Is OWS A Conservative Movement?

Nov 1 2011 @ 1:42pm

Frank Pasquale itemizes the many reasons he thinks it is:

Must a conservative suspect all government, or merely the ossified and corrupt Washington of today? Perhaps the former view is a hallmark of actually existing conservatism. But to consign government programs like Medicare, Social Security, and the EPA to the scrapheap of history would itself be more the province of radicalism than conservatism. Thus one final sense of the conservatism of OWS is the protesters' insistence on the endurance of a social contract that emerged in the New Deal. If conservatism is to be more than a categorical rejection of collective action, it has to articulate something worth conserving. OWS, at its best, does that.

Indeed it does. Of course the left is, currently, in part a conservative force. They are resisting radical change: the privatization of social security, de-regulation of the financial sector, globalization of finance and labor, the explosion of lobbying and crony capitalism since the last real tax reform in 1986. They are hippies for the era of Eisenhower! Which is a little mind-blowing when put so starkly.