THE ALT-CON DIVIDE
Jason Joseph notices a split between Peter Lawler’s postmodern conservatives and the crowd of lovable modernity-rejecting hobbits at Front Porch Republic. Patrick Deneen, porcher capo, on the divide:
This debate pits the anti-consumerist, CSA-loving, small town-adoring, pro-hand working, suburb-loathing, bourbon-sipping denizens of the “Front Porch Republic” against the McDonald’s loving, Starbucks slurping, dentistry-adoring, Wal-Mart shopping adherents of Postmodern Conservatism.
I think I’m going to have to invite one of our goons to take on one of theirs. Let’s have a knock-down, drag-out, fight-to-the-finish, winner-take-all, one-man-standing, n0-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners debate. You, know – Jets vs. Sharks, and all that. As long as we can have drinks afterwards. Let’s find out once and for all whether there’s a place on the porch for the PoMo Cons, or whether there’s a place for the Front Porchers in post-modernity.
And with a word from Lawler, the battle is joined:
Dr. Patrick Deneen has gotten all uppity and wants some kind of showdown at one of his people’s corrals between the Postmodern Conservatives and the “Front Porch Republicans” (none of whom would be caught dead doing something REALLY conservative like voting REPUBLICAN).
Let me lay down a marker and predict the differences will get more dramatic now that the Postmodern Conservative blog has moved from First Things to NRO.
Lawler has sort of covered this territory before. I like PoMoCon, but they are prone to hipsterish hair-splitting on some of these issues that seems more about social positioning — like Carl Scott’s pre-view of “Copperhead” he wrote without seeing it.
The Mitrailleuse maintains no official position on the porcher-pomo schism, but I’ll tell you who I’d rather read.
Update: The whole 2009 discussion, rounded up.
Update II: Also Russell Arben Fox, June 4:
So I come back, once again, to Norman Mailer’s “left conservative” formulation: to “think in the style of Karl Marx in order to attain certain values suggested by Edmund Burke.” Porcherism can’t be friendly to the present global liberal regime, as much as we may pragmatically work with it, because we see it premised upon the valuation of states and corporations and individuals who build their webs of connection in anything but Burkean, organic ways. The state, the corporation, even the sovereign individual all have their intellectual place in our accounting of the present world, and may be defended in better or worse ways. But absent a real communitarian context–a liveable, sustainable, historical one–they will follow paths that can never truly privilege place, and all too often will instead undermine it. That’s a fairly grand conclusion to come to about an online, ideological debate, I know. But for those few of us who have found an intellectual home in the combination of traditionalism with radicalism, it’s an important one to never forget either.