Monday, March 31, 2008


"So, taking the tragic view, the question was not 'Is everything perfect?' but 'How could it be better, at what cost, and according to whose definition?' Put into which form, things appeared to me to be unfolding pretty well."

"I began reading not only the economics of Thomas Sowell (our greatest contemporary philosopher) but Milton Friedman, Paul Johnson, and Shelby Steele, and a host of conservative writers, and found that I agreed with them: a free-market understanding of the world meshes more perfectly with my experience than that idealistic vision I called liberalism."

His article is fascinating:
An election-season essay
by David Mamet
March 11th, 2008 12:00 AM


WondrousPilgrim said...

wow. that was fascinating.

andersonrc1 said...

I think Rebecca is right in that Mamet didn't say all that he could have in this piece ("I once thought this, and now I think that..."). But I also think Jack's assesment is pretty accurate. Libertarians (or, as it sounds like Mamet might be described, free-market liberals) represent conservatism minus God. They've reached a basic, and more logically consistent, understanding of how the world and human nature function, and understand the practical side of how that relates to government and the ordering of society. It makes them good allies on some many issues, but there's still a fundamental disconnect that prevents them being on the same philosophical footing as conservatives. They understand the bad better thant the good.

Which makes me wonder whether it's really possible to reach conservatism (or classical liberalism) as a political philosophy without a religious conversion--or at least embracing the surface-level truths of Christianity.

Sounds to me like Mamet is on the right track, though.

andersonrc1 said...

That last comment was from AMC! not RCA

WondrousPilgrim said...

Great point AMC. There is another discussion of this on ISI's First Priniciple's site: