Thursday, March 21, 2013

For Progressives and Conservatives It's Simply a One Way Proposition, Their Way Or the Highway...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty
-vs- Tyranny




One of the things about progressives that has always intrigued me is their belief that being tethered to the ideology of state controlled and mandated programs is the way to achieve social equality and harmony.

Perhaps it is just me, but somehow giving the government this level of control over ones life means giving up (your)individual control and acknowledging that others, in this case the Leviathan bureaucracy knows better what is good for you (and your family) than you do.

Somehow, and for good cause (IMNHO) this has always bothered the hell out of me. Being the small 'L' libertarian and Objectivist that I've been since 9th grade it was natural to argue in opposition to this restrictive and self immolating philosophy.

Some things never change. Reality often does however and often when you're least expecting it.

Just the other day when having an after dinner brandy while engaged in lively political debate something occurred to me. Actually it hit me like a ton of bricks falling on my head. Not only are many progressives locked into an "ideological" straight jacket, so are most conservatives as well as many libertarians.

Having a philosophy and guiding principles are of course necessary to ones life for many and obvious reasons that most understand. Having an ACTIVE mind, one that is INQUISITIVE and questions everything, including ones own preconceptions is critical to making rational decisions. Or so it seems to me anyway.

So, to the point of this rather to be short post.

This nation, and the political parties and people that make up our government have been so preoccupied with proving their own ideology right they have forgotten how to talk with each other. Pointing fingers at one another and attacking opposing views is certainly something we have learned to do well. I the process we have forgotten how to solve mutual problems affecting us all in a manner that best will strengthen OUR country.

I know this for a fact. Because I, no doubt like some of you, have been guilty of this counter productive and in fact destructive practice.

Isn't it time the political parties of the United States, the individual people who make up these parties, and most importantly the representatives in government that have been elected by the people begin to act like the mature nation it should be?

The rational self interest of our republic, being the representative democracy it is, rests in finding the best and most inclusive compromise possible. A nation of over 320 million people cannot be effectively governed by the singular ideology of any one party.

The nation's future lies in OUR response the these and a myriad o other pressing issues.

Thank you, and good night.






20 comments:

  1. I'm frustrated because there are a lot of things that could be done to reduce the deficit that 60-70% of the public would probably agree with; reducing foreign aid to corrosive governments, passing that chain CPI adjustment, having Medicare negotiate directly with the drug companies, closing unnecessary foreign military bases, reducing the mortgage interest deduction for billionaires, raising the Medicare/SS retirement age by a year and instituting more means-testing, reducing farm subsidies to wealthy farmers, etc., and none of it ever seems to happen. And if if they can't even agree on this stuff......

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  2. Hasn't American politics always been contentious?

    I'm not sure that it's much worse now than in previous times.

    What IS different is that we have the social media.

    What else is different: the Information Age with all sorts of information at our fingertips and the point of a mouse.

    Now EVERYBODY is an expert! [sarcasm]

    I'm thinking that the social media have resulted in making us even more contentious instead of pulling us together.

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  3. It was contentious but you had LBJ working with Dirksen on civil rights, Tip O'Neil and Reagan working on Social Security, Clinton and Gingrich working on deficit reduction, Carter and Howard Baker working on a whole host of projects, etc.....Yeah, I kinda do think that it's worse.

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  4. .

    "One of the things about progressives that has always intrigued me is their belief that being tethered to the ideology of state controlled and mandated programs is the way to achieve social equality and harmony."


    Thank you for your simple, simplistic, and shallow opinions of "Progressives" and their progressive beliefs. About which Progressives are you talking? (Have you thought about turning off Murdoch Media's Fox Networks?)


    Your 'either/or', Liberty vs Tyranny arguments are absurd.

    Recognizing government is in all people and is a part of the mature nation's civil interaction does not "somehow giving the government this level of control over ones life means giving up (your)individual control and acknowledging that others, in this case the Leviathan bureaucracy knows better what is good for you (and your family) than you do."

    "This nation, and the political parties and people that make up our government have been so preoccupied with proving their own ideology right they have forgotten how to talk with each other."

    Again only in Murdoch Media/Fox Networks wacko land does this exist (and only as long as it is profitable). It is not as hopeless as Murdoch Media/Fox Networks want you to believe.

    USA, the political parties, and people that make up our government have been working together peacefully to help solve the problems that face USA. The recent national election is an outstanding example of democracy in action.

    Ema Nymton
    ~@:o?
    .

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    Replies
    1. Ema, did you read or did you simply stick with the boilerplate response you usually do?

      But thank you for your input. All views are welcome here, as long as they are on topic and have a bit of reason evident in the comment. Obviously yours does.

      Delete
  5. "Again only in Murdoch Media/Fox Networks wacko land does this exist" - Ema obviously doesn't listen to MSNBC or read the Daily Kos very much.

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  6. To steal from a bumper sticker on the car my kids drive, "When did the idea that we own our own lives become such a radical concept?"

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    Replies
    1. Well Silver, bumper stickers always seem to simplify things don't they.

      The idea that we own our own lives is nor a radical idea. Except for perhaps mamy of the governments throughout history, and of course all religions.

      The pursuit of maximizing both individualism and personal liberties is worth the effort. Reasonable individuals understand this. They also understand in the pursuit ofaintaining a civil society there are proper limitations which must be observed.

      Anarchy is indeed the natural end result of the unfettered application of "we own our own lives."

      Hence the need for governments. Ours is still, even with all it's problems, one of the best.

      Precisely because in majority share it was designed by individuals who where classical liberals. Thankfully their design allows for modification in the face of evolving realities. It is why we have the amendment process.

      Governing a few million people in 1787 certainly was by far less complex than governing a few hundred million people today. The reaons which are clearly obvious.

      The principles of self government and liberty, along with the concept of natural rights, are integral to our governing philosophy, they must remain bedrock, unchanging.

      Limited government on the other hand is, or at least should be IMO viewed as a relative term. Relative to the changing circumstances of a nation.

      As a republic, or representative democracy the power rests in the representatives we elect to office to represent us. We are a nation of laws, have been since our founding. People we elect ultimately make law.

      Ultimately the views of the majority in congress, which in theory reflects the majority view of the people wins the moment.

      Bottom line, I hear and agree with the principles we, and most Americans hold as their birthright. The point of this post is how we best insure their continuation.

      Whether you, I, or anyone else likes it or not requires compromise. I am sure the founders would agree.

      That is how we have arrived at where we are today.

      Delete
  7. Power equals force x distance /time where force equals strength and distance /time equals speed.

    By far more practical and intetestong than politics. Or... can the equation be applied to political situations.

    Hmm, interesting...

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  8. Given the state of current geopolitics one would have to say politics is the sincere belief that good can be created while engaging in repetitive bouts of insanity.

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  9. Repeating the same activity(s) over and over again over time while expecting different results... Definition of insanity.

    Or the rEpublican and dEmocratic parties.

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  10. Current class of politicians.. Children grown big.

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  11. Liberty as defined by present day liberals (or progressives) - Government granting individuals the right to do as the systems allows.

    Liberty as defined by rEpublicans and conservatives - Government granting individuals the liberty to do as the system allows.

    You see the difference?

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  12. It has been said beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So it seems with justice as well.

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  13. Without the fundamental right of property ownership any other perceived right is meaningless.

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  14. To steal from a bumper sticker on the car my kids drive, "When did the idea that we own our own lives become such a radical concept?"

    We don't "own our own lives." Never have. Unless you live in a cave somewhere. In any organized civilization we give up some freedoms to be part of a community. For example, there are certain religions that do not believe in certain applications of medical care for sick children. Our laws prohibit letting a child die by withholding normal medical care to save a life. Those religious folks who do not believe in administering normal medical care to sick children would agree with Silverfiddle that they don't "own their own lives."

    There are also parents who sincerely believe that beating their children and administering severe punishments, like locking them in closets and withholding food from them is a proper way to make a child obey. They give up their "own lives" when they join a civilized community where men and women come together and agree that is not a civilized way to treat children.

    There are other examples--for instance, in many suburban communities, home owners are not allowed to turn their homes and property into a freak show--that is, alter it in such a way as to make it a nuisance or attraction. Those are city and town ordinances that are agreed upon.

    My point is that we have freedom, but that freedom is limited to the conditions men and women freely adopted.

    If you're complaining about your lost freedoms, then complain to the American people who vote for the men and women who legislate the laws that you think interfere with those freedoms.

    You own your own thoughts; but you don't "own your own freedom" in the sense that you have the unfettered freedom to do anything you want.

    That would be chaos.

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  15. Not that Les and SF need anybody to speak for them, mind you, but I'm pretty sure that when they speak of freedom and liberty like this, they're more than likely doing it more from the Jeremy Bentham/John Stuart Mill/John Locke perspective and not from these nihilistic, anarchistic, and doomsday scenarios that you've been drudging up, Shaw. Just a hunch here.

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  16. That bumper sticker philosophy doesn't qualify what was no longer "owned" in the person's life.

    Jeremy Bentham? One of my favorites.

    Here's why:

    He advocated individual and economic freedom, the separation of church and state, freedom of expression, equal rights for women, the right to divorce, and the decriminalising of homosexual acts. He called for the abolition of slavery, the abolition of the death penalty, and the abolition of physical punishment, including that of children. He has also become known in recent years as an early advocate of animal rights. Though strongly in favor of the extension of individual legal rights, he opposed the idea of natural law and natural rights, calling them "nonsense upon stilts."

    Bentham's students included his secretary and collaborator James Mill, the latter's son, John Stuart Mill, the legal philosopher John Austin, as well as influential political figures such as Robert Owen, one of the founders of modern socialism.

    Bentham was way ahead of his time. He's was even ahead of the times we live in now. And would certainly be considered a modern liberal thinker today.

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  17. My point was that I've never heard Les or SF advocate nihilism, anarchy, anomie, or chaos of any kind and that those scenarios of yours were basically red herrings (though here I am speaking for them yet again). That's all.

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  18. Shaw: I see no place for Bentham either in today's Democratic Party. He'd hate how Obama is destroying healthcare, he'd hate the record-level corporate welfare handouts that the Democrats insisted on (over opposition from Republicans) to banks and the auto industry. As he favored "freedom of expression", he'd hate the Fairness Doctrine and other policies favored by Democratics in order to stifle free speech.

    He looks a lot more libertarian to me. No agenda there of more power for the state and the rulers at all.

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