In his The American Conservative article entitled “A Radical Defense of Home Economics,” Alan Jacobs writes:
Traditionalists and radicals alike have deep reservations about the bureaucratization, rationalization, and consumerism of American life, and lament the damage such forces are doing to local communities and to families. But while these groups formulate very similar critiques of the current order, they arrive at those crituques by very different intellectual paths. I wonder if that will always prevent them from making common cause with one another
I comment on this here because the growing discontent of society’s periphery is held in common by both the right and the left. In this era of ostensibly unprecedented levels of partisanship, it is comforting to know that logical inquiry can lead to the same conclusion regardless of political affiliation.
In his piece, Jacobs is commenting on an article which suggests that a revival of the home economics course in our nation’s schools will help us combat this tendency towards soulless mass production and change course to a community-oriented individualism. This leads me to wonder what other steps can be taken to fight the commercialization of our Republic?
One such proposal would be the active seeking of populist voices in the national dialogue. When the Wall Street Journal can profile the leadership of the Federal Reserve and point out that a plurality of them attended MIT concurrently, one wonders if a certain amount of group think can be blamed for any poor decisions.
An acknowledgement of the voices from the periphery will strengthen the national dialogue. Instead of Harvard/Princeton/Yale/MIT voices that represent the academic and financial elite, we must solicit the ideas of intelligent, driven, people outside the East Coast Bubble.