Look Homeward, America

"There was a time when conservatives wrote books with titles like Our Enemy, the State. But conservatives ignored Karl Hess, Barry Goldwater's speechwriter who later worked to bring toward unity between the Old Right and the New Left, who said, "Vietnam should remind all conservatives that whenever you put your faith in big government, for any reason, sooner or later you wind up an apologist for mass murder." Now that conservatives have added the "neo-" suffix, big government is the order of the day, fromNo Child Left Behind to the USA PATRIOT Act to The Global War on Terrorism.

As we head into the 2008 presidential race, the candidates in both parties (a.k.a. The War Party) are giving us promises of what the State will do for us (and the world, whether they like or not). Each of the major Republicrat wing candidates leans toward one end of what Murray N. Rothbard called the Welfare-Warfare State. All are talking about expanding the
role of the State, with the notable exception of Dr. Ron Paul." Joshua Snyder

Karl Hess mais tarde com Murray N. Rothbard deitaria as primeiras pedras do movimento Libertarian publicando o "The Libertarian Forum" de 1969 a 1984 (um autêntica preciosidade como documento).

PS: Foi retirado de um texto sobre a notável
Dorothy Day apelidando-a no titulo de "anarcho-Catholicism: The way of love". Personagem que apenas conheci num magnifico livro de Bill Kauffman, católico conservative-libertarian (Look Homeward America - In search of reactionary radicals and Front-Porch Anarchists).

Voltando a Dorothy Day, fundadora do The Catholic Worker Movement, dizia ela própria: "When it comes to labor and politics, I am inclined to be sympathetic to the left, but when it comes to the Catholic Church, then I am far to the right." She also said, "If the Chancery ordered me to stop publishing The Catholic Worker tomorrow, I would."

Significa que era de esquerda? Bem, não, era uma anti-state localista-comunitária, opondo-se ao New Deal apesar de ter dedicado a sua vida à ajuda dos outros. E como diz o artigo:

"In this remarkable statement, she explains why her movement never registered with the Internal Revenue Service for non-profit tax-exempt status:

Christ commanded His followers to perform what Christians have come to call the Works of Mercy: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked, sheltering the harborless, visiting the sick and prisoner, and burying the dead. Surely a simple program for direct action, and one enjoined on all of us. Not just for impersonal "poverty programs," government-funded agencies, but help given from the heart at a personal sacrifice.

On another level there is a principle laid down, much in line with common sense and with the original American ideal, that governments should never do what small bodies can accomplish: unions, credit unions, cooperatives, St. Vincent de Paul Societies. Peter Maurin's anarchism was on one level based on this principle of subsidiarity, and on a higher level on that scene at the Last Supper where Christ washed the feet of His Apostles. He came to serve, to show the new Way, the way of the powerless. In the face of Empire, the Way of Love.

We believe also that the government has no right to legislate as to who can or who are to perform the Works of Mercy. Only accredited agencies have the status of tax-exempt institutions. After their application has been filed, and after investigation and long delays, clarifications, intercession, and urgings by lawyers - often an expensive and long-drawn-out procedure - this tax-exempt status is granted."

Nota: "In 1983, the Claretian Missionaries proposed that she be sainted, and in 2000, Pope John Paul II gave Archbishop John O'Connor of New York City permission to open her cause. Along with Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, her cause was opened and she received the title Servant of God. She is now on her way to veneration, beatification, and eventual canonization."

E nota final: O livro de Bill Kaufman fala de outras personagens interessantes. Aqui fica um pedaço da introdução.

Reactionary radicals” are those Americans whose political radicalism (often inspired by the principles of 1776 and the culture of the early America) is combined with—in fact, flows from—a deep-set social “conservatism.” These are not radicals who wish to raze venerable institutions and make them anew: they are, in fact, at antipodes from the warhead-clutching egghead described by (the reactionary radical) Robert Lee Frost:

With him the love of country means
Blowing it all to smithereens
And having it all made over new
Look Homeward, America

These reactionary radicals—a capacious category in which I include Dorothy Day, Carolyn Chute, Grant Wood, Eugene McCarthy, Wendell Berry, and a host of other cultural and political figures—have sought to tear down what is artificial, factitious, imposed by remote and often coercive forces and instead cultivate what is local, organic, natural, and family-centered. In our almost useless political taxonomy, some are labeled “right wing” and others are tucked away on the left, but in fact they are kin: embodiments of an American cultural-political tendency that is wholesome, rooted, and based in love of family, community, local self-rule, and a respect for permanent truths. We find them not at the clichéd “bloody crossroads” but at thrillingly fruitful conjunctions: think Robert Nisbet by way of Christopher Lasch, or Russell Kirk by way of Paul Goodman. Think, always, of things tending homeward.

My favorite America is the America of holy fools and backyard radicals, the America whose eccentric voice is seldom heard anymore in the land of Clear Channel, Disney, and Gannett. It is the America of third parties, of Greenbackers and Libertarians and village atheists and the “conservative Christian anarchist” party whose founder and only member was Henry Adams.(...)

I celebrate, I affirm old-fashioned refractory Americanism, the homeloving rebel spirit that inspires anarchists and reactionaries to save chestnut trees from the highway-wideners and rural schools from the monstrous maw of the consolidators, and leads along the irenic path of a fresh-air patriotism whose opposition to war and empire is based in simple love of country.

Now, I do not claim to be the archetypal American. If my ethnic mix is typically mongrel, stretching from Italy to Ireland, so are my politics a blend of Catholic Worker, Old Right libertarian, Yorker transcendentalist, and delirious localist. So my story is singular but also strangely representative. We live in an age in which Americans by the millions have lost faith in a system that seems, at best, alien, and at worst, repressive. I, too, started in the mainstream, but I found it placidly sinister, so I took a trip down the tributaries, left and right and great plunging cataracts, till I found that my faith in the oldest, simplest, most radical America had been renewed. Robert Frost put his faith in the “insubordinate Americans,” throaty dissenters and ornery traditionalists, and this book is for and about them—those Americans who reject Empire; who cherish the better America, the real America; who cannot be broken by the Department of Homeland Security, who will not submit to the PATRIOT Act, and who will make the land acrid and bright with the stench and flame of burnt national ID cards when we—should we—cross that Orwellian pass. This is still our country, you know. Don’t let Big Brother and the imperialists take it from us."

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