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  • Liberalism and Conservatism, Viewpoints

    I thought I'd start a thread on how the Left and Right view the world, themselves, and their opposition. I'll start with some articles on how non-Leftists / Liberals view the Left / Liberals:

    http://townhall.com/columnists/johnh...ding_the_world

    1) Liberalism creates a feedback loop. It is usually impossible for a non-liberal to change a liberal's mind about political issues because liberalism works like so: only liberals are credible sources of information.
    Can you say Fox News? Anyone citing FOX News as a source to a Leftist will be instantly derided for doing so. Seen that right here repeatedly.

    2) Liberals sources of information are ever present. Conservatives are regularly exposed to the liberal viewpoint whether they want to be or not. That's not necessarily so for liberals.
    This is often cited as a problem with the MSM...

    3) Liberals emphasize feeling superior, not superior results. Liberalism is all about appearances, not outcomes.
    I recently cited this example myself (and not due to this article):

    A ban on DDT makes liberals feel good about themselves because they're "protecting the environment" even though millions of people have died as a result.
    4) Liberals are big believers in moral relativism. This spins them round and round because if the only thing that's wrong is saying that there's an absolute moral code, then you lose your ability to tell cause from effect, good from bad, and right from wrong.
    5) Liberals tend to view people as parts of groups, not individuals. One of the prejudices of liberalism is that they see everyone as part of a group, not as an individual.
    I've pointed out repeatedly myself that the Left values the State over individuals.

    6) Liberals take a dim view of personal responsibility. Who's at fault if a criminal commits a crime? The criminal or society? If someone creates a business and becomes a millionaire, is that the result of hard work and talent or luck?
    "You didn't create that...!" Barack Obama said it best.

    7) Liberals give themselves far too much credit just for being liberal. To many liberals, all one needs to do to be wise, intelligent, compassionate, open minded, and sensitive is to BE LIBERAL.
    How many times have Leftist sources stated that Conservatives / the Right are all idiots, unintelligent, unimaginative, and just plain stupid?

    Read the Left's stuff. You see the above on display:

    http://www.forwardprogressives.com/t...on-key-issues/

    This article written by a Progressive shows a near obsessive ignorance of the Right. It characterizes them as a cartoon version of what they are.

    The article's conclusions are:

    Conservatives deal with absolutes based upon what they believe. If they believe something, everyone else should as well. If they oppose something, so should everyone else.

    Liberals might not always agree with one another, and yes they have their radicals who believe in absolutes based upon their own beliefs as well, but the majority of them tend to see a bigger picture on most issues. They often embrace individual differences and seek reasonable solutions to key issues.

    A liberal sees an issue and thinks, I personally might not agree with it, but its not my right to tell others how to live their lives. We need laws that protect people from others who wish to restrict their rights based on individual personal beliefs.

    A conservative sees an issue and thinks, I personally disagree with it, and everyone else should as well. We need laws that prevent this issue and stop people from having rights to it based on my own personal beliefs.

    And thats the difference.
    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/467716.html

    George Lakoff, a major Progressive Leftist writer on this subject tries (several times) to figure out the difference. He just can't quite grasp it.

  • #2
    So that's the case for Conservatism (Edmund Bourke might query it,though).
    What can be said in favour of Liberalism ?

    While I'm definitely not qualified to argue either case in terms of the American Experience,perhaps it should be remembered that John Locke, a classic liberal,very much inspired your Founding Fathers : The Declaration of Independence is pure Liberalism.
    Last edited by BELGRAVE; 05 May 16, 04:46.
    "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
    Samuel Johnson.

    Comment


    • #3
      I believe the difference between a liberal and a conservative is more fundamental and turns on their perspective on the basic nature of man: is man basically altruistic or self-interest. All the other props of liberalism and conservatism are built on this fundamental difference in perspective.
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
        I believe the difference between a liberal and a conservative is more fundamental and turns on their perspective on the basic nature of man: is man basically altruistic or self-interest. All the other props of liberalism and conservatism are built on this fundamental difference in perspective.
        I'd alter that some. I'd put it this way:

        Progressives, Leftists, Liberals are committed to moral progress. They believe that humanity can be molded into being better people. To do this, all they have to do is show everyone how reasonable their ideas are and the "intelligent" person will suddenly recognize that reasoning and agree with them.
        To go with this, the Progressive starts from the idea of a blank sheet of paper. Nothing from the past, tradition, history, whatever, is immutable. It's all open to rejection and revision.

        Now, if you are a Progressive you take a view that mankind can be altruistic if only reasoned with. That's the essential Marx if you will. "It takes a village," or "You didn't build that..." The view is that the individual needs to cooperate and act not in their own interests but in that of society as a whole. That betters society, and that's reasonable, the Progressive would tell you.

        The Conservative on the other hand largely rejects that sort of moral progress. The Conservative sees man as fallible, corruptible, and self-interested. To use the biblical version, man has eaten the apple and there's no going back.

        When it comes to the state in relation to these two views you get:

        The Progressive sees the state as a impassionate arbiter of everything. It exists to eliminate those parts of society that haven't made the proper moral progress or have not shown sufficient altruism in their actions.
        Thus, rich people are greedy and need to be stripped of their wealth because they aren't sufficiently altruistic.
        Corporations are evil because they put profits ahead of people.
        You are a bigot, hater, whatever, if you cannot accept that every person regardless of their individual differences is completely equal with every other person. Physical or mental differences are compensated for by the state to achieve that equality. Wealth and other material possessions are redistributed by the state to give everyone the same stuff. That's "fair and equal" for the Progressive. "It's reasonable" the Progressive would tell you.

        The Conservative sees the state as a referee. It doesn't try to impose moral progress on society. Instead, it's there to impartially allow everyone equal opportunity to screw their lives up, or make something great. The individual decides their outcome. The state makes sure others don't take unfair advantage along the way.

        When it comes to discourse, the Progressive sees their viewpoint as perfectly reasonable. Disagreement with it is therefore, by definition, unreasonable. Someone disagreeing therefore has to be stupid, resistant, a bigot, hater, or whatever is appropriate to the subject because they are not accepting reason.
        One cannot argue to the Progressive "That's how it works," or "History shows" since for the Progressive these things are irrelevant to current moral progress. They can be rejected simply because they were declared unreasonable.
        Equal outcomes in the name of moral progress are what motivates the Progressive.

        For the Conservative history, tradition (including religion), accumulated wisdom, are all guides to how the state and individual should behave. The Conservative would say "History shows this works..." or "The facts are this..." For the Conservative these things are neither mutable nor irrelevant.
        The Conservative sees equal opportunity for each person and expects unequal outcomes based on each person's own efforts, luck, or skill.

        In none of this, is one position more likely to attract a higher degree of intellectual capacity than the other. Instead, both flow from a personal set of values held with equal passion.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
          I'd alter that some. I'd put it this way:

          Progressives, Leftists, Liberals are committed to moral progress.
          Moral progress assumes the basic nature of man can be changed. History does not seem to indicate such a change, and Communists regimes shot millions of people to make them think right--one was to give according to their capabilities and take only what they need. Even sexual communism has never worked.
          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
            Moral progress assumes the basic nature of man can be changed. History does not seem to indicate such a change, and Communists regimes shot millions of people to make them think right--one was to give according to their capabilities and take only what they need. Even sexual communism has never worked.
            So is it a case of Hobbes," The Life of man,solitary,poor,nasty,brutish ,and short" versus Locke, who had a more optimistic view of human activity ?
            "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
            Samuel Johnson.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
              So is it a case of Hobbes," The Life of man,solitary,poor,nasty,brutish ,and short" versus Locke, who had a more optimistic view of human activity ?
              The contemporary "Liberal"/Regressives expect the State to change(improve) Human nature.
              The contemporary Conservative expect Humans to change(improve) themselves and in the process improve the State.
              TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
              “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
              Present Current Events are the Future's History

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                The contemporary "Liberal"/Regressives expect the State to change(improve) Human nature.
                The contemporary Conservative expect Humans to change(improve) themselves and in the process improve the State.
                That certainly seems a valid way of looking at it. But which is the dog and which is the tail ? Could it not also be argued that an individual is member of a society and,as such ,that society may -and should -enact measures for the collective benefit of everybody ?
                "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                Samuel Johnson.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                  That certainly seems a valid way of looking at it. But which is the dog and which is the tail ? Could it not also be argued that an individual is member of a society and,as such ,that society may -and should -enact measures for the collective benefit of everybody ?
                  Sticky part is the differences on defining of such. One's "collective benefit" might be seen by another as an infringement of their "inalienable rights".
                  TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                  “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
                  Present Current Events are the Future's History

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                    Sticky part is the differences on defining of such. One's "collective benefit" might be seen by another as an infringement of their "inalienable rights".
                    Exactly: and the achieving of a precise compromise between the two is surely what it's all about.
                    "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                    Samuel Johnson.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BELGRAVE View Post
                      Exactly: and the achieving of a precise compromise between the two is surely what it's all about.
                      .

                      I've never thought politics as left and right. I've always considered it either Capital and Labour, or Anarchy vs Absolutism, depending on the issue at hand.

                      In all cases a balance is required.
                      How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: http://grist.org/series/skeptics/
                      Global Warming & Climate Change Myths: https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
                        .

                        I've never thought politics as left and right. I've always considered it either Capital and Labour, or Anarchy vs Absolutism, depending on the issue at hand.

                        In all cases a balance is required.
                        Well, "Karl", you could apply the range of history perspective and see that it's a case of makers verses takers. The following might be worth the ten minutes to view and consider;
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=DioQooFIcgE

                        So when I stopped being an employee(Labour) and went into business for myself, hired employee(s) (Capital) how does that apply to your "either~or"?
                        TANSTAAFL = There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
                        “War is merely the continuation of politics by other means” - von Clausewitz
                        Present Current Events are the Future's History

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                          Well, "Karl", you could apply the range of history perspective and see that it's a case of makers verses takers. The following might be worth the ten minutes to view and consider;
                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=DioQooFIcgE

                          So when I stopped being an employee(Labour) and went into business for myself, hired employee(s) (Capital) how does that apply to your "either~or"?
                          Fortunately, people tend to be more rational than engaging in a constant "us versus them " contest. Nobody needs to be bloody-minded about it.
                          As an employer you will appreciate that, to get the best out of your people, you will offer fair and reasonable pay and conditions.
                          The employees , if smart, will appreciate the position and understand that their immediate well-being is fostered by the continuing success of the enterprise and will respond accordingly.
                          "I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinions and sentiments I find delight".
                          Samuel Johnson.

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