Economism in the Alt Right

July 27, 2009

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One major problem that exists on the right, and especially in the Ron Paul movement, is what Pat Buchanan termed in “The Death of the West” as Economism. While the impact the market has on the country—culturally, politically, and militarily—should not be understated, the Economist right puts far too much faith in the market to solve America’s problems. Kevin DeAnna’s superb piece reminded me of an excerpt from the previously mentioned Buchanan book that would seem to be relevant to the topic:

Many conservatives have succumbed to the heresy of Economism, a mirror-Marxism that holds that man is an economic animal , that free trade and free markets are the path to peace, prosperity, and happiness, that if we can only get the marginal tax rates right and the capital gains tax abolished, Paradise—Dow 36,000!—is at hand. But when the income tax rate for the wealthiest was above 90 percent in the 1950s, America, by every moral and social indicator, was a better country.

Cutting taxes, reducing spending, abolishing federal departments, and ending the Fed are all noble causes as the country flirts with economic insolvency. But the market doesn’t provide solutions for a country that is quickly approaching moral and social bankruptcy.

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