Friday, December 24, 2010

Biggish Picture

1. Liberalism is the political philosophy that the goal of the state and the law is to maximize freedom, being understood as the ability to act as opposed to a state that is not slavery, for all people, with restrictions on freedom being acceptable only to preserve greater freedom.

2. Conservatism is the political philosophy that the goal of the state and the law is to conserve and promote interests against the maximization of liberal freedom.

3. Conservatism in general is more vague than liberalism because there are so many different interests that people can choose to conserve and promote against liberalism, which itself is only concerned in theory with maximizing of liberal fredom.

4. Once one decides one is not a liberal because one has interests that one wants promoted over liberal freedom, the question is what kind of conservative one becomes. The many kinds of conservatism include attachment to class, to community, to religion, or, although it is not often thought of as being conservative, to nature.

5. The liberal thinks that this multiplication of types of conservatism is evidence that liberalism is true and conservatism is incorrect. "Why otherwise would there be so little consensus about what truth is among the conservatives?"

6. A conservative responds to this that his or her own kind of conservatism is in the same position with respect to all other political philosophies as the liberal is. If liberalism is correct because there is no consensus between all non-liberalisms, then Islamic fundamentalism is correct because there is no consensus between non-Islamic fundamentalisms etc.

7. The liberal argues that liberal societies are healthier, wealthier and happier than conservative societies.

8. The conservative responds that this was not caused by liberalism as opposed to prosperity allowing for the inanity of liberalism to survive and that liberal societies have often collapsed, and that the people in liberal societies are often unhappy because they have interests that they would like to be preserved against the maximization of liberal freedom.

9. The liberal argues that the present is based on past liberalism.

10. The conservative responds that in other cases past liberalism has been abandoned because it was too destructive and that there is thus no reason to believe that present liberalism is a conservative future.

11. The liberal argues that conservatism is heartless and brainless. This is sometimes true. Conservatism attemps to protect interests that are important to people against the interests of other people that may be enabled by liberal freedom. It is a small step from this protection of one's own interests to opposition to whatever is not part of one's own interest. This opposition to anything that is not part of one's own interests is heartless on its own, but it also is a cause the occasional brainlessness of conservatism. The brainlessness of conservatism is its use on conspiracies. In contemporary America, Barack Obama is believed to be born outside America, to be unlikely or even incapable of being pro-American because of some of his largely imagined differences from Americans, to try to take away guns, to try to impose a fairness doctrine on media, to try to establish death panels to encourage euthanasia, while at the same time sharia may become established in the United States and some in America even insist on a Jewish attempt to overthrow civilization.

12. The conservative can reply that heartlessness and brainlessness are neither required for nor unique to conservatism. Not only do liberals rely on their own conspiracy theories, but the clarity of their beliefs makes it easy for them in their hatred of everything that is not liberal to destroy what they decide is not liberal, as was the case in the Soviet Union, China under Mao, Cambodia under Pol Pot, but also makes it easy not to care about anything that is not liberal, as is the case with many, many self-satisfied American liberals now, especially on the internet.

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