Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Anthrolology And Ideology

I’m a little distracted, right now, and provocations are piling up. But, in recent days, I’ve been thinking about a distinction that often runs through the perspectives that divide liberals and conservatives. I’m afraid that, too frequently, it really boils down to a team identification thing with not a lot more to account for it than the bias that affects sports fans for their team. But, beneath or correspondent with this is often a distinction in the perception of human nature: how human beings are basically composed and inclined. Of course, all have their temptations, and yielding to them renders results that affirm the suspicions of both sides. Of course there are the dispositions among conservatives that liberals lament. But they are potential, not necessary. As a conservative, I will try to hold up what I think should be the conservative disposition.

But, this anthropological distinction applies in so many instances that it is plainly of considerablesignificance. Consider,

Taxation and Social programs:

Liberals believe that humans are corrupted by environment. Poverty and deprivation causes crime and other social difficulties, and should be tax subsidized. Wealth produces greed and heartlessness, which should be regulated and taxed. And, they believe increased taxation raises increased revenue for government to spend/allocate. These are potential reactions, which individuals should avoid. Conservatives see that like observation alters the behavior of light, taxation alters the behavior of people, and qualifies the production of wealth and the collection of revenue, and subsidization also qualifies human behavior, usually suppressing positive change. A positive conservatism believes that all men are naturally selfishly inclined and subject to corruption. The difference is only in the type of occasions for corruption. Wealth is a good and essential thing should be produced. But, it also should be shared…by individuals with their own resources, not by large governments, who use and thrive on other peoples’ resources.

Liberals don’t see the provision and consumption of health care as differing in accordance with the breadth of the market, wanting to unify coverage through a single payer. They don’t see that a nationalized retirement system has weakened family responsibility and overall has diminished retirement care. The bottom line is that families and communities should care for the elderly and retired, and they should do it more generously and lovingly than Social Security has or can.

Foreign Policy and National Defense:

Liberals believe that adversaries should be “negotiated” with; sort of a Rodney King Foreign Policy: “Can’t we all just get along?” They believe that conservatives take some pleasure in conflict and conquest. Of course, some men do, as history makes plain. But, conservatives should mean by “defense” what the American founders meant: just that. Defense! Nations are naturally self-interested and their leaders are naturally acquisitive. A keen eye and hand must be maintained to defend against them. Words can communicate a lot. But especially with nations or groups, they can’t carry any water without the credibility of force behind them. A conservative could easily wonder how a liberal conducts a game of “Risk” or “Monopoly.”

I have to add that the debate about Iraq is a little perplexing to me. Liberals may argue that Iraqis are not suited to democracy and deserving of freedom. This strikes me as bigoted. Our Declaration Of Independence doesn’t say, “All American men are created equal.” It says “all men are created equal.” We should prize liberty for all humans, and defend it where possible. I believe that a lot more is possible than was in the 19th century. I can only account the inconsistency to the raw partisan prejudice (prior judgment) mentioned above.

Social Issues:

On abortion, liberals value what they see as the equality of men and women reflected in the availability of unencumbered sex, Without abortions, women are left with the burdens of pregnancy and children. But, liberals dismiss the value of unborn human life that consistent with a value system that transcends as barren naturalistic perspective.. It is true that men may and have shirked the responsibility for the children they have produced. I believe that local authorities should hold absent men responsible for their offspring and the mothers of their offspring. But, conservatives focus on the inherent value of human life, over which humans are not qualified to defer. The same principle applies in the issues of cloning and embryonic research.

Homosexual behavior restricts human potential, for reproduction to begin with, and for adapting to and embracing a partner who will likely have differing impulses. Heterosexuality is built into sustaining and refining the species. Liberals dismiss this and insist on the right of homosexual behavior to be treated as normal as any other. But, homosexual behavior is detrimental for society, the individual, and the species.

Liberals believe that human inclinations can be controlled through legal regulation of guns. Conservatives believe that responsibility is encouraged and misbehavior is discouraged by public access to guns

In general, liberals believe that statutory manipulation can better society, while conservatives believe that it distorts society. Maybe, conservatives should begin by acknowledging that they recognize the need regulate the natural flaws in themselves.

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