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Old 10-14-2013, 09:33 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by BBII View Post
There's a fundamental difference in opinion here... a Conservative believes that modern free-Western Society was an improvement because of the principles it was built on. Private property and incentive driven by free markets.
.. changes that were radically different from the traditions of the time, and made as an acknowledged experiment backed by sound reasoning and decent evidence.

But you are completely wrong about the founding principals of our country and other fledgling western democracies (such as France). Modern western society is built on the idea of social equality, not any particular economic system. Most importantly, our society was set up to abolish the idea of inherited privileged and rule via nobility, clergy and others and to extinguish associated inequalities between individuals.

Western societies employ significantly different economies, though they all share one common thread: a non-extremist economy. There are no laissez-faire economies. There are no communist economies.

And we'd argue that the move toward centralized command-and-control economies is a move to something that more resembles the old nobility/monarchy system that what we have today.
The other tendency of conservatives, illustrated here on a regular basis, is to argue against strawmen. A well regulated, mixed economy ala 1930-1980 in the U.S. is what has been demonstrated to be, by far the least horrible of economic systems tried.

The other issue here is that the direction our society is going is not toward command & control. It's moving is exactly the opposite direction. And it's not a command and control economy that will lead to monarchy and a nobility system (i.e. feudalism). It's unrestrained capitalism. Feudalism is the end result of laissez-faire. Laissez-faire leads to a vast disparity in wealth. Once only a miniscule minority of folks have all the wealth and all the land, then all you have is land lords and serfs.

In sympathetic terms, a Conservative believes in conserving what he/she believes are the strengths handed down to us through 'tradition.' You and I didn't create individual property rights or market freedom. We were given that via tradition. We only really choose which direction to take it from here.

I didn't say you can't break tradition. Just that it ought to be very well reasoned. As Westerners, living in the wealthiest, most opportunity-rich population in the world, we should err on the side of caution when it comes to demanding significant change in areas where we obviously excel in the grand scheme of things.
Like I said, all ideas should be judged by the evidence, not the source. Liberals do not believe tearing down tradition just to tear down tradition.

That is a tendency. But no more so than it is for the 'progressive' to automatically discount some very essential systems and beliefs handed to us via tradition. Both sides need to lean more on caution and reason.
What are these essential beliefs and traditions, and what evidence and reasoning do you have that they are essential?

Well, there's a little more reason to it than that. At least for some. Nothing is PROVEN to be better for the next generation than to be raised in a prototypical nuclear family with mom and dad around and involved. The NBA "Daddy Who?" Parenting model is a 'change' and a definite distinction from the past (at least in scale) and there's pretty good indication that it's destroying whole sections of our civilization. That's not necessarily a reason to oppose Gay Marriage or single parenthood. There are plenty of kids out there desperate for anyone who cares, whose life will be made better by anyone who does care, regardless of race or sexual orientation.
Don't conflate gay marriage with single parenthood. But lets not get off the point. I don't care to argue about the specifics of any particular issue. The point is that conservatives (even the mainstream) often stick to tradition purely because it is tradition (or simply because they view it as tradition), not because there is any evidence or logic behind it.

But the larger 'Progressive' argument of "whatever's new or different goes", is viewed with suspicion by Conservatives. And it's not hard to see why.
Name one idea where the mainstream liberal opinion is that 'whatever goes'. Mind you, you can easily find some fringe liberal wackjob that will have such a position -- just as I can find a fringe conservative wackjob that thinks exactly the opposite. I'm not asking for that. I'm asking for a mainstream opinion of "anything goes".
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