22 January 2009

A Right-Wing Revolution

In May 2007 Jonathan Chait wrote a brilliant article titled The Left's New Machine. It was about America's liberal bloggers (the netroots), and how they changed their country's politics.

Conservatives have crowed for years that they have "won the war of ideas". More often than not, such boasts include a citation of Richard Weaver's famous dictum "Ideas have consequences". A war of ideas, though, is not an intellectual process; it is a political process. As my colleague Leon Wieseltier has written, "If you are chiefly interested in the consequences, then you are not chiefly interested in the ideas." The netroots, like most of the conservative movement, is interested in the consequences, not the ideas. The battle is being joined at last.

As we have seen, the netroots movement has climaxed with the election of Barack Obama. The liberal revolution has culminated in the establishment of a new liberal order.

In India the situation is exactly the reverse of America. Here the Left is the establishment, and the Right is the underdog. Can we hope for something similar (to the netroots movement) to happen here? Can the Indian Right take a leaf out of the American Left's notebook? Can we have a right-wing revolution in India?

*Right-wing = Hindu/nationalist/conservative

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