Ho, hum - another day, another brilliant piece by Jordan Ballor on the relationship between a well functioning economy and a well functioning community. Yesterday Joseph Knippenberg noted this piece; today, Ballor strikes again :

Indeed, it was not very long into Dreher’s sojourn into small-town America that the limitations of the small, local, old, and particular became painfully obvious. As if on cue, less than a month into his new community, Dreher complained of the “frustratingly slow” Internet access in his house . You can perhaps imagine the gravity of the situation: “We had to cancel Netflix, because we can’t stream. My iPad apps can’t update, and have been permanently hung up for weeks (I’ve rebooted the iPad several times, to no avail). Skyping is very spotty. You can’t watch any online video, even YouTube, without transmission being interrupted.”

Dreher is savvy enough to realize how these complaints sound, and defends himself on the grounds that “given the line of work I’m in—media—I have to have reliable broadband access to do my job efficiently.” It seems when it comes to our professions, sometimes efficiency does trump simplicity after all. So much for Slow Journalism.

Dreher’s frustration in this situation illustrates in microcosm how deeply the contemporary communitarian conservative impulse relies on the technological innovations made possible by global trade . . .

But even as the irony of the Internet illustrates the deep dependence of communitarian conservatives on technological innovation, largely made possible by global markets, market conservatives are no less dependent on the insights of social conservatives . . . Market conservatism is not reducible to libertinism. But neither do Crunchy Cons corner the market on communitarian conservatism.

Articles by Greg Forster

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