Mudcat Café message #963781 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59921   Message #963781
Posted By: Sam L
07-Jun-03 - 06:30 PM
Thread Name: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?
Subject: RE: BS: Conservative, Liberal, or Human Being?
But you see I would describe that difference in another way. I think I am really more critical of the political process than you may be.

    Your view as an independent critical-thinking moderate could be compared, rather favorably I think, to Aristotle's moral philosophy of finding the mean. I might compare my point of view, less favorably, to Socrates finding that artists were the only people who knew things he didn't, but who also presumed by extrapolation to know other things they really didn't know. So they became the more ignorant. I can't find a flattering example for myself in classical philosophy.

   I do have rather mixed views, and have tried to stay out of particular social issues and things I tend to rant about, but on balance, in general, it still makes the most sense to sort me as a liberal. I don't get to vote on each individual issue, or on whichever candidate of many I prefer--the process enforces it's contesting generalizations, whatever I think in particular about this and that other particular policy.

The false dichotomy is one of the most enduringly popular mistakes of thought, at least in western reasoning. It's easier to think of things in terms of this or that (or something in-between this and that) than Who Knows What Else. Our political process reflects this deep compromise. I don't take the construct seriously enough to mind being sorted whichever way seems to fit somewhat better. I think the political process is much more like the machinery of the market, is indeed very tied to it, and really has a less than human face.

   I go back to culture to try to get beyond that, because I think values are where one starts, consciously or otherwise. I love invention stories, and hate the lottery-ticket get-rich invention mythology many people believe in despite it's very neglible bearing on reality. I'm not sure how to explain what I mean by this, except that better things are often at hand, but are overlooked by habits of thought and observation. I like the liberal willingness to be plain goofy, to embrace the unconventional, even if it really is merely goofy, most of the time. It's not that I deny what market economies succeed at, it's just that I'd hope for a better over-all systemology, based on the criticisms we can reasonably make of capitalism. "Liberal" suits because it's less like a file, more like a junk-drawer, really, where you keep all those odd things that seem they may someday be of some use.

Larry Kaufman, you're right. That's the problem with this country. The poor people have all the money.