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View Diary: "Newsbusters" Has A Sad About Something I Wrote. Well Allow me to Retort... (208 comments)

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  •  There's something in human nature (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, Julia Grey, DvCM, Troubadour

    that makes us want to feel more important, smarter, stronger, more just, than other people.

    Conservatives, by and large, look at people who are poorer, less successful, and feel superior. They look down on these people as lazy, leeches, dependent, unproductive -- contrasting them with their ruggedly independent and productive selves. In so doing, they feel better about themselves.

    Those at the top, well, I don't presume to know their minds. You're clearly not wrong that many of these people are utterly sociopathic -- or 'conservatives without conscience' in John Dean's parlance -- and perhaps that coupled with the need to feel superior leads them to seek superiority over everyone. I don't know. Or maybe they just seek power for its own sake.

    Not that we liberals are immune from the need to feel superior. We, after all, feel morally superior, don't we? We care about the less fortunate, the culture of violence, the environment. We look upon these narrowly self-interested conservatives and feel they are morally inferior... and we feel better about ourselves. We're more enlightened, more empathic. We are better people. Right?

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 07:07:20 AM PST

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    •  There is also something in human nature (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Julia Grey, Ramoth, DvCM, a2nite, Troubadour

      that makes us want a strong leader who will shelter, protect, and tell us what to do. We are supposed to take it on faith that our leaders know what is best for us. For me this explains why the under-educated and disadvantaged in the South blindly follow the Repubs against their own self-interest.

      •  That doesn't seem to be (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DvCM, StrayCat, Troubadour

        human nature -- but it is ispart of the nature of some humans.

        We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

        by raptavio on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 08:00:22 AM PST

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      •  God, I hope not. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DvCM, Troubadour, Americantrueandblue
        There is also something in human nature that makes us want a strong leader who will shelter, protect, and tell us what to do.
        I would hope that most of us want to take care of ourselves and make our own decisions.    While that might make for a docile and easily led electorate, it wouldn't bode well for the future of our nation.  

        Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. - Gandhi

        by SpamNunn on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:37:33 AM PST

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        •  Apparently, about 25% of us (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StrayCat, 417els, Troubadour

          want just that. You should read The Authoritarians, by Robert Altemeyer. It's available online, for free (or a donation if you feel so moved).

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:01:15 AM PST

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          •  How sad. I don't need to pay to read something (0+ / 0-)

            that will sicken me.  

            Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. - Gandhi

            by SpamNunn on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:08:21 AM PST

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            •  You don't need to pay. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cpresley, tacet, Troubadour

              As I said in my previous comment, the book is free. And it will only make you sick if reality sickens you.

              It's a popularized version of Altemeyer's 30 years of research into the psychology of authoritarianism. Despite the fact that it's "written down" for lay people a bit too much, I found it very useful in helping me understand what we are up against, and got me thinking about what strategies might be most successful in protecting our country from falling under the sway of a totalitarian authoritarian government.

              This is an unfortunate fact of human nature - it's in our genes. But it's how a society chooses to deal with it that controls how authoritarianism expresses itself. It doesn't have to run things, if we don't let it.

              This book was also a big influence on John Dean's books, Worse Than Watergate and Conservatives Without Conscience.

              "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

              by sidnora on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 11:31:51 AM PST

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          •  There will always be a minority who will never (0+ / 0-)

            be reconciled to freedom and democracy, who don't understand or appreciate the benefits they get from them, and who just wouldn't care even if they did because they crave externally-imposed discipline and the certainty of lies over the complex instability of the truth.

            In Roviet Union, money spends YOU.

            by Troubadour on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:57:43 PM PST

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      •  24 million Progressives in the South (0+ / 0-)

        say otherwise. Give it a rest, already. You're slowing down our progress.

        Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
        Economic
        Left/Right: -7.75
        Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

        by Bud Fields on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:39:24 AM PST

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        •  Until Southern progressives start treating (0+ / 0-)

          the violent psychotics who run their states with the contempt they deserve, rather than if-you-pleasing and by-your-leaving people who publicly preach their destruction, they're never going be respected as much as those in other states.  Frankly, it's hard to even know they exist sometimes, they're so furtive and terrified of seeming rude to the people who hate them.

          In Roviet Union, money spends YOU.

          by Troubadour on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:05:13 PM PST

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    •  There's moral superiority as arrogant effrontery (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DarkLadyNyara

      and then there's moral superiority as a simple fact of one's actions.  The difference between them - and which is also the difference between liberal and conservative moral concepts - is that the arrogant person sees themselves as inherently superior, regardless of what they do and what follows from it.  You can't deny the wrongfulness of what conservatives in this country do without completely discarding or reversing the very idea of right and wrong, which they do.

      Moral relativism, on the other hand, is the complementary fallacy of moral arrogance - it says that a person who thinks and reflects on their actions, who tries to help others, and who thinks this makes them a good person is somehow guilty of the same vanity as a sociopathic murdering thug who just plain considers themselves superior by virtue of existing.  And that kind of attitude negates the very idea of morality, because if one kind of action cannot be morally superior to another - and by association, increase or decrease the standing of the person responsible - then there is no morality, and the nihilistic attitudes of the most arrogant and heinous people are vindicated.

      In Roviet Union, money spends YOU.

      by Troubadour on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 02:55:09 PM PST

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      •  The problem is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour

        that principled conservatives (and yes, there are many of them) place different moral values as priorities -- namely, individual liberty.

        Individual liberty is a moral value we also share; it's just that when the chips are down we believe we, as individuals, should make greater sacrifice to help those in need. We place this moral value as subordinate to individual liberty; principled conservatives place individual liberty as superior.

        That's not something I agree with, obviously, but I cannot label it 'evil'. That moral framework is one that competes with ours in the marketplace of ideas.

        But it's the unprincipled ones -- the ones who drive their philosophy off of their need to be 'better' and 'superior' rather than those for whom such feelings are either immaterial or a happy side effect. Those are the ones that are dangerous and toxic.

        We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

        by raptavio on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 03:13:47 PM PST

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        •  I think you have an unrealistic view (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DarkLadyNyara, chmood

          of conservative values.  They do not value "individual liberty" as a general principle - they value their individual liberty to take away yours.  This is how the word "freedom" comes so easily to the lips of slavemasters and terrorists - they're only talking about themselves.  You don't even enter into it.  You don't exist in their moral conception.  No one does but themselves.  That's not a moral value at all, that's sociopathic nihilism.

          In Roviet Union, money spends YOU.

          by Troubadour on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 06:17:13 PM PST

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          •  I think you have an unrealistic view (0+ / 0-)

            of conservative values, because of exactly the same phenomenon I mentioned before.

            We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

            by raptavio on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 09:30:45 PM PST

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            •  Their values are exhibited in their actions (0+ / 0-)

              nothing more, nothing less.  That tends to argue for what I'm saying far more than what you're saying.

              In Roviet Union, money spends YOU.

              by Troubadour on Sat Jan 05, 2013 at 10:10:27 PM PST

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              •  And how do you differentiate (0+ / 0-)

                principled conservatives from unprincipled ones in your analysis?

                We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

                by raptavio on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 08:46:42 AM PST

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                •  The use of moral pretenses. (0+ / 0-)

                  Unprincipled conservatives commit vile acts and are just sort of dismissive about it all, and end up just basically being gangsters.  Principled conservatives commit vile acts and then try to make up excuses for it, and end up sounding batshit insane.

                  In Roviet Union, money spends YOU.

                  by Troubadour on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 01:18:50 PM PST

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                  •  ... (0+ / 0-)

                    Yeah, I think now's time for me to just end this discussion. I don't like being in the position to defend conservatives, and thus I get surly about it.

                    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

                    by raptavio on Sun Jan 06, 2013 at 05:17:08 PM PST

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