Towards A Good Samaritan World

Thursday, December 02, 2004


"The Urban Archipelago" is an interesting essay for two reasons. First, it's a specimen of the Democrat-as-jerk genre that has become fashionable since the Dean insurgency:

Citizens of the Urban Archipelago reject heartland "values" like xenophobia, sexism, racism, and homophobia, as well as the more intolerant strains of Christianity that have taken root in this country.

Neither the heartland nor Bush embraces any of those values, of course.

If Democrats and urban residents want to combat the rising tide of red that threatens to swamp and ruin this country

The rising tide of red has staved off the creeping socialism and foreign-policy defeatism that sunk us into the misery of the 1970s, and paved the way for economic growth that has made us the richest and fastest-growing country in the industrialized world and spread freedom to hundreds of millions worldwide. Duh.

the prickly, hateful "heartland,"

Whom does the heartland hate? It's the Dems who are doing the hating. (Bush-hating, Christian-"fundamentalist"-hating, and so on...) Get a grip.

There are many more examples, no need to cite them all but the essay also has an interesting idea:

Liberals, progressives, and Democrats do not live in a country that stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Canada to Mexico. We live on a chain of islands. We are citizens of the Urban Archipelago, the United Cities of America... We can focus on our issues, our urban issues, and promote our shared urban values. We can create a new identity politics, one that transcends class, race, sexual orientation, and religion, one that unites people living in cities with each other and with other urbanites in other cities.

This entails 1) an embrace of federalism by the Dems, 2) an abandonment of the defense of the welfare state at the national level, 3) an embrace of free-market capitalism, and an effort to understand what makes it work. An archipelago of Hong Kongs? Of course, urbanites are an elite, who can afford the sky-high property values of metropolitan downtowns, so this amounts to the Dems' abandoning the claim to be the party of the people. (Elitism makes an unusual revolting appearance in this essay, of course.) Plus, if the "Urban Vision" means that the Dems will try to attract more people to the cities, that means they'll have to abandon the anti-growth restrictions that shut people out of the cities and help make them elitist-- yet more good news! So, while the author of this article is obviously a disgusting human being, I wish his project success! (Hat tip: Nato.)


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