PrestoPundit

Archive for the ‘Conservatism’ Category

THIS FITS

Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/02/2008

with my own experience.  The age of big government, big entertainment, and big cities has made everyone a bit less honest, but in my experience most of the last, best upholders of the side of ethics and honesty have been conservatives; and when they were not conservatives, they were the children of conservative parents.  I understand that experience on this score may vary.  And it’s likely that my sample population isn’t as “scientifically” valid as the one referenced above.  Quotable:

I’m not suggesting that all conservatives are honest and all
liberals are untrustworthy. But clearly a gap exists in the data. Why?
The quick answer might be that liberals are simply being more honest
about their dishonesty.

However attractive this explanation might
be for some, there is simply no basis for accepting this explanation.
Validation studies, which attempt to figure out who misreports on
academic surveys and why, has found no evidence that conservatives are
less honest. Indeed, validation research indicates that Democrats tend
to be less forthcoming than other groups.

The honesty gap is also
not a result of “bad people” becoming liberals and “good people”
becoming conservatives. In my mind, a more likely explanation is bad
ideas. Modern liberalism is infused with idea that truth is relative.
Surveys consistently show this. And if truth is relative, it also must
follow that honesty is subjective.

Sixties organizer Saul Alinsky, who both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton say inspired and influenced them, once said the effective political
advocate “doesn’t have a fixed truth; truth to him is relative and
changing, everything to him is relative and changing. He is a political
relativist.”

During this political season, honesty is often in short supply. But at
least we can improve things by accepting the idea that truth and
honesty exist. As the late scholar Sidney Hook put it, “the easiest rationalization for the refusal to seek the truth is the denial that truth exists.”

Let me add that one reason so many leftists have stopped seeking the truth is because the truth rather routinely provides overwhelming evidence and arguments against them.  Case in point — the overwhelming arguments of Hayek against the possibility of socialism has driven the overwhelming majority of leftist to pursue a socialism utterly uninformed by any thought of what conditions might be required to make a socialist system work.  Indeed, the earlier overpowering arguments against the socialist economics of Karl Marx by Hayek’s intellectual forefather Bohm-Bawerk were part of the reason that Mr. Marx forbade economic inquiry by his comrades into the possible workings of a future socialist system.  The left has regularly worked on the demand to “fly blind” — and in opposition to truth — because the intellectual assault from the classical liberals has been overwhelming, and to do otherwise would mean the end of the leftist enterprise.  Things have only become worse empirically and theoretically for the left in the wake of what we have learned in the last 100 years.

Posted in Conservatism, Economics, Hayek, Leftists | Leave a Comment »

my apologies for the blog outage

Posted by PrestoPundit on 01/14/2008

I hope to be up and running later tonight.

I’m struggling at the moment with the knotty problem of importing a WordPress archive into Movable Type. 

Here’s where I left off last.  Sunday I linked to Mark’s post on “Conservatives” vs. Conservatism — and now it looks like Mike also wrote Rush Limbaugh’s Monday monologue.  I flagged this comment from Mark:

just as a poorly carried out experiment doesn’t discredit science, so is conservatism not discredited by conservative-in-name-only politicians failing to live up to the traditional principles of their party.

And here’s Rush:

Well,
conservatism isn’t dead because it cannot be dead.  Conservatism is not
manmade.  Conservatism is a philosophy.  It’s not a scheme.  It’s not a
plan to figure out what the American people need and want, and then
give it to them.  That’s populism!  Conservatism is a philosophy based
on God-given natural rights.  The Declaration of Independence, is that
dead?  Of course not!  What’s dead is leadership on the Republican
side, and because there is a lack of leadership of someone who the
substantive understanding of liberty and the political skills to
advance it, we get all this cockamamie nonsense about the death of our
principles.  Our principles are not dead! Our principles cannot die. 
I’ll tell you, in a lot of ways this reminds me of Jimmy Carter and his
malaise speech.  He blamed the American people for his miserable
failures as president.  Now we have conservatives and conservative
wannabes, many of whom have held high office or hold high office or
speak and write from formerly conservative outposts, who blame
conservatives for their own miserable failures.  What is lacking is not
ideas and principles.  What’s lacking is the right people to speak
those ideas and principles, folks.  Admit it.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in Conservatism, Reagan | Leave a Comment »