There are two kinds of people in this world…
December 1, 2015 § 6 Comments
… those who separate people into two kinds, and those who don’t.
In this post I am going to talk about one kind of people made up of two kinds of people, which gives rise to a third kind. They all end up hating each other even though they all have fundamentally the same loyalties.
The first kind of people are conservatives. Conservatives have what I will call a conservative disposition. A conservative disposition is a tendency to love and respect one’s own people, culture, and traditions, without insisting on thinking things through too much. Most people are born with at least some degree of conservative disposition. It takes certain environmental influences to purge the conservative disposition out of a person, and in any case nobody can think everything through from first principles so even people who philosophize for a living cannot escape from accepting some amount of received wisdom on faith in many areas of their lives.
The second kind of people are liberals. Liberals are people who have reasonably firm loyalties to the political philosophy of liberalism, at least to enough of an extent that they will affirm liberal slogans by default.
Because it is rationally incoherent liberalism is unstable. Situated in actual reality this means that as things ‘progress’, as liberalism revolutionizes social institutions and alters its own context, new generations of liberals end up despising older generations of liberals, rejecting them as illiberal or inauthentically liberal. We tend to call the newer generations of liberals ‘leftists’ or ‘progressives’ and the older generation ‘liberals’.
So we end up with ‘classical’ liberals and ‘modern’ liberals. Naturally people with more of a conservative disposition will admire their ‘classical’ liberal ancestors as the congenital source of their liberal ‘tradition’. The fact that these ‘classical’ liberals rejected their own ancestors and traditions creates too much cognitive dissonance to think about — and as I mentioned at the beginning of the post, the conservative disposition recognizes that life is too short to be able to think everything through to first principles anyway.
And that is how you end up with a society in which everyone is strongly loyal to liberalism, and yet still despise each other and see each other as tyrants.