In every classroom, some kids are the ones who know the answers and do great work; the rest of us trail behind somewhere. At the bottom, there are the kids who aren’t too good at anything.
Unless you want uniform interchangeable parts, the same is true for any collection of things. They call it “the bell curve,” but statistically, in most collections of objects they can be ranked according to a statistical distribution. There are a few really good ones, a few really bad ones, and a sloping curve in the middle.
Mathematically, this makes a lot of sense. It creates both stability and flexibility. If you impose a boundary on a situation, it lets the space be filled completely with a minimum of outliers, which gives those in the middle a chance to rise or fall.
However, many people hate this state of humanity. They think distinctions like leaders versus followers, smart versus dumb, and innovators versus participants are bad and worse than bad, they’re deliberately mean. They think the only reason such distinctions exist is to make the people on top feel good, which is nonsense because the people on top don’t need that to feel good. They’re on top.
Then again, what else would the people on the bottom say? “You know, I’m really not good at anything, including managing my own life. I can minimize my failure by letting smarter people lead me.” — unlikely. Instead, they claim that because we’re not all interchangeable parts, the “system” is unjust, cruel and elitist.
But in this divide you see right/conservative versus left/liberal.
The right is based on the idea of a reverent, transcendental appreciation for the natural order; for that reason, it values the past as a form of historical learning, aims for religious levels of purity of behavior, sees end results/goals as more important than methods/moralism, and hopes to create a civilization with collective values that raise it above the rest.
The right comprises a spectrum of political beliefs from moderate American Republican (small government, few laws, low taxes, family values) to National Socialism (strong central government, strong traditional laws, ethno-nationalism, eugenics).
The left is based on the idea of the individual being able to fulfill itself by doing whatever it wants, whenever it wants, unhindered by nature or human social orders; for that reason, it values the ideological and idealistic, aims for religious levels of humanistic morality, views methods/moralism as more important than results/goals, and hopes to create a civilization where every individual feels equally valued, free and important.
The left comprises a spectrum of political beliefs from moderate American Democrat (social welfare programs, strong economy, moderate taxes, pluralism) to Stalinism (absolute social welfare, command economy, pluralism, ideological goal as more important than all else).
When you combine the two, you get Totalitarian Anarchism, or a system which enables absolute individual freedom but, because it is responsive to the needs of individuals for stability, also imposes a type of totalitarian order created by media, government and social competition for the purposes of stability and obedience.
In the modern USA and Europe, when left and right fight, the result is a type of compromise of inertia that leads to absolutely nothing getting done. Our current crop of parasites, demagogues, idiots, predators, liars, flatterers, cheats, con men and sycophants loves this: it lets them keep leaching away, pretending that the bill will never come due.
Perhaps this is why the root of conservatism is consequentialism with transcendentalism. If you can think far enough into the future to see how certain actions will turn out, you try to find a meaning to it all, and when you find a reason to love life, you understand why it makes sense to play by its rules.
Everyone else is left behind by this logic, and so they in a fit of hubris demand that nature bow down and play by their rules, starting a chain reaction that always ends badly. This is why they are followers, not leaders.