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!Free Ebook ♃ The Conservatarian Manifesto ☲ There Is An Underserved Movement Budding Among Young Conservatives, In Which Fiscal Responsibility And Controlled Government Spending Remain Crucial Tenets, But Issues Like Gay Marriage And Drug Control Are Approached With A Libertarian BentThe Ideas Of This Growing Wave Need A Public, Nuanced Voice The Implications For The Republican Party If This Philosophy Is Widely Adopted May Not Only Spur Major Change Within The Party, But Could Also Revitalize Its Chances Of Claiming Power In Our GovernmentAuthor Charles Cooke Has Coined The Term Conservatarian For This Group, And The Conservatarian Manifesto Is His Explanation Of What Defines This New Breed Of Republican, What They Believe On Every Hot Button Issue Of Our Day, And How They Can Effect Change Within The GOP This Audiobook Is A Blueprint Of Action And Ideology For The Growing Population Of Socially Liberal, Fiscally Conservative Young Members Of The Political Right I really don t know why I read this I blame Tyler Cowen. After receiving an Advanced Reader Copy in the mail unexpectedly one day, I was looking forward to Charles C.W Cooke s first book Conservatarian Manifesto Cooke is a new contributor to The National Review and a definite must read in the magazine and online.Cooke defines a Conservatarian as a mainstream conservative in the Goldwater Reagan tradition who subscribes to the fiscal and modern federalist principles of the libertarian philosophy Cooke does a great job developing this thesis on how Libertarians and Conservatives have in common than they think, especially since The Great Society of LBJ Encouraging that Cooke states that 2008 2012 was in fact the high water mark of progressive electoral and legislative success, which I agree.Cook covers the Conservatarian position on federalism, guns, the war on drugs, social issues, foreign policy and wraps up with demographics and the future This is a welcome contribution to the discussion of how conservatives and Libitarians can work together for electoral and societal success. Surprisingly good summary of conservative and libertarian viewpoints in the US today, and clarification of areas of harmony and divergence Audible audiobook Since Barack Obama s election in 2008, the conservative movement and its primary vehicle, the Republican Party, have been adrift The midterm success of 2010 and 2014 notwithstanding Cooke doesn t hope to bring the wayward craft back to shore his goal is the modest one of pointing it in the right direction The future of conservatism is, in Cooke s view, a fusion of conservative and libertarian principles Hence conservatarianism The principles Cooke elucidates will be familiar to those who pay close attention to politics But for those who don t and that is in fact most people in the USA, as their attuned brethren always lament , Cooke s book is a good primer for one path conservatives and Republicans might take Cooke calls for a return to fundamental conservative principles such as federalism and respect for the Constitution His first chapters concentrate on this He also notes some of the structural disadvantages conservatives now face, such as the near total colonization of non political institutions by the left e.g popular culture, academia, and the news media Cooke espouses a live and let live philosophy of individual liberties, autonomy, and limited government If there s a primary goal of conservatarianism, it is to reduce the massive scope and weight of the federal government as it exists now The federal government is huge, overbearing, and oppressive As Cooke notes, conservatives have been complicit in its expansion They can t have it both ways, he argues, supporting it when they run it and opposing it when the Democrats are in charge Cooke, as many conservatives now do, indicts the war on drugs as a prime example of government overreach and the betrayal of conservative values It is his case study of a failure of conservative ideas, resulting in a vastly expanded federal government, mass incarceration, the militarization of police, and the like The drug war stands for the criminalization of broad swathes of life, something libertarians and libertarian inclined conservatives see as a grave threat to civil liberties and civil society The defeat of the gun control movement is Cooke s example of a conservatarian success Whereas at one point it was considered uncontroversial to want to ban handguns, the Second Amendment is now held to grant individuals the right to bear arms As gun laws have loosened, crime rates have plunged The link, if any, between these two trends is controversial but that both have happened is indisputable Conservatives and libertarians demanded the government recognize the right to bear arms, advocated for this recognition, and won it This right is imperiled by those who wish to undo it, but, as Cooke notes, any attempt to ban guns and enforce this ban perhaps via mandatory confiscation would result in violent resistance, perhaps even a civil war Cooke chastises those on the left unwilling or incapable of admitting this reality to themselves as naive and unreal.He admonishes libertarians on these same grounds several times, notably in discussing immigration Most libertarians support open borders and free movement of peoples A fine sentiment in the abstract, Cooke says, but harmful in reality It makes no sense, he argues, to allow unlimited immigration when there are people than jobs and mass welfare exists You are just inviting people to become additional burdens on taxpayers This sort of unreal wishful thinking, Cooke suggests, is one reason libertarians make little headway with the public He makes similar criticisms of libertarian views on foreign policy Retrenchment may sound good in the abstract, but Cooke sides with conservatives who believe a global order secured by the US a better alternative than a world in which the US retreats and less capable and or hostile powers play a greater role.Cooke doesn t refrain from chastising conservatives, either He implores them to give up the fight against gay marriage and instead focus on securing the liberties of those who oppose it As recent events have shown, this may well be impossible Government is a leviathan in its own right So is big business Their combination may well be a monstrosity in which any liberty and resistance are nullified Another area in which Cooke challenges conservatives is their addiction to defense spending A robust military and foreign policy are good, Cooke agrees, but Republicans tendency to support any defense program they meet undermines their claims of fiscal restraint and belief in small government If conservatives really do believe in smaller government with less spending, their sacred cows will have to bleed, too Cooke doesn t advocate any specific policies or proposals, save for broad ones like drug legalization He doesn t, for example, say the tax rate should be this high, that the IRS should be abolished, that the Export Import bank must go, how to reform Social Security, or the like He didn t set out to write a party platform, nor did he This is a manifesto, a statement of principles It s less a road map than it is a sign pointing in a particular direction But there s a question mark on the sign, as this isn t necessarily the only way forward for conservatives and Republicans It s one possibility Some will find it attractive, some won t Cooke s purpose is to get those who read it, especially those who don t pay attention to politics on a daily basis, to think about it Any reader of such a book will find things to criticize, either things that were left out or arguments he didn t find convincing Cooke s focus is on government, but I think any successful conservatarianism will have to confront conservatives and Republicans reflexive support of big business Cooke does note that support of free markets is a core conservative and libertarian principle, and that one of the successes of the tea party was forcing a recognition among the broader conservative movement and the GOP that supporting big business isn t the same as supporting free markets They can, in fact, be antithetical My most substantive criticism, then, is that there isn t a chapter on economics Any successful future conservative movement will have a substantial economic component Conservatarianism will be no exception I m uncertain whether Cooke s exercise was one of pouring a new wine into an old bottle, simply slapping on a new label onto the old bottle, or pouring the old wine into a new bottle Six of one, half a dozen of the other, I suppose It is a synthesis Cooke embraces some conservative principles a robust foreign policy, staunch opposition to abortion and unlimited immigration, staunch support of the Second Amendment while trying to wed them to libertarian positions embracing gay marriage, ending the drug war and decriminalizing controlled substances It is provocative I m not sure on what side of the old Rousseauean distinction of persuading and convincing it falls on But it is well worth considering Given where the GOP and conservatives find themselves these days, it surely couldn t hurt Published 31 May 2015 Originally, I wasn t going to bother writing anything about this book I picked it up after having seen Cooke on Bill Maher a couple of times, once memorably discussing the Benghazi hearings erupting in Washington and arguing reasonably, it seemed to me for their legitimacy even considering the Republicans use of it as political leverage I wouldn t have even guessed he was a conservative from these appearances, nor would I have guessed him to be a liberal He just seemed rational, a good antithesis of reasonableness in the face of Maher s smug blend of entertainer and media critic And The Conservative Manifesto, from the jacket and blurbs, seemed also like it would be a reasonable argument to conservatives everywhere concerning how to best brand conservatism for the 21st century merge it with the best of libertarianism and sell it to the public with honest arguments My initial guess was that Cooke would argue to ditch the phony culture wars trumpeted by the strident voices of the right gay marriage, abortion, political bias in universities, etc And that turned out to sort of be the case But Cooke s overall argument is much reactionary than I would have guessed He begins his arguments from starting points I found either debatable or outright bizarre In fact, what I couldn t shake off, even now, weeks after having read it, was when he was discussing money in politics On page 35 of a book just a smidge under 300 pages, he writes, Republicans will never outspend The Democratic Party Really News to me Finding evidence to the contrary is almost too easy Like in this morning s New York Times, where it s reported that 157 families are providing the lion s share of donations to the 2016 presidential race, overwhelmingly towards conservative Republicans aghast at regulation over anything Maybe Cooke would argue that the raw dollar amount is greater coming from the left Maybe it is But the funny thing about that is, that money would then have to come overwhelmingly from the overall population, not families with ties to the candidates they re supporting The Latino base, unions, etc may organize into formidable voices, but they can t pick up a phone and get Ted Cruz on the line with the ease that, say, the Wilks family can So truthfully, though I continue to hunger for a sane right wing voice to bring the term conservative back to some reasonable definition we could use to foster actual ideological debate in the three ring circus of political and media voices clamoring for our attention, I don t think Cooke is going to provide it Not in print, at least I simply can t understand how he can hold as premises so many of the assertions he uses to build his conclusions Regarding higher education, he writes early in the book that Academia is no less dominated by devotees of the Left While conservatives tend to cluster in fields like accounting, information management, marketing, and electrical engineering, those who identify as either left or liberal head for the ivory tower as if it were a magnet That made me wonder what century he was writing about The Ivory Tower admits very few leftists these days The Ivory Tower barely admits anyone these days, regardless of qualifications Just ask Rebecca Schuman Or Thomas Kidd Or pretty much anyone actually on the academic job market Regarding education overall, Cooke complains about the fetishization of high school and college diplomas fostered by the Democratic Party, completely ignoring the pick yourself up by your bootstraps fantasies fueling the Republicans and how that s leached into the college for everyone mentality fostered by both parties, true that s so completely screwing up education today Not that that matters to him he flat out argues that the American education system is the worst possible system Worse, apparently, than the Taliban s, or North Korea s I always tell my composition students to never argue an absolute I honestly didn t think Cooke would need such advice Never mind his side comment about the execrable teachers unions I ll get over it Eventually Regarding the need for an education system overall, Cooke claims that history says otherwise According to him, New England had high degrees of literacy He cites someone named Edwin West, who wrote for The Freeman, point ing to a contribution in the January 1828 edition of the American Journal of Education that suggests that Americans enjoyed widespread literacy By 1840, some measures indicate, than 90 percent of Americans could read and write Including slaves Backwoods farmers Frankly, what the hell is he talking about By 1870, according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 20 percent of Americans were illiterate, including almost 80 percent of blacks Quite a bit of damage done in thirty years, unless that damage was already present Regarding millennials, Cooke seems completely oblivious to the macroeconomic factors governing their behavior For now, Millennials vote reliably for the champions of the New Deal But in private they customize their lives and operate within bespoke networks of their own devising This, ultimately, is a generation of nonconformists one that is comfortable with Uber than with the taxi commission with Airbnb than with Hilton and with Facebook than with But, I mean come on. Could it be that their choices are also based on price, and that they can t afford luxury Could it be that comparing Facebook to Healthcare is stupid I feel like I m reading Tom Friedman glorifying a flat world all over again Regarding the war on drugs and gun violence, I find him reasonable he takes conservatives to task for attempting to argue that America s homicide rate compared to other like countries is off the scale, pointing out that they do themselves no favors by ignoring this difference He wants states to police their own gun laws, since their needs differ I think that s debatable, but I think it would be a good debate I d find it difficult to debate the issue, however, with a man who claims that really, the NRA s only power is communicative It tells voters whether or not candidates for office agree with them, and voters do the rest Why is it that union money is so vile, but the gun lobby s incredible bankroll doesn t even exist Cooke also wants to decriminalize drugs a common libertarian creed, and one that, most likely, will catch on and result in action within a decade or so But in other places, he courts straw man arguments like a drunken prom date He equates skepticism with unilateral American military action with disengagement, and he characterizes voices for immigration reform on the right to a position akin to adopting the Democrats platform wholesale in order to win Hispanic voters Maybe the odd pundit is making that claim, but on its face it looks ridiculous Equally ridiculous is how he dismisses race and racism issues as nonsense towards the end of the book and implores conservatives to carry on cheerfully against the onslaught of prejudice lobbed against them by the Left, propped up as it is by special interests That s rich In a country where the leading cause of death among young black males is homicide, where the race class correlation is so big you d need blinders to not see it, here s a guy arguing that the left is waging class war against rich, entrenched special interests calling the shots in Washington Cooke is reasonable and engaging on television Turns out, he s not so much these things in print, which is disappointing. The book is written well enough, so it doesn t get one star The entire premise is wrong though.For a libertarian, there may be individual policies they would share support with many conservatives than liberal progressives For example, spending cuts, deregulation, the right to arm and defend ourselves But ideologically there is no overlap whatsoever.Libertarianism is based on the idea that every individual has the right to their life and property, and as such may not legally aggress against the life or property of others These are rights to which human beings are entitled, which means there cannot exist a legitimate authority than can take them away.That means the government has no rightful say in who a person wants to marry, what chemical they want to ingest into their own body, what someone s immigration status is if you want to hire them, or what products they want to own for defense.The other sides are much closer to each other ideologically, in fact nearly indistinguishable No one has rights, only privileges granted by the mercy of government Each side has their special interest groups that fight for these privileges, but the effect is the same Conservatives want smaller government, at least when a Democrat is president Otherwise they don t worry about it Progressives want to end the wars when a Republican is president Otherwise who cares As it appears that the progressive special interests are winning the PR war, a book like this linking libertarianism to conservativism only serves to attempt to discredit libertarians in the eyes of the lesser informed by lumping them with the crowd that wants border walls and steel tariffs and other big government ridiculousness. Read this some years ago Recall it being another fantasy about a socially liberal fiscally conservative future with a touch of neoconnery Alas, I suspect it may in part be somewhat true despite recent events Young conservatives seem to be a mischievous lot without a socially conservative bent they dislike social progressivism, but combat it with vulgarity, throwing it back in their face Trump exemplifies this They take drugs as much as liberals, watch obscene materials, play the same video games, don t care about gay marriage They are, however, less concerned with so called fiscal conservatism But the truth is, very few people ever called about fiscal conservatism Cooke was right to point out the interesting fact that modern generations seem to be just as, if not so, pro life as past generations Abortion seems to be the one genuinely conservatarian issue, in that it s the one issue where many libertarians are reliably conservative. If you call yourself a conservative, to another conservative, eventually you ll get around to classifying yourself precisely There are free market types, foreign policy hawks, social issues warriors, Burkean traditionalists and your good ol conversation stopping libertarians.Charlie Cooke takes as his theme synthesizing the best of the small government, low tax side with the libertarian s eye toward greater individual liberty He does not much address foreign policy concerns, which is a shame, but tries to imagine a conservative libertarian hybrid philosophy that closely aligns with surveys that show this to be a sizable group among Millennials So, while he comes out strongly in favor of lower taxes, gun rights but also gay marriage, he opposes abortion on libertarian grounds, which is unusual given that most libertarians stop at the asserted right to choose of a woman with hardly a thought for the other heartbeat inside her.Cooke s a transplanted Brit, but writes good and keeps it moving I found the book thoughtful and nicely argued I d still like to have him address foreign policy matters fully than the standard libertarian swag that we can t be the world s policeman, end of discussion that he offers.But for people who don t feel comfortable with the social decay that liberals encourage, the economic doldrums that preachy environmentalists, nanny state socialists and excessive regulation have saddled our economy with, OR the crony capitalist Republicans who seem to leave their stated principles next to the umbrella stand at every fundraiser, this book offers some good advice. A sagacious and historically well researched look at the past and future of the Republican Party, and a call to arms for conservatives to work smarter, not harder, in the fight against the progressive liberal hijacking of American politics I d recommend it to any conservative who s disillusioned with the GOP, any libertarian who wants to appeal to a broader audience, and any American or foreigner who wishes to understand American politics and conservative values better.