Myšlenková krize amerického konzervatismu

BERKELEY – V levém zadním rohu mého pracovního stolu právě leží tři nedávno vydané knihy: The Battle od Arthura Brookse, Coming Apart od Charlese Murraye a také A Nation of Takers z pera Nicholase Eberstadta. Dohromady tyto knihy představují důležitý intelektuální pohyb, který shodou okolností zároveň patří k hlavním důvodům, proč dnešní americký konzervatismus může říct tak málo konstruktivního k řízení ekonomiky – a proč má tak malý vliv na centrum amerického elektorátu.

Vraťme se však do historie, konkrétně k založení toho, co bychom mohli nazvat moderním konzervatismem, ve Velké Británii a Francii na počátku 19. století. Existovali tací – na mysl se derou například Frédéric Bastiat a Jean-Baptiste Say –, kteří věřili, že když dojde k dočasnému narušení trhů nebo výroby, měla by vláda zapojit nezaměstnané do práce na budování infrastruktury. Jejich protiváhu pak představovali lidé jako Nassau Senior, kteří se vyslovovali i proti pomoci při hladomoru: velký irský hladomor prý nezabije víc než milion lidí „a to by na pomoc sotva bylo dost“.

Hlavním tématem raného konzervatismu byl zásadní odpor proti jakékoliv formě sociálního pojištění v obecném slova smyslu: nechte chudé zbohatnout a stanou se plodnějšími. V důsledku toho se sníží rozloha farem (protože půda se bude dělit mezi víc dětí), klesne produktivita práce a chudí nakonec ještě více zchudnou. Sociální pojištění není jen neúčinné, ale přímo kontraproduktivní.

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