Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Neoliberalism And Neoconservatism - More Alike Than Different?
Reading Ronald Asmus and Kenneth Pollack's Washington Post op-ed contrasting the neoliberal and neoconservative approaches to the Middle East, we were struck much more by the similarities between the two positions than by the differences.

I'll be exploring this vein, of the tendencies of neoliberalism and neoconservatism, further as the days and hours proceed, but not really as is done above. My analysis will focus on centralization of power, and the corresponding ascendancy of elite actors, whether or not these actors are proxies for American power.

The competing vision of power being constructed on this site, and referenced when discovered from others with like-minded visions, will focus on lateralization, distribution, and scaling-by-network (emphasizing resilience and fault-tolerance), and primarily involve the free flow of information, labor, trade, and capital, while also assuring the balance of these under the inevitable restrictions of human politics and morality.

The foundation of this vision is the inalienable rights and dignity of humankind, before which no other value or priority will take precedence. To our benefit, this foundation is already grounded in the Constitution of the United States of America, along with a number of other free nations, and needs only to be authentically and fully realized in law and practice.

In a complicated world, the implementation of this vision necessarily involves fits, starts, and asymmetries, and will not seem as simple as the champions of neoliberalism and neoconservatism often make their policy prescriptions and benefits out to be (even though their vision only seems to result in greater and more complex disfunction and chaos).

I mention this in order to be honest at the root of things, rather than after the obvious reality of the matter is already in evidence. Other ideological encampments would be well served by doing the same. For, to put it simply, that there will be asymmetries (in reality) is a given, and we need not concern ourselves with it. There will never be perfect justice or equity.

But where we can assure an elemental equity and symmetry in title and protection of the inalienable (rights), we must. It is here that this vision draws the line, and will not tolerate inequality or asymmetry. What comes out of this foundation, what follows, in terms of imbalances of the desirable, is outside of centralized planning and control, and instead involves the inevitable and brilliant vibrancy and dynamism of human culture and civilization.