Today is the birthday of the authentic voice of the 'old' American left, the singer and songwriter Pete Seeger.
Seeger's socialism, like mine, is a socially conservative one, stressing the importance of family, community and solidarity- and not personal liberation or 'me-first' libertinism. Seeger once famously said that he was more conservative than the Republican politician Barry Goldwater. Goldwater just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax; Seeger meanwhile wanted to turn the clock back to "when people lived in villages and took care of another". It's high time the Left ended what the American writer Eugene Genovese has referred to as its 'irrational embrace' of a liberal programme of personal liberation and to stress, as Seeger has consistently done, its positive conservatism.