In his new book, Suicide of the West, National Review's Jonah Goldberg talks about what he calls "the Miracle"—the immense and ongoing increase in human wealth, health, freedom, and longevity ushered in by the Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. At turns sounding like Karl Marx, Joseph Schumpeter, and economist Deirdre McCloskey, Goldberg writes, "In a free market, money corrodes caste and class and lubricates social interaction….Capitalism is the most cooperative system ever created for the peaceful improvement of peoples' lives. It has only a single fatal flaw: It doesn't feel like it."
As his book's title suggests, Goldberg isn't worried the world is running out of resources. He's troubled by our unwillingness to defend, support, and improve customs, laws, and institutions that he believes are crucial to human flourishing.
"Decline is a choice," he writes, not a foregone conclusion. While he lays most of the blame for our current problems on a Romantic left emanating from Rousseau, he doesn't stint on the responsibility of his own tribe of conservative fearmongers and reactionaries.
In a wide-ranging conversation with Reason, Goldberg talks about his new book, his persistent opposition to Trump, how his thinking has evolved on a number of culture-war issues, and why he can't just admit once and for all that he's becoming a libertarian.
Interview by Nick Gillespie. Edited by Alexis Garcia and Austin Bragg.
"Firefly" by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) Source: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Podington_Bear/Background/Firefly Artist: http://www.podingtonbear.com/