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Old 10-10-2013, 12:26 PM   #12
BroncoBeavis
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Originally Posted by Rohirrim View Post
Once again, you misunderstand. It has nothing to do with what anybody "wants." It has to do with what is best.

BTW, there is no government you can conceive of that is not an "artifical construct." For the last thirty years, America has stumbled and fallen under the supply side/deregulation/tax-cuts-for-the-rich artificial constructs of the Right. Every time in history that this type of conservatism has been tried, it has not only failed, but failed in the same way, creating massive inequality usually accompanied by greed-based market crashes.

As the professor who wrote this paper points out, to expect perfection out of government is a fool's errand. What you can do is create a society that simply does the best for the most. This is called "enlightened self-interest." That is not going to happen, ever, in a conservative/libertarian model where the basic theme is king-of-the-hill. Rational self-interest, also known as greed, is fundamentally immoral. So is simple selfishness. To establish a society, or a government, on either of those premises is self-defeating. Why? Because at their core (and behavioral science has proven this over and over again), human beings are altruistic.
I'm glad you framed it that way because it boils down to one of the best descriptions I've ever read about the most common core difference between a Liberal and a Conservative. I'll have to find out where I read it someday, I've looked for it again before and couldn't find it.

Anyway, it comes down to what you believe about humanity and human nature.

Liberals tend to believe in the possibility that society (and mankind with it) is on a journey towards perfecting itself. And that society released from the restraints of the past (ie tradition) will discover ever better ways to do things until eventually most of the problems today cease to exist, or at least dramatically improve. They tend to view tradition with skepticism, and often see them as plain mechanisms of social control.

Conservatives tend to believe human nature itself is flawed and that values and traditions often serve as a necessary check or balance on our innate flaws. Mankind released from the restraints of the past may well fall into the terrible consequence of his own ignorance. The traditions we have today are often based on the lessons hard-learned by those who came before. Venturing away from those traditions should usually be done with very careful caution and deliberation.

Now, as for the specifics about greed and immorality, you're right to say that there is immorality there. Unfortunately, mankind is always an ill-equipped judge. It's impossible as an individual for you to put yourself as the judge of your neighbor.

So you say we choose representatives, who should serve as the moral judges of society. Unfortunately, there are no truly objective judges. They're all human too. And given time and space, those judges will tend to find morality in their own interests, and immorality in the interests of those opposed to them. This is why socialist experiments always end in a favored political class. Trading the nobility for the politburo. It's the inevitable road.
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