ayurvedic home remedies

The Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives

Conservatives throughout the country have a pent up frustration with the way our country is going.  We wonder why some people just can’t see what is obviously true about our culture: punishment of crime lowers its incidence; true charity is freely given not taken away from individuals at threat of prison; freedom produces invention, innovation, and prosperity but centralized control kills them. 

We show up at rallies only to be called an unwashed mob, Nazis, obstructionists; we show up at town hall meetings with our elected representatives and are pushed out of the meeting by union thugs, delayed until the room is filled with supporters only, ignored, denounced, degraded, treated like junk.  We are considered evil by the mainstream media outlets even as they are going broke for loss of audience share.  Without doubt we terrify the assorted communists, fascists, socialists, pinkos, bureaucratic totalitarians, and new age relativists in power now; we would ruin their (almost completed) takeover of American cultural, economic, political, and religious life.  We point our that their vaunted new clothes are only imaginary, and their naked hatred of the human condition is unsightly.

We are aghast at why they insist on instituting programs that stifle the human spirit; why they think the imposition Roger Scrutonof their utopian ideas is a better approach than the principle of liberty.  We are baffled by their naïve, child-like approach to evil wherever it exists in the republic itself or the world at large. 

For 23 years I did talk radio in Portland, Oregon, and one of my most memorable interviews was with British philosopher Dr. Roger Scruton regarding his book The West and the Rest, ISI Books 2001.  Recently Dr. Scruton wrote a brief essay titled “Totalitarian Sentimentality” you can (and should) read the essay here.   Purchase the book at a discount here.

“Conservatives recognize that social order is hard to achieve and easy to destroy, that it is held in place by discipline and sacrifice, and that the indulgence of criminality and vice is not an act of kindness but an injustice for which all of us will pay.  Conservatives therefore maintain severe and – to many people – unattractive attitudes.  They favor retributive punishment in the criminal law; they uphold traditional marriage and the sacrifices that it requires; they believe in discipline in schools and the value of hard work and military service.  They see welfare provisions as necessary, but also as a potential threat to genuine charity, and a way both of rewarding antisocial conduct and creating a culture of dependency.” 

“Liberals are of course very different.  They see criminals as victims of social hierarchy and unequal power, people who should be cured by kindness and not threatened with punishment.  They wish all privileges to be shared by everyone, the privileges of marriage included.  And if marriage can be reformed so as to remove the cost of it, so much the better.  Welfare provisions are not rewards to those who receive them, but costs to those who give – something that we owe to those less fortunate than ourselves.”

For liberals, “Far preferable to the hard life in which disciplined teaching, costly charity, and responsible attachment are the ruling principles is the life of sentimental display, in which others are encouraged to admire you for virtues you do not possess.  This life of phony compassion is a life of transferred costs.  Liberals who wax lyrical on the sufferings of the poor do not, on the whole, give their time and money to helping those less fortunate than themselves.  On the contrary, they campaign for the state to assume the burden.  The inevitable result of their sentimental approach to suffering is the expansion of the state and the increase of its power both to tax us and to control our lives.”

 Read this essay; read the book – you’ll love them both.