Furthest Right

The allure of the honey sandwich

On the campaign trail, this was apparently a Romney favorite: the Euro-American staple of the peanut butter and honey sandwich.

There are several interesting things about this news. First, he tended to prepare them himself. This is something no political wizard would do, since it’s better to have subordinates feeling a sense of purpose and loyalty. However, it’s something a good leader would do, since the snack is designed to be simple and quick and so it’s most efficient to make it himself.

It’s this kind of basic value that Romney offered America. Smaller, simpler, smarter. His idea was to treat America not as a political ideology and world symbol, but as a functional entity. A civilization is no different than a corporation, an army or even a church group.

People need to fit into the right places and have purpose. Good work needs to get rewards, and bad work needs to get rejection, and nothing should happen to the mediocre. In fact, this is a path to less overall work, because the important element in work becomes efficiency and not participation. Quality over quantity. When participation is the goal, they only care how many hours you were there. When quality is the goal, they care if you got it right.

America has slowly shifted to being a participation state. In our early days, we were a seat-of-the-pants frontier where we didn’t care how you did it, so long as you did (and didn’t do anything aberrant in the process). These people were ultimately practical, and they found a way to reconcile practicality with morality through a sense of efficiency. The goal was to get it done, then spend your time becoming a real human being.

Fast forward two centuries and we are no longer this civilization. Now, like European socialist states, we emphasize having everyone employed and doing something so that wealth can be spread. You don’t make your own peanut butter and honey sandwich, and you don’t pick up your trash after the meal. That’s for others to do, and the PBH sandwich costs $20.

We got this way because we tried to make people happy, instead of trying to make results happen. You either please reality, or you please people, because the two are opposites. The brain cannot be both logical and empathetic at the same time. When we let emotions rule, we treat every problem at face value and forget about the consequences of our actions. Thus we fix the symptom, but not the underlying cause.

Conservatives focus on end results because only through end results can we figure out what the effects of any action will be. This in turn forces us to think about goals and values. This is an ends-over-means analysis, which is different from “the ends justify the means” which is a means-over-ends analysis based on justification of the means, even if using the ends.

Liberals use a means-over-ends analysis, which means they are concerned about how they do things more than how those things turn out. They base their decisions entirely on social morality, personal preference and “feelings.” Their goal is to look good and make others think good things about them for what they do.

The conservative way is majoritarian. It supposes that we as a society will have values, will share those values, and thus we all want the same thing and so we can use ends-over-means analysis to choose a direction that will benefit us all.

Liberals on the other hand are pluralists. They don’t want a single values system, but many values systems existing simultaneously. This way no individual is forced to make a choice and every individual fits in everywhere. This makes them feel liberated, accepted and “free” from the usual method of civilization. They are anti-majoritarian.

The farther we go into pluralism, the more people demand an entitlement mentality. Under the entitlement mentality, each viewpoint and lifestyle is correct. Because they’re all correct, they should be subsidized whether they work or not. Since all behavior is accepted, there should be no reward/punishment structure. Only a faceless, formless, emotional mob.

We descend to our worst human traits when we try to be compassionate and empathetic. Ironically, we rise to our greatest heights when we think logically about our problems. Sometimes this leads us to even change ourselves, and start liking honey sandwiches because they’re practical enough and taste well enough. We stop thinking about our own egos and desires and think more about the task.

It’s this kind of mindset that enabled this country to be great. Its opposite is clearly that which puts the ego and desire first. At some point, we will learn from our struggles and start focusing on results over feelings.

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