The Corner

Patrick Deneen On Peak Oil & The Culture War

Via NLT, I see Patrick Deneen is on quite a tear again. It’s rousing stuff, with some neat insights, but I think his commenters have a better hold on the science and the economics. Here’s his conclusion:

What may be most productive in coming years is to stop calling this cadre of economic libertarians – what we now call “the Right” or even conservatism – conservatives. There is nothing they want to conserve – nothing in the natural or moral ecology. They are rapacious exploiters who want to use every last natural and cultural reservoir for their own immediate profit – even at the price of leaving nothing for their children. Recall, it was Dick Cheney who said “Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis all by itself for a sound, comprehensive energy policy.” Probably true, but it’s a damned good place to start, and we fool ourselves if we think we are not going to need substantial reservoirs of personal and political virtue in coming years.

Soon, if not soon enough, I predict, there will be a party of conservatives and a party of “live now’ers.” Live now’ers have original sin on their side, and are likely to win a lot of votes until it’s clear that the grasshopper was wrong and the ant was right. Then they will tell us it’s time to get the guns. Are you sure that’s the side you want to be on?


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