritage on torture (up there with one Ronald Reagan), a tradition going back centuries, is somehow a form of “outraged tribalism”. It is either our heritage or it is not. Doing bad things to folk who attack us is classic outraged tribalism. Saying we should adhere to our longstanding traditions, the painful learning of centuries, is something else. Why would any conservative need to have that explained to them?

    John T: torture is an old idea too. My point is more about a mindset with no sense of one’s own heritage and a consequent blindness to evidence and consequences, not which particular ideas keep scouped up into the current set of marker opinions. But I agree that death-by-drone is the natural corollary of abandoning the Gitmo solution. (Which I actually support as a sensible mechanism: I just wish that, as Scott intimates, it had not been so disastrously poisoned in PR terms by turning our back on what we have learned, at times painfully, about torture.) I am less keen on the very PoMo habit of expanding “boo words” to the point of meaninglessness.

  23. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    11. August 2011 at 21:40

    Paul Z: I am not claiming that all conservatives are like this. It is a trend, not a defining characteristic. The friend who coined the term describes himself as a Tory. (He even knows what that means.) After all, not all progressivists are post-modernists either (though the PoMo tendency is rather stronger in such quarters).

    Contemplationist: I am dealing with a wider pattern than just arguments over inflation, or even economics. Will Wilkinson is probably right on the intellectual dynamics of monetary policy: again, it is not so much why things become marker opinions it is the way those opinions operate and what they are embedded in, which interests me here.

  24. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    11. August 2011 at 21:43

    Morgan: before I answer your question, perhaps you could answer one of mine. What is conservative in the gonzo activism you advocate so hyperactively? ‘Conservative’ entailing some connection, attachment and loyalty to a received heritage.

  25. Gravatar of Paul Zrimsek Paul Zrimsek
    12. August 2011 at 03:23

    I am not disputing Lorenzo’s account of what conservatives believe. I am disputing his assumption that those beliefs must be unprincipled because they fail to jibe with his own literal-minded and, frankly, silly definition of what they ought to be believing.

  26. Gravatar of Browsing Catharsis – 08.12.11 « Increasing Marginal Utility Browsing Catharsis – 08.12.11 « Increasing Marginal Utility
    12. August 2011 at 04:02

    […] Contra Postmodern Conservatism. Don’t worry- I’m already at jaded Burkean nihilistic libertarianism. […]

  27. Gravatar of morgan warstler morgan warstler
    12. August 2011 at 04:46

    Lorenzo I am dedicated to Rotarian conservatism… to country club golf pants conservatism… to “there’s a reason we all worked so hard” conservatism… to big fish in a small pond conservatism…. to what is called distributism… you should read up on it.

    Let me be clear – 1913 to 1980 was illigitimate. It happened simply beccause a new idea was releasesd into the ecosystem. And that meme ran wild against brains without natural resistance to it…

    Your analysis is shit. Mine is right. The foriegn meme of communitarian democracy has been hunted and trapped and it hasn’t learned how to adapt. It is dying before your eyes.

    What you call POMO is really just conservatism proving itself more resiliant more deeply engrained more able to fight.

    Lorenzo conservatism is the natural inclination of the strong. The strong are not greedy. Greedy is a false construct a non thing. People who call others greedy are liars.

  28. Gravatar of Scott Sumner Scott Sumner
    12. August 2011 at 06:27

    Contemplationist, Actually, true Austrianism opposes “secondary deflations.”

    Paul, First you say:

    “First, you invent your own definition of conservatism which has almost nothing to do with what conservatives actually believe,”

    Then you say:

    “I am not disputing Lorenzo’s account of what conservatives believe.”

    Good, we are making progress.

  29. Gravatar of Contemplationist Contemplationist
    12. August 2011 at 12:48


    You made me chuckle with that “true Austrianism” phrase – would Rorty approve of such essentialism?


    I understand but where is the evidence? Also, keep in mind that when it comes to politics, it’s necessary to conduct comparative analysis – i.e. how does your model fit uniquely to partisans of the Right and not the left? The amount of hysterical _religiously inspired_ opinions on the left is no less. The only difference is that since you nominally side with the Right, you wish to excoriate it for its failings. It’s commendable of course, tribalism be damned, but as a model to explain a partisan side, it doesn’t help much at all.

  30. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    12. August 2011 at 21:23

    Contemplationist: Is it really necessary to conduct such a comparative analysis? Cannot trends within a tradition be analysed therein? Anyway, as I imply in the piece, the problem is actually worse on the other side of the aisle, that is where PoMo started after all.

    I thought I had cited a fair bit of evidence. But, if you want more, try this. A Confederate-sympathising Civil War buff friend of mine says that reading the journals of“>Elisha Hunt Rhodes convinced him that the South was always doomed, because such folk would simply have never given up, for they were completely convinced they were doing God’s work in opposing slavery and there were simply too many of them with too much economic power behind them.

    Paul Z: It is an add situation where agreeing with one Ronald Reagan is a “silly literal-minded” notion of conservatism. A conservatism which does not understand the heritage it is alleged preserving and attached to has disconnected the term ‘conservative’ from anything anchored in reality: making it very post-modern indeed.

    Morgan: What I said immediately above in response to Paul Z. None of what you appear to want requires taking on the outlook of attitude uber alles. Indeed, if you want to be broadly persuasive, and then effective in office, that is precisely where one should not go.

  31. Gravatar of Morgan Warstler Morgan Warstler
    12. August 2011 at 22:23

    Lorenzo, you are not close to responsive.

    I’m denying POMO. Period. The end.

    I’m arguing memetics. I’m ALWAYS arguing memetics.

    What you think is VALID (ideas from 1913-1980), I view as weak and dying. Like an obnoxious halflete, who claims loudly to be a marathon runner, no one has ever heard of – who takes off and runs way out in front, and starts to fade by mile 8 (by 1980).

    Conservatism isn’t some defend the status quo thing – conservatism is LIBERTARIAN anti-government free market thinking – and it wins marathons.


    To defend you position, you’ll need to argue with my definition, with PRECLUDES yours.

    Note mine also subsumes goofy shit like neo-liberalism – that’s not to say there isn’t a thing describable as neo-liberalism, it just means it is small and weak compared to conservatism as a meme – which has been around for 250+ years and only gets stronger.

    Conservatism as I define it meets all comers and leaves them dead.

    Show me where in that model POMO exists?

  32. Gravatar of Paul Zrimsek Paul Zrimsek
    13. August 2011 at 05:21

    Lorenzo’s last shows the beginnings of wisdom: you decide what conservatism is by looking at what conservatives actually believe. All that’s needed now is an explanation of why this was acceptable in Reagan’s day but not today.

  33. Gravatar of Scott Sumner Scott Sumner
    14. August 2011 at 08:03

    Contemplationist. No.

    Paul, We know more about global warming than in Reagan’s day. As for monetary policy, I would be interesting to go back to 1984, when inflation was 4% and the WSJ said we needed easier money.

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