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Arnold Kling on the future of politics.

9:23 AM, Jul 19, 2010 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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Arnold Kling has a great post this morning on the "neo-Reactionaries." The best part:

I think that ideology is partly endogenous. I do not think that it is an accident that an ideology of rational technocratic control grew up as America urbanized and as enormous scale economies emerged in the industries made possible by the internal combustion engine, the electric motor, radio, and television. I do not think it is an accident that the Progressive ideology will be challenged as the Internet starts to alter the economy and society, reducing the comparative advantage of mass production and mass media while increasing the comparative advantage of local autonomy and individual expression. The Internet serves as a constant reminder of the wisdom of Hayek.

When you look at conservative commentary today, you see a lot of people interpreting the rise of the Tea Party and the coming Republican victories as signs that suddenly the country has become indistinguishable from CPAC. I do not see that as the case. While the public has been drifting right on a number of issues, there is the real danger that conservatives and Republicans will over-interpret whatever happens in November, just as liberals and Democrats over-interpreted the 2008 election.

What Kling suggests is that we are at a moment of transition, when the politics of the industrial era collides with the emergent politics of the information economy. Yes, it sounds Tofflerian. But there is no question that over the last few decades the global economy has undergone a rapid and genuine transformation while our politics and party system have remained remarkably stable. If I interpret Kling correctly, the new information age politics will not be conservative in every respect. But it will have a lot of features that stress individuality and de-centralization. And as we are tossed from crisis to crisis that shake the foundations of our institutions, adaptation will be the key to survival.

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