It boils down to this
Posted: 20 September 2013 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I can’t think of too many social political issues that don’t boil down in some regard to either or both of these two thoughts:

1) The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

2) The world is divided into those who want a Me society and those who want a We society. - paraphrasing Michael Moore

Conservatism is stupid people trying to bring about a Me society.
Liberalism is intelligent people trying to bring about a We society.

So much seems to flow from these two ideas.

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Posted: 20 September 2013 11:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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CuthbertJ - 20 September 2013 10:01 AM

I can’t think of too many social political issues that don’t boil down in some regard to either or both of these two thoughts:

1) The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

2) The world is divided into those who want a Me society and those who want a We society. - paraphrasing Michael Moore

Conservatism is stupid people trying to bring about a Me society.
Liberalism is intelligent people trying to bring about a We society.

So much seems to flow from these two ideas.

But conservatives will say they believe in a we society.  They just think that if the government would get out of the way everything would fall into place, like magic.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Lois - 20 September 2013 11:13 AM
CuthbertJ - 20 September 2013 10:01 AM

I can’t think of too many social political issues that don’t boil down in some regard to either or both of these two thoughts:

1) The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

2) The world is divided into those who want a Me society and those who want a We society. - paraphrasing Michael Moore

Conservatism is stupid people trying to bring about a Me society.
Liberalism is intelligent people trying to bring about a We society.

So much seems to flow from these two ideas.

But conservatives will say they believe in a we society.  They just think that if the government would get out of the way everything would fall into place, like magic.

I think it’d be more accurate to say they believe a Me First society is the best way to help society in general, sort of trickle down/a rising ocean floats all boats notion.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Lois - 20 September 2013 11:13 AM

But conservatives will say they believe in a we society.  They just think that if the government would get out of the way everything would fall into place, like magic.

Yeah. LOL
Except they(the wealthy) are essentially the government.
Govconomy.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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CuthbertJ - 20 September 2013 10:01 AM

I can’t think of too many social political issues that don’t boil down in some regard to either or both of these two thoughts:

1) The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

2) The world is divided into those who want a Me society and those who want a We society. - paraphrasing Michael Moore

Conservatism is stupid people trying to bring about a Me society.
Liberalism is intelligent people trying to bring about a We society.

So much seems to flow from these two ideas.

Well, I agree, in essence, but conservative thinkers wouldn’t say that’s true. They have convinced themselves that they are also trying to bring about a “we” society by insisting that everyone pay his own way and never ask for or need a hand up. Most of them believe in a capitalist society where anyone can create wealth and where there are few obstacles in the way of that and that the successful should not be required to help out the less able unless they want to (or see need to, such as prventing the masses from storming the gates). Unfortunately, what they are willing to share is never adequate to create a decent society by any definition. If taken to its logical conclusion a pure capitalist economy creates societies where the wealthy live in gated ivory towers,  the masses are starving, uneducated and dying in the streets while the wealthy buy protection for themselves—and the police forces are owned by the wealthy and do their bidding. That’s what a laissez faire capitalistic society would look like and it’s not one I would want to live in. I don’t think American capitalists really want such a result, but they are willing to push it to its limits because they have have convinced themselves that in a capitalistic society, everything will fall nicely into place and the worst case scenario could never happen.

Lois

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Posted: 24 September 2013 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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VYAZMA - 24 September 2013 02:49 PM
Lois - 20 September 2013 11:13 AM

But conservatives will say they believe in a we society.  They just think that if the government would get out of the way everything would fall into place, like magic.

Yeah. LOL
Except they(the wealthy) are essentially the government.
Govconomy.

There’s already a word for it: Plutocracy.

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Posted: 24 September 2013 09:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Lois - 24 September 2013 03:59 PM

Well, I agree, in essence, but conservative thinkers wouldn’t say that’s true. They have convinced themselves that they are also trying to bring about a “we” society by insisting that everyone pay his own way and never ask for or need a hand up.

I appreciate you trying to present a more realistic view of the conservative view, but this still needs a bit of help.

Conservatives tend to believe in offering a hand up to those in need.  In particular, we believe the human connection makes such help far more effective than help offered by the state in the form of an entitlement.  That was part of the idea behind Bush’s “faith-based initiatives” push.  We see the state as a suboptimal vehicle for social services, especially the federal government with its powers limited by design in the Constitution.

Most of them believe in a capitalist society where anyone can create wealth and where there are few obstacles in the way of that and that the successful should not be required to help out the less able unless they want to (or see need to, such as prventing the masses from storming the gates).

This part is pretty good (thanks!).  We think forced charity isn’t charity and so object to compelling it by the force of the government.

Unfortunately, what they are willing to share is never adequate to create a decent society by any definition.

Huh?  Now you’ve lost me.  We achieve a decent society by ... forcing people to give up stuff to others?  Isn’t there something indecent about that?  This isn’t Robin Hood returning exorbitant taxes to those in need.  This is simple thievery.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/19/world-giving-index-us-ran_n_1159562.html

If taken to its logical conclusion a pure capitalist economy creates societies where the wealthy live in gated ivory towers,  the masses are starving, uneducated and dying in the streets while the wealthy buy protection for themselves—and the police forces are owned by the wealthy and do their bidding. That’s what a laissez faire capitalistic society would look like and it’s not one I would want to live in. I don’t think American capitalists really want such a result, but they are willing to push it to its limits because they have have convinced themselves that in a capitalistic society, everything will fall nicely into place and the worst case scenario could never happen.

We think the robber baron is the exception in the United States, outnumbered by successful people of genuine good will.  And we think that a welfare state will help bring U.S. generosity down to the levels we witness across Europe.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 03:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Bryan - 24 September 2013 09:27 PM

Huh?  Now you’ve lost me.  We achieve a decent society by ... forcing people to give up stuff to others?  Isn’t there something indecent about that?  This isn’t Robin Hood returning exorbitant taxes to those in need.  This is simple thievery.

If people take more than their fair share and you take it back that isn’t theft and it is decent.

The question is how much inequality of outcome is fair and why.

I don’t see how you’d justify the gap we have and I think the gap is obscene rather than decent.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 07:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Lois - 24 September 2013 04:00 PM
VYAZMA - 24 September 2013 02:49 PM
Lois - 20 September 2013 11:13 AM

But conservatives will say they believe in a we society.  They just think that if the government would get out of the way everything would fall into place, like magic.

Yeah. LOL
Except they(the wealthy) are essentially the government.
Govconomy.

There’s already a word for it: Plutocracy.

I like my word!  Plutocracy is outdated and nobody take that word seriously.
Go be the word police somewhere else Lois.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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StephenLawrence - 25 September 2013 03:18 AM
Bryan - 24 September 2013 09:27 PM

Huh?  Now you’ve lost me.  We achieve a decent society by ... forcing people to give up stuff to others?  Isn’t there something indecent about that?  This isn’t Robin Hood returning exorbitant taxes to those in need.  This is simple thievery.

If people take more than their fair share and you take it back that isn’t theft and it is decent.

But is this a question of the wealthy taking more than their fair share or do they simply possess what is supposedly more than their fair share?  Is this an individual judgment or a legal judgment?  If it’s individual then how do we distinguish it from theft?

The question is how much inequality of outcome is fair and why.

Right.  And the justification for saying one has more than their fair share surely should precede the confiscation.

I don’t see how you’d justify the gap we have and I think the gap is obscene rather than decent.

I don’t see why I need to justify the gap we have.  Did we cross some kind of line that you never ever had to justify?

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Posted: 25 September 2013 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Bryan - 25 September 2013 09:17 AM
StephenLawrence - 25 September 2013 03:18 AM

The question is how much inequality of outcome is fair and why.

Right. And the justification for saying one has more than their fair share surely should precede the confiscation.

Yes.

I’d start with why not share everything equally, and then those reasons will establish what the need for inequality of outcome is and what gap we need.

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Posted: 25 September 2013 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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StephenLawrence - 25 September 2013 10:00 AM
Bryan - 25 September 2013 09:17 AM
StephenLawrence - 25 September 2013 03:18 AM

The question is how much inequality of outcome is fair and why.

Right. And the justification for saying one has more than their fair share surely should precede the confiscation.

Yes.

I’d start with why not share everything equally, and then those reasons will establish what the need for inequality of outcome is and what gap we need.

Why not share everything equally?  Because it’s a logistical nightmare of unimaginable proportions.

Now you.

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Posted: 26 September 2013 10:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Bryan - 24 September 2013 09:27 PM

Conservatives tend to believe in offering a hand up to those in need.  In particular, we believe the human connection makes such help far more effective than help offered by the state in the form of an entitlement.  That was part of the idea behind Bush’s “faith-based initiatives” push.  We see the state as a suboptimal vehicle for social services, especially the federal government with its powers limited by design in the Constitution.

What a warped view you espouse. “Entitlement” is a bad thing? So US citizens aren’t entitled to pursue life, liberty, and happiness? Slaves weren’t entitled to be free based solely on the fact that they were human? Conservatives believe in offering a hand up? Seriously? If that were the case why are conservatives so against government programs, which try to distribute aid fairly, versus according to the personal prejudices of the wealthy?  And what about abortion and creationism? Conservatives are first in line when it comes time to try to get Federal mandates through to make abortion illegal, gay marriage illegal, and teaching of their particular religious viewpoint mandatory. Utter hypocrisy.

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Posted: 26 September 2013 10:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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CuthbertJ - 26 September 2013 10:27 AM
Bryan - 24 September 2013 09:27 PM

Conservatives tend to believe in offering a hand up to those in need.  In particular, we believe the human connection makes such help far more effective than help offered by the state in the form of an entitlement.  That was part of the idea behind Bush’s “faith-based initiatives” push.  We see the state as a suboptimal vehicle for social services, especially the federal government with its powers limited by design in the Constitution.

What a warped view you espouse.

Give me a good argument supporting that assertion.

“Entitlement” is a bad thing?

In the context of providing social services that improve the society generally (improving people in addition to their condition), yes.

So US citizens aren’t entitled to pursue life, liberty, and happiness?

Sure.  Do you think those pursuits imply things like free health care or a living wage regardless of whether one works?

Slaves weren’t entitled to be free based solely on the fact that they were human?

Sure, but how do we get here from my statement about preferring social assistance in terms of community rather than via an impersonal government subsidy?

Conservatives believe in offering a hand up? Seriously? If that were the case why are conservatives so against government programs, which try to distribute aid fairly, versus according to the personal prejudices of the wealthy?

Didn’t I just explain that?

And what about abortion and creationism?

IMO, those two things don’t have much to do with the issue of a social safety net.  But perhaps you can persuade me differently.

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Posted: 26 September 2013 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Brian makes some good points. Its not possible to share everything equally. That is essentially what communism tries to do and we have seen what a dismal failure that was. People are motivated by reward.Its basic human nature. You can’t change that. Create a society where the talented and gifted are rewarded and you get Kodak, GE, IBM, GM, Ford, Apple and Google and all the wonderful products and jobs that come from their innovation.

Create a society where the wealth is shared equally regardless of your contribution and you get.. well the USSR. I would list their myriad contributions to the global economy but aside from organized corruption there really aren’t any.

For progress to continue and economies to be efficient you need to allow the most gifted to be rewarded for their contributions or they will find some other avenue for their abilities. We can scream and yell and stamp our feet about it but there is no way we will ever change human nature. we all need to be motivated to be our most productive and for the majority of people at least early on that means monetarily.

I disagree with Bryan to some extent on his confidence in human beings to be charitable voluntarily. Voluntary charity often comes with as many or more string than government entitlement programs. You may have to join a church or a group who’s beliefs you don’t share, or perform a service you don;‘t agree with. Private charity is also not given where its most needed but designed to satisfy the whims of the donor ( How many wealthy animal lover give donations to support homeless animals and nothing to help homeless humans?). Its also almost always insufficient to meet the basic needs of the needy. Look at the plight of the poor through out history and look at other contemporary societies that do not have safety net for those who are less fortunate. Those who are down on their luck are left to beg in the streets and die in the gutters. our system may not be perfect but under existing programs the poor at least get a roof over their head and enough food most of the time as well s some basic medical care.

Government entitlement programs may not provide the warm and fuzzy feeling of personal charity and sometimes they go too far or are mismanaged but they are a vast improvement over what was provided to the poor before these programs existed. I don’t think any civilized society can call itself civilized unless caring for the poor is institutionalized and not left to private whims.

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Posted: 26 September 2013 10:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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CuthbertJ - 24 September 2013 10:41 AM
Lois - 20 September 2013 11:13 AM
CuthbertJ - 20 September 2013 10:01 AM

I can’t think of too many social political issues that don’t boil down in some regard to either or both of these two thoughts:

1) The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. - Bertrand Russell

2) The world is divided into those who want a Me society and those who want a We society. - paraphrasing Michael Moore

Conservatism is stupid people trying to bring about a Me society.
Liberalism is intelligent people trying to bring about a We society.

So much seems to flow from these two ideas.

But conservatives will say they believe in a we society.  They just think that if the government would get out of the way everything would fall into place, like magic.

I think it’d be more accurate to say they believe a Me First society is the best way to help society in general, sort of trickle down/a rising ocean floats all boats notion.

Yes, or as a friend says, “a rising ocean floats all yachts.”

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