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View Diary: The 2008 delusion we should not repeat in 2012 (155 comments)

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  •  Values and Principles (22+ / 0-)

    When I read your friend Jay's response,

    What else would you call an oppressive force attempting to overwrite and overrun the values and principles of your country?

        If I were the only one left.....I'd still do it. No reason to compromise my principles because of everyone else.

    the first thing I thought of was Jonathan Haidt's analysis of values in his book, The Righteous Mind. I do recommend the book, but you can get a decent understanding of the contrast between liberal and conservative values by going to the related website. There are links to essays he has written and interviews he has given, including the outstanding one with Bill Moyers.
    What I find most interesting about your friend's comment is how he sees Democrats/liberals being an "oppressive force", or a dominant authority wanting to impose its will on others.  But Haidt indicates that conservatives are the ones who value authority much more than liberals, who are usually willing to "live and let live". So Jay seems to have a bit of a paradox here of anti-authoritarian liberals using their authority to devalue and destroy the authoritarian values (hierarchy, enforcement, structure, etc) that conservatives hold. Either that, or he is projecting traits onto liberals which they, generally speaking, do not strongly exhibit.
    Additionally, Haidt and his fellow researchers have another website,, which allows individuals to examine their own values and principles, and possibly contribute to scientific research as well. Perhaps you might want to take a few of the study questionnaires yourself, and see if you could encourage your friend Jay to do so as well. I suspect there are deeply held values you share as well as ones you don't, and maybe you both will be better able to respect those not shared.
    •  Conservatism is authoritarian (24+ / 0-)

      At the base of conservatism is the belief that man is naturally corrupt, and that left to himself he will do evil things, so he needs to be constrained by a strong authority both physically and spiritually. No bishop, no King, as James I once said.

      The libertarian anti-big-government element of  the Republican message is a smokescreen; conservative leaders have rarely acted to weaken the power of the state over the average citizen. Their libertarianism is only to benefit themselves and their rich friends, I think.

      Liberalism and its "live and let live" philosophy are founded in the belief that man is naturally good, and that left to himself he will do good things. The government is therefore best that governs least. If that sounds like something Ron Paul might say, it is because "liberal"  now implies someone who favors progressive taxation, the regulation of commerce for the common good, and the institution of a welfare state. These things were not originally part of liberalism, and owe their origins in part to socialists and in part to pragmatic conservatives like Otto von Bismarck.

      And Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

      Roosevelt's New Deal was a pragmatic compromise that postponed the existential crisis of capitalism by in calling for a truce in the class struggle. Both capital and labor got a deal they could live with, and the eventual result was the unprecedented prosperity of the 1950's and 1960's.  Then, beginning in Nixon's time, capital began to repudiate their end of the deal.

      •  A perfect summary, thank you. (NT) (3+ / 0-)

        The only thing that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do stuff that doesn't work

        by PatriotismOverProfits on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 06:43:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Libertarians that support Republicans (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        refuse to think through the measures passed to take away women's health care choices, to restrict measures that allow people to know what's in their food, their drink and in the air they breathe because all those things are in laws passed by Republicans in government to either impose religious beliefs (anti-abortion and anti-healthcare) or to favor big business interests over small businesses and individuals.  Sure the Libertarians like the ability to own guns, but I'm always amazed that Libertarians will support gun ownership but also support the Republicans who want to "disappear" those who challenge the state.  The logic fails are deep and distressing.

      •  well ... (1+ / 0-)
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        No one gets out alive

        ... it's contradictory, and that is usually my point to righties .... they claim people need to be held in line - that somehow blue collar crime would be out of control otherwise .... but somehow, magically, businesses and leaders are automatically righteous and would never do anything wrong, so therefore, regulation is unnecessary.

        Can't understand the logic there.

        the most comprehensive college hockey resource

        by AdamW on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:55:09 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wow. What a contrast. (3+ / 0-)

      You display the best of the "liberal" approach, incorporating science and reason into your comment.  Now compare that to a typical Dittohead response;  a shout of a code word or brief phrase, such as "DEBT!  TAXES! ABORTION!  MUSLIMS! KENYAN!".  Even the longer phrases are nuts, such as "anti-colonialist mindset".  Like that's a bad thing?

      BTW, I think it's or;  "or he is projecting".  Whenever you hear an accusation from a wingnut, look for that exact behavior from them.  I've been hearing a lot of the "they're going to arrest us and throw us in the FEMA camps" lately, so I keep my guns loaded.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 07:15:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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