My conversation with the American author and editor Sohrab Ahmari
I, a confirmed "rightist", was still intrigued by this topic...and survived for about 50% of the discussion. I quit. I found the author pedantic, predictable and short of new insights.
Of course employers have committed nasty things. And the examples (meatworker, waitress etc) were egregious. But the inflammatory left topic of employer "tyranny" deserves discussion of protections required against government and labour tyranny. Many of the 28-page contracts were written just to satisfy the exposures of labour legislation.
This topic needs some balance, some research into government interference in the employer/employee relationship and the role of that intrusion in the encouragement of robo-solutions to simply eliminate the problem--the need to hire people in the first place.
Remember: employees are the very, very expensive solution to business's need to get things done.
The early part of this interview circled around the idea of what the interviewee called workplace tyranny. It is interesting to me that there are these dynamics throughout our culture. The exercise of this kind of power is inevitable in a culture without accountability, regardless of the context whether in the marketplace or the political realm. This is the undiscussed seeds of destruction in Socialism that can be found in its foundations. The assumption that we are basically good and will do the right thing crashes on the rocks of reality as we turn again to tyrannical means to ensure "equality of outcome." (We are all equal but some are more equal than others) A good read about this dynamic is Rod Dreher's book Live Not By Lies. I strongly recommend the book.
Before I trudged off to St. Michael’s College at the U of T an older adult faced me squarely and said, “Watch out for converts.” And she was right. There weren’t many at SMC but they sure made themselves known. A priest who worked as a guidance counsellor told me they were “ecclesiastical terrorists” who searched for teachers not living up to the latest papal encyclical. They liked strong man religion.
Mr. Ahmari has certainly fulfilled expectations as a ranking Catholic convert in the right wing and conservative spheres , his papal admiration reflected in visits to Viktor Orban, a ‘strong man’ who imposes state sanctioned morality on his citizens. I guess he’ll do, in a pinch.
But more interesting to me is Mr. Ahmari’s quest to carve out notional and ideological spaces in the flatulent wake and catastrophic cleavages left by America’s drag king in chief, Donald Trump. Talk about a story hour.
Mr. Ahmari is twisting himself into an interesting shape; he’s certainly making the rounds in search of royalties and recognition (oh look, there’s Brendan O’Neill interviewing him for spiked back in March. Coinkydink?) and at times he sure sounds like AOC. Other times he sounds like Batya Ungar-Sargon. My spidey sense is tingling.
Whatever he and the lads at Compact are up to, they refer to themselves as “The New Right.” Or Nationalist Conservatives. Or NatCons. They even have conferences, and merch.
What they also have is precious little that’s actually new. It’s just in a different order, calculatingly so.
Thanks for the podcast, Tara.