Arnold Kling on George Packer, David Hackett Fischer, Walter Russell Mead and America’s Four Traditions

Interesting discussion here from Arnold Kling:

In a recent essay drawn from a forthcoming book, George Packer says that American society has fractured into four groups. But David Hackett Fischer noticed these same four traditions, dating back to the first English settlers, in his carefully-researched book, Albion’s Seed. Fischer’s concept then became the basis of Walter Russell Mead’s book on tensions in American foreign policy, Special Providence.

George Packer rediscovers four traditions

Kling goes on to offer what he sees as the correlation between Packer and Fischer and Mead but he also offers his own take on the traditions. But I wanted to highlight his conclusions which is borne out of a frustration I share. How the libertarian perspective seems to be the bogeyman these days while ever increasing government never seems to be blamed for failure:

Free America has become the scapegoat of nearly everyone. Conservatives blame libertarians for social and economic disorder. Progressives blame libertarianism for inequality and injustice. Populists dream of taking power from the elites. But I believe that we will see in the rest of this decade that big government only exacerbates the disorder, inequality, and power imbalances that it purports to solve.

[vigorous nodding by me]

In the Mail: Red State Uprising

Red State Uprising: How to Take Back America by Erick Erickson, Lewis Uhler

Synopsis

Fed up with our arrogant federal government? Don’t want massive programs we don’t need and can’t afford? Then join the Red State Uprising! In his new book, RedState.com founder Erick Erickson clearly outlines what needs to change in Washington and what we can do locally to make it happen. Red State Uprising is not about anarchy or a revolution—it’s about reshaping government to maximize economic growth, individual liberty and private property rights. Barack Obama has shown his determination to move the country towards a socialist nanny state, culminating in the government takeover of health care. The vast majority of Americans reject this vision and Red State Uprising calls upon this majority to stand up and take action. There is a “right size” for government, Erikson argues, but it is much smaller, much cheaper, and much less intrusive than what we’ve got now. Red State Uprising offers conservatives a plan to take back the people’s government.