In all this, then, classical conservatives tend to see less difference between American conservatives and liberals than they see between themselves. Albeit that classical conservatives are more likely to align with their American counterparts insofar as American liberals tend to be more deeply hostile to custom and tradition.My views being then best summed up in the words of the British political philosopher Michael Oakeshott:"To be conservative, then, is to prefer the familiar to the unknown, to prefer the tried to the untried, fact to mystery, the actual to the possible, the limited to the unbounded, the near to the distant, the sufficient to the superabundant, the convenient to the perfect, present laughter to Utopian bliss. Familiar relationships and loyalties will be preferred to the allure of more profitable attachments; to acquire and to enlarge will be less important than to keep, to cultivate and to enjoy; the grief of loss will be more acute than the excitement of novelty or promise. It is to be equal to one's own fortune, to live at the level of one's own means, to be content with the want of greater perfection which belongs alike to oneself and one's circumstances."
I think in these populist times and times of social media where we have reduced society to a tinderbox and where people want instant perfection, many believe that central politics is a utopian ideal which doesn’t work and that there is only a choice of one extreme or the other.
@ayque Well, as you can tell, you won't get any argument out of me. In fact, as Russell Kirk famously said, "The pursuit of Utopia is the primal madness of the species."
So I wonder how societies manage this. Will there ever be a return to consensual central politics?
@ayque Well, Lincoln famously said that the only words that were true everywhere and forever are, "This too shall pass." Nothing lasts, which is also why Burke said, "A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman."That said, between that end point and the moment there will be moments of ups and downs. The turmoil of the years from 1917 to 1953 led to the RELATIVE stability of the 1950s. (It is always relative. It not being given to imperfect creatures to live in perfect stability.) Similarly, the tumult of the 1960s and 70s led to the relative stability of the 80s, 90s and early 2000s. The nation - here I speak of the United States, but it was true of the UK, too - grew exhausted with turmoil and upheaval and sought comparative order and stability. As this has happened before - and there are other historical examples - so it is likely to happen again. At least until the clock runs out.
Were there new variables in all those past moments of upheaval? A new variable in this case being social media.
I believe the cause this time is that society hasn’t worked out how to deal with social media.
@ayque That is part of it. The technologies of the mid-20th century tended to force people to speak more or less the same language and to see the world through the same prism. See also my analysis of media bias: Do you believe the American mass media is unfairly biased? ↗By contrast, social media tends to hermetically seal everyone in their own mental universe and that is an aggravating factor. Yet that will not change the fact that, eventually, people grow weary of tumult and chaos. Where all this will end up it is not possible to say, but we have been here before - think of how the radio, telephone and telegraph turned the early 20th century upside down. We are not assured of happy endings, but human behavior has certain constants that can generally be relied upon.
So what all of those have in common is that it’s an instability caused by the introduction of a new technology which changes the way people communicate with others.
@ayque Nope. The technology aggravated human tendencies. It did not cause them. You are confusing cause and effect.
So what aggravated human tendency to cause instability before the 2 wars?
@ayque Have you read human history? Humans are spontaneously aggressive, violent, imperfect. That is the starting point. Technology is ONE of the means by which such tendencies have gained expression and as man shapes his technology to suit his purposes so his technology then shapes him.Man alone has the ability to transcend his nature. Raise a baby wolf to be the best wolf it can be. Raise a human baby to be the best human it can be and it may write sonnets or cure polio. However, perfection is not assured and it requires all the mechanisms of law, education, custom, habit, culture and government to orient man to his better angels. Technology, in that connection, either facilitates the saint or unleashes the sinner.
Well that first answer will differ depending on who you speak to. That is the classic conservative view of human nature.
@ayque Well, the Enlightenment argument was that man is spontaneously rational and social. That if we remove the corrupting restraints of society and culture and give vent to man's authenticity peace and harmony will follow.How's that working out?
It’s not to me and I agree with you but there are many who will disagree with you. Those same people believe that the current state is an opportunity to push for positive change and encourage people to remove their egos and those restraints which you mention.
@ayque Well, I am not sure what you want me to say. Yes, some will disagree. Facts, however, are stubborn things.The mayor of Seattle said that the "CHOP" autonomous zone would lead to a summer of love. That was two corpses ago. The prosecution rests. That some are impervious to evidence is the inevitable result of human perfection. There is little that can be done about that beyond making reasoned arguments and hoping that, in due course, experience makes the point. That said, don't bet on it.
TYPE-O: This sentence: "That some are impervious to evidence is the inevitable result of human perfection."Should read: "That some are impervious to evidence is the inevitable result of human IMPERFECTION."
Perhaps those arguing against would simply say they are natural flaws and imperfections but that the alternative would be worse. Although I would not say that.
@ayque Perhaps they would. However, I point to evidence. They make a theoretical argument. I think I have the advantage of the debate.
The other side of the argument can probably produce evidence as well. It would be interesting to see such a debate take place.
@ayque To which my answer is - go back and read that Kirk and Burke quotes above. They answer the other side of the coin.
Where would you put yourself on the 2 dimensional political compass which someone else posted below by the way? The one with the economic scale and a vertical aurhoritarian/libertarian scale.
@ayque Not sure of the point of the question, nor even the whole thrust of your discussion. To put something as complex as the philosophical ideas we have been discussing and sum them up on a graph is both foolish and pointless. It is the very trap of the media tripe we see day in and day out.You can get the summation of my views from my answer above. As far as economics, Burke said Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations" was the greatest work of ECONOMIC philosophy ever written. The modifier matters - it was important, but in a limited sphere. (Which is why Disraeli and Bismarck later founded the welfare state.)Beyond that, to put ideas that have been at the very heart of the political debate in the West up to the present day into a simply graph is really profoundly silly.
@ayque So? It is a silly idea designed to condense the thinking of everyone from Aristotle and Plato into a coloring book. I am not impressed - and you should know better. Put down the graph and pick up a volume of Burke. You'll really learn something that way.
Yes. I am not impressed with many aspects of society at the moment. I’ve always had a view that certain institutions and organisations should be politically neutral and not get involved with politics. I accept that this won’t ever be perfect. However, I’m finding this view increasingly difficult to hold not because I don’t want to hold it (I still believe strongly in it) but because there are many who will say to me it’s unacceptable to not use such a far reaching platform to highlight issues.
And to stop extremism is another thing people say to me.
@ayque Sorry, I don't follow you at all. It does not matter if you cannot accept that things won't be perfect or not - because they won't be regardless. Moreover, that does not mean that reform is not attempted, merely that reforms are limited and not Utopian in their ambition and that what changes are made are done slowly to - as Burke put it - "avoid the evils of mutation."Where reform is revolutionary and ambition is promethean in its' scope, the effects are apt to be not what was intended. Indeed, will likely end up being the very opposite of what was intended. This again, not least, because of man's imperfect nature and limited understanding of the complexity of society.
Yes. You are a centrist. But then again so am I.
What would you say to those who say that centrists are blindedly walking into the world of extremists who want to return things to the racist, sexist, backwards world of the 70s as I often get told?
@ayque First, the terms "right" and "left" - and thus derivatively "centrist" - are not much use. The usage comes out of the French revolution, when supporters of a republic sat to the left of the Speaker's chair in the National Assembly, while supporters of the Church and the monarchy sat to the right. While these are common usage in contemporary politics, they actually don't say very much.Indeed, one of the flaws in this question - which I opted not to address - is the juxtaposition of "independent" to "conservative" and "liberal." The latter two are recognized schools of political philosophy - albeit often mischaracterized in popular usage in part because such usage tries to capture then in silly little charts. The former is not a school of thought but is typically applied in relations to parties, not philosophies.Beyond that, your sloppy usage of the terms notwithstanding, I hardly see why "centrist" - which is also not a philosophy but rather a term in popular usage sweeping in a whole array of disparate views - is disqualifying by mere virtue of the fact that it is centrist.
As to your second posting, the question is far too vague to be answerable. Give me the specifics, and I can suggest a course of action. The particulars, as Burke said, give to every situation its' defining aspects.
It is a popular term yes. In reality, it would be more complex but not everyone is an expert in politics such as yourself.
@ayque That is where much confusion begins. The imprecise use of words leads to imprecise thinking and much mayhem follows. You have, in that sense, found the beginning of sin, so to speak.
So then as the expert maybe you could educate us on this in ways which we can understand. Which I suppose you are doing actually.
@ayque Well, read a book. If you would like a short course in classical conservatism, I suggest Russell Kirk's "The Conservative Mind." Also, somewhat more derivatively, George F. Will's "Statecraft as Soulcraft."Frankly, you are a smart guy and I enjoy our discussions. If I have any gripes with you it is that you want to be taught all the world's wisdom while standing on your head. Take your time, be patient, read and study and don't go for the quick and pat answers.Believe me, a guy with your brain cells would be a formidable debater and thinker. You just need to do the homework.
That is very flattering and yes, the impatient hunger for knowledge is a problem I’ve had since my school days and it often causes me much stress.
@ayque Well, no time like the present. Impatience is the bane of the modern age. The world is not perfect, but man thinks it ought to be - and so the current turmoils. Do not live out in your conduct the sins that you in a broader social context you oppose.
I think It’s partly spurred on by institutions who react to society’s impatience and desire for perfection. I see it in my own profession and it’s deeply concerning and if anything, it inhibits us from doing a good job in the long run as we are bound by this “perfection” which we cannot see nor envisage.
@ayque Without meaning to offend, I cannot make heads nor tails of what you just wrote. Frankly, in culture, law and human behavior, the desire for perfection is both unrealistic and has never stopped man from pursuing it. Only where the virtue of prudence is given primacy is some restraint placed upon such Promethean pretensions.The French Revolution was the pursuit of perfection, however conceived. Burke's response was to demonstrate the folly of that pursuit.That said, you would just as soon, if you are a car maker, that you strive for perfection in the manufacture of automobiles as the failure to do so is apt to have unhappy outcomes. There being a distinction between utopianism in the moral as opposed to the material world.
I feel that prudence is being given primacy in the UK. In many areas.
@ayque That is one of the virtues I most admire in Britain. All other things being equal, and over the long measure of time, the British people TEND to be pragmatic, practical and prudent. You do not throw away wantonly institutions that have served your society and culture well - see also the monarchy, the House of Lords, the established Church as the most obvious examples.Rather you modify and adapt them over time. Not always quietly to be sure. (House of Lords reform in 1911 was not a placid affair.) However, in general, pragmatically and sensibly with an eye on both the changing needs of people and the benefits that have been conferred by the practices and institutions of the past.
Yes agree. But my concern is that pragamatism and practicality doesn’t always exist and then you have prudence on its own.
@ayque They are all facets of the same thing. Prudence absent pragmatism is a contradiction in terms. It would be like saying "practical ideologue." Something of an oxymoron.Again, in an imperfect world of imperfect beings, these things will wax and wane. In the 1960s Britain was more prone - relative to itself - to more passionate emotions. They did not call it the Swinging 60s for nothing.By the same token, you did not drive your honored leaders to temporary self-exile as the French did to De Gualle in 1968. A difference of degree, at some point, becomes a difference in kind.
I don’t follow that first part. Do you mean they will always co exist but the dynamic between them will vary? What if they contradict each other?
@ayque No, I mean that prudence, pragmatism and practicality are all facets of the same thing. If you are imprudent, you are not apt to be practical. You will not be practical if you are not pragmatic.
Oh ok. So you mean that any conflicts between them come merely out of human imperfections than out of conflict between the 3 which doesn’t exist.
@ayque Any failure is apt to be born of imperfections. Here you go again. Trying to hammer out a pat answer from a nuanced question.Prudence and practicality are facets of pragmatism. The pragmatic person will not imprudently drive his car off a cliff. That would be imprudent and therefore a contradiction in terms.Please, learn to define your terms and clarify your thinking. You muddle the language and the result is muddled thinking.
Oh I see. I was thinking more in terms of varying opinions of what one action could be prudent or pragmatic.
@ayque Well, prudent or pragmatic options are not always self-evident. Many in Churchill's cabinet argued after the fall of France that the prudent and pragmatic course was to cut a deal with Germany and Italy granting them their empires and allowing Britain to retain its empire and great power status. However, Churchill saw more widely that such a deal would mark the end of Western civilization and thus ultimately of Britain itself.The most obviously pragmatic and prudent course was not necessarily the immediately obvious one. Even then, it is not that the most prudent choice will not have its negative consequences. Britain stood alone and saved the world - but exhausted itself and thus ultimately forfeit its' empire, though it retained its independence and democracy. However, just because prudence and pragmatism are not obvious and do not have perfect outcomes does not make them less real. That is why we study, discuss and debate such questions to determine the best and most prudent course. Further, sometimes we choose prudence by a priori thought. Sometimes - and the British as a people are VERY good at this - we do so by instinct.
Conflicts happen all the time even between experts due to wildly different basic beliefs and principles on which their opinions are founded on.
@ayque Well, yes, that is a fairly obvious observation. Hard to argue with it. However, some ideas are better than others. Theoretical foundations may be debated and practical implications observed. That is how we generally separate the wheat from the chaff.Now, if you will excuse me, speaking of my own country. Tomorrow is Independence Day - apologies to our British cousins such as yourself. Because it falls on a Saturday we working men and women have been give today as a day off and I have a girlfriend and three children who would like to see their S/O and daddy respectively. So I will be signing off. I will be on a bit maybe tonight and a little bit tomorrow morning. Till then, all the best.
All the best and I hope you enjoy your day tomorrow however you and your family decide to mark the day.
Centrist ig so i wanted to register Indep
It's official if you don't follow the narrative to a T you're moderate
Just curious why don't you support blm
I feel like they ignore other minority and disadvantaged lives. I agree with the whole justice for George Floyd thing.
Edit: I know how controversial my stance is.
I agree with the phrase but not the leadership
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What is authoritarian mean to you
A dictatorship. I support a dictatorship, but only if a man fears God otherwise its a disaster.
Your ok with giving up your personal freedom
But isn't that a big possibility that comes with dictatorship. There's many examples when all the power has been put in one man's hands.
I said a man that fears God then its ok. A man that fears God will be just and fair in his governing tactics.
Ok can you give me example of a successful dictatorships? I'm genuinely curious.
The only one I know of are the kings in the Bible like king David and a few others who loved and fear God. A monarch government is ideal, but knowing human nature in practical terms will be a disaster.
Yea i had a feeling you would bring up biblical times. I agree that in modern times too much power to one man is a recipe for disaster
Being liberal or conservative doesn't have to necessarily be attached to a political party but more so a political ideology.
Tell that to the trump supporters at GaG.
What country are you from
Raised in Germany.
Yea they're off the rails now
Yea i guess lol I wonder how many actual are independent tho.
Where do you come from?
@JimboGB North European
I was just wondering what other opinions you have in your country? I'm gonna guess "Green party" what other opinions do you have?
@JimboGB We don't have 'opinions'. I mean we humans have ofcourse, but in my country we have different 'groups'. They actually are called 'parties', but that sounds weird in English. Every group has their own things they wanna fight for. Then we have a second and a first room of the government. Every group can get a chair in the second room. The more votes you have in % the same amount of chairs you get. (by the way we have like 8 groups, instead of 2 sides like the USA. Every groups can have up to 70 or more members and there is 1 lead). Then when a new law is being made, the government will vote in the second room. If more than half agrees, the law will go to the first room. The first room only has 75 chairs total. The top 3 groups with the most votes get a chair there. They will have to vote again. If it has more than half, the law is accepted. Only the king still has to sign it. But he actually always does. But you still can't change every law, only judges can. This is to protect the citizens and that not 1 person gets all the power in a country.
I appreciate that response, interesting that is similar in some senses but very different than my counties system. It sounds with so many parties you must have many coalition governments which can be a weakness of such a system (correct me if I am wrong). In my country, we have two main political parties Conservatives and Labour, but also Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Brexit Party and even more that are irrelevant but in truth, it is a two-party system in terms of the feasibility of getting into government.
It is pretty lame that if you do want to vote you practically only have the option of Democrat or republican. It ends up being like a sport team. You have to stick to your side my teams better then yours no matter what the policies are.
@JimboGB Yes a lot of parties have coalities haha. But that way we get a mix of everything so it's pretty nice. Our country has dealt amazing with corona
@that1tallguy Yes, in the USA it's like, you choose this side or the other. You literally have nothing to choose.
@JimboGB you'rer a?
@WowwGirl I was so confused for a minute what you were actually asking me lol. I'm a Conservative, that is the ideology that build our nations and will be the only ideology that will preserve them. How about yourself?
I think every year people are starting yo feel we need a forth or fith. However people are still afraid to vote for any other than those two because the side you truly don't want in you gave up a your vote if you vote for a third party. Hard to say if this has validity.
Do you support defunding of police?
I definitely don't think theit budget needs to be as high as it is.
I don’t even know what the budget is in my town. I am surprised you do. Some people just want to cut as it is the popular thing to protest... at least today. It’s always the ones who don’t pay much in tax too, not the homeowners as they see the value.
Yeah, I'm not going to blindly agree to things without doing my own research. Part of why I am independent instead of outright Democrat.I live in Salt Lake City. We do have crime, but not enough for an 82 Million yearly budget which is 25% of our general fund. They passed a new budget that lowered it by 5 million and is reallocating the funds for body cams, better training, and more social workers which is definitely a plus. I still can't see a justification for 77 Million in the police budget, but it is a start. I hope to see some improvements in the policing here with these changes, but only time will tell.
But I support LGB and BLM
My sister is a Lesbian, married her partner, worked in a notoriously gay industry, in a very liberal city and is the most ardent conservative I know. She is also smart enough to have risen to the executive ranks of a company you would know. We all don’t fit into the boxes the politicians and media tell us to as those days are gone if they ever were.
@Jersey2 The media tells you to fit in a political box?
@coffeewithcream even Joe Biden said if you vote for Trump “you ain’t black” to a black man. And yes, the media does as well, source, black people who complain about it.
@Jersey2 That's a news story. That's not the media putting people in a political box. That's the news media getting a reaction to a constituency of voters referred to by a candidate. I don't see your problem with the story.
John Oliver put it best “Foreign policy is like sex. If you loudly proclaim you’ll always come first, you’re going to have a hard time finding partners!”
@Agape93 oh lord 😂😭 john oliver really hates america His job is to use his stupid accent to berate common americans.Why shouldn't American politics revolve around American interests and values? I think every nation should put it's people first
Lol he doesn’t hate it, he lives here. His job is literally comedy and social commentary. Except that poses two issues. One, America doesn’t have one set of interests and values. We have thousands of religions, dozens political parties and millions of ideas of morality. All of that makes it more than one set of values and interests. Two, if you did that then there can be no compromise on anything. That means treaties cannot happen, trade internationally grinds to a halt, wars will be more common etc. America is a part of the world and it needs to interact and compromise with its neighbors to get things done in the world.
@Agape93 you are wrong because every decent man and woman wants 2 thingsA home and a family. Almost all people can agree on that. America first is about the family wage, The end of foreign intervention, the promotion of American industry.America First isn't reactionary, its about what ought to be! <3 America first doesn't mean isolate 100% and end of all foreign policy. Its about pursuing a moral foreign policy which puts American interests first.