Growing past liberalism

A good deal of virtual ink has been spilled trying to re-invent politics so that there is a third way, a fourth way, a new way, a super-old way, or even a non-way.

While I respect those who attempt this, and recognize that most of them are better writers than myself, I have not for some time been able to accept the need for a third path.

Over time, I have come to see the perception of a need for “another way” than conservatism to be pointless, first because it is dishonest, and second because it is parroting of the leftist narrative.

In the leftist view, leftism/liberalism is a viable alternative to conservatism, which is just another lifestyle choice. While the neoconservatives and new right are afraid to be rude on this topic, a sensible view is that leftism has always been and always will be totally illegitimate.

Only in the leftist view do we consider outcomes so meaningless that we view any political choice as “an option” and don’t consider that those options must be anchored to a showdown with their own application.

Conservatism is the viewpoint that did not have a name for itself. It has been falsely styled as being a reaction to leftism, when in fact conservatism was what existed before leftism, and leftism was a reaction to what leftists perceived to be conservatism.

There’s a fallacy in this which is that when one party is in power, it’s easy to blame just about anything that happens on their leadership. Natural disasters, overpopulation, inevitable wars, periodic economic cycles all become their problem.

Leftists reacted to conservatism because conservatives were in power when leftists discovered that their civilization was speeding downhill. The leftist response was to seize power and kill objectors, and then formulate a mirror-image inversion of conservatism as their ideal.

This all happened in France, around 1789. All of our modern leftism/liberalism represents degrees of the philosophy that ensued, which was the negative mirror image of what conservatism was perceived to be.

However, conservatives still see leftism as what it is, which is an attempt to find an alternate way through life other than by applying logical restraint to our actions.

In the conservative view, which is commonly called “ends over means,” you must first decide what your goal is, and since that’s open-ended, you need to look at past results and pick which one you like best. Then you pick the methods (means) that achieved that.

The leftist view is an inversion of this. Instead of picking a goal, you pick “means over ends” type analysis, which is where you decide how you want to behave and view yourself and act like that, and you then hope the ends turn out OK by magic.

Leftism will always be socially popular because it removes all accountability from other individuals. We all act as we see fit, and consequences are ignored. For this reason, leftism is addictive, because it gives us an escape from feeling the weight of responsibility and worse, what we could have had if we had acted more sensibly, and makes our escapism seem like a moral good. The addiction occurs because when you ignore ends, you inevitably end up with bad ends, and have to explain those away by blaming conservatives.

But leftists need conservatives, because without someone to blame, they must inherit the consequences of their own actions. Conservatives have had trouble fighting leftism because we tend to watch the disaster unfold, then rush in to fix it, then once stability is restored, watch the people pick more leftists who then restart the cycle.

In the 1970s, when it became clear that in the West liberalism had won albeit in a neutered capitalism+freedom neoconservative form that allowed us to differentiate ourselves from the Soviets, people began looking for that mythical third way. Like a path to Atlantis, it beckoned.

However, no one has quite found it, mainly because the level on which the left/right choice made is so basic that conservatism is the default, and leftism is the deviation. How do you deviate from a deviation? The only sensible path is back toward the default. Conservatism is the default because like the scientific method, or any study of reality, it is grounded in comparing end results of actions to choose the type of action we desire. That’s the only sane approach to leadership.

It’s time to stop with all the fluff about how conservatism is dead, how it can never win and other hand-wringing. What conservatism needs is for us to stop being dramatic and accepting the leftist narrative at face value, and for us to start behaving more like people who have self-interest at stake. We choose a functional society instead of a leftist society.

Leftists need to be forced to acknowledge that we simply want a different type of society, and that they will not be welcome in this society. Conservatives lose when we pretend our beliefs are compatible with those of the left. We should instead point out that societies are formed by a collection of rules and values, and that the conservative version of that can’t work with any leftist rules, and vice-versa.

We should then reconsider states’ rights and other plans that allow leftist states to separate from rightist ones. Let the leftists have, and pay for, the paradise they envision. Like California, their states will fall one by one.

But what comes of this is that conservatism will finally stand on its own. It will be seen as different. It will rise above the level of insanity established by leftism. Election 2012 is a good start, since it has forced the groups to differentiate. Let’s continue this process until separation is complete.

35 Comments

  1. NotTheDude says:

    Another great post laying it plain again. As it was said in an earlier comment, we must differentiate between observation and opinion which can be hard with so much ‘Worm eaten toffee apple’ thinking and speaking done by many in our time. Sweet on the outside yet bitter and robbed of goodness on the inside. Bit by bit we must take charge and let the outcomes of our deeds be a beacon unto others.

    1. crow says:

      Indeed. The only ‘change’ possible, in the face of the insane, is to not become insane. Only the individual can achieve that, for the individual.
      No Westerner can afford to take his own mental health for granted, any more, but must care for it and make it his own.

      1. Lisa Colorado says:

        Trying to keep what sanity I have. Great blog entry.

      2. In a time of insanity, only the insane are happy.

        Sadly, that encourages them to breed.

    2. To bring about order and peace, we must begin with ourselves and not with society, not with the state, for the world is ourselves. And it is not selfish to think that each one must first understand and change himself to help the world. You cannot help another unless you know yourself. Through self-awareness one will find that in oneself is the whole.

      If we would bring about a sane and happy society, we must begin with ourselves and not with another, not outside of ourselves but with ourselves. Instead of giving importance to names, labels, terms – which bring confusion – we ought to rid the mind of these and look at ourselves dispassionately. Until we understand ourselves and go beyond ourselves, exclusiveness in every form will exist. We see about us and in ourselves exclusive desires and actions which result in narrow relationship.

      http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/krishnamurti-teachings/view-text.php?tid=170&chid=4526

      1. crow says:

        You have a Deram? What, are you Moroccan?
        In the USA they have A Fistful of Derams, but even so, it is not enough.
        Can you see how the philosophy of which you speak, while being true, can be, and does get, interpreted as a justification for leftism?
        It’s exactly the same thing with Taoism.
        There is something wrong with the majority of Western minds, that inserts a layer of wishful-thinking-interpretation, that obscures reality and re-writes truth, to mean anything it desires it to be.
        There is no way around this. The indoctrination runs too deep.
        Thus those who are thus infected are forever lost, except in those rare cases of reversal.

        1. Can you see how the philosophy of which you speak, while being true, can be, and does get, interpreted as a justification for leftism?

          These days, any philosophy that smacks of “change yourself, don’t change the world” strikes me as excuse-making.

    3. Bit by bit we must take charge and let the outcomes of our deeds be a beacon unto others.

      I don’t think it would take much to fix this society. The problem is that those who have a clue about how bad it is have either dropped out, run away to the counter-culture, or gone extremist. We need moderate voices discussing this kind of thing plainly, but without sliding into the insane racism, extremism, etc. that “underground” political sources encourage us to follow.

      You’ve got a finger on the starting point. We need to become beacons of clarity in a time of doubt and uncertainty.

  2. crow says:

    There really is a ‘third way’, although it would be more accurate to call it a ‘virtual third way’.
    It involves individuals being responsible, and acting, or not acting, for the general benefit, and well-being of the greater whole. Which is why it can only ever be ‘virtual’, because who is ever going to do that?
    But also, by being ‘virtual’, it exists, for the individual, as a way of governing oneself, even if one is the only one doing it.
    So, by engaging in this hypothetical ‘third way’, you get nine people doing it.
    Even so, that is preferable to none doing it.

    Those ‘nine people’ are hypothetical, of course; there may be only one, or there may be a million. Responsible, sane characters, who are widely viewed as being insane by the insane billions who are not even a bit like them.

    Therefore, while there actually is a ‘third way’, no election would ever turn out in its favour.

    1. It involves individuals being responsible, and acting, or not acting, for the general benefit, and well-being of the greater whole.

      That’s ends-over-means based and thus is a variant on conservatism.

      1. crow says:

        Is that good, or bad then?
        You don’t have to say :)

        1. Good or bad, I don’t know.

          However, it means there are still the same basic divisions.

          There’s sanity, and then “the new way” which doesn’t require sanity. We call that liberalism.

          1. Calling it “sanity” versus “insanity” is going to get lost in all the Fox News rhetoric.

            A better term is the means-over-ends versus ends-over-means analysis that is talked about frequently on this site.

            Conservatism is based on achieving results.

            Liberalism is based on achieving good feelings.

            In the same way, moral behavior is based on doing the right thing in terms of results.

            Immoral behavior is based on doing what feels good at the time.

            The basic confusion is a syllogism.

            If all A -> B, then it’s not true that B->A

            But liberalism is basically B->A reasoning. They like a method, and it may have worked once in a different context, so they keep using it.

            Liberalism is as old as the trees. In the very first society, when our hominin ancestors squatted around the kill, there was someone who decided that now that they had meat, they should start giving it out equally and making everyone feel accepted.

            I hate to say it so bluntly, but women and homosexuals are the worst offenders here. They always go for this style of governance. There are wonderful exceptions.

            For every moment of humanity, the threat of liberalism will be with us. It’s just one of those ways you can screw up, like thinking you’re better than you are.

            We just have to pick what kind of future we want. If you go liberal, everyone feels good until society falls apart because no one is focused on results. If you go conservative, people don’t feel as good but stuff works.

            Those who survive will pick one over the other.

    2. There is no need for a third way, only a second way.

      The dominant way in our time is liberalism, which is a social popularity contest marked out in money (McDonald’s) and votes (Obama).

      We need some way other than that.

      We need a way to figure out who’s genetically predisposed to intelligent leadership, and get them in power, and don’t let the grubby proles vote them out.

    3. It involves individuals being responsible, and acting, or not acting, for the general benefit, and well-being of the greater whole.

      You first have to make them understand that a bird in the hand is not worth two in the bush, since two in the bush will make more birds for everyone.

  3. Owl says:

    The way I see it, leftism is an interesting spin on the old “ends vs. means” argument.

    It used to be a dichotomy – either “the ends justify the means” or “no, a good outcome does not justify immoral means.”

    The left proposes something entirely different – “the means justify the ends,” or in other words, if it all goes to pot it doesn’t matter because we meant well.

    I myself propose something entirely different as well – pursue good ends via good means.

    I’m mostly writing this post to give the authors of this site a potentially new way of thinking about these issues that might inspire future writings, so I’ll write about something else I have thought:

    There is some discussion on this site and on anus.com of how most racism is retarded because defining your race by what it is not only leads to four rednecks in a backyard barbecue talking about how everyone else is genetically inferior, and how a better form more describable as “race building” takes place when you promote your kind to grow in a healthy direction and thrive. This is sometimes explained as loving your own race instead of hating others’ races.

    I’ve thought of a third position for that, best exemplified in the “creating the african superman” article over at anus: build your society around fanatical dedication to great ideals, and do not bother intervening in the genetics of your populace beyond evicting anyone who doesn’t fit and executing anyone who is a threat. Sooner or later you will find your society thriving and your populace of amazing moral caliber and quality, both on the individual and collective level – so long as your ideals were sane.

    Just some thoughts.

    1. The left proposes something entirely different – “the means justify the ends,” or in other words, if it all goes to pot it doesn’t matter because we meant well.

      This is essentially it. Leftists want good intentions (which are a social thing) to replace actual results, and if they can fool enough people to think that short-term happy plans are going to be OK for long enough not to be noticed, the voters will not think about the long term ends of what they’ve done.

      Leftists want us to treat society at face value. It gives things to us, but then the costs go up for everything. It makes rules and laws, and we think that protects us, even if the only cop is 4 miles away watching over a car dealer. Life is not as simple as leftists think it is, but how the hell should they care? They have the votes.

      More people need to get alarmed about this issue, and less about the surface issues like abortion and gay marriage.

    2. gg says:

      Creating the african superman is a very inspiring article. It deserves its own story. It is a concept worth exploring to the utmost. I think that it is a concept that could really strike a chord with a large number of people in all demographics.

      1. Owl says:

        I agree. There was some type of “tell us what you want to see” article a little while ago, and what I really want to see is more of the same spirit of hope as that article expressed – not hope in any particular cause or event or group, but the idea that mere mortals can say “I am not going to remain a mere monkey with car keys, I am going to become something better – and I’m taking all of you with me.”

        That single train of thought is more inspiring than all of the political bullcrap I’ve read in my entire life. It means that if humanity sucks, we have only ourselves to blame – because we have brains, we have a choice, we can evolve in a direction merely by believing in something strongly enough that it changes who we are willing to have children with – no, that it changes a part of our immortal soul.

        Not just a stubbornly held belief in some issue, but an intangible creed – “let us transcend humanity together.” I want to see a group of people spend 20 generations doing their best to become a mixture of Jedi, Tolkien’s Elves and the creator race from Prometheus. I couldn’t give a damn if they started out as the interracial welfare children of prisonyard blacks and cheerleaders from a Scandinavian Catholic school so long as they picked a direction to grow in that was something larger and more beautiful than section 8 housing, fast food and benefits for every man, woman and child on this rapidly decaying earth.

        1. crow says:

          You’ve at least got wings. You’re way ahead of most.

        2. the idea that mere mortals can say “I am not going to remain a mere monkey with car keys, I am going to become something better – and I’m taking all of you with me.”

          That’s the type of spirit we need.

  4. EvilBuzzard says:

    The Hard Left has gone Purificationist. They are going the way of The Inquisition.

    http://spme.net/library/pdf/PurifyingtheWorld.pdf

    “Purifying the World: What the New Radical Ideology Stands For”

    1. When you can’t have god, Man is your new God. And then you must enforce rules to make Man absolute, to make all humans the same, so that none feel anything less than in total control.

      It reminds me of my teenage self having gotten my mitts on a couple slugs of good whisky. I felt like a god, a lord of thunder riding an iron steed of death, and a crusader in an epic moral struggle for the soul of all humankind, even though I was just riding my ten speed home.

      Good times. But a better metaphor.

      1. EvilBuzzard says:

        Pretty much. You’ve got to write your very own, secular Dueteronmy. Good Times indeed. They remind me of the guy conducting the witch trial int he old Monty Python Movie.

  5. crow says:

    “Don’t let it bring you down,
    It’s only castles burning,
    Just find someone who’s turning,
    And you will come around…

    Sorry, my brothers, for the baddest of news.
    But there is good to come of this.
    Keep the faith!

      1. crow says:

        Hey, it’s ‘lite’ :)
        Certainly it could be worse!

        1. That’s a very good reminder. Poor Russians never had a chance, even before Communism. That one just sealed the deal, like the Vandals sacking Rome or the Chinese invading North America in AD 2042.

  6. Pissed off in Wisconsin says:

    Off the top of my head/thinking out loud/speaking generally and broadly:

    Leftist elites and leftist proles seem to work better with each other than Rightist elites and rightist proles (or *potential* rightist proles) work with each other.

    It’s almost like cleverness and foresight could be ranked like this:
    1. Right elite
    2. Left elite
    3. Left proles
    4. Right proles

    True rightism and conservatism cannot work in democracy because democracy is a prole game.

    1. <blockquote.
      True rightism and conservatism cannot work in democracy because democracy is a prole game.

      That is the ugly truth we’re all dancing around.

      Proles like short-term feel-good solutions.

      They don’t like complicated details about life that involve paying attention and figuring out the right answer.

      If they were able to do that, they wouldn’t be proles.

      Democracy started a wave of democratization like ripping silk that brought rights to people more and more removed from the ability to govern.

      We saw it this election because President Camcho promised free beer and smart phones, and the other guy wanted to make society function again.

      Free beer. It always wins.

  7. Jacob says:

    Voting doesn’t seem to be a very good way to run a country. Good thing the power elite actually control people’s minds with propaganda.

  8. Eric says:

    I think the Republicans shot themselves in the foot with their stand on women’s issues like abortion. The rape comments didn’t help much either. There are a lot of people willing to see the more conservative side of things, but when it crosses the line where it feels like a religious agenda is getting pushed down their throats, they don’t take a liking to that. I realize that on this site, many are against a “watered down” conservatism, but not sure what the actual stand is here on the above issue.

    Of course, now there is talk of the Republican party needing to be more inclusive of the fast growing Hispanic population, and that there are common ties around family and religion. I’m not for hating someone just because they are different, and clearly there many, many, many people that might be part of my ethnicity that are of little value. But one thing I have started to appreciate is that culture and heritage matter, and for me it goes deeper than some religious ties. Not that anyone needs to be sold of the idea here, because it has been discussed many times, but I fear the direction we are headed culturally, it seems like it could be very empty. But truth is I have sensed that emptiness for many years, so does not seem new. Maybe I am just getting older, but I wonder what will become when enough time has passed and we have lost connection to those important ties. Just look at how people are today, and you can see the disconnect. They might appear perfectly happy, though I gather narcissism has become pretty prevalent, and in a lot of ways is a product of the path we are on. But then again, I will also admit that in a lot of ways I missed out, and maybe I don’t realize how great their lives are. Seriously, maybe that is the case. That said, I watch people, and society, and as we start growing towards that 400-450+ million mark, I wonder what it will all be like. As a side note, but read an article earlier today from last February that said over half of new births in this country to mothers under 30 were out of wedlock. A lot of things seem amiss these days. I fear the future.

    1. There are a lot of people willing to see the more conservative side of things, but when it crosses the line where it feels like a religious agenda is getting pushed down their throats, they don’t take a liking to that.

      People don’t understand the religious issue. Most of America is against abortion, for example. However, it’s not clear to the others why one would oppose abortion in the first place.

      I’m not for hating someone just because they are different, and clearly there many, many, many people that might be part of my ethnicity that are of little value. But one thing I have started to appreciate is that culture and heritage matter, and for me it goes deeper than some religious ties.

      We have to have common ground somewhere, ethnicity and culture is a good place to start. The point of this election is that everyone votes by their ethnic self-interest. White Republicans are slow to realize this.

  9. Nick Digger says:

    Why fight it, just let the whole damn thing collapse! What exactly is worth saving, anyway? Our values? They failed. Our institutions? Failed! People? Wasting valuable oxygen as I type this. Just let it all go down the crapper.

    I’m going to take a nap.

    1. What exactly is worth saving, anyway?

      A lot, actually. Most of the people here are still good. There are rotters. Do we burn down a house because we find a spider in the basement?

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