Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An attempt at a venn diagram

Okay, conservatives are reasonable people, the ones who don't overlap with liberals to become Neocons, that is. They think that if it's not broke, you shouldn't fix it. They also think that there's a certain amount of common sense in, all things being equal, deferring to tradition over whacky new ideas. They like traditional morality, because it works for the most part and doesn't result in hordes of illegitimate, ignorant, violent kids, and gives everybody a rough-and-ready guide to behavior. Liberals are the opposite, liking to mess with things that are working just fine until they develop flaws (at which point they abandon them, and look for something new to screw up), they certainly don't like traditional morality, because it's no fun, and it's a lot of fun to elevate their own make-it-up-as-you-go-along morality over the morality of the old fuddy-duddies, and consider themselves, oddly enough, superior to people who actually are moral. In contrast to both, libertarians like to think in terms of principle first, and especially in their Randian incarnation, sometimes subordinate common sense and survival to principle, because they can't force either into their 'rights of man' paradigm.

And these groups can and do overlap. Neocons have respect for tradition, but unfortunately it's not the tradition most of us know about, but rather the tradition of Leon Trotsky. I show them as an overlap of liberalism with conservatism, which is somewhat unfair to conservatives, because the actual conservative principles are at best only given lip service by the Neocons, and at worst twisted into somehow supporting liberal ideas. That is, liberalism is at base, in its American form, a sort of watering-down of Marxism, and that fits right in with the permanent revolution and universal democracy meme of the Neocons, which they got straight from Trotsky, who was too flaky even for Stalin.

Libertarians and liberals overlap to produce what I call "Flaky Libertarians." They have the basic right of man notions that libertarians do, and also the dedication to principles over tradition, those principles basically being sort of anarchistic, which I can sympathize with. The flaky part comes when they mix up the right to do things with the desirability of doing things. This attitude also manifests as confusing tolerance with approval. Like, an orthodox libertarian thinks people must have the right to perform homosexual behavior, talk dirty, commit suicide, get tattoos, or play the bagpipe on their own property. Unfortunately, when this attitude overlaps with liberalism, it turns into the requirement that one approve all those things. Liberals, you see, approve of all that stuff, not out of principle, but because they hate tradition, especially the tradition of Western Civilization, and their stuffy old parents, of course, and see all this stuff as helping to bring all that down. So some libertarians make that mistake as well.

Another overlap is conservatism and libertarianism, which is where I find myself. That's where libertarianism pretty much was in the past, before it got its name. I can fit such people as Mencken, Jefferson, Bastiat, and indeed, most of the Founding Fathers and many of the Founding Fathers of the Confederacy. Essentially, this overlap group accepts the libertarian critique of things, but couples that with the practicality, common sense, and traditionalism of the conservatives, taking the best from both.

Finally, right in the middle, you have the Utter Damn Fools, who take the worst of all these kinds of thinking, and usually end up as authoritarians of one sort or another. Here you'd put politicians who are for lots of niggling laws to make everybody behave the way they ought to, tolerance for deviant, self-destructive behavior mandated by still other laws, a tendency to enforce laws unevenly and haphazardly (what Sam Francis called 'Anarcho-tyranny), and finally, for open borders to help bollix everything else up. Our current leadership in government, media, and entertainment is distributed between Neocons and Utter Damn Fools.

Late Breaking News:  I have modified the Venn Diagram slightly so that it can be used on T-shirts and other items.  Read about that and see the new version HERE.

This all came to mind when I read the current Steve Sailer post, which pretty much validates my contention that the best place to be is up there in that green overlap. His post is HERE.