Skip to main content

One of the most important lessons of history is this truism: All good ideas will be counterfeited.  For every mystic spiritual leader preaching peace and compassion, there will be countless people holding a gun to your head demanding that you accept those teachings or die.  For every scientist who tries to teach people about the interconnectedness of life by noting the physical basis of our existence, there are countless nihilistic minds who interpret that as morality being a useless fiction to be disposed of.  And as demonstrated by American political history, for every republic founded on the principles of fundamental human equality and liberty, there are countless perverse minds who would call it "tyranny" to free slaves and "freedom" to have a government that doesn't interfere in their attempts to rob, murder, or oppress others.  We know those perverts as conservatives.

In place of empathy for the defenseless, which decent people at least apply consistently to whatever level they practice it, conservatism gives a purely theological substitute in the form of Forced Birtherism: No compassion for the mother, no compassion for born children, no compassion for families, no compassion even for the health of wanted pregnancies in the form of universal prenatal care - just a fetishized, ritualistic "defense" of a nonsentient fetus to get human compassion out of the way so it won't be a distraction from the sadistic reality of the conservative agenda.

In place of equality, conservatism offers mutual hostility and the universal right to victimize those less powerful than yourself.  "Do unto others before they do unto you."  "You would do the same to me if you were stronger / faster / richer."  The fact that someone stronger than you is allowed to prey on you is perfectly fair as long as you're allowed to prey on someone weaker than you in the same way.  This is the conservative version of "fairness": In its infinite justice, it says that if the 90-lb woman beaten by her husband were a 200-lb steroid-abusing bodybuilder and a man, she could do the beating.  If the subsistence worker were instead a rich business owner, they could do the exploiting.  If the tiny country with no ability to defend itself were a huge military empire and the actual empire were a tiny, defenseless country, the tables could be turned.  See, isn't that fair?  To this way of thinking, breaking the symmetry of victimization by imposing laws that protect people's rights is "unfair."

And of course, there's "liberteh" - the conservative counterfeit of liberty, which exclusively concerns the ability to act out the above principle of malevolence and never works in the opposite direction.  If a richer, more powerful person than yourself steals from you, they're merely expressing their "liberteh" to do so and affirming the Natural Order of things, but if you were to steal from such a person in turn, that would be a heinous, grievous offense not only against society, but against nature, and must be punished in the severest possible terms.  

Texas, for instance, is a paragon of liberteh: There are as few obstacles as possible to the impunity of the rich to do whatever they want to anyone else, but in the other direction government becomes an authoritarian police state that brutally punishes minor infractions and ritualistically murders people in large numbers to make an ideological point.  You can build a factory full of explosives next to a school and a playground with minimal impediments or oversight, but try to build an abortion clinic and watch the regulatory burdens mount up at light-speed.  In other words, "liberteh" just means the exact opposite as the word and concept it corrupts: The utter triumph of raw power and ruthlessness over morality and civilization.

About the only real, genuine thing in conservatism is fear: The only motive that isn't either a perverse counterfeit of morality, or a psychotic reaction against being confronted with the falsehood of their beliefs.  Fear of the Other, fear of the truth, fear of losing, fear of others doing to them what they want to do to others, fear of being held in contempt by peers, fear of uncertainty, fear of change, even fear of fear.  Just the most debased, reptilian, robotic psychological processes that are still possible in a human brain that at best resent reality and at worst are physiologically incapable of recognizing it.  

Even other negative emotions among conservatives like anger and greed are just phony theater stemming from these psychoses.  They are utter cowards, and they surround themselves with fake taxidermy morality because the real thing is just too dangerous to be applied to people as unworthy as they know themselves to be.  Like teabaggers in their silly colonial costumes, their values and politics are a twisted horror-movie script acted out by mannequins and puppets.

But the most effective solution to counterfeiting is, paradoxically, the very thing that causes it: Promoting and evolving the real thing that's being counterfeited.  No one would counterfeit a worthless currency or wear knockoffs of a brand with no cachet, so there is a kind of perpetual evolutionary arms race between the genuine article and the lies invented to leech off it.  If the counterfeits are too successful, the real thing loses too much value and thus ceases to be worth perverting - but once the crooks stop imitating it, the real thing may stage a comeback and start the cycle over again.  So there's no point in abandoning something just because it's a subject of counterfeits: Anything worthwhile you could possibly replace it with would be just as vulnerable, so you might as well just work on moving the real thing forward and leave the shadow-puppet copycats scrambling in your dust to keep up.

What's the solution to liberteh?  More and better liberty.  What's the solution equaliteh?  More and better equality.  More and better democracy is the solution to the corrupt, rigged, racial apartheid farce of an electoral system they want to create.  Responsible, intelligent, productive businesses that serve this nation and this world are the answer to the conservative sociopath corporation.  More and better legal professionals committed to upholding the principles of law are the answer to corrupt right-wing commissars on the bench who ignore the law and dictate ideology.  More and better citizens who know the difference between right and wrong, and between true and false, and are willing to say so everyday in how they live in addition to how they vote are the answer to the counterfeit-citizens known as conservatives.  

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site