Jeff Deist on why beauty matters to the libertarian right, and Slow Food USA has been taken over by communists

There is increasing recognition among the Mises libertarians that winning the economic debate is not enough. The libertarian right have effectively won the debate against Keynesianism and the mixed-economy, as they have been able to predict and explain the boom-bust economic cycle as the product of Keynesian theories and government attempts to manage the economy via monetary expansion, fiscal polity and regulation.

Nonetheless, there is growing recognition that despite their discredited economic policies the left keeps winning the cultural and political war, and this can only mean that economics is not enough. The left is ideologically motivated and appeals to feelings, such as resentment and apparent injustice. The libertarian right is beginning to recognise that in order to start winning in the cultural war it must also act in the sphere of culture, and that what the right needs to rediscover is the importance of beauty.

The left is decidedly anti-beauty, whereas the right has eschewed beauty in favour of economic efficiency. Both have produced urban and cultural ugliness, with glass towers, car cities, the burbs, box shopping malls, pop music, and mass entertainment. But it is beauty that is at the basis of Western culture and it is beauty that provides for its spiritual foundation. No one is really motivated to fight for a free market and economic efficiency, but the beauty at the centre of European culture remains a source of inspiration and is a thing that many people still feel is worthy of protection, if they haven’t been completely brainwashed by the leftist state education system.

One way in which the ugliness of the global corporate system has been resisted is the Slow Food Movement which was founded in Italy in the 1980s. The fight for sustainable and local farming doesn’t seem to be particularly either a right or a left cause on the face of it. But of course the people in San Francisco couldn’t resist to turn it into a communist cause, with the result that the membership dropped by more than half:

As of 2013, Slow Food USA has a membership of roughly 12,000, down from over 30,000 in 2008. In 2011, the organization was forced to make a series of staff layoffs and reductions and had faced a significant reduction in their income from wealthy supporters. This was partly attributed to the economic recession, but also to disagreements within the movement and a loss of several key personalities.


Started as a protest against fast food and oppressive food systems in Italy in the 1980s, Slow Food is a million-member movement of food activists around the world. Here in the US, we are uniting the joy of food with the pursuit of justice and dismantling oppressive food systems to achieve good, clean and fair food for all.

Slow Food USA

I am yet to see any mention of “food activism”, “oppressive food systems” and “pursuit of justice” in relation to the Slow Food organisations in Italy etc. Instead, they’re interested in sustainability and diversity. And what does BLM have to do with it?

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