Thursday, February 19

Update to Localism, Faux Localism, and "Rise of the red Tories"

The Localism post I published the other day is cross-posted at RBO. The blog's author, "Procrustes," chose some highly evocative artwork to illustrate various points I made in the post.

She also found a picture of Phillip Blond to add my post at her site; after I saw what he looks like it could be that David Green was not simply being sour grapes when he complained that Blond is anti-modernity. Phillip Blond looks straight out of Middle Earth. Quite Hobbitish.

Procrustes also sent me a very interesting post on Localism that Hyscience published in November 2008, and which features another essay by (the late) Jim Boulet, Jr. Boulet fills in some detail about Obama's view of Localism.

Check out the book linked at the Hyscience post and the page that's highlighted in the Google Books reader. Once you start digging into the history of Localism, it seems it was co-opted, decades ago, by the Authoritarian Leftist Saul Alinsky and his crowd from writings by Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson.

It also seems that it's Alinsky's view of Localism that Obama favors. However, Alinsky's interpretation of Localism could be the only one that's been in the U.S. political stream in the modern era until very recently. As I noted in my first post on the topic, I think Blond and the American Localists such as Greg Stelenpohl, are breaking new ground -- at least, in the modern era. It would be very interesting to see the writings of Paine and Jefferson on the topic. Blond's Localism, as with Stelenpohl's, seems directly linked to the agrarian reform ideas of Paine and Jefferson.

And Phillip Blond's Localism is grounded in economic issues, whereas it seems that Alinsky's is grounded in getting more of the power pie from the government.

Authoritarians do tend to see everything through the authoritarian prism, as we learned last year at Pundita blog from Stephen Diamond's very instructive lectures on the topic. (Dr Diamond is now blogging at King Harvest).

All this is much food for thought. I'll have more to say about the issue in the coming weeks, after I cram.


Mark said...

Thank you, Pundita, for your blog, and particularly for the recent entry re: Phillip Blond and Localism. I just came across the mysterious "Spengler" whom I'd not encountered before from a tip at Tigerhawk. From his article on unilateralist Obamanomics I clicked to a Dec. '08 Spengler article whose url is
Very interesting discussion that intersects the themes you brought up and Blond discusses and things Cardinal Ratzinger(in 1985, now Pope Benedict XVI)was writing about. I'll be reading Chesterton's "Outline of Sanity" over the next few days, s'posed to be all about distributism. p.s. I found the David Green article a necessary corrective and balancer to Phillip Blond's. Glad you included the link.

Sometimes I'm out of my depth here, but I still got you bookmarked...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your work! I have created a new folder in my "favorites" where I have placed this post and the others like it. It will take me some time to digest this, but so much of it seems to fit questions I am having about both parties and their directions.

You have another new reader.