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Post By
bd2999 
Moderator

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
In Reply To
The Avenger

Location: New Jersey
Member Since: Thu Dec 02, 2021
Subj: Re: Illiberal upstarts reinvent conservatism
Posted: Mon May 16, 2022 at 09:01:32 pm EDT (Viewed 115 times)
Reply Subj: Re: Illiberal upstarts reinvent conservatism
Posted: Mon May 16, 2022 at 04:08:34 pm EDT (Viewed 123 times)



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      Pessimism or realism depending on the point of view. I think it is more a realization that the if we are talking politics within the US in particular that at almost any level I have just seem too many things needed die or never get traction while things that are more "culture wars" and surface dressing get pushes and do little other than divide.

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        It would depend on what you mean goals and on what level. Do you mean like things we should strive for as humans?



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    Yes.



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      The question of what can we do to, in the sense of what would we be able to do, is a depressing one to me. As at the moment I would say not much.



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    That's the vibe I was getting from you. OK.



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        I, for my part, readily assume that positive goals can be achieved and positive values can be fulfilled. Not perfection - there is no perfection on the earth - but perfection has never been necessary.



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      I do not think there needs to be perfection, but am more in the camp that I do not see much good coming out of any front on most issues.



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    I continue to think you don't see much good because you confuse the good with the perfect. I take the view that a thousand things can be wrong, but if one thing is right, that's good. If two things are right, that's better.


I don't agree with that but I come off as I come off I guess.

It is more that important issues rarely get much of any real movement. And the underlying issues rarely if ever get addressed. An individual can do good things but unless some things are taken on at a national sort of level many problems will linger and potentially fester. Which is where I see the pessimism. And that usually infests local politics as well.


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    But more to the point, I take realism as a spectrum. One one end is unrealistic optimism. On the other end is unrealistic pessimism. At the center is a balance of realistic optimism and realistic pessimism: a balance we can consciously maintain. We'll know we've achieved a realistic balance when we clearly see good reasons both for optimism and pessimism. For example, I'm realistically pessimistic about ever eliminating the nonsense of Christian sexual morality from American culture as a whole, but I'm realistically optimistic about eventually eliminating it from the culture of the Northeastern American states, where I live.


I suppose, but I generally am looking at it as not expecting much of anything particularly useful from federal and state governments that is not just a band aid at the present.

It would depend on our particular discussion point as to my feelings of optimism or pessimism on a given issue.


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        As for which goals are positive - I admire and support any goal that incorporates the values of freedom, innovation, integrity, health, and joy. Where these five values are held high, humanity will rise and advance. Nor does everyone need to agree on the details of these five values. There is no uniformity of purpose or method where freedom reigns. But uniformity has never been necessary.



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      Those would be good goals I think, but I would probably add environment in it for me. For me as a person it is a positive goal because at best it touches on health and some of the others in addition to improving the world we live in. In practical terms it improves many debates we are currently having at the Federal and State levels, as they will get worse otherwise.



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    Why does the environment matter to you? What's the core value? There may be more than one, for you. From what you say above, human health is one core value underpinning your environmentalism. Is it the only one or are there others?


It would probably be summed up in something like preservation I guess. With regards to preservation of the natural world. There are alot of reasons to do it, but honestly I think it is worth it for its own sake in addition to the sheer fact that it is hard for many other issues to matter if you do not have a world worth living in.

I mean some things I think would be important to live by on any level would be curiosity, empathy, integrity, equality, equity, health, discovery, individuality and respect. I would add the preservation in there as well but I mentioned it already.


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    Environmentalism was becoming a stable, normalized concern in America, where reasonable people on both sides of the question could find a balanced middle ground - and then global warming took over green activism, and suddenly we were back to an unstable, abnormal polarity of extremes, with one side wanting to dismantle modern civilization to save endangered species, while the other side seems hellbent on ignoring green concerns entirely, since no compromise seems possible. Whenever we see politics polarizing us with no possibility of compromise, we can be sure we're being manipulated.


I disagree with this, at least with the phrasing. As this is not an idea of both sides are purely to blame. It more or less breaks down that we only have one political party that acknowledges or cares much about the problem in even a lip service way.

There are, of course, conservatives who have proposed solutions, but they are largely ignored.

For the most part the biggest drivers of climate denial are the same that drive alot of science denial. It tends to be those with what I consider an unreasonable degree of dislike for regulation of any sort and those seeking to avoid being hampered economically. After those balls are rolling though it does become part of political identity.

I am honestly open to many proposals but there are not serious ones and the problem is the longer it goes the worse it gets and more drastic measures are required. Were efforts taken decades ago smaller changes would be needed. At some point drastic changes would be required if one sought to avoid the worst impacts.


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      However, based on experience within the US political system I am also of the mind that the chances of any action being taken and then being upheld are near zero.



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    The first step toward finding solutions will be to categorically reject a no-compromise mentality on either side of the question. Dismantling civilization is out of the question. Allowing a mass extinction event is likewise out of the question. Compromise is mandatory. The enemy of progress is the no-compromise mentality. It must be quashed.


I am not sure. I do think at this point more drastic action is required than what would have been ten or twenty years ago. I do not think it takes the world changing but the later we get the worse it is.

And no action, the easiest action, leads to mass extinctions. I mean that is the path we are likely already on. The Great Barrier Reef alone is doing very poorly.

I honestly would love it if there were conservative, liberal and other points of view on dealing with the problem being discussed but it often never is outside of scientific literature and occasional news articles.

Fact is, it requires changes at levels and adjustments to the way humans do things. Does not mean the world must stop, but there needs to be changes IMO. I am fine with compromise but they need to be real changes.

And realistically, at this point, it is probably too late for alot of it.


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      In abstract terms I can come up with a list of what the priorities should be and it probably would not be that different from you in the end. I am just skeptical that anything gets done on those fronts given history. It usually takes some major political will to accomplish anything and the context of how it was done is often fought about for ages after.



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    By negotiation or by warfare, humanity will always return to homeostasis. The only question is which of the two it will take. Negotiation is better. Warfare may be unavoidable. The United States, beset by a difference of opinion regarding slavery, had to fight a civil war to achieve homeostasis. With prohibition of alcohol, we did better. We didn't quite have to fight a civil war. Gangsters and cops fought their own, more limited, bloody struggle, and then sanity regained the ascendancy. Both of those fights were about freedom. In the end, freedom, our own or that of other people, is the one thing many of us are willing to die for.


Sure, I am not against freedom. I just think the irony of freedom is that when you have it, the rest of the fights are what it is to keep it and what it means for different groups. As our modern idea of freedom is different than in other places and times.

Sort of like the irony of science advancements. Vaccines for instance have been historically so successful that growing numbers of people have been finding that they do not need them because what is the point? A victims of their own success.

In political terms there is a growing authoritarian movement in the US and threats to elections (not acknowledging election results). It is part of their freedom to do it I guess to a point but it threatens the nature of democracy and freedom.


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      So, pessimism covers me well I suppose. Sort of like you can tell with freedom discussions. I am all for freedom and liberty. I just think it gets complicated to determine what to do in given situations when two people's liberty or freedom collide. My impulse would be all things being equal to the one that does the most good or harms the fewest in society. Since the former moral judgement is hard to capture and is not often a good way to legislate as it often defines things as good vs evil. And more realistically in the system we have power is most important. It feels like too much is done because one can or pure politics as opposed to actually doing much to help somebody.



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    Sounds like you subscribe to utilitarianism. Many people do. Even Mister Spock. Utilitarianism is color-blind and class-blind, so it frustrates both the left and the right. A centrist party could rise up, grounded in utilitarianism. They'd get my vote. But only if they included freedom as a form of the good.


I would have to imagine any form of government that is by any account good would have to have freedom. I am not arguing against freedom by any stretch. There have just always been struggles with what it means over time and whose freedom is more important in the end. Usually, the wealthy tend to get more nods than the poor.

I mean I guess in general that would be right but there do need to be protections for the minority. Equality and the like or starting from the same place to actual have it mean something. Otherwise it can lead to oppression quickly. In general though, sure I think the majority should rule in a system within reason. It is more frustrating when a minority can rule society.

I also find one of the great tragedies of the US to be the low participation rate. I get it. Although I always vote and am in a state that never goes my way but I always do. Between gerrymandering and demographics I am meaningless, but too stubborn to do anything else.






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