The underground conflict between traditionalist and neo-conservatives continues…
The sheer size and power of Wal-Mart ought to make any conservative wince. A private entity the size of the U.S. military with the economic clout of the Federal Reserve is no friend to liberty. It should be clearly understood that the conservative’s objection to centralized power and wealth–either in its statist or its corporate forms–is primarily, perhaps exclusively, an objection to its capacity for imposing servility and dependence among his fellow citizens, who should be free.
In this, postwar American conservatives are heirs to the Jeffersonian, anti-Federalist and populist arguments of the 18th and 19th centuries. These decentralists, state’s-righters and agrarian champions presumed a basic level of democratic and economic sturdiness and self-sufficiency in the common man. Left to his own devices, it was thought that the common and working classes–the Minutemen of the Revolution, the pioneers of the West–would not willingly don the yoke of servitude, but would prefer to be free,
despite the sacrifices and hardship such a life might entail.
These traditional conservatives would not have seen the rise of a giant, dominant retailer like Wal-Mart as an advance in “consumer sovereignty,” but rather as forced dependence on faraway manufacturers, cultures, money and decision-makers–and with it, a diminishment of political and economic freedom.
you can see Will’s original editorial, “This big-box is good for the economy” here.
Technorati Tags: cultural conservative, George Will, New Pantagruel, Wal-mart