Was That An Asteroid? [Dan Collins]
Several things relating to the PJM Recovery Act.
First, it appears that what we are witnessing is a kind of mass extinction event, to borrow an analogy. Insty, who’s well positioned to know, says that the ad revenue model has failed. And fair enough. Lots of other bloggers, including Rusty, Ace, The Anchoress, have received their walking papers.
Jeff’s particular beef isn’t exactly with being a victim of belt-tightening measures. He’s upset (legitimately, in my view) that he wasn’t utilized when he offered his services–for the Democratic Convention in Denver, principally, but not solely–and wasn’t ever told why he’d been marginalized in effect. Or if that’s not the case, then Jeff can set me straight.
As The Ever-Temperate Anchoress and others point out, challenge also brings opportunity, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that blog-space abhors a vacuum. It’s just that there’s no “conservative” equivalent of a Sorosugardaddy to fund the media on “our side.” I’m not saying that lefty sites such as the HuffPo won’t suffer, too; as Glenn surmises to me in an email, their burn-rate is probably extraordinary. And I don’t want to whack Roger too much while he’s scrambling to do what he thinks best, but as with many of the commenters here, and Althouse, I don’t think that the streaming video format is a good bet.
In the big picture, apart from the myriad ways this collapse affects the lives of people whom we know and admire in the ‘sphere, this crisis (subliminal Rahm) is related to the whole issue of The Fairness Doctrine. I know that you can do the math. So, the question becomes one of pie.
I’ve had some interesting conversations about these matters with commenters here at PW, since my spider sense has been tingling for awhile, as it often does with paranoid psychotics. I posted yesterday’s Objectivity Fedora snipe before anyone got the message, with my usual crowd-pleasing sense of hahahahaha timing. Below the fold is an email from JHoward that represents an attempt to grapple with the issue of where to go now. Consider it a heuristic, at this point, from which you might derive your own jumping-point. Mind you, you may not agree with everything or even the direction, but it embodies the sort of concrete thinking that we can use right now, so please be respectful.
This is my new email addy in SW Florida – I was in Reno until Oct 08. (Only one ground rule which is that I should stay incognito – my industry won’t understand Teh Conservative, and the snark, well…)
In short, my premise goes like this: Classical Liberalism/Conservatism faces disenfranchisement for many reasons (and the late Conservative movement is honored in wakes all over the country to this day, not to mention how out of touch the Republicans have become) not least of which the enormous dumbing down of common sense. Sounds counterintuitive but taking into account PJM’s meandering and sloth, Insty’s general apathy to anything substantive, and NRO’s isolation from the mainstream (not their fault; they’re a fine operation) we’re fragmented. Moreover, we’re w/o platform — as a movement, we don’t even know what we think.
My proposal: Engage the elements of (1) needing to develop a formative program, (2) needing an actual, stated political platform, or at least a place to hammer stuff to the wall, debate it, and have it stick (3) the tremendous power of the electronic broadsheet, (4) free stuff that serves the above, and (5) the many and wonderful minds that have been known to populate the PW phenomenon.
From there, I’d be willing to publish and a host a Classical Liberal Wiki
The Right needs to get its shit together, and perhaps even to influence a national candidate. That latter’s a lofty ideal from such humble origins as I propose, but if not us, then who? If we had ten Ric Lockes and ten Dan Collins each influencing ten apiece and so on, you can see that while this would take the next two presidential terms to develop, it’d still at some point grow to great substance. I continue to insist that the Left can have no such organic intellectual basis because it is based on parasitic theory and action and cannot therefore reveal itself, assuming it’s even self-conscious enough to do so, which is clearly debatable.
I maintain that only the classic Right can pin it’s anti-government, anti-corruption message to proven theoretical, moral, political, and even human principles. The Left is just where liars and thieves go. We need to take advantage of this.
The real challenge, of course, is marketing: If we were to host the thing in conjunction w/PW, could we get those other guys to buy in? It would give us essential added credibility. Would the NRO staff writers contribute? Surely they should, as they have the brain trust on such matters. Regardless, to make a go at it, we must gain acceptance — Ace would be in, and you know twenty other bloggers who would be too; could we gain critical mass?
It’d run me $150 to set up plus monthly hosting to publish this thing. I can have it skinned with the PW theme. It’d take a couple weeks, and we could include a tip jar with the basis being that everything gained, once having offset operations, would go into marketing the thing.
I have no idea how this would go over, Dan, but it strikes me that if we were to make it, they’d come. The Classical Liberal has the very unique advantage of being able to actually write a theoretical basis of organization and principles that would be completely served by then etching each point into stone. We have the historicity, the theory, and originalism all on our side. I say we take advantage of the power of the PC and start developing a widespread, community-based repository of the terms, conditions, points, principles, values and benefits of our political perspective.
Should this strike you favorably, please keep it between us but privately approach like minds and let me know the response. Again, I’ll stay off-record. Wikipedia’s material on the subject of Classical Liberalism, as I understand it, is in uncopyrighted open-source form and could be copied verbatim into ours to get us going. The rest is all independent writer contributions and discussions (note the tab structure in the link for discussions). The rest would be simple guerrilla marketing through our existing technology channel and to Jeff’s substantial existing audience. Costs are negligible.
If this were to come off the way it should, we’d literally be writing a political platform, something the Left simply cannot do. It strikes me that this could be the modern metaphor for the conversations that produced this country. Why not give it a new national home?