One type of conservatism--mine

Okay, I may regret this, and I may be in the wrong place, too, so my apologies to the hosts if I am. But I was asked in the Styx--well, as I understand it, to explain myself as a conservative. I have no intention of starting a fight over it. My desire is to be your living, breathing zoo creature, that you can look at up close and decide ... well, decide whatever you want to decide about my decency. Because that does seem to be the question, isn't it? Whether it is possible to be conservative and still have a soul?

So I'll take questions if you have any. Though I don't promise to answer every freaking one of them, as I have certain 20 year old commitments in place about things I will and will not discuss on the Internet. Which boils down mostly to sex and gender topics.

My goal is to demonstrate that conservatives are not all of one type, just as liberals are not, and stereotyping is a fool's game whichever way you're facing.

Basic background: Born into a conservative family that usually votes Republican, though we've all been known to say "Hell no" on occasion and vote Democrat for certain cases. Multiracial, pro-immigrant, fiscally nervous, by nature a bit of a pessimist, thirty years of service among the urban poor. Related to several Trumpistas (God help me), and darkly determined on never discussing politics over Thanksgiving dinner till the day we all die. A bit of an Eeyore--cautious by nature and slow to get on board with the latest great scheme for making the world perfect (ha) though if you can demonstrate it to me, I'll go for it.
«1345

Comments

  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited August 2
    What do you envisage the role of the government to be, and why ?

    Would you object to government on the Nordic model ?

    (Also, brave of you to do this, thank you.)
  • I'm definitely freaked out... :flushed: :lol:

    I think the government exists to do what smaller units of humanity cannot do, or cannot do as well, for various reasons. So, for example, handling international relations, dealing with massive catastrophes (hurricanes, pandemics, etc.), handling major matters of justice (if you've got a murderer in your community, it's much better to have a properly constituted and agreed-upon authority to deal with him/her rather than going to a vengeance system), and the like.

    Now the disagreements will of course come in just exactly what things fall into the category of "we need a government to deal with this," and particularly, "should it be local, regional (state), or federal?" and so forth.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited August 2
    I think I edited and added a bit whilst you were posting !

    The assumption in your post seems to be that the government should do the minimum.
  • Actually no. I think that government (at any level) should be able to justify its reason-for-being, its reason-for-doing. If a huge percentage of the population is struggling with poverty or racism or whatever, that's a decent reason-for---particularly when no other solution has emerged.

    I do not in fact believe that "it will all work out" if government keeps its hands off a problem. My concern is to make sure that if and when government intervenes, it doesn't fuck things up worse. AND that individual/corporate assholes don't glom on to the opportunity to enrich themselves or amass power and prestige.

    Obviously this is a sticky, sticky thing to sort out.
  • As for the Nordic model (yes, that did show up on my screen after I posted!), I'm not sure I understand the ramifications of it, as I haven't studied that. But if you're referring primarily to the social welfare provisions, etc. I have no problem with those, in fact I would welcome them--with the caveats in my previous post about justifying interventions and preventing assholes from self-dealing.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    TBH (and as an American with zero experience of living under any other regime), I see little difference between the U.S.'s two major parties. Oh, the stated goals and ideals may differ, but in terms of real effects on quality-of-life for low-income folk like myself, they offer 6 of one and a half-dozen of the other.

    Does either party seem to you, Doublethink, to more closely follow the Nordic model? If so, please help me understand how that functions in practical, on-the-ground terms.

    My politics, formed out of personal experience and observation, leave me leaning left (or as left as we ever seem to get in this country, which is actually, in my personal schema, slightly right of center compared to much of Europe).
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    (Sorry -- I don't know I I managed crossouts -- not intended, please disregard.)
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited August 3
    The reason I raise the Nordic model, is because it seems to me the best realised version of a democratic socialist system that has been used for a long period of time, as opposed to being theorised about. It is the sort of outcome that I saw Corbyn’s politics as trying to deliver - this failed at the ballot box in part because it was successfully presented by opponents as extreme, akin to communism, and fundamentally unaffordable.

    However, it is not communism and clearly countries can make it work economically. It requires high levels of taxation, but the pay off to that is a high level of universal services free at the point of use.

    From my limited knowledge of American politics both Republican and Democratic parties seem to the right of the political spectrum, with GOP tending perhaps more closely to libertarianism.

    So to go back to a version of conservative politics, it is possible to construct an ideological opposition to democratic socialism. Most public conservative commentators in the U.K. would oppose this model, not because they think it is difficult to attain but because they think we should not be trying to attain it, it is not a desirable outcome.

    When asking about why someone is a conservative, I suppose I am asking not just why did you vote this way in this election here - but what is your desired end state ? What kind of society do you wish to attain ?

    If I lived in the US I would almost certainly vote Democrat, unless the candidate was criminal, because they seem slightly less harmful than the republicans - but I would be interested in trying to shift the Overton window to the left.
  • LC - I put myself firmly on the Canadian left (though, for local issues, I make many on the left uncomfortable), which translates in American terms to the left of Sanders. That said, on the ship, in its current complexion, you have struck me as a reasoned voice of the democratic right (cf the current WH, which is neither reasoned nor democratic), and I respect your fortitude, as you've been forced to bear the weight of opinions that you clearly do not hold. One of my best friends in grad school was a conservative Republican - made for interesting conversations in the dining hall - but I would have trusted him with my life. (Just a shame that he was a Straussian - my only cause for worry.) I have known many with whom I've disagreed, but still maintained a friendship.

    I sense in your post a bit of a cri du coeur. Be strong, look into your heart, and seek what is just. No one has a monopoly on justice, but the current GOP has abandoned any sense of the just. While I've often been critical of many things American, I revere Lincoln, for all his inconsistencies and flaws - in fact, in part, because of them. Go back to your Captain.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Why do conservatives have such a dislike of socialism? Especially in the US?

    By socialism I mean collective responsibility and the cooperative efforts of the people and citizens..
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited August 3
    I think we are trying to avoid generalising about what conservatives believe on this thread.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited August 3
    I don’t think the dislike of the word ‘socialism’ is just a generalisation. It’s a genuine question I’ve had for a long time now.

    Why isn’t it a valid question on a thread which is inviting questions?

    I simply can’t understand why things like cooperative action (see the cooperative movement) wouldn’t be welcomed by everyone.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    ISTM that the American Dream has positives like independence, self-reliance, initiative, determination, industry - but downsides like individualism, ruthlessness and unsustainabilty.

    Perhaps it's the result of being born to four green fields (ie a small island nation) rather than the greater part of a continent, but to me the greatest social virtues are cooperation and fairness, which are what you need to live with finite resources.
  • Thank you for starting this thread, Lamb Chopped.

    I will observe that based on everything I've seen of your views what I find odd is not that you abandoned the GOP over Trump, but that you managed to retain an affiliation to them over the previous 30-40 years. Putting it bluntly, I'm not sure how your conservatism differs from say, moderate social democracy. If you have any thoughts you'd like to share about that I'd be interested to read them.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    I don’t think the dislike of the word ‘socialism’ is just a generalisation. It’s a genuine question I’ve had for a long time now.

    Why isn’t it a valid question on a thread which is inviting questions?

    I simply can’t understand why things like cooperative action (see the cooperative movement) wouldn’t be welcomed by everyone.

    I don’t think we know if Lamb Chopped dislikes the word socialism or doesn’t welcome cooperative action, do we ?
  • Fawkes CatFawkes Cat Shipmate

    I think the government exists to do what smaller units of humanity cannot do, or cannot do as well, for various reasons. So, for example, handling international relations, dealing with massive catastrophes (hurricanes, pandemics, etc.), handling major matters of justice (if you've got a murderer in your community, it's much better to have a properly constituted and agreed-upon authority to deal with him/her rather than going to a vengeance system), and the like.

    Now the disagreements will of course come in just exactly what things fall into the category of "we need a government to deal with this," and particularly, "should it be local, regional (state), or federal?" and so forth.

    I think it's interesting that you define yourself as 'conservative'. In my experience of British politics, you could hold these views and be a member of any of the main parties without difficulty.
  • As I mentioned before (not in enough depth, clearly), I am not terribly up on the various terms that are appearing in this thread, like Nordic model, democratic socialism and the like. (It's been years since high school civics, and I doubt we ever did much with the nuances of politics outside the US--very broad strokes only.)

    Which may actually make me quite a good guinea pig for those who want to find out what a fairly politically naive person from the States may think. For instance, I can tell you that at least in my neighborhood, I gained the distinct impression that the reason people were running scared of the term "socialism" is they took it to be watered-down Communism, and we were at that time in the middle of the Cold War and very much freaked out by anything that reminded us of the possibility of nuclear war, etc.

    (You can pick a million holes in this viewpoint--It isn't mine anyway, because as I said, I'm not well-read in this stuff--but it is data for you. For what it's worth.)
  • As for cooperative action--if we're referring to either union action or to things like the Black Lives Matters protests, I'm very much in favor of it--provided, as always, that the assholes haven't hijacked it to their own ends. I would be at the protests if it weren't for my disability (and the horror of Mr Lamb, who would be certain that his beloved wife was about to be carted off to a re-education camp somewhere. He's 70, and I'm not inclined to put him through that kind of stress.).

    As for unions, they have done a lot of good. I am pretty sure there have been cases where they have done things not-so-good (because people), but the last essay I wrote on unions was when I was 17 (got the scholarship, too!).

    In general, I dislike "machines" of any sort, but I see the necessity for collective bargaining. When I was an instructor in various community colleges, it was intensely clear that we needed some sort of collective bargaining in order to try to gain a bare minimum of what we needed to survive--wages were and are incredibly low, offices were generally not supplied, and it was basically a shit way to try to make a living. Which is why I am in publishing now...

    A good union might have made a huge difference.
  • Putting it bluntly, I'm not sure how your conservatism differs from say, moderate social democracy. If you have any thoughts you'd like to share about that I'd be interested to read them.

    Don't want to look like I'm ignoring this--it's just that I don't know what you mean by moderate social democracy. You're coming from the UK, I take it?

  • ArethosemyfeetArethosemyfeet Shipmate
    edited August 3
    Putting it bluntly, I'm not sure how your conservatism differs from say, moderate social democracy. If you have any thoughts you'd like to share about that I'd be interested to read them.

    Don't want to look like I'm ignoring this--it's just that I don't know what you mean by moderate social democracy. You're coming from the UK, I take it?

    Yes. Broadly I'd describe it as using the state where the market can't deliver, but trying to make the market work first. Using tax to cream off some of the profits of capitalism to help the least well off without doing anything much to change the structures that make them so much less well off in the first place. A classic quote might be Tony Blair's "tough on crime; tough on the causes of crime". Tony Blair allied himself with Bill Clinton in economics but I don't know how much of that was show and how much reflected a real match up between their policies. Another phrase that might be used is "whatever works" to solve societal problems. Folk in this political space tend to consider themselves pragmatists who don't have an ideological commitment to either the state or the private sector (I'm trying here to avoid my disagreements and critiques of these ideas, as my own views are substantially further to the left).
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    edited August 3
    Is it fair to say that someone holding conservative views believes that their views are good for society as a whole and accepts, or even endorses, government and the legislature encouraging those values in society and even discouraging and criminalising activities that are contrary to those values at the expense of restricting individual freedoms?
  • Is it fair to say that of anybody? Because you need only switch out liberal, etc. for "conservative" in your question to get a blanket query.

  • Yes. Broadly I'd describe it as using the state where the market can't deliver, but trying to make the market work first. Using tax to cream off some of the profits of capitalism to help the least well off without doing anything much to change the structures that make them so much less well off in the first place. A classic quote might be Tony Blair's "tough on crime; tough on the causes of crime". Tony Blair allied himself with Bill Clinton in economics but I don't know how much of that was show and how much reflected a real match up between their policies. Another phrase that might be used is "whatever works" to solve societal problems. Folk in this political space tend to consider themselves pragmatists who don't have an ideological commitment to either the state or the private sector (I'm trying here to avoid my disagreements and critiques of these ideas, as my own views are substantially further to the left).

    Okay, the bold/italic bit is where I have problems. I don't think anybody behaves morally who sticks a bandage on a problem and ignores the deeper causes of it. And if those causes are only fix-able via government, then by all means!

    However, I would prefer to not just assume that the answer to every freaking problem is more government. I'd rather look at things more creatively--run some real-world tests to see if alternatives can work--and so forth.

    I'm not sure if what I'm about to say is actually germane to the topic, but during our years working with refugees, one of the big, big, BIG things we did was to get them into private schools on scholarship by hook or by crook--the city public schools here were among the most atrocious in the country at the time, besides being poorly staffed and unsafe. Years later the result of this is that that generation has a really high proportion of doctors, pharmacists, and other professionals, as well as computer programmers and CPAs, etc. Their parents are barely literate. But the kids are pulling their parents out of poverty and all the associated shit (poor health poorly treated) that goes with it.

    If we had had any leverage that would have allowed us to improve the public schools, we would have done that preferentially, as it would have affected more children of all backgrounds. Unfortunately we had no such leverage and no way of getting it.

  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Is it fair to say that of anybody? Because you need only switch out liberal, etc. for "conservative" in your question to get a blanket query.

    I disagree. Perhaps Liberal is an abused term in the US but I equate it with more with left-libertarian. Ideally, 'society' should have no role in how people choose to live other than to protect individuals from the materially harmful acts of others. Society, then, would not have a 'model' but be simply the sum of everyone's individual choices.

    Note that I see society and the state as two separate entities. The state has to be funded to support the individual through education, healthcare, and welfare.
  • ArethosemyfeetArethosemyfeet Shipmate
    edited August 3

    Yes. Broadly I'd describe it as using the state where the market can't deliver, but trying to make the market work first. Using tax to cream off some of the profits of capitalism to help the least well off without doing anything much to change the structures that make them so much less well off in the first place. A classic quote might be Tony Blair's "tough on crime; tough on the causes of crime". Tony Blair allied himself with Bill Clinton in economics but I don't know how much of that was show and how much reflected a real match up between their policies. Another phrase that might be used is "whatever works" to solve societal problems. Folk in this political space tend to consider themselves pragmatists who don't have an ideological commitment to either the state or the private sector (I'm trying here to avoid my disagreements and critiques of these ideas, as my own views are substantially further to the left).

    Okay, the bold/italic bit is where I have problems. I don't think anybody behaves morally who sticks a bandage on a problem and ignores the deeper causes of it.

    Of course I agree with you there, which is why I'm a socialist rather than a social democrat.

    Just trying to pick things apart a bit: is your concern about government that you think government is bad at doing things, or do you have a more principled/ideological objection to the government do things? It seems that you're willing to have government do things but almost like you want to avoid it if at all possible.

    BTW I can't knock you trying to get the best for the kids you're helping in a situation where the public schools are dysfunctional. I'm fortunate to live in a country where, for all its flaws, the state education system will very rarely prevent people who're able and hard working from succeeding. I have to ask, though (and I say this with no attempt at a gotcha) do you not think that support for Republicans might have been partly responsible for the quality of your local public schools? Trying again with less obvious bias. Do you think that the quality of public schools is a party political issue or do you consider it more of a competence issue? It has seemed to me, observing from the outside, that some Republicans are intent on running down public schools.
  • Depending on the particular Republican, the destruction of the public system to be replaced by a private model.
  • @Lamb Chopped I applaude your courage in starting this.

    From a British perspective, I grew up an old fashioned Tory, and could easily have remained one; it was Thatcher who made me a socialist. To me, the good part of traditional right wing views was summed up by Spiderman, "With great power comes great responsibility". If you were rich, or had any sort of power, you had a responsibility to help those lower down the ladder. While that was not always honoured, folk felt bad if they disregarded it. To me, Thatcher's lasting curse to this country was to make selfishness socially acceptable. But that's another discussion.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Shipmate
    edited August 3
  • The city is strongly Democrat and has been for ages AFAIK.
  • One problem that public schools in big US cities face is that the local funding model (funding for public schools comes mostly from local property taxes) means that schools serving poor communities are also poorly-funded compared to schools that serve wealthy communities. There is state funding for schools, but this doesn't usually make up the difference.

  • TelfordTelford Shipmate
    When I was young I was enthusiastic to vote Labour. I am still willing to vote Labour but when they have a Marxist leader, I will have to vote Conservative to deny him power.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Telford wrote: »
    When I was young I was enthusiastic to vote Labour. I am still willing to vote Labour but when they have a Marxist leader, I will have to vote Conservative to deny him power.

    Ah, the Ship equivalent of click-bait.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate

    I disagree. Perhaps Liberal is an abused term in the US but I equate it with more with left-libertarian. Ideally, 'society' should have no role in how people choose to live other than to protect individuals from the materially harmful acts of others. Society, then, would not have a 'model' but be simply the sum of everyone's individual choices.

    I think you're from the UK - is that right? In which case, your equation of Liberal with the views you set out is at odds with those traditionally called Liberal. The same here. Very different in both countries if you use liberal.
  • Ethne AlbaEthne Alba Shipmate
    @Lamb Chopped thank you for this thread!

    The pond difference is huge, I m here to learn.....

  • Yes. Broadly I'd describe it as using the state where the market can't deliver, but trying to make the market work first. Using tax to cream off some of the profits of capitalism to help the least well off without doing anything much to change the structures that make them so much less well off in the first place. A classic quote might be Tony Blair's "tough on crime; tough on the causes of crime". Tony Blair allied himself with Bill Clinton in economics but I don't know how much of that was show and how much reflected a real match up between their policies. Another phrase that might be used is "whatever works" to solve societal problems. Folk in this political space tend to consider themselves pragmatists who don't have an ideological commitment to either the state or the private sector (I'm trying here to avoid my disagreements and critiques of these ideas, as my own views are substantially further to the left).

    Okay, the bold/italic bit is where I have problems. I don't think anybody behaves morally who sticks a bandage on a problem and ignores the deeper causes of it.

    Of course I agree with you there, which is why I'm a socialist rather than a social democrat.

    Just trying to pick things apart a bit: is your concern about government that you think government is bad at doing things, or do you have a more principled/ideological objection to the government do things? It seems that you're willing to have government do things but almost like you want to avoid it if at all possible.

    BTW I can't knock you trying to get the best for the kids you're helping in a situation where the public schools are dysfunctional. I'm fortunate to live in a country where, for all its flaws, the state education system will very rarely prevent people who're able and hard working from succeeding. I have to ask, though (and I say this with no attempt at a gotcha) do you not think that support for Republicans might have been partly responsible for the quality of your local public schools? Trying again with less obvious bias. Do you think that the quality of public schools is a party political issue or do you consider it more of a competence issue? It has seemed to me, observing from the outside, that some Republicans are intent on running down public schools.

    My belief is that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Also that all human beings (save one) are sinners, and therefore likely to fuck things up five ways from Sunday. Which is why I prefer to have human beings in government possess the bare minimum of power they need to get the job done (whatever it is), and no more. Because assholes.

    I do NOT possess a corresponding belief in the ability of capitalism, or the free market, or corporate action, or really-any-freaking-other-thing, to do a less fucked up job of (fixing said problem) as a general rule. They, too, are made up of human beings and can be corrupted. So it comes down again and again to the question of "In this particular instance, are we better off to go with government to solve it (and if so, on which level) or some other source, and what is likely to get us the best result with the least fuckwittery? Which is a matter decent human beings may disagree about.

    It's never gonna be a fuckwit free zone, no matter who you rely on. So the game is to minimize the fuckwittery.

    As for the very specific issue of schools, those are mostly locally controlled--as in, really, REALLY locally--and funded, too. Which is why though I live within 15 miles of a really bad, bad school, I have basically no ability to rectify the problems there. I am not in the relevant district.
  • Is it fair to say that of anybody? Because you need only switch out liberal, etc. for "conservative" in your question to get a blanket query.

    I disagree. Perhaps Liberal is an abused term in the US but I equate it with more with left-libertarian. Ideally, 'society' should have no role in how people choose to live other than to protect individuals from the materially harmful acts of others. Society, then, would not have a 'model' but be simply the sum of everyone's individual choices.

    Note that I see society and the state as two separate entities. The state has to be funded to support the individual through education, healthcare, and welfare.

    Sorry, I just don't understand your post.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Is it fair to say that of anybody? Because you need only switch out liberal, etc. for "conservative" in your question to get a blanket query.

    I disagree. Perhaps Liberal is an abused term in the US but I equate it with more with left-libertarian. Ideally, 'society' should have no role in how people choose to live other than to protect individuals from the materially harmful acts of others. Society, then, would not have a 'model' but be simply the sum of everyone's individual choices.

    Note that I see society and the state as two separate entities. The state has to be funded to support the individual through education, healthcare, and welfare.

    Sorry, I just don't understand your post.

    Okay, from what you said earlier I think you see liberalism as a system that tells you how to live in much the same way that conservatism does. I don't see liberalism like that. I see it as about individual freedoms versus social conservatism.

    As regards society, I don't see it as an entity in itself. Instead society is whatever arises from everyone doing their own thing. You could call that social anarchy. In particular, society should not impose moral values or expectations on the individual. There is, however, an fiscal obligation to provide the state with them means to deliver education, welfare, and healthcare to support all individuals living within it. That's the opposite from what I see as a common right-libertarian position where people want no state involvement in people's lives but wish to impose conservative morality on issues like abortion, same-sex relationships, and so on.
  • I'm sorry, I still don't get it. I don't see conservatism (or liberalism, or libertarianism, whatever the difference between those are) as a system that tells you how to live. I see it as a descriptive term for a bundle of political stances people may hold--some of which are likely to co-occur in a single individual, but not with certainty.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    I'm sorry, I still don't get it. I don't see conservatism (or liberalism, or libertarianism, whatever the difference between those are) as a system that tells you how to live. I see it as a descriptive term for a bundle of political stances people may hold--some of which are likely to co-occur in a single individual, but not with certainty.

    Ah. To me conservatism is definitely prescriptive. Conservative views on same-sex marriage, pre-marital sex, abortion, dress codes, behaviour, patriotism, and so on, always favour the social consensus/traditional morality over the individual's freedom to choose their own values, codes, and behaviours.

    There is, incidentally, nothing wrong in a person living conservatively provided they never attempt to influence or control others.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited August 3
    Uh, dude? This is a thread for me to answer questions/ explain one very particular and personal stripe of conservatism, as a kind of zoo specimen for you to examine if you please. It is not a thread for you to come and mansplain conservatism to me, a conservative.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    Uh. Lamb Chopped, I really appreciate this thread, but... a thread will usually go its own way after the OP, and Colin Smith did say "To me conservatism is definitely prescriptive," therefore he's throwing in his own personal view of conservatism. Adding a couple of more "to me"s in there would have lessened the mansplaining vibe IMO.
  • Lamb ChoppedLamb Chopped Shipmate
    edited August 4
    Sorry, I was probably too offensive. But that kind of tangent means abandoning the point of the thread, since no one is going to resist the urge to start yet another slanging match between conservatives-as-a-group and liberals-as-a-group--defined, of course, by those who dislike them. In short, precisely the same conversation we already have on about ten other threads.

    I had hoped this single thread might provide a real human being to dissect, instead of steretype vs. stereotype. I see that I was foolish. Ah well.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Gee D wrote: »

    I disagree. Perhaps Liberal is an abused term in the US but I equate it with more with left-libertarian. Ideally, 'society' should have no role in how people choose to live other than to protect individuals from the materially harmful acts of others. Society, then, would not have a 'model' but be simply the sum of everyone's individual choices.

    I think you're from the UK - is that right? In which case, your equation of Liberal with the views you set out is at odds with those traditionally called Liberal. The same here. Very different in both countries if you use liberal.

    I am from the UK. I see liberal as equalling progressive/permissive in terms of social policy. It shares that with left-libertarianism.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    Sorry, I was probably too offensive. But that kind of tangent means abandoning the point of the thread, since no one is going to resist the urge to start yet another slanging match between conservatives-as-a-group and liberals-as-a-group--defined, of course, by those who dislike them. In short, precisely the same conversation we already have on about ten other threads.

    I had hoped this single thread might provide a real human being to dissect, instead of steretype vs. stereotype. I see that I was foolish. Ah well.

    Sorry LC. I started with a question for you but you argued that my point applied equally to conservative and liberal attitudes. I disagreed and tried to explain the distinction by applying my understanding of conservatism, which is that conservatism is usually prescriptive with regard to moral behaviour and liberalism is usually permissive. If you disagree with that fine. Show me where I'm wrong.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    I'll add that while liberal and conservative are often applied to political positions they are rather more than that.
    Both liberal and conservative can be applied to a person's moral code, attitudes, values and aesthetic judgement which are then reflected in the political choices they make.

    So, a very straightforward question for a self-proclaimed conservative: when going to a function with a group of people do you dress to stand out or to fit in?
  • To fit in, though I don't know what that has to do with my politics. I happen to be an unattractive overweight woman, and I have no desire to have attention focused on the worse aspects of me. But what has that to do with anything political?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »

    I disagree. Perhaps Liberal is an abused term in the US but I equate it with more with left-libertarian. Ideally, 'society' should have no role in how people choose to live other than to protect individuals from the materially harmful acts of others. Society, then, would not have a 'model' but be simply the sum of everyone's individual choices.

    I think you're from the UK - is that right? In which case, your equation of Liberal with the views you set out is at odds with those traditionally called Liberal. The same here. Very different in both countries if you use liberal.

    I am from the UK. I see liberal as equalling progressive/permissive in terms of social policy. It shares that with left-libertarianism.

    Yes, but I see that you're now using liberal, not Liberal. In the UK and here (perhaps also in Canada, but I'm not sure) that makes a difference.
  • Sorry, I was probably too offensive. But that kind of tangent means abandoning the point of the thread, since no one is going to resist the urge to start yet another slanging match between conservatives-as-a-group and liberals-as-a-group--defined, of course, by those who dislike them. In short, precisely the same conversation we already have on about ten other threads.

    I had hoped this single thread might provide a real human being to dissect, instead of steretype vs. stereotype. I see that I was foolish. Ah well.

    Sorry LC. I started with a question for you but you argued that my point applied equally to conservative and liberal attitudes. I disagreed and tried to explain the distinction by applying my understanding of conservatism, which is that conservatism is usually prescriptive with regard to moral behaviour and liberalism is usually permissive. If you disagree with that fine. Show me where I'm wrong.

    No, you missed my point. What I meant and still mean is that I did not understand your post at all. Let me try again.

    You said:
    Is it fair to say that someone holding X views believes that their views are good for society as a whole and accepts, or even endorses, government and the legislature encouraging those values in society and even discouraging and criminalising activities that are contrary to those values at the expense of restricting individual freedoms?

    You'll notice I made one change to your quote. I swapped in "X" for "conservative." I did that because as best I read it, the paragraph you wrote applies to basically everybody. You could fill in "X" with the word "Communist," "Socialist", "Monarchist," "Breatharian," "Flat-Earthian" or, well, practically anything. Wanting to have one's own way is not an exclusively conservative problem. It is a HUMAN problem. And in my opinion, it doesn't matter who's in power, from the far right to the far left, or any shade in between. There will always be those (and a majority, usually) who, BECAUSE they "believes that their views are good for society as a whole and accepts, or even endorse, government and the legislature encouraging those values in society", will also go on to "discourage and criminalise activities that are contrary to those values at the expense of restricting individual freedoms."

    It's a fairly well understood principle of human nature. It's part of the reason we write constitutions in the first place--because we do not trust our opponents to play nicely, and they do not trust US to play nicely, and so we set up jointly agreed ground rules that will (please God) control us both.
  • Colin SmithColin Smith Suspended
    To fit in, though I don't know what that has to do with my politics. I happen to be an unattractive overweight woman, and I have no desire to have attention focused on the worse aspects of me. But what has that to do with anything political?

    Because politics is usually an extension of the personal and dressing so as not to stand out is dressing conservatively.

    I would say that most would regard me as an overweight physically unattractive man but I would dress to stand out. How I dress is an extension of my personality and I enjoy being noticed. How I conduct myself is an extension of my personality and my political views are also an extension of my personality. At bottom, I wish to be different and therefore I support the kind of society that accepts and encourages diversity.
  • Dude. If I could get away with it, without looking like the worst kind of fool, I'd dress FABULOUSLY. I mean, all out awesomeness, ALL the freaking time. But I haven't the body for it.

    It's nothing to do with my politics, and everything to do with certain emotional abuse from my childhood.
Sign In or Register to comment.