Am I rapidly changing my tune, after spending the past two decades trying to subtly nudge the culture rightward and the right punkward? Yes, but I am not backpedaling or contradicting myself.
Rather, I think (a) the urgency of the financial/spending crisis, (b) the heightened awareness of government-business collusion on both sides of the political spectrum, (c) the popularity of the (mostly) anti-big-government Tea Party movement (highly popular relative to the small hardcore libertarian movement in the decades preceding it), and (d) the diminished appearance of legitimacy of big governments around the world all combine to make this an appropriate time to switch to a more econ-focused and more urgent mode, even though a reserved gradualism, I swear, suits my temperament (not to mention Edmund Burke's) better in most circumstances.
Also, the ever-diversifying media make gradual, subtle approaches passe, I fear. The Whole Message must be conveyed in each sentence if anyone is to stop long enough to hear it. The ship of state still turns slowly, but the ship of political discourse is becoming a jet ski among jet skis.
When it appeared that bland decades stretched before us in which to subtly steer the ship of state into one of two highly-popular channels, it made sense to focus on that tactic. But if even the elderly are in the streets wielding signs painted with Rand slogans while wearing tricorn hats, things have changed. I must change with the ever-more-fluid times as well, as must this blog (and its new-minted companion media modalities, products of this "twenty-first century" thing in which I have begun taking an interest).
I will no longer assume there will be a right and left twenty years from now. I am not confident there will be a stock market or welfare state as we know them, for good or ill. There is no time left in which to mince words, then. And no time to waste, over and over, on using political labels that confuse (and amuse) by meaning one thing this decade and the opposite thing the next (true of terms ranging from "anarchist" to "liberal" to "conservative," perhaps even "libertarian"). I will try to keep things more concrete and clear as we ride the changes together (hint: "property rights…taxes… spending cut…").
Tomorrow, a concrete reminder of how quickly things change (and tomorrow at Langan's at 7pm, a Manhattans Project gathering, where we can discuss it all).