Saturday, October 27, 2007

Why I Read to the Right.

When I started this weblog, it was with the intent to say something about myself. Right now, I'm just getting into blogging and while I have more important things to talk about than "Stargate", I want to wait under I'm sure I can do justice to the issues. In service to this goal, I started a series of essays on topics I've like to cover eventually. Well, one of those essays is going in the trash today. Because I came across someone who said the exact same thing about a million times better than I ever could.

What am I talking about? See full post for explanation.

Via The Smallest Minority, I read "How I Cured MySelf of Leftism". You see, it's been bugging me for years why I enjoyed conservative political discourse more than liberal discourse. Personally, I'm more libertarian than anything but I'm not really hard-core about it either. Most of the politically-oriented weblogs I read are center to right. I've in the past tried to read both left & right blogs. But, the left ones always grated even when I would agree with their positions. But Dr. Bob Godwin explains it all:

At the same time, for the person who is not under the hypnotic psycho-spiritual spell of contemporary liberalism, it is strikingly devoid of actual religious wisdom or real ideas. As such, it is driven by vague, spiritually infused ideals and feelings, such as "sticking up for the little guy," or "war is not the answer." On the other hand, conservatism is not so much based on ideas, but on simply observing what works, and then generalizing from there. It is actually refreshingly free of dogma, and full of dynamic tension. For example, at the heart of conservatism is an ongoing, unresolvable dialectic between freedom and virtue.

Jackpot! This is what I had been trying (and failing) to say in my essay. And reading Godwin's words highlights the consistency (for me) between my politics and my work. As an engineer, what I'd like and what makes me look good has to be secondary (or further) to WHAT WORKS. Because if the seatbelt doesn't work, is it worth some stranger's life if I "feel good" about the design?

Which leads to another thing that always annoys me about modern liberalism. The "Clap If You Believe In The Cause! The Cause Will Die If You Don't BELIEVE" component. Bill Whittle called it Magic a while back. The belief that people and history can be fundamentally changed by edict. That once the right laws are in place and everybody can only think double-plus good thoughts, humanity will automatically mold itself into your image of what it should be. I always found the belief in such "magic" repellent. Because I believe humanity is and should be larger than any single idea or philosophy. Because when ever human societies try to get too "pure", it all goes horribly wrong.

Or to conclude with more wit than I alone possess:
"...the dwarfs found out how to turn lead into gold by doing it the hard way. The difference between that and the easy way is that the hard way works."

William: "I'm sure we can pull together, sir."
Vetinari: "Oh, I do hope not, I really do hope not. Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions. It's the only way to make progress."

Both courtesy of Terry Pratchett via the Electric Escape.

No comments: