Radical Centrism and Third-Way Political Economy

Radical centrism and third-way political economy are honestly the most reasonable positions to hold. Unfortunately, radical centrism looks like extreme leftist in America because America is a nation of right-wing extremist basket cases.

In America, centrist politics looks like far-left politics because both American political parties are rightwing. The Democratic Party is center-right, with the popularity of populist social democrats like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shifting the Democratic Party in the direction of center-left, while the Republican Party shifted to moderate far-right with Reagan and has become extreme far-right with Trumpism.

Classical Marxists and Leninists see third-way social democracy, as represented by Sanders, as perhaps the greatest enemy of socialism and communism. It is actually a misnomer to call such social democracy "socialism" because it does not advocate public-ownership of land and enterprise. Figures like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are really part of the third-way or centrist social democratic tradition of Anthony Crosland and Anthony Giddens.

At the same time, traditional conservatives would abhor not just the Alt Right and Trumpism tendencies of the modern Republican Party, but would also despise basically every aspect of American conservatism since the rise of Reagan. Edmund Burke was an advocate of geoism or land value tax. G.K. Chesterton advocated widespread ownership of property and criticized capitalism as an exploitative and unjust system. Russell Kirk, in "The Conservative Mind," echoed distributist sentiments. Wendell Berry too echoes these sentiments. Leopold Kohr and E. F. Schumacher critique the infinite growth aspect of capitalism and argue against big business and big government. The ideas of traditional conservatism today seem too economically left for any member of the Republican Party to even consider them. The traditional conservates also put forth a "third-way" theory of political economy. The traditional conservative, of course, is wrong on certain social issues like gay rights and women's issues because they allow themselves to be guided by religious ideology, but, for the most part, they aren't wrong about political economy.

"Third way" and "radical centrist" approaches are the most reasonable in my estimation. We need significant social change without the tumult of revolution. We need reform without the instability brought by insurrection. The system is fundamentally broken and we have to address that, but we shouldn't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

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