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View Diary: I agree with The American Conservative. Wait, what? (241 comments)

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  •  Yes, I haven't though about TAC in a while... (25+ / 0-)

    ...but they're right a lot.  Paleoconservatism suits me to some extent.  If it weren't shot through with racism it would suit me a bit more, but if there's one tenet of paleoconservatism it's that hoping people will change their nature is futile.

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 03:47:55 AM PDT

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    •  well, the problem is believing (14+ / 0-)

      that humans have an evil nature.  they don't.

      we took care of each other for most of the time we have been on the planet.  most of 60,000 years.  it's only the past 5,000 or so that have been so awful and its absolutely connected to patriarchy which is the real problem.

      Donate to Occupy Wall Street here: http://nycga.cc/donate/

      by BlueDragon on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 07:53:11 AM PDT

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      •  Some people have an evil nature, most don't (19+ / 0-)

        But the fraction that does are real predators, and that is what the article points out.  That is the real problem with the rich today.  Noblesse without the oblige, epitomized by Romney.

        The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

        by Mimikatz on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 08:27:05 AM PDT

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      •  Just curious? (8+ / 0-)

        On what basis do you make this statement? It is only in the past 5000 years that we have any sort of written history, and before that only indirect anthropological evidence.

        I suspect that "human nature" has not changed much over 60,000 years. If you mean that the emergence of agriculture and thus "civilization" enables a level of exploitation that was not possible in pure hunter-gatherer societies, I think that may be right. But I think there are ample examples of the "old going to the ice floe" and so forth. I think there have always been people who want to have more beans than his fellows.

        But I'm no expert and I'm genuinely asking for more info on your point. The only cure for ignorance is confession, and despite 45 years on this planet, I find I'm still throwing my ignorance around! ;)

        •  No. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FarWestGirl

          There is evidence. Google is your friend.

          GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

          by Attorney at Arms on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:01:33 AM PDT

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        •  Yes ^^^^ @ Attorney at Arms (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, Bisbonian, FarWestGirl, bnasley

          Anthropology, archaeology, sociology and tangential fields have found much different information than popular and theocratic mindsets preach or think. There are tribal cultures still on the planet that are isolated enough to provide some of the information.

          Recently saw somewhere that the author of The Clan of the Cave Bear series had been approached after the first book by researchers about how inaccurate her portrayal was. She apparently decided the money she was making to be more valuable than the truth. I have had a few conversations with my family members who have been reading the series as to why I am not interested and how wrong she is. They still bring up the concepts in discussions that pertain to human nature and tribal cultures.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:21:19 PM PDT

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      •  belief in human evil is why I'm a lefty (5+ / 0-)

        If I believed humans were naturally good, I'd be some kind of glibertarian anarchist arguing that mechanisms of social control were unnecessary.

        To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

        by Visceral on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:41:48 AM PDT

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        •  We all have the potential for both (8+ / 0-)

          good and evil.  I am a liberal Christian because I am persuaded that we need to follow Jesus' admonition to do justice and be just people. This call is not only in the Bible; the literature of the ages and many civilizations recognizes the potential for greed in humankind and the potential for accomplishing justice and real good.

          "You're not allowed to sell your countrymen out to multinational financial corporations anymore and still call yourself a patriot." --MinistryOfTruth

          by Kurt from CMH on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:53:17 AM PDT

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        •  you might think a little more (4+ / 0-)
          glibertarian anarchist arguing that mechanisms of social control were unnecessary.
          About the extent to which anarchism in virtually all of its political-philosophical incarnations accounts for a variety of "mechanisms of social control" -- assuming that you mean "controlling people from raping and pillaging you whenever they want and with total impunity." The mistake -- one many Americans in particular really get indignant when you question, because they are unable or unwilling to imagine alternatives to Romney, on the one hand, and Obama, on the other -- is to think that a highly regulated police-state is necessary for anybody except billionaires.
          •  this is kinda my point (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, Bisbonian, CenterLeft
            The mistake ... is to think that a highly regulated police-state is necessary for anybody except billionaires.
            A highly regulated police state is necessary to keep the billionaires in line and more generally to discipline the market and make it work to achieve society's goals rather than mindlessly following its own internal logic of "profit = good".  Even if you concede only that, you end up supporting the highly regulated police state whether you want to or not.  I just agree with Hobbes; that degree of control and the sacrifices of [IMO merely theoretical] freedom it entails can be justified in the face of the chaos, deprivation, and dehumanization that would result from letting market forces run wild.

            To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

            by Visceral on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:15:31 AM PDT

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            •  exactly what you said (0+ / 0-)

              except the opposite.

              A highly regulated police state is necessary to keep the billionaires in line

              If you think the police are working for the masses to keep those billionaires in check, I suspect you've been drinking the same energy drink as Paul Ryan (Delusionade)

              •  so how would less control = less freedom for rich? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kyril

                I understand what you're saying and agree completely.

                What isn't clear to me is how fewer and weaker mechanisms of control would paradoxically make it harder for the billionaires to have their wicked way with us. I assume they'd still own everything, and even if there were no government, logically we'd all still work for them, we'd all still buy from them, we'd all still pay fees to use what they own, and we'd all still strive to be everything they want us to be so we can sell our labor at a higher price and thereby pay for the pricier goods and services which are paradoxically a better deal.

                "Bigger bully" leftism makes intuitive sense to me ... plus I hate the rich so I welcome the opportunity to hurt them.

                To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

                by Visceral on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:05:01 AM PDT

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                •  I basically agree with you (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  blueoasis, Bisbonian

                  but there are some who make the argument that the concept of private "ownership" as we know it is only made possible by the existence of the police state.

                  I would counter with the fact that if you start out with control of obscene amounts of property, it's fairly easy to recreate the police state, this time with its agents working directly for you.

                  "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                  by kyril on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:00:16 PM PDT

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                  •  yeah, I've heard that argument (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kyril

                    that private property is made possible by police powers - be they wielded by feudal warlords or a centralized bureaucratic state - and I basically agree with it.  Except the logical conclusion from that is that concentration of property is the root of the problem, and dramatic (and invariably involuntary) redistribution becomes the obvious solution.  In a society where everyone owns the means to provide for themselves - without having to sell their labor or surplus fruits of their labor to anyone else - it would be impossible for a plutocracy to emerge.

                    Except how could you achieve that redistribution without overwhelming power?

                    To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

                    by Visceral on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 01:36:06 PM PDT

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              •  Yes, the police state s to keep us in line (0+ / 0-)

                and the billionaires safe from us. If we ever smartened up.

                My dog is a member of Dogs Against Romney: He rides inside.

                by adigal on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 04:24:07 PM PDT

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        •  There are billions of acts of help and decency (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, blueoasis, Freedomfreak, melo

          done by humans for each other every single day.

          We have to distinguish the average person from the power-mad socio- and psychopaths who make up the bulk of political leadership: people who will lie, steal, cheat, and kill to enhance their position. These people and their acts/consequences, of course, is what we talk about in  media. So it's natural to form an impression that evil dominates. Even our earliest written records are propaganda for this or that "great" king who crushed and enslaved his enemies.

          Since most people "go along to get along" (or face being jailed, tortured, killed, or ostracized by the "leaders" if they don't) we have things as they are.

          But people are decent in the main. Perhaps not organized or impassioned enough to "fight the powers that be" but that's not the same thing as being evil.

          Until we devise a way to keep psychopaths out of power, we will suffer.


          The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

          by Jim P on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:49:42 AM PDT

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      •  Repubs are more likely to distrust and judge (0+ / 0-)

        those different from themselves. Will tout exceptions as the rule to validate their views of minorities etc. A made up caricature ... "welfare queen" or whatever becomes the "typical" incarnation of the "other".

        Thing is any group has a few bad eggs. the failing of the right is they are far more likely to believe stereotypes as being representative. So then the "evil" they see in a really nasty but atypical unrepresentative person becomes the symbol and the basis for demonizing an entire group of people. Willie Horton...

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 01:48:43 PM PDT

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      •  BlueDragon! Wish I could uprate (0+ / 0-)

        you a hundred times. Live long and prosper!

        "Individuals need to know how to judge truth claims objectively; how to be skeptical; how to be avoid gullibility, nincompoopery, fraudulent and counterfeit promises; how to live with ambiguities and uncertainties." Paul Kurtz

        by Tennessee Dave on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 06:44:15 PM PDT

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