Thanks to those of you who have written comments on the essay The Real Culture War: Defining the Background. It's not about "left-vs-right" or "morality" or any other 20th century cliche.
The issue is Modernity and how to deal with a new century of change.
It's drawn a lot of attention. I only wish the message could reach some of the prominent conservatives who are currently in agony over the madness sweeping their movement. (Liberals were able to do this, recognizing the evils of communism.)
Take my proposal for an Alliance for a Modern World. It's one approach to bring up-front what really matters - fealty to the pragmatic can-do spirit of modernity, which stands at the heart of the American Experiment.
Somehow we must learn to recognize that moderate pragmatists across America derive no benefit from today's idiotic "left-right political axis" which forces them into alliance with various kinds of fanatics.
And yes, it is awkward to use "romanticism" as a general term for those who oppose modernity. Let me make clear that I feel a strong tug of romanticism within, and show it in my writings. For example, even in the hard SF novel KILN PEOPLE, there is a notion of transcendence of the human soul. In THE LIFE EATERS I explore a parallel world in which magic (necromancy and human sacrifice) actually works.
In my essay about Tolkien, I emphasize that there are differences AMONG romantic writers. Tolkien himself was deeply thoughtful about the implications of his own story, and well-aware of the moral faults of his High Elves. He just could not bring himself to face the possibility that wisdom might increase with time. And THAT is the fundamental assumption that seems to propel most romanticism. A cynical rejection of the egalitarian uplift-potential of progress.
I am writing an essay about modernism that may supplement these ideas. Later.
See my series: The Radical Notion of Modernism