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Friday, August 28, 2009

Culture and Anarchy

Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives. -- John Stuart Mill

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. -- Oscar Wilde

In America, Republicans simply are the worst people you know.

This is not to deny that plenty of Democrats as people are plenty lousy, corrupt, and stupid themselves, nor to deny that there are universes of logical possibility in which legibly conservative ideas might lead an intelligent civic-minded person to some sort of idealized or historical Republican identification.

But Republicans here are the worst people around, because what Republicanism has devolved into at this point really is an appeal to the worst person you could be -- that is to say, to the worst that is in us all in some measure.

Republican politics drives and is driven by the part of you that is scared of change even when things must change to make things better, by the part of you that wants to break rules when you can get away with it even when you defend the rules because you depend on them yourself to keep what you got by bending or breaking them on the sly, by the part of you that sees the public world as a stage in which profits are made rather than people encountered, by the part of you that wants to win on any terms more because you don't want to lose on those terms than because there is actually something you want for its own sake, by the part of you that conforms without question or without joy for fear of taking responsibility for taking a stand that might be unpopular, by the part of you that wants your pleasures now in the expectation that the costs later can always be borne by those suckers who behave within their means and with an eye to the longer-term, by the part of you that can rationalize any selfishness, any meanness, any indifference, any thoughtlessness, any short-sightedness because the squalling endlessly needy infant inside, the bullying territorializing monkey inside dictates what you do rather than your critical and ethical intelligence.


mtraven said...

Well, there are two types of Republicans -- the lower-class nitwits who are genuinely frightened of change because they are powerless, and the upper-class manipulators and bloviators who rile them up to support a regressive political agenda. The latter group is definitely worse than the former, I think.

And this is OT, but check out this conference, organized by Milton Friedman's grandson no less.

jimf said...

> In America, Republicans simply are the worst people you know.

They're the people I grew up among -- my family, 40 years ago.

It's so -- comforting -- to watch them on Fox News. :-/

Dale Carrico said...

Mine, too.