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      07-26-2010, 03:59 PM   #1
Socom
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Conservatives vs Liberals

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"Both [conservatives and liberals] hold the same premise—the mind-body dichotomy—but choose opposite sides of this lethal fallacy.

The conservatives want freedom to act in the material realm; they tend to oppose government control of production, of industry, of trade, of business, of physical goods, of material wealth. But they advocate government control of man’s spirit, i.e., man’s consciousness; they advocate the State’s right to impose censorship, to determine moral values, to create and enforce a governmental establishment of morality, to rule the intellect. The liberals want freedom to act in the spiritual realm; they oppose censorship, they oppose government control of ideas, of the arts, of the press, of education (note their concern with “academic freedom”). But they advocate government control of material production, of business, of employment, of wages, of profits, of all physical property—they advocate it all the way down to total expropriation.

The conservatives see man as a body freely roaming the earth, building sand piles or factories—with an electronic computer inside his skull, controlled from Washington. The liberals see man as a soul freewheeling to the farthest reaches of the universe—but wearing chains from nose to toes when he crosses the street to buy a loaf of bread.

Yet it is the conservatives who are predominantly religionists, who proclaim the superiority of the soul over the body, who represent what I call the “mystics of spirit.” And it is the liberals who are predominantly materialists, who regard man as an aggregate of meat, and who represent what I call the “mystics of muscle.”

This is merely a paradox, not a contradiction: each camp wants to control the realm it regards as metaphysically important; each grants freedom only to the activities it despises. Observe that the conservatives insult and demean the rich or those who succeed in material production, regarding them as morally inferior—and that the liberals treat ideas as a cynical con game. “Control,” to both camps, means the power to rule by physical force. Neither camp holds freedom as a value. The conservatives want to rule man’s consciousness; the liberals, his body."

- Ayn Rand
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      08-04-2010, 05:15 PM   #2
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Or to European observers, both are right wing. There are differences between them, but is ideological terms they aren't great
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      08-05-2010, 10:22 AM   #3
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Interesting. I would think both have a little of Carl Marx in them and he was hardly right wing.
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      08-05-2010, 02:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socom View Post
Interesting. I would think both have a little of Carl Marx in them and he was hardly right wing.
Personally I think Marx was wrong on a lot of things, but his description of class is on the money. If you have to work for a living you are working class. If you don't have to work you command those who do. I don't care if you're on a million a year or the minimum wage, if you have to work you have to work - the same issues affect us all. And as we're seeing in the current recession, you can have a nice house and a nice car and still only be a few pay cheques away from the streets.

Anyway, you can be broadly left or right and still have views on some issues that are different. I'm a socialist which puts me on the left of the political spectrum. I'd legalise all drugs (to eliminate all the petty crime it breeds) which is very left, but I'm pro nuclear weapons and want to send young offenders to military boot camps until they learn to behave, which is right wing. Most politically aware people I know have views across the spectrum on certain issues. Its just the dogmatic who cling to one side.
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      08-05-2010, 02:28 PM   #5
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BTW socialist does not equal communist in Europe! Its a long way between democratic socialism in a capitalist system and Stalinism, despite what Fux News might tell you about socialised healthcare....
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      08-13-2010, 02:03 PM   #6
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Personally I think Rand was a crazy bitch whose life was riddled with self-contradiction.

Having said that, I don't see any paradox in the liberal world that she presents, which is to say that I believe that individual liberty is not incompatible with allowing the body in charge of the common good to regulate how our collective resources are used. I don't think restricting capitalism means restricting true freedom, it just means that you're wise enough to know that if your neighbor has a famine while you have a feast then you are in an inherently dangerous situation.

To conservatives freedom means freedom to dominate anyone that is weaker than you. They are never interested in freedom per se as they don't allow themselves the freedom to think, act, and feel as they do naturally except behind closed doors.

I think that if you truly value freedom then you have to be a liberal. If you think that you value freedom and you find your beliefs to be those of a conservative then you are simply self-oppressed and not very insightful. And that's ok, just stop trying to rule the rest of the world.

Last edited by ellipsis212; 08-13-2010 at 03:57 PM.
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      09-29-2010, 09:02 AM   #7
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Ayn Rand's words resonate now more than ever..
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