Still Thinking Like A Conservative?

Scifi author Ray Bradley wrote a book called “The Martian Chronicles”, and I remember the tagline on the old paperback copy my dad had was “Still thinking like an Earthling?” The question was a challenge to those with minds still stuck in the past. People are trapped, much more than they realize, in the outdated thinking patterns of yesterday.

OneSTDV is a conservative, and an HBD conservative at that. Yet he still suffers from the warped perspective of modern American politics- the idea that liberalism is  “compassionate” and conservatism is “uncompassionate”.

Yes, even conservatives believe this. What we call “conservatism” in America is really just a partial and grudging reaction to liberalism, not an alternative philosophy with its own morality.

The New Deal State- or the system, or whatever you want to call it- came to power in the 30’s, the product of a combination of European socialist ideas but very much also from reformist Protestant Christianity. It was intended to take away the control of society from the individual, and even the local community, and place it in the hands of an enlightened Northeastern elite.

Most of the population was fine with this, as long as they got paid. Still there was a strong libertarian streak in the US, and the idea of paternalistic control from far away seemed foreign, and worse inefficient.

Two kinds of opposition arose to this, commonly assumed to be the same thing, but really quite different. One was the strongly anti-communist, anti-socialist philosophy of the libertarian right. The John Birch Society and Barry Goldwater were examples of this philosophy. For them the New Deal State was a terrible imposition on the freedoms of the American people, something closely allied with foreign enemies that had to be dismantled. This faction wanted to dismantle the New Deal and put America back on a more libertarian footing that it had before.

The second kind was represented by Ronald Reagan and the business community. Reagan was a New Deal Democrat most of his adult life, and only broke away from this when he saw, to his disgust, the way communists were manipulating and trying to take over Hollywood. A big portion of the country supported the New Deal- federal financial regulation, labor regulation, federal public works and other federal spending. What they didn’t like is that the American far left- communists and their allies, as represented by Henry Wallace- saw this as just the beginning of transforming society. They liked a large, strong federal government, but they also liked their society just fine. They thought the continued growth and excesses of the New Deal needed to be stopped, but the New Deal itself need not be dismantled.

It is this kind of thinking that we think of as conservatism in the US. Its message, from the 60’s through the 80’s was, “the government can do many fine things, but it can’t do everything. Good intentions are wonderful, but too much government intervention and assistance is inefficient and actually counterproductive. We need to limit government to what is really necessary.”

Note that this does not question, or challenge in any way, the moral basis of liberalism. It assumes liberalism is good, moral, compassionate, well-intentioned, and only questions that it is sometimes impractical. Again- liberalism is good and moral, conservatism is just a matter of efficiency and practicality.

Liberals thus, as conceded by modern conservatives, always have the moral high ground. They can always claim idealism and good intentions. Under these circumstances, a conservative is at best a wet blanket and at worst a shill for businessmen.

In a social environment controlled primarily by emotion- as a mass consciousness society must be- conservatives are limited to saying “yes, but….” and making tiny changes on the margin to liberal initiatives, or proposing slightly less expensive, slightly more market-oriented versions of liberal programs, such as Mitt Romney’s Massachussetts health care.

And so our epic argument is over whether the federal budget will be $3.65 trillion, as proposed by liberals, or whether it will be $3.6 billion, as proposed by the racist, fascist, teabagging scumbags. That federal revenue is $2 trillion goes unmentioned, except as proof that America is firmly in the grip of racist fascists, without whom it would easily be $4 trillion- or $5 trillion! or $10 trillion! There will be no limit to what we can do when we have conquered racism!

There is an alternative to this. The alternative is simply to deny that leftists possess the power to define what is moral, what is right, and that we are obligated to obey them. This is a radical alternative that puts one far outside the moral pale. I’m willing to be called evil, racist, fascist, uncompassionate, and all the other names they have, because I don’t acknowledge their power.

Far from being moral or compassionate, leftism in all its forms- from the Marxist-Leninist revolutionary terror state, to the Stalinist bureaucratic terror state, to Latin American caudillismo, to the American New Deal soft authoritarian oligarchy- is a monstrous crime against the human mind and spirit, that reduces man to a beast under the yoke, without the slightest shred of moral or legal legitimacy. To quote our president’s minister- God Damn socialism, God Damn liberalism, God Damn “compassion”.

About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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7 Responses to Still Thinking Like A Conservative?

  1. dagezhu says:

    I note that Jeffersonians are sometimes called “classical liberals.”

    Would you call radical Jeffersonianism “left-wing” or “right-wing”?

  2. bruce says:

    Tharsymachus can rant away but what exactly is the pragmatic alernative to the soft authoritarianism New Deal in regard to health care and other entitlements. Americans are rhetorical conservatives but operational progressives. They protest vs “Big Gov’t” but oppose cuts in Medicare and SS. Nice to categorize the contending factions as part of one big mind-set but how about some indication of your positive program. Is it secession, a military coup or what?

  3. bruce says:

    So you are deconstructing pseudo rightism as well as leftism. Easy to say what you are against. What are you for? Better yet, what means can the Right use to win? If, as the political scientists say, American voters are rhetorical conservatives and operational liberals ( progressives) then a slow growth, sclerotic, welfare state is best we can hope for. Only alternatives would be secession or right wing coup.

    • I don’t have any answers and I’m not for anything. All I know is whatever people who oppose the system, in however small or qualified a manner, are completely unable to make any change. I did over 30 years as a libertarian conservative, and hoping that this time we were going to win and change things. But I started to feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football.

      Until we understand how the system works, we can’t begin to think of an effective way to control it. System opponents need to suspend their shock and disgust and think why, and how things work the way they do.

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  5. Rusty says:

    “Yes, even conservatives believe this. What we call “conservatism” in America is really just a partial and grudging reaction to liberalism, not an alternative philosophy with its own morality.”

    This is spot on. I’ve often pointed out to conservatives that they continue losing because they are always playing defense and they keep giving in, compromising unnecessarily. Their main concern is to be “fair” and “nice,” not a commitment to taking back lost territory.

    Worse, they imagine that they are traditional conservatives and do not realize that American ideals are, historically speaking, radically liberal. They actually believe they are holding the conservative line and self-limit their own rightward movement. To make their defeat a total lock, the older ones have an outdated picture in their minds of the old America in which they grew up and act as though we could tweak it a bit and get it working again as before, ignoring the massive corruption and destruction of every institution. I guess they always think, “We’ll get ’em next time,” not understanding that they started from a liberal position and just gave into much more liberal position and that there won’t be a next time.

  6. Brandon says:

    So called conservatism is merely liberalism/leftism’s shadow, as they both travel on their way to perdition.

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