Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

Copyright Notice

Everything that appears on this blog is the copyrighted property of somebody. Often, but not always, that somebody is me. For things that are not mine, I either have obtained permission, or claim fair use. Feel free to quote me, but attribute, please. My photos and poetry are dear to my heart, and may not be used without permission. Ditto, my other intellectual property, such as charts and graphs. I'm probably willing to share. Let's talk. Violators will be damned for all eternity to the circle of hell populated by Rosanne Barr, Lady Gaga, and trombonists who are unable play in tune. You cannot possibly imagine the agony. If you have a question, email me: jazzbumpa@gmail.com. I'll answer when I feel like it. Cheers!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Conservative Pesimism

I've been pondering a post or two on the nature of conservatism, but haven't had time to gather my thoughts and compose the post I would like to write.  Over at Modeled Behavior, Karl wrote an interesting Pessimist Manifesto, that inspired me to respond.  Here it is, with editorial corrections.

You raise some interesting points, and it would take a counter-manifesto that I don’t have time to think through, let alone write, to give it the response it deserves.

In lieu of that, a couple thoughts.

"Bad things happen because badness is the natural state of the world."

Two differences between progressives and regressives are that (generally speaking) progressives are optimists, and reality based, while regressives are pessimisic and bound either by ideology or some other reality-denying mindset.

You, as an intellectual progressive, but emotional regressive, don’t fit either camp. So, when you speak of conservatives who should share your world view, you’ll find yourself the odd man out.

Conservatism is based on ignorance, prejudice (don’t take my word for it, this is directly from Russel Kirk), negation of reality (WMD, New Deal denialism, etc) and false characterizations (which might just be a subset of reality negation) – most economic models, frex.

A Progressive, like Keynes, when confronted with new data, changes his opinion. A Regressive, when confronted with new data, changes the data. Hence the current regressive attempts at history re-writing, re: the W presidency.

There is not a person in a thousand who arrives at political views via rational thought, vs the emotional comfort zone. I sincerely believe that those who do are former conservatives who overcame ignorance to embrace reality.

Which, I guess, is a bit of a manifesto after all.

Cheers! (And welcome to the real world)
JzB

No comments: