Just making a subtle point in a loud way. (Can you do that?)
We are wont, as people of the moment, to define all events given the world as it is, and as it seems to us reasonable, given our own knowledge and experiences. Which is nothing more than saying, we judge events from the facts which are most immediately at hand.
We don’t take the long view. Unless we are well versed in say, HISTORY, we often think that what we are experiencing is brand new and of first impression. And if we are versed in pseudo-history, we get even more confused.
However, after this many eons of human existence, there is really little that is new. Most is simply recycled problems from times past, cast in new garments.
So when we look about us and think that conservatives are the most idiotic of creatures ever to naturally occur by the arbitrary meeting of egg and sperm, well we are probably really really wrong.
There is a really excellent article at The Chronicle about this whole phenomenon. What is conservatism? What it seeks to protect on the surface is far from what drives it underneath. It is driven by fear that the “natural order” will be forever upturned. And this touches in the end, the most basic and personal of relationships.
It is an article well worth your time.
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.
What this suggests, is that the conservative cannot enjoy the familiar and seek the unknown. Rather the unknown is a threat to the familiar, and must be opposed. Oddly enough, the opposition might well entail a type of radicalism that would be quite familiar to the left. If, the article argues, the OWS movement has real staying power, it might just force the conservatives of the day to that radicalism which does in the end, lead to real creative energy.
Oh goodie! *bounce* *bounce* The LeHaye’s (Tim writes all those Left Behind books that tell who will and will not be going to hell very soon) have decided to endorse the Newtster. And I can just hear God heaving a great sigh of relief. Or was he passing wind?
Obama wishes to consolidate a some government agencies. But our dearly beloved little guy Ricky P, well he wants to just shut ’em all down. Remember when he forgot which three he would abolish? Those being Commerce, Education and Energy? Well now he changed them to Commerce, Energy and Interior. Or he got confused again. Does anyone care? As Juanita would say, bless his heart.
Mittens handlers are crying foul about Ricky’s and Newt’s lambasting their plastic doll over his Bain exploits. “Doin’ the Democrats work for ’em” they squawk. Hey guys, you been doing my work for me for months. What’s new? I can write these posts in well under two hours, and that’s just trying the find the MOST outrageous crap you guys spew.
Walking it back just a bit.
About the video of Marines and the Afghan dead.
The Contrarian reminded me of one salient fact I had not considered.
How do you train a human being to degrade another human being enough to kill them, and still be enough human to honor the dead?
This is not an excuse, nor do I find what was done any less reprehensible. But we ask humans to do inhuman things. There are unintended consequences to that you may be sure. Just look at our suicide and homeless rates among veterans if you have any doubt.
I confess to remaining mostly dumbfounded by why regular old working types who for whatever reason think that tying their lunch pail to the GOP wagon will bring them the good life, are stonehead deaf when it comes to things that really shouldn’t impact their wallets.
I speak of science, and why the average TeaNutz®ian rusted iron anvil for a brain, Bud-guzzling, balogna-shoveling, NASCAR cheering, ass-crack showin’, gut-protruding, trailer-trash parkin’, person also disses climate change, basic economic theory, real history, and virtually anything else that smacks of empirical rationality. Evolution excepted. Evolutionary pushback seems utterly tied to one’s religious theories, the more literal one responds to the written sacred texts, the more adamant one is that evolution is a satanically offered hoax.
Well, those who study these things suggest that the response is largely visceral, and has little to do with logic, but rather is something that is the result of psychological forces that we are not particularly aware of. In other words, we are just wired that way.
That’s not particularly comforting is it?
Well, it’s off to leftovers and of course listening to my beloved talk non-stop about THE game, to be played sometime this weekend.
Sigh. I carry a heavy burden.
- John Quiggin: Conservatives and Reactionaries (delong.typepad.com)
- Emotions, Not Thoughts: (brothersjuddblog.com)