Jan 19, 2024

a bulldozer for every fence

N.S. Lyons:

Andreessen has mashed various trendy philosophical and political influences together in an attempt to sell the spirit of his manifesto. He has tried to weld together the techno-progress cult of Silicon Valley, the boundless liberationism of free-market individualist liberalism, the Nietzschean vitalism of the neo-pagan and “neo-reactionary” corners of the online right, and the anti-Woke, anti-communist, anti-bureaucratic bonafides of American conservativism.

This doesn’t work. One of those four is particularly out of place: the manifesto, being a paean to limitless progress and an unrealized utopian future, isn’t just un-conservative – it’s actively anti-conservative. If you believe everything in the future will be better than in the past, then there is nothing from the past that deserves to be conserved. Change in this view is always positive (and we shouldn’t forget that, as a venture capitalist, Andreessen literally has a monetary incentive to act as a change merchant.) Nor does the manifesto contain any of the prudence, moderation, or respect for inherited tradition common to the “restrained vision” of conservatism; instead, in the spirit of moving fast and breaking things, it denounces the very notion of precaution. A bulldozer for every fence! And naturally it contains not a word about religion or wisdom of any kind, or any form of the timeless eternal values necessary for real eudaimonia. In short, its progressivism is in straightforward opposition to conservatism.