What’s important to conservatives and liberals, or why they talk past each other

Recently, there have been many comments on this blog and elsewhere disparaging Liberals. It is difficult to have a conversation with them because they are too emotional and don’t think rationally like we do. They refuse to accept facts. Even more extreme charges that they are out to destroy marriage, destroy morality, destroy America.

Perhaps we should pause for a minute, take a deep breath, and talk about the real differences between conservatives and liberals. After all, we conservatives aren’t always all that realistic ourselves. A rising tide does not lift all boats; it drowns those who can’t or won’t swim hard to keep up (or whose boats leak).

Though there are variations within each group, conservatives are essentially capitalists and liberals are socialists. Capitalists emphasize the overall health and growth of the economy and argue, undoubtedly correctly, that capitalism best achieves this end. Socialists emphasize the equality of distribution of the assets of the economy and argue, undoubtedly correctly, that socialism best achieves this end. Put differently, conservatives believe the fairest system is, “From each according to his ability; to each according to his contribution to society.” Liberals believe the fairest system is “From each according to his ability; to each according to his existence.” (Note: not necessarily “according to his need,” which is why liberals can deny medical care to people who unquestionably need it, solely because it would not be cost effective and would take from everyone else.)

Conservatives are correct that the capitalist system produces the most health, growth, progress, etc. Liberals will try to argue the point because they can’t very well concede it, but they do not have the facts to support them. To conservatives, these liberals appear to be “stupid” or “emotional” or even “dishonest,” and conservatives come to the conclusion that we can’t have an intelligent, rational conversation with liberals. But the truth is, the liberals don’t care about health, growth and progress nearly as much as they do about “fairness” defined as equal distribution of wealth. They’ll argue, even without facts, just because they don’t want to admit conservatives are right about capitalism, but even those who know they are wrong, simply don’t care.

Liberals hope that people will work hard and produce just as much as before even without being rewarded for it, just out of a sense of obligation to the community or some such, a hope which conservatives know defies human nature. But liberals believe that even if they are wrong about this, the socialist system should be adopted anyway, because it produces the “fairest” outcome and that’s more important.

Liberals are statists because it is only though a controlling central government that the redistribution of wealth needed for their idea of “fairness” can happen. They attack religion, not because they really have anything against religion, but because it competes with the government for power and definition of morality. A citizen’s first allegiance must be, not to God, but to the liberal, redistributive state. They attack marriage, not because they have anything against marriage but because it, too competes for power. A citizen’s first allegiance must be, not to the family, but to the liberal, redistributive state. They support education because they have completely taken it over and made it an arm of the state. They oppose vouchers because that would encourage an educational system not under the state’s control. They control the vast majority of the media and openly attack that part of the media they do not control.

I should stop here to point out that I’m obviously playing with stereotypes above. People’s goals and beliefs run on a continuum, with most people trying to find a hybrid that derives a maximum amount of benefit from both systems. Few people believe in pure capitalism and complete anarchy. A larger number, but still a very small number, believe in pure state dictatorship and a completely equal distribution of an ever declining pot of state assets.

The problem arises most seriously now for two reasons. First, the scales have been so long tipped in the socialist direction that a huge amount of damage has been done to our society. Institutions like religion and marriage have been severely weakened. The economy suffers under an unsustainable overhead burden imposed by a large, redistributive state. The morality of our society has been warped beyond recognition. A liberal controlled media and a liberal controlled educational system have taught the people to believe that profits are bad, corporations are greedy, success is a mark of dishonesty and selfishness.

Second, those who control our government (Pelosi, Reid, Obama) are far on the left of the continuum I just mentioned. Granted, they are hard to take seriously because they are such hypocrites – Pelosi jetting around on government planes at huge expense, Obama taking an entourage of hundreds wherever he goes, etc. But they really believe, as to everyone else anyway, in destruction of all other institutions, accumulation of all power in the state, and equal distribution of assets.

One problem conservatives have is that the idea that “I can get all this stuff from the government without doing anything to earn it, simply because I exist” is quite appealing to a lot of people. Just as conservatives believe that people will work hardest if they can keep the fruits of their labor, it follows that people will not work, and accept the fruits of other people’s labor, if they are given them without being required to work, especially if they are constantly told there is nothing wrong with that, they deserve it just for being born. The conservative message depends on people understanding that if people do not get to keep the fruits of their labor, people will not labor, and there will be nothing to distribute. This is a common sense notion, of course, but why believe it as long as the government continues to dole out the fruits? Surely the system will work just fine if only those rich people aren’t so greedy. Won’t it?

Well, no, but that is the subject for another post. Meantime, I’d be interested to hear your comments, especially on how you can improve on my surely over-simplified analysis above. I’m always impressed by the sophistication of the thinking of the visitors to the Bookwormroom and can’t wait to read your responses.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • suek

    “Socialists emphasize the equality of distribution of the assets of the economy and argue, undoubtedly correctly, that socialism best achieves this end.”
     
    “Pelosi jetting around on government planes at huge expense, Obama taking an entourage of hundreds wherever he goes, etc.”
     
    Except that this is the end result in _any_ of the socialist countries.  You might as well say “equality for thee, but not for me”.  Socialism is a capitalism of power – while capitalists accumulate money, and sometimes thereby power, socialists accumulate power and usually thereby money.
     
    There’s an excellent video out there of Margaret Thacker speaking against socialism, given at the end of her period of office.  One of the members stood to accuse her of allowing the difference between the wealth of the rich and the poverty of the poor increase.  Lady Thacker moves her hands to indicate that yes, the gap is wider…but that even the poor are better off than they were when she took office.  She goes on to say that to Socialists, the gap is more important than the condition – that they don’t care if the poor are abysmally poor…as long as the rich aren’t that much better off.  And of course…her most pointed summation of Socialism…”The only problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”.
     
    Which pretty well sums it up.
     
    The success of the US has rested on two basic rights within the Constitution: the right of private property ownership and the right to equal justice under the law.  Socialism removes both of those rights and will result in the same success it has achieved in other nations – poverty shared by all.  Except the elite, of course.  You could also define Socialism as a form of capitalism in which the elite own everything.

  • MacG

     
    “Liberals hope that people will work hard and produce just as much as before even without being rewarded for it,
    For all of their reliance on “Science” to “disprove” God and glory in a God-less beginning and subsequent existence they miss the science of how a rat in a maze cannot be stimulated to find food for itself if it gets shocked every time it moves – it will cower in fear and will starve.  Does it not follow that if you shock an individual (tax) it too will be less inspired to find food (work)?
    “But liberals believe that even if they are wrong about this, the socialist system should be adopted anyway, because it produces the “fairest” outcome and that’s more important.”
    In another science they call this the lowest common denominator – sounds inspiring doesn’t it?  What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is theirs.
    As I have said in the past, if one describes a rainbow to a liberal they had better describe each color as gray to make all things equal because you would not want to offend the sensitivities of any of the other colors otherwise they may feel less beautiful than the others.
     

  • jj

    I don’t find your analysis to be especially over-simplified – at its heart the issue seems to me to be pretty simple.
     
    The reason it’s difficult to regard liberals as anything other than not very bright is that all their stuff has been tried before – and failed.  Everybody holds to the presumption that rational beings learn from their mistakes, but liberals, as a phylum, evidently don’t.  This of course begs the question – are they rational?  The evidence would seem to indicate not.  Most babies only need to stick their fingers in the fire once to get the message; liberals seem to need to do it over and over again – and still don’t get the message! This is disheartening to the thoughtful, and leads to the obvious conclusion that they must be rather less than bright.
     
    We’re not operating in a vacuum here.  Liberalism, statism – call it what you will – has all been tried.  It’s been a disastrous failure everywhere it’s been tried.  We now find ourselves in the singular position of moving increasingly toward it, while simultaneously the rest of the world, which has been playing with it over the last half-century (or longer) has recognized the failure and is engaged in trying to move away from it.  Consequently there are those forthright souls such as Angela Merkel and Gordon Brown who look at – and talk to – Obama as though he has his cranium firmly wedged up his fundament.  “Sonny, we tried all that.  It doesn’t work.  Repeatedly sticking your fingers in the fire only results in increasingly badly burnt fingers.  What is there about this you don’t get?”
     
    And therein lies the root of the problem.  It’s obvious; but they don’t get it; and they resolutely refuse to learn from history.  Those of us who do learn from history and do notice the obvious are not likely to be lost in admiration for the acuity of those who don’t – or won’t.  The history is right there, going back to William Bradford and the Mayflower Compact – which was a lovely example of pre-Marxist pure socialism, and an abject failure.  The minute the pilgrims consigned it to the ash-heap of history and went with capitalism, they began to thrive and prospered where they had been starving.  So almost the very first lesson the new arrivals to the new world learned was: “forget socialism because it doesn’t work.”  Lesson #1 – and for the entire existence of the country liberals have been insisting it never happened.  What does one do with such people?  What is one supposed to think of them?
     
    Capitalism is competitive.  There are big winners, not so big winners, and outright losers.  This is of course an unequal outcome, but then equal outcomes were never promised – either by the Creator or by the system.  There are 7 billion people on the planet.  The outcome of 9 months of gestation is that only 140 million of them qualify for membership in Mensa.  Ronald Reagan didn’t do that.  God did.  Perhaps a reason contributory to liberal dislike of God – He’s unfair.  (Nothing they can do about that one, the technology isn’t there yet to compel the Mensans to hand over brain cells to the non-Mensans – but I imagine it’s coming.)
     
    Liberalism doesn’t work, and really, given the competitive nature of all the members of the family Homo (from Erectus right down through us, Sapiens) it never has.  When you have a multi-century record of failure (the Mayflower arrived in 1620, that’s 390 years ago) that you somehow manage to not see, then it seems to me you have to expect those who do see it to find themselves wondering what the hell’s wrong with you.  (Although that would take a second or two of introspection, something liberals don’t do very well.  Or at all.)  It’s simple: the liberal and socialist ideas have been tried – endlessly.   They never work.  Whereas the capitalist idea, to the extent that it’s ever been tried (it’s never been tried fully, and we have not had capitalism in this country since the turn of the last century), always works.
     
    Left alone, the producers produce more.  Bothered and burdened, they don’t.  I don’t know, Don, it’s pretty damn hard to over simplify this.  It’s pretty simple.
     
     

  • Duchess of Austin

    The money quote in this post is “it goes against human nature.”  That pretty much sums socialism up in a nutshell and is pretty much the reason it has never worked on a grand scale and probably never will.  There is no “right” way to do socialism above the tribal level with any degree of success because socialism requires rigid adhearance to the rules in order for it to be successful.  Life is messy and so is the human condition.  For whatever reason, there are always some who will not play by the rules.  Any rules.  A capitalist system provides for this…captialism does not go against human nature.  Capitalism rewards those who have ambition and, let’s face it, takes man’s natural greed into consideration. I think liberals believe that man is basically good and will do the right thing if given the chance to do so, which defies actual human nature which dictates that a man will look to his own best interests first, his family next and then his tribe.  All one has to do is read a history book, all of which are chock full of true stories of man’s inhumanity to man.  Heck, you can even watch one of the myriad “a day in the life of prison convicts” shows that proliferate on cable to see the proof of this.  Seems to me the modern american prison system is socialism in microcosm.  Equality of misery.

  • MacG

    “One problem conservatives have is that the idea that “I can get all this stuff from the government without doing anything to earn it, simply because I exist” is quite appealing to a lot of people.”
     
    This is similar attitude is why our insurance premiums are so high as well.  To commit insurance fraud (frivolous injury, shifted responsibility etc.) is no big deal it only hurts the “Big Corporations”, in fact they don’t even feel it.  Short sighted and nearly blind I’d say.

  • TommyC

    Actually, I think many liberals are too bright.  I used to be one myself, so I should know.  We were so smart that we understood how things should be, no matter what prior human experience indicated.  You see, everyone in the past was just not smart enough to figure things out.  But we were, so let us smart people march forward and do things the way they should always have been done if only people in the past had been clever enough.
     
    Remember that all the failings of liberalism and socialism are simply the result of people not behaving the way they should behave, and would behave if only we could make them.  This, of course, is why all socialist and liberal programs require coercion.
     
     

  • suek

    >>You see, everyone in the past was just not smart enough to figure things out.  But we were, so let us smart people march forward and do things the way they should always have been done if only people in the past had been clever enough.>>
     
    To equate knowledge with wisdom is a common error.

  • TommyC

    As an aside, I left liberalism when I realized that I wasn’t as smart as a lot of people that had gone before.  I became religious when I realized I wasn’t smarter than God.  Sheesh, what arrogance I had in my agnostic, liberal days.  I like to think I’ve outgrown it.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    Important also to look at the things that *separate* today’s “progressivism” from earlier incarnations of liberalism such as the New Deal. Yesterday’s liberals valued economic growth and prosperity, even if they were confused as to how it could be best accomplished; today’s “progressives” are actively hostile to prosperity.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Quite an impressive summation, DQ:
     
    Re. “the idea that “I can get all this stuff from the government without doing anything to earn it, simply because I exist”, I believe that is how children think (substitute “parents” for “government”. I suspect many Liberal/Lefty Stateopians are simply adults that never grew up.
     
    All this may be as it is, however, but this country and a good part of Western Europe are soon going to go bust. It is inevitable. I predict that we will see massive reductions (i.e., haircuts) in pension fund and health care benefits. The money just isn’t there to sustain the demands of these programs.
     
    The result is that great swaths of our populations that depend upon their government(s) for their sustenance are going to be forced to fend for themselves. Let’s see what happens then. One scenario is that Stateopians might try to seize on the misery of such a collapse to try to impose a totalitarian state. However, I really don’t think the American people, no matter how miserable, will accept that. I am hoping that such a collapse will rekindle a very American legacy of independence and self-sufficiency.

     

  • Bill Smith

    I agree with most of what’s been said, and would like to add two more, I think, important concepts.
     
    First, like small children, libs are intensely self-centered despite all their assertions and protestations otherwise.
     
    Second, in most important ways, libs live only in their emotions, and THAT means they live only in the present. Only their emotions are real to them, whereas facts are what matter most to us. It’s why they can utter two contradictory ideas, and not see the conflict — because only one idea is present in their minds at a time.
     
    One result/manifestation of these is that they warp logic and truth: If confronted with an undeniable truth that they don’t like, they will call it a lie. It makes them feel bad, and that is bad, so it’s a lie. See how that works?
     
    A lie they do like is called true. It ought to be true, so it is. Some also believe that if we all ACT as if something is true, or as if something will work, then it will magically come to be. If you object with undeniable facts, then you are bad, and evil, and need to be silenced, because you are preventing this magic from happening. Not facts, not gravity, not simple arithmetic — YOU.
     
    Holding the bulb of the thermometer WILL warm the room as long as you stare at the thermometer reading and say that you believe it. The force of your belief — ideally our collective beliefs — will make it become true. And, Wiley Coyote will NOT fall as long as he doesn’t look down. If he does, and does, it is HIS fault, and not the fact that he ran off the edge of the cliff.
     
    Folks, dumb is forever.  Most of them, however book-smart, are dumber than a box of rocks, and cannot see reason, simply because — right now — they see no consequences, and they don’t feel like it.

  • Spartacus

    An irrational obsession with equality of outcomes is certainly part of the picture, but I’m not convinced it’s a sufficient explanation by itself.  Allow me to offer what may be two more possible explanations, which may complement or contradict the equality hypothesis, and each other — a discussion for some other time.
     
    First, much of everything liberals advocate can be explained as a desperate need for control.  Now, Sr. Quixote, I believe you are suggesting that this control is the means to an end — equality — but what if control is the end itself?
    – Why let doctors and patients handle healthcare when it could be controlled?
    – Why let airlines handle their own security when it could be controlled?
    – Why let people drive in their own cars to unpredictable locations when it could be controlled?
    – Why let banks make loans to college students when it could be controlled?
    – Why allow free trade when it could be controlled?
    – Why allow the tide simply to flow in and out when it could be controlled?
    And so on, ad infinitum.  Should any of us here ever find ourselves imprisoned for life without access to books or computers, several years could be whiled away by just adding to that list (but only after the novelty of picking at one’s toenails has worn off, of course).  Is this need for control rooted in a desperate craving for perceived security?  Or a God complex?  Who knows.
     
    Second, much liberal behavior could also be explained by the avoidance of judgment.  An obsesion with equality of outcomes can derive from “rich, white guilt,” and the desire not to be judged — hence policies which level the field economically.
     
    If that example of avoiding judgment seems almost to border on virtue, let’s talk about abortion.  Were abortion to be thrown back to the individual states, there is zero (0.000) chance that all fifty states would outlaw it; even if they did, other countries would cheerfully step in to fill the gap, and “family planning cruises” would start operating just outside of US waters.  So, access has really never been an issue.  But The Left has a religious attachment to abortion, and far from simply not compromising on it, they actively push it, preach it, teach it, deregulate it (a first!), and fund it (Warren Buffett wrote a check for $3B a few years back).  And why?  Because for women who have had abortions, the available choices are to either accept or deny the horror of what they have done.  And denial is so much easier if what you did is completely legal, and you equate “legal” to “moral.”  Presto-bingo — divine absolution through judicial fiat.
     
    Similarly, both art and NPR (a fine example of both state of the art and art of the state) would live on if they received no federal funding, but liberals look at defunding like the Wicked Witch of the West looks at an incoming water balloon.  Because if it’s funded by the government, it has the highest imprimatur, and cannot be criticized.
     
    And of course, attacking all Abrahamic religions which do not share The Left’s goal of dismembering the America of Norman Rockwell is also a given, because if there is a God, not only would He render judgment (Point #2), but He would also be in control (Point #1).  (Caveat: Folks like the former priest of my mother’s church, liberal to his very core (including his theology), but nearly penniless because he walked the talk, are outliers to the trend line, and require a different explanation).

  • Oldflyer

    I honestly believe that one word encapsulates the differences between Liberals and ConservativesUtopian..
    I do believe that there are brilliant Liberals.  They can envision a perfect system.  They are certain that if they can just impose their vision, they can create Utopia, and everyone will live in peace and prosperity.  They simply have one little blind spot, and that is human nature.  One other problem they have is the tendency to impose, simply because of the brilliance of their concepts.
    Then there are those who may disguise themselves as Liberals, but are nothing more than Opportunists.  There are a great many of them in the body politic.  They fully recognize that in the system that liberals  hope to construct, there will still be winners and losers.  They maneuver to be the winners by exercising the power of the state.
    Statism is the natural  vehicle for  the  true Liberals, as well as the Opportunist.  Therefore, it is sometimes hard to separate the Sheep from the Goats.
    Our Founders understood.  They built strong defenses to protect the country from Utopians and Opportunists.  Those defenses have been under assault since the founding, and will continue to be assaulted.  It is up to us to defend against those assaults.
    My take.
     

  • Bill Smith

    I pray that you are right, Danny.

  • Libby

    I agree with previous posters, too. I’d condense Bill’s post to:
    What’s most important to liberals is feelings. What’s most important to conservatives is freedom.

  • Bill Smith

    Dead on, Old Flyer.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Bill Smith says, “A lie they do like is called true. It ought to be true, so it is…”
    I can’t tell you how often I have seen Liberals pounce on information that fits their template and believe it unquestioningly, because they so desperately wanted it to be true.
     
    A good example was the way they pounced on the media canard about the U.S. marines in Haditha, Iraq allegedly engaging in an orgy of murder and rape. Or, the Mohammed al Dura story, which featured the faked killing of a Palestinian boy by the Israelis. Or, the supposed massacre of Palestinians by Israelis at Jenin.
     
    Of course, once they have bitten and accepted these premises as true, they cling to their supposed truth no matter what the facts. All of the examples cited were proven to be false, but that makes no different to a Liberal /Left ideologue.

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com Don Quixote

    Thanks for the insightful comments and please keep them coming.  I agree with most of what has been said, but I wonder about the assertion that socialism has never “worked.”  Doesn’t that depend on how you define “worked”?  If the goal is redistribution of income, regardless of the effect on the overall economy, socialism does “work.”  This is one example of what I mean in the heading, when I say we talk past each other sometimes. 

  • Danny Lemieux

    DonQ, I agree with you. There are some redistributive societies in which many people are happy. There are many people that are dirt poor in this world that are perfectly happy being dirt poor. I’ve spoken with a number of people who came from the former Soviet Bloc that spoke wistfully of the “good times” when they were guaranteed a minimum of their basic needs without having to work for them. They didn’t have much, but they didn’t have to worry about their economic wellbeing, either, because all those decisions were taken away from them.
     
    Fact is, there are a lot of people who have a slave mentality…they would eagerly trade their independence and economic well-being for servitude. Maybe we should bring back indentured servitude for those people.
     
    So, yes… for many people with a slave mentality, “socialism” works. I and many other people don’t want to live in such a society and, for such a society to “work”, it would have to be imposed on the rest of us. To paraphrase Charlton Heston, they would have to pry my freedom away from my cold dead fingers, first.

  • suek

    >>Then there are those who may disguise themselves as Liberals, but are nothing more than Opportunists.>>
     
    Ditto if you substitute “Conservatives” for “Liberals”…
     
    >>Doesn’t that depend on how you define “worked”? >>
     
    Ok…so how about we say “Socialism has never been successful in maintaining a prosperous, peaceful nation” ?
     
    I think that’s _my_ definition of “worked”…

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    Let’s bear in mind that the objective should be to *change minds and win elections*…that goal is best achieved by differentiation and market segmentation, ie by demonstrating to the most rational and decent among those who identify as liberals/leftists/progressives the ways in which they differ from the less-rational and less-decent ones who are driving the train. Battles are rarely won by direct frontal assaults on the opposition’s whole force.

  • Charles Martel

    Spartacus’s comments on liberals’ need for control really resonated with me.
    Yesterday my wife and I had Thanksgiving with our ultra-liberal friends for probably the 20th year in a row. I’ve lost count. As long as we don’t discuss politics, our hosts are delightful people. However, they just couldn’t help themselves and regaled everybody at the table with a rundown of their recent trip to Washington, D.C. to see the Jon Leibowitz/Stephen Colbert minstrel show.
    As I sat mentally mince-meating their glowing descriptions about how the event was a politically neutral cri de coeur against political excess, I began thinking about how two intelligent people had reached such a state of self-delusion and utterly unconscious parroting of MSM memes.
    The woman had been reared in a strong Catholic family. In 1970, she lost her older brother in a plane crash when the craft carrying the entire Marshall University varsity football team plowed into a mountainside, killing all aboard.
    I think she lost her faith that day—or completed a process already begun. She has been an atheist ever since. Losing her brother was the ultimate out-of-control experience, including the ability of her faith to control God. Since God let her down, she took over the responsibility for exerting order in her life. In her studious pursuit of it, she has become one of our area’s best local campaign managers (parcel taxes, school bond issues) and an acknowledged expert on disaster preparedness. We joke that her garage, filled with paraphernalia from campaigns and charity auctions past, reminds us of Gracie Allen’s commodious hat closet on TV’s old Burns and Allen Show.
    Her husband, a recently retired banker, is a committed socialist. (His older sister is a Marxist who is an administrator in the California State University system. =sigh=) His desire for control is less a yearning for order and predictability, I think, than it is a reaction to his domineering father, who has been dead 13 years. Dad was a Viennese Jew who escaped to America before WWII, and eventually fought against Hitler as a U.S. Army soldier. He was also an atheist and an intellectual bully who loved to push his points by browbeating whomever he was talking to.
    (I found him to be what Ayn Rand so accurately described as a “second rater,” offering village idiot-level arguments against the existence of God. He also despised the United States—his savior—as a dreadful philistine entity. But I wasn’t his son, compelled by ties of blood to be captive to his disputations for years on end.)
    My friend never resisted the man, never underwent that often defining adolescent rebellion where he challenged his father’s facile atheism or assertions that free will did not exist. To do so might have been to lose control over his conflicted emotions, and all the certainties, however incoherent, he’d inherited from his dad. (I have refrained for years from pointing out that for a man who believes there is no free will, he acts every moment I’ve ever been with him as though he does.) So, by extension, if my friend can force his wise and knowing socialism on the rest of us, all the better to quell any deep-down doubts about his father’s legacy, and all the better to prove himself his father’s intellectual equal.
    So, Spartacus, I think a lot of liberals’ control issues are attempts to rein in their own demons.

  • Bill Smith

     

    “…I think a lot of liberals’ control issues are attempts to rein in their own demons.”

    Yes, Charles, and those demons they can’t rein in, the project onto those who say things they don’t like to hear.

     

  • jj

    That’s an interesting point, Charles, and one of which I had not thought.  How much of liberalism is nothing more (when boiled down) than an attempt to confront, and clean out, one’s own demons.  Don’t know, but it bears thinking about.

    Churchill once remarked (back to Churchill, and I’m paraphrasing because I’m too comfortable to get up and find the qauote), that anyone under the age if (I think) 30 must be liberal, or stand accused of having no heart; but, anyone older must be conservative, or stand fairly accused of having no brain.

    So liberalism – for Churchill, anyway – is merely a cri de coeur of a sort, and maybe it is all about Mom and Dad as, it turns out, so many things are.

  • Spartacus

    Mr. Martel, you may well be right — as usual.  No idea how to prove it, though.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    They refuse to accept facts.


    I don’t think that’s the issue. It’s more that they have diametrical and mutually exclusive interpretations of those facts compared to ours.
     
    Perhaps we should pause for a minute, take a deep breath, and talk about the real differences between conservatives and liberals.


    You can ignore revolutonary Leftist movements all you want but it’s kind of obvious on this planet what they think is required for “change” and transformation of the basic status quo.
     
    Those are the real differences. Not just some offshoot “extremist” sect you can brush aside and rationalize in your mind as harmless or unconnected. The Left is violent. It’s not an unintended consequence, it is perfected dogma for them.
     
    Though there are variations within each group, conservatives are essentially capitalists and liberals are socialists.


    What are you talking about. If liberals were socialists, why do they keep hoarding their money and evading taxes like the Treasury Sec and John Kerry? Have you even considered such issues before? First you’d have to redefine capitalism as making money that everyone can get rich off of while socialism is making everybody else poor by looting and exploiting the weak. It would be kind of ridiculous to say that Libs are socialists when by socialism you mean “robber baron capitalists”.
     
    Second, those who control our government (Pelosi, Reid, Obama) are far on the left of the continuum I just mentioned.


    No, they’re actually in the middle because they’re hypocrites and not as much of a fanatic as you think, given your spectrum. A true believer, a fanatic if you will, will refuse to get rich off capitalism, even if it was to further the supposed goals of socialism. That’s not Pelosi with her stack of cash in the bank, nor is it Obama making millions off the suffering of Americans. You call this “equal distribution”? More like partial unequal distribution.
     
    But they really believe, as to everyone else anyway, in destruction of all other institutions, accumulation of all power in the state, and equal distribution of assets.


    What equal distribution of assets? Not their assets, obviously. So they truly believe.. what? In hypocrisy, perhaps? Even they know that they aren’t quite living up to the “true beliefs of socialism”. They just don’t care so long as the enemies to their wealth and power suffer while they get more powerful in the process.
     
    Most babies only need to stick their fingers in the fire once to get the message; liberals seem to need to do it over and over again — and still donft get the message!


    That’s because it isn’t their fingers getting hacked off by torturers and dictators. It is somebody else’s fingers that are getting hacked off and the LibProgs are the ones that made it so. They’re also enjoying the show from their luxury mansions and golf retreats. See Obama on Iranian protestors getting suppressed. You know in private he’s watching a rewind of that and thinking to himself “Weed, I wish I could do that here with the bible clingers”.
     
    Now, Sr. Quixote, I believe you are suggesting that this control is the means to an end \ equality \ but what if control is the end itself?


    That would be so. Realistically, that’d be it, regardless of what their dogma claims is the case of the eventual Utopian salvation.
     
    Or a God complex? Who knows.


    it’s definitely that for Obama. He did say that he would lower the seas.
     
    beral to his very core (including his theology), but nearly penniless because he walked the talk, are outliers to the trend line, and require a different explanation).


    obviously, a true believer in equality would himself be poor and bereft of much influence. They would be harmless as a result, like the Amish.
     
    On Utopia: It is the end goal of Utopia that they use to justify all their crimes against humanity inside themselves. They say it is necessary and good because however much evil they do in the moment, they tell themselves it is excused by the fact that their goal will eradicate war and suffering forever more. A little evil, a little suffering, temporary by these people or this child is worth it when they believe that with such they can eliminate suffering and evil for all of eternity. You’d have to be a fracking religious nut to think like that. Which they are. It is also why they find common cause with Islamic terrorists. They think alike on this score.
     
    So, Spartacus, I think a lot of liberalsf control issues are attempts to rein in their own demons.


    They cannot control their own demons so they require human sacrifices to feed the insatiable craving. Pathetic, really, for those of us who have demons and have learned to control them.
     
    Mr. Martel, you may well be right \ as usual. No idea how to prove it, though.


    Obama had childhood abandonment and perhaps abuse issues. Clinton had an alcoholic father that was abusive unless Clinton read the signs and mouthed all the right things at the right times.
     
    Polanski… well, he’s Polanski. Then there’s Soros. His childhood got interesting when helping the Nazis. Maybe Soros’ one issue is that he keeps fighting his conscience, rather than that he has no conscience. Perhaps it would have been better for the world if he truly had been born a serial killing rapist and murderer. Then he wouldn’t have felt any guilt over what he did and been summarily executed for it in due time.

  • Mike Devx

    DQ says,
    >  conservatives are essentially capitalists and liberals are socialists.
    and
    > Put differently, conservatives believe the fairest system is, “From each according to his ability; to each according to his contribution to society.” Liberals believe the fairest system is “From each according to his ability; to each according to his existence.” (Note: not necessarily “according to his need,” which is why liberals can deny medical care to people who unquestionably need it

    DQ, I consider the concept of “to each according to his contribution to society” to be dangerously wide of the mark.  “To each according to his success” is the way I would put it.  The problem is that “contribution to society” means that someone in power still gets to control the redistribution of wealth based on the value of some “contribution to society”.  Or is that not what you meant?    Who decides what is a valuable contribution to society?

    For me the key concepts are that conservatives believe in the free market and liberals believe in government control.  Free markets mean the people decide via the “invisible hand”.  Liberals deplore the “invisible hand” because they cannot control it.  Some people succeed wildly and gain “obscene” profit for themselves.  I think they’re welcome to every dollar they can make, myself, so long as they didn’t get those bucks via extortionary collusion with government.  I may personally detest Lady Ga-Ga for example, but she’s welcome to her success and bucks, via the American people who are showing quite questionable taste.  Valuable contribution to society by Lady Ga-Ga?  Hardly.  But it’s honestly earned and in my world she gets to keep every penny.

    I would stick with “to each according to his need” for liberals.  If they could find the money, they *would* not deny medical care to people who unquestionably need it.  They would soak everyone for that necessary money.  The problem for them, of course, is that there is no such place to go for all the money that they want to redistribute.

    I have oversimplified a bit to make a point.  I do believe there is a purpose to a national government and that taxes are required to support that purpose and those necessary services.  However, our current national government is so far from that limited set of necessary services that it is both laughable and obscene.   I’m comfortable with my oversimplification.

  • Bill Smith

    Mike,
     
    Libs, it seems to me, have an insurmountable problem, an irreconcilable contradiction. The only economic system which has any hope of creating the wealth that their Utopian dreams require is the very one they hate: Free Enterprise Capitalism, Profit.
     
    Socialism/Communism do not, and can not create wealth. They can only confiscate it.
     
    As long as they have this child’s concept that profit is stealing, and must therefore be criminalized, they will continue to steal wealth from the producers in the name of social justice, and thus eventually kill the goose, as they have in Europe.
     
    And now they are mandating that 85% of premium income to health insurers be spent on health care. To a child, this sounds fair and reasonable. But, adults understand that insurers must have a capital fund, with the investment income from THAT paying claims. This is a self-supporting, self-perpetuating generator of wealth which WILL pay claims. The libs’ system will collapse at the first bump in the road, and the subsequent, classic run on the bank.

  • excathedra
  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    This is a self-supporting, self-perpetuating generator of wealth which WILL pay claims. The libs’ system will collapse at the first bump in the road, and the subsequent, classic run on the bank.
     
    They designed it to fail. Be assured, they are quite ready for when it happens and will nationalize and “save” the insurance industry.

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com Don Quixote

    MD, thanks for giving me the chance to clarify.  I think you measure “success” by what the society is willing to pay for your contribution.  Lady Gaga’s “success” is measured by what members of the society will pay for her records and shows.  They must view what she is doing as a contribution to society, or at least to their enjoyment, or they wouldn’t pay for it.  We mean the same thing; we’re just discussing the best wording to describe it.

    As for “need” we many have a real difference there.  At some level, socialists realized that all needs can never be met.  And they are fine with that.  As long as resources are “fairly” distributed, they are happy.  In fact, they view the senior who needs life-saving, but very expensive, treatment as greedy, indeed, as similar to the greedy profit maker who takes too much from the “pot” that is to be distributed to everyone else.  The more moderate liberals may truly be concerned about need, but hard-core socialists are concerned only about redistribution.