Conservatives do not understand the Left. They can visualize it as either collective idealism or cynical manipulation, but never conceptualize how Leftists are people who measure their behavior in a means-over-ends analysis, namely if it is popular or not.
You may see that as cowardice, but the pragmatic side of it wins out. In a middle-aged civilization, almost everyone is anonymous unless they make themselves useful to others, and they do that by being liked, which requires telling people that what they want to believe is true is in fact true.
Consider that most human communications revolve around asserting that what is obviously real is in fact not real or of no consequence, but what the group wants to do is right and good. That makes people feel good for being in the group and knowing what to say that will get them liked.
Leftists pay attention to this and therefore always pick egalitarian options. Telling people that nature is wrong, culture is unnecessary, hierarchy is arbitrary, intelligence is nonsense, and that everyone can be accepted will achieve the lowest common denominator needed for critical mass in any group.
This baffles conservatives. Most of us have enough life experience to see that most people flit from illusion to illusion and leave a trail of collateral damage. For this reason, we see popularity as a negative and focus on what has functioned in the past.
In our zeal to conserve — culture, genetics, history, language, nature — we forget that we are always going to be less popular than those who cast off that burden and want to enjoy life by avoiding the obligation to understand it and adapt.
On the other hand, the tragedy of the Leftist is that all of those good feelings only translate to reality initially. They gain a boost by being disruptive, then injecting a shot of new energy into whatever is there, but then the structural illogicalities of their ideas collide with reality.
Conservatives look at this and realize that Leftism appears good but is rotten to the core. However, they do not understand democracy; in democracy, whatever fascinates the people and offers the lowest burden will win out.
They also fail to understand the transactional nature of democracy: it trades words and images for power, just like rock music, advertising, or other modern things. You say what pleases people, and they vote for you and then forget about what you are doing for four years for the most part.
This gives rise to ahistorical and illogical ramblings like this anti-aristocracy screed by a writer who from the looks of his other works should know better:
I call every Government that is controlled by its billionaires (with, perhaps, also the participation of only the most politically active of the centi-millionaires) an “aristocracy” as opposed to a “democracy” (which latter is a Government that represents the majority of the land’s inhabitants, not merely the super-richest of them such as in an aristocracy).
He has confused oligarchy and aristocracy. Aristocracy rewards the best with power and money; oligarchy rewards those with money by giving them power. In an aristocratic system, the aristocrats are seen as a means of sequestering that wealth and power to keep it out of the wrong hands.
In other words, the opposite of what we see now. He also misunderstands the power of billionaires as campaign donors by citing a study which shows that the top tenth of a percent by wealth provide 57.16% of the campaign contributions:
Conventional wisdom asserts that American politics is becoming more and more tribal. But the chiefs of the tribes share a lot in common: dependence on big money.
Talk about “tribalism” in American politics is all the rage. But in politics the chiefs of the tribes do almost all the talking. And they raise money, on a colossal scale.
This misses the reason why money rules in politics: it buys votes.
Through advertising, campaigning, voter recruitment, and donations to favorable groups, politicians acquire enough votes to win elections. They need the money because they are elected by votes, not by the money directly.
If the billionaires ruled directly, they would simply buy the votes themselves and run their own candidates, but instead like the rest of us they are picking from what is available out there. Democracy means whoever pleases the most wins and money is only one step in that process.
Keep in mind that the other candidates can raise money too and acquire it in direct proportion to their likelihood of winning. After the primaries, early speeches, and so on, donors drop out of certain campaigns because they are unlikely to win.
Candidates rise all the time without much money. Most of them tend to be entirely unrealistic, like the Bernie Sanders, Andrew Yang, Ron Paul, and Ross Perot types, so they are filtered out. Others are socially unacceptable for saying what is too realistic, and the voters and system both shun them.
The point here however is that just like people will talk about anything but the obvious, in politics they avoid the obvious: the vote controls the government, and whoever convinces people to vote a certain way takes over and can undo the damage.
Tags: aristocracy, conservatives, democracy, oligarchy