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Who are the 'REAL' conservatives?

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  • Teallaura
    replied
    Originally posted by phank View Post
    Not spectra maybe, but it's a great place to study rigid poiitical polarization.
    Yes, I suppose so - could you get back on the slide, please?

    Leave a comment:


  • phank
    replied
    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
    The Internet isn't the best place to study political spectra, actually...
    Not spectra maybe, but it's a great place to study rigid poiitical polarization.

    Leave a comment:


  • Teallaura
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    Except those outliers I know I guess.

    I mean, unless we're talking communists and anarchists, what ideas do mainstream liberals outside of the US support that are not supported by the mainstream here? I can't think of any social or moral issues that aren't voiced here. From assisted suicide, to radical feminism, to LBGTIQ-XYZ rights, to drug legalization and Heroin-assisted treatment, to pro-abortion advocacy. There are plenty of liberals in the US who enthusiastically support all of these things. Or do you mean more along the lines of things like health care reform, welfare assistance, gun control, environmental concerns, alternative energy, prison reform, and that sort of thing?
    Spectrum tells us something about where most of a person's issue responses will be - but not all. That's why you can't go strictly by issues - you will always find that virtually no human is perfectly in sinc with a given position on the spectrum. You will have pro-abortion social conservatives - not many but a few will be there. If you look strictly at that issue, you'll assume incorrectly that that person is a liberal.

    You won't find any broad support for communism and not a heck of a lot for socialism, either, in the US although you will find those who espouse those positions. Looking at aggregate data, communists are left wing outliers. Looking at the Internet, they are about to take over the world.

    The Internet isn't the best place to study political spectra, actually...

    Leave a comment:


  • Pentecost
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    Hmm. Ok. I lived in Europe for a number of years, and I didn't really get the sense that they were morally any more liberal than a lot of liberals I know in America, but then again, I didn't really pay super close attention to the politicians over there, so maybe I missed it. Maybe its more a difference between the politicians and not the politics.
    Difference between politicians not politics is pretty much exactly what I was getting at. I'm not an expert so someone can correct me, but I do generally try to keep abreast of European domestic politics.

    Leave a comment:


  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
    Well, even in the first set, while we have liberals here in the US who advocate all of those things, it is much more fringe than Europe, especially when speaking of our politicians; many of whom stay very far away from much of them. Every state has the same issues, but different emphasizes for which are current hot button topics, even if reform is called for across the board.
    Hmm. Ok. I lived in Europe for a number of years, and I didn't really get the sense that they were morally any more liberal than a lot of liberals I know in America, but then again, I didn't really pay super close attention to the politicians over there, so maybe I missed it. Maybe its more a difference between the politicians and not the politics.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pentecost
    replied
    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
    Except those outliers I know I guess.

    I mean, unless we're talking communists and anarchists, what ideas do mainstream liberals outside of the US support that are not supported by the mainstream here? I can't think of any social or moral issues that aren't voiced here. From assisted suicide, to radical feminism, to LBGTIQ-XYZ rights, to drug legalization and Heroin-assisted treatment, to pro-abortion advocacy. There are plenty of liberals in the US who enthusiastically support all of these things. Or do you mean more along the lines of things like health care reform, welfare assistance, gun control, environmental concerns, alternative energy, prison reform, and that sort of thing?
    Well, even in the first set, while we have liberals here in the US who advocate all of those things, it is much more fringe than Europe, especially when speaking of our politicians; many of whom stay very far away from much of them. Every state has the same issues, but different emphasizes for which are current hot button topics, even if reform is called for across the board.
    Last edited by Pentecost; 01-16-2015, 01:17 PM. Reason: Grammar

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  • Epoetker
    replied
    Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
    Is that because of its historical connection to atheism? I was born after the fall of the USSR, I don't have any real context that older Americans would have.
    Less atheism than communism itself. Socialism has encouraged far more corruption in its peaceful Christian than its avowedly atheist form, though both are body and soul-destroying:

    Socialism and fascism produce a mix of substandard and disastrous results, for a simple reason: both originate in democracy, a precancerous growth always pregnant with some malignancy.

    In almost every historical case of democracy, factions have arisen which can be arranged along a right-left axis. In the Athenian era, for example, hundreds of city-states developed a factional pattern in which a nominally demotic party competed against an nominally oligarchic party. This pattern must be a consequence of human nature, for it appears in all eras and populations without any apparent structure of transmission.

    The socialist one-party state arises through the total victory of a faction, party, or movement of the Left. The fascist one-party state arises through the total victory of a faction, party, or movement of the Right. (Note that victory is victory, by means legal or illegal.)

    The stable two-party democracy remains pregnant with both. And its stability is illusory: the same nominal parties remain, but their actual positions shift inexorably toward the Left. Thus we see chronic rather than acute socialism, which has the same endpoint - sclerotic emphysema of Brezhnev - but slower, and with a lot less drama. Unless it breaks down, of course.

    (Note that under this definition, it is impossible to argue that "Hitler was a socialist." On the Weimar political spectrum, which was no different from ours, the NSDAP was a party of the Right. Thus its total victory can only constitute the condition of fascism. Of course you may use any definition of "socialist" or "fascist" you like, but the above will be found to closely match your intuitive sense of the matter.)

    It is these democratic roots which fatally poison both socialism and fascism. Since the origin of the socialist or fascist regime is always a democratic party, achieving power at least partially through democratic tactics, the regime cannot escape democracy as a source of both external legitimacy and internal structure. The mark of Cain is always on it.

    Your captain is a strong hand on a strong ship. But he is no Baptist. Will he round the Horn? Famously, if sober. Otherwise, in the belly of a fish. As an ingredient in government, even just a mixer, democracy is a deliriant - like Jimson weed. Cocaine sends you up, whisky brings you down, acid swings you around. But you never know what a man will do on Jimson weed. You might want to find another captain for the Southern Ocean.

    This origin in democracy should not be confused with genuine popular sovereignty, or actual sailing of the ship by ballot-box. Such a thing is almost unheard of. It is not that socialist or fascist states actually extend significant decision-making power to the people at large. This is almost never the case, not even in working democracies with genuine contested elections.

    If you look at any government of the 20th century and ask, who helms the ship around the Horn? Who tells the sailors when and how to reef the anchor, swab the mast or jibe the poop deck? Your answer will not be: the people who vote in "American Idol." Your answer will be: the pros. Public servants. The people who always do it. Which is not to say they do it right.

    However, a socialist or fascist state, being by definition the descendant of a democratic movement, (a) cannot cease to adore some mythic construction of popular sovereignty, and (b) cannot afford to lose the actual adoration of its subjects. Both are central to its legitimacy.

    And both, as we will see, are central to its insanity - in two very different ways. Because both socialism and fascism must maintain the sham of popular government, they have the seed of mendacity always inside them. That seed always finds fertile soil, and indeed life in a socialist or fascist state always becomes life in a jungle of lies. Which is typically the least of your problems.

    Thus in socialism and fascism, we see the worst of both worlds. The state is (or at least may be) strong. But it is also mad. Thus, sometimes, often or always, its strength is wielded in the service of Chaos and not Cosmos. In short, the 800-pound gorilla is on acid. No wonder the night-watchman state seems like such a tempting idea.
    And this corruption is, 99% of the time, due to the type of people it attracts:

    we need to recognize perhaps the most distinctive and subtle quality of socialism, which is that socialism (again in origin, though this quality disappears in the nasty end stages) is a fundamentally aristocratic movement. Moreover, it is aristocratic in the Carlylean sense: the actual meaning of the word, rule of the best. Socialism, always in origin and perpetually in the true democratic state which still contains a competing Right, is the alliance of the smartest, the wealthiest, the most powerful, and the most beautiful.

    The Left is the faction of the professors, the scientists and the scholars, the cognitive elite. It is the faction of the true ultra-rich, the old money, the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts and Fords, and their trustafarian hipster junkie grandchildren. It is the faction of the journalists and the bureaucrats, the activists and astroturfers - the wielders of power. And, of course, it is the faction of movie stars and other celebrities, who for all their flaws have climbed a long greasy pole. The closer you get to the top in a democratic society, the more pervasive socialism becomes.

    And the trouble was: it was all wrong. The results were exactly opposite the original intent. The poor were not morally uplifted and converted into gentlemen; they were degraded and converted into savages. A new underclass of unprecedented human degeneration appeared below the proletariat. The New Jerusalem did not arrive. New Babylons, new Haitis, new Armageddons beyond words, enormous Megatherions all, slithered up on their great bellies.

    Alas, socialism can be explained in one sentence. Socialism is the last stage of democracy. The process may be fast and bloody, as in the French and Russian Revolutions, or slow and mostly peaceful, as in Britain. But it is not generally reversible by any conventional means.

    By pouring their talents into the democratic movement, the new aristocracy of progressivism ensured the following results:

    First, that bad ideas would blossom and good ones wither and disappear. Progressivism has become a veritable religion of quack goverment. Its policies are always counterintuitive: it preaches leniency as the cure for crime, timidity as military genius, profligacy as the acme of economics, "special education" as the heart of pedagogy, indulgence as oversight, appeasement as diplomacy. As it goes from one disaster to the next, progressivism never considers the possibility that the obvious, rather than its opposite, could be the case. Occam's Butterknife is the only tool in its kitchen.

    So everywhere that socialism or communism triumphs, we see the same phenomena: hypertrophy of the bureaucracy, destruction and/or assimilation of organizations outside the State, expansion and widespread delinquency of the underclass, decimation of the working class, decay and disappearance of manufacturing industries, persecution of upper classes and successful minorities, destruction of old cities and production of hideous totalitarian architecture, ubiquitous depression both economic and psychiatric. These effects are not pleasant to anyone, progressive or otherwise. But their production does not slacken.

    Except for the occasional psychopath, a man to be found in all walks of life, this is never the intent of the socialist. My own grandfather was a CPUSA member, and this was certainly not his intent. Nonetheless, they all happened. (And the CPUSA is again best friends with the White House - just as if it were 1934. Or South Africa.)

    But why? What causes this pattern of repeated failure? Why, with its intellectual firepower, can progressivism not self-correct? After all, its public-policy experts are supposed to be scientists. They publish papers - with numbers. Surely this makes them scientists, and science is self-correcting, ie, always right.

    Alas. Not everyone who writes papers with numbers is a scientist. The most you can say is that your subject is either a scientist, or a pseudoscientist. Also, while it is correct to note that science can be self-correcting, it is incorrect to assume that it must be, ie, is incorruptible. Nothing whatsoever is incorruptible - certainly not science.

    The Platonic guardians of the socialist state - scientists, planners, bureaucrats, or whatever you call them - persistently prefer bad ideas because of the organizational structure of the socialist state. Again, democracy is the fundamental and irrecoverable flaw.

    Because socialism is democratic, it distrusts, opposes and tends to destroy organizational structures which are built on (a) hierarchical command, (b) personal responsibility, and/or (c) financial interests. Your socialist state will never produce a structure in which a single planner is responsible for, say, North Carolina; can fire whomever he likes in the administration of North Carolina; and gets fired himself, if North Carolina does not blossom into a subtropical Eden. This is an organizational structure that one might find in, say, the British Raj. It is not democratic in nature, nor socialist.

    Instead, the socialist state divides power and spreads it as widely as possible - within itself, of course. Its decisions are not personal, but procedural. A procedure is a better procedure if it cuts more stakeholders into the loop - if it is a more open process. Here we see clearly what the State is doing: it is building a support base from its own employee roster, and it is purchasing support by exchanging it for power. The feeling of being in the decision loop produces a remarkable effect of emotional loyalty, no matter how trivial the actual authority may be.

    There is just a slight downside to this: when socialism fails, no one is responsible. No system of ideas, even, can be responsible - for a system of ideas would be an ideology, and public policy is not determined by ideology. Thus many will tell you that economics failed in the crisis of 2008, but no one can possibly do anything about it. Certainly, no producer of economic wisdom in the universities, nor consumer in Washington, need feel even slightly threatened. Tenure is tenure, and civil-service protection is civil-service protection. Our masters serve for life.

    Moreover, in an environment where failure confers no punishment, we would expect bad policies to outcompete good ones. Much as islands without predators are dominated by flightless birds. Freed from the need to actually succeed, the bad policies can offer everything to everyone - permanently. But alas, no dodo is forever.

    Thus the power of socialism to take a perfectly good aristocracy, and corrupt it to the service of lies, incompetence and the Devil. The trouble is that for everyone to get a tiny slice of power's pie, no one can actually do the job of ruling - a concept which conflicts with the entire idea of public policy. A government based on the principle of hierarchical rule simply does not have enough work for all the aristocrats who need to feel important. It is too damned efficient. Thus it is abhorred, and shunned, by all.
    I hardly need to start quoting the Old or New Testament for examples of how this process runs straight against actual Christianity, especially among those most zealous for Christ. In short, socialism has those two deadly qualities for a holy life, it's both popular and worldly, and destroys you so slowly you can never track where you compromised yourself first.

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  • Adrift
    replied
    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
    Center right wouldn't necessarily mean the same thing in two different countries - actually, it rarely does. Centrist merely means that most opinions line up near to each other - it doesn't necessarily mean at a given location on the spectrum. Americans tend to be on the right side of the spectrum and that includes our 'left'.
    Except those outliers I know I guess.

    I mean, unless we're talking communists and anarchists, what ideas do mainstream liberals outside of the US support that are not supported by the mainstream here? I can't think of any social or moral issues that aren't voiced here. From assisted suicide, to radical feminism, to LBGTIQ-XYZ rights, to drug legalization and Heroin-assisted treatment, to pro-abortion advocacy. There are plenty of liberals in the US who enthusiastically support all of these things. Or do you mean more along the lines of things like health care reform, welfare assistance, gun control, environmental concerns, alternative energy, prison reform, and that sort of thing?

    Leave a comment:


  • Pentecost
    replied
    Originally posted by Epoetker View Post
    I'd still recommend against using the term 'socialist' in connection with Christianity in any form.
    Is that because of its historical connection to atheism? I was born after the fall of the USSR, I don't have any real context that older Americans would have.

    Leave a comment:


  • Teallaura
    replied
    Originally posted by Raphael View Post
    or atleast not as centrist as you think

    I'm a center right voter and consider myself fairly conservative by NZ standards.

    I think most American's would consider me center left at best.
    Center right wouldn't necessarily mean the same thing in two different countries - actually, it rarely does. Centrist merely means that most opinions line up near to each other - it doesn't necessarily mean at a given location on the spectrum. Americans tend to be on the right side of the spectrum and that includes our 'left'.

    Leave a comment:


  • Raphael
    replied
    Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
    I fully agree - that's actually pretty old news. What most Americans would be surprised by is how much more in common our sides have than those internationally. Our 'left' would be right in many nations and our 'right' left of many others. American is VERY centrist - our bell curve looks like a tall bell; Europe's looks like a bump in a long line.
    or atleast not as centrist as you think

    I'm a center right voter and consider myself fairly conservative by NZ standards.

    I think most American's would consider me center left at best.

    Leave a comment:


  • Epoetker
    replied
    Originally posted by Pentecost View Post
    I kinda like Christian Socialist for those who conform to traditional Christian morality but reject more extreme aspects of capitalism or embrace forms of socialism.

    It's how I self identify other than Independent.
    I'd still recommend against using the term 'socialist' in connection with Christianity in any form.

    The real conservatives are generally those who live lives against the ruling religion:

    The Left is an amorphous religion from which one cannot claim religious freedom, because the Religion of Political Correctness has never been formally declared. But it has its own dogma – racial and gender quality, etc. It has its own scriptures – poems like “The New Colossus,” and plays like The Crucible. It has its own hymns – “Imagine.” It has its own deities, including one – The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior – with his own holiday. “Public schools” are now effectively parochial schools owned and run by the Religion of Political Correctness.
    Note: If you're ever tempted to say: "But liberals are the REAL racists/misogynists/homophobes/etc", then you have not rejected this religion utterly, as every Christian should.

    Leave a comment:


  • Pentecost
    replied
    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
    We FL/SC don't even get our own common term
    I kinda like Christian Socialist for those who conform to traditional Christian morality but reject more extreme aspects of capitalism or embrace forms of socialism.

    It's how I self identify other than Independent.

    Leave a comment:


  • Joel
    replied
    Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
    We FL/SC don't even get our own common term
    It's called totalitarianism.


    On the other hand, the so-called social liberals seem to be increasingly totalitarian these days, wanting: to control what people put in their own bodies, to protect people from themselves, to control your education, to control how you raise your children, to control your thoughts and speech (so as not to offend anyone), to control what car you drive, to control your retirement savings, to control how you use the water you purchase, to control what light bulbs you can use, to control what toilet you have in your house, to control what shower head you use in your shower, and so on.

    The supposed spectrum between social conservative and social liberal has become not useful.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Sam View Post
    You remember less correctly than you should:
    Thank you, however, for reminding me what a total waste of time it is to try to dialogue with you.

    Leave a comment:

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