They Love the World … Except for All the People

 

Since personal liberty is so important to conservatives, we tend to be more tolerant of those with whom we disagree.  We understand that we must tolerate the idiosyncrasies of others if we expect others to tolerate our own idiosyncrasies.  When you presume that you will get along with everyone you meet, it changes how you look at them.  Whenever I meet someone, I look for something about them that I like.  And I nearly always find something – something that we can build a friendship on.  Or at least a working relationship.  And thus, I get along well with nearly everybody.

Leftists and socialists hope to build a Utopia here on earth and, as such, they are very intolerant of the flaws of others, which might get in the way of building a perfect world.  Thus, many of my liberal friends meet people and look for something about them that they don’t like.  And they nearly always find something – something that can place that person in a group of which my liberal friend does not approve.  And since conservatism is evil, and leftism is good, then tolerance is not an admirable quality.  Again, Utopians are not a tolerant group.  Just ask a dead Russian from 1918.  Or a dead Jew from 1944.  Or a dead Cambodian from 1976.  Those who seek to cure the flaws of society via revolution to build a Utopia – such people see no virtue in tolerance.

Leonardo DiCaprio filling up his Prius.

I think this is one reason that leftists are so miserable all the time.  They don’t like anybody.  And after some years of disliking everyone they meet, they begin to dislike themselves.  I think that a lot of what is described as ‘virtue-signaling’ is not necessarily an effort to convince others that one is a decent human being.  I think they’re trying to convince themselves that they’re better than everybody else.  Because everybody else is awful.

I think this is one reason that conservatives have such difficulty understanding leftists.  Conservatives look at what the Democratic Party has done to America since Trump left office.  Catastrophic inflation.  Exploding energy prices.  A European war.  Supply chain problems and shortages.  All the suffering – none of this had to happen – why?

But it makes more sense if you really don’t like people.

It is true that humans are capable of tremendous evil.  But we are also capable of tremendous good.

So, on a macro level, the idea is to build a society that encourages the good, while discouraging the bad.

On a micro level, the idea is to look for the good in every person.  There may be a lot of bad in that person, but there is probably good in there too.  So you should look for the good.  Because if you don’t actively look for it, it can be easy to overlook.  And if you overlook the good in people, then personal liberty and other conservative concepts make no sense whatsoever.

A society of evil people can be nothing but a prison camp.  Which is why we put those who do evil into prisons.  They need totalitarian control not just to protect society from them, but also to protect them from themselves and from one another.

But a society of good people – even fairly good people, or moderately good people, or even somewhat good people like me – in that society, liberty can flourish.  And that liberty, combined with the goodness and virtue in each one of us – that liberty can create happiness, prosperity, and security.  But only if we acknowledge the good in each of us, and seek to encourage its expression in various ways.

So many leftists just can’t see the good in people.  They hate me because of my big car.  Or the straw I put in my drink.  Or the mask I don’t wear on my face.

I feel bad for my leftist friends.  They’re always unhappy.  And I can understand why.  They’re surrounded by awful people.  I’d like to help them, since I’m surrounded by good people.  I’d like to point out to them that my good people are the same people as their awful people.  But they won’t listen to me, because they don’t like me nearly as much as I like them.

As I said, conservatives struggle to understand leftists.

But leftists have no idea at all what motivates conservatives.

I explain to leftists that I’m a bleeding-heart conservative.  I’m a conservative because I find leftism to be heartless.

Good leftism is heartless like the DMV.  The workers behind the counter will get to you when they can, but they really don’t care about the people standing in line.  Which is heartless.

Bad leftism is like Russia under Stalin.  If the government suspects that you don’t support it, the government will kill you.  Which is heartless.

Obviously different degrees, but with both good leftism and bad leftism, leftism is heartless.

I’m not heartless.  So I’m conservative.

When everything is based on the good of the collective, it matters less if you break a few eggs along the way.  Which is fine.  Unless you happen to be an egg.  Which you are.  So there you go.

While my daughter was attending a very elite college, a friend stopped her in the hall and whispered, “Are you conservative?”  My daughter was understandably horrified, and asked why her friend would think such a thing about her.  Her friend explained that since she was always nice to everybody, he couldn’t help but wonder.  He meant no offense, and would keep her secret to himself.  She still didn’t admit it, but he knew.

I think in general, leftists know.  They know that there is a difference between a Tea Party rally that leaves a park cleaner than when they arrived, and a Black Lives Matter riot that destroys part of a city overnight.

So if leftists know that conservatives are happy and nice, then why aren’t they conservatives too?

Because they don’t like people.

I guess.

If anyone has a better theory, I’m all ears…

NOTE: The title of this post is a quote from the Men at Work song, “Dr. Heckyl and Mr. Jive”.  

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  1. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Dr. Bastiat: Leftists and socialists hope to build a Utopia here on earth, and as such they are very intolerant of the flaws of others, which might get in the way of building a perfect world. 

    It’s a weird dichotomy that they have. They think heaven can be created here on earth and that man can be perfected. They also seem to think that undesirables can be gotten rid of if you don’t go along with their program. They say you need to break a few eggs to get an omelet, but they never seem to produce the omelet while many eggs are crushed and destroyed.

    • #1
  2. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    FWIW, I think you’re pretty much correct. I once asked our resident progressive why he was ticked off all the time and he said, “Because we have the power to create a Utopia …” He might have said more, and in fact I’m sure he did, but after I heard “create a Utopia”, I stopped listening.

    I also remember when our department manager had finished the remodeling of his house and invited us over. It’s in Redwood City with a beautiful view. The progressive didn’t show up, and next week I mentioned to him how terrific the place was. His response was a look on his face as if he’d bitten into an over-ripe persimmon and the comment, “That’s why the world hates us.” Can’t fix that kind of petty jealousy and stupidity.

    • #2
  3. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member
    9thDistrictNeighbor
    @9thDistrictNeighbor

    Dr. Bastiat: …leftism is heartless.

    I once had a conversation with my mother-in-law about the things that leftism produced.  She came to the US in 1956, her family having lost everything, first to the Nazis, then to the Soviets; but she was on the left.  She received fundraising calls from Planned Parenthood on Thanksgiving.  She donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.  She loved International Women’s Day and the Unitarians.

    Discuss specifics on abortion, or the bigotry of low expectations, or anything involving the actual outcomes of leftist policies, and she did not agree with the left at all.  “Oh, no.  That’s wrong.”   So I asked why she voted democrat.  She paused and said, “Oh, because I care!”

    • #3
  4. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    They push and push and push some more …

    Beware the fury of a patient man.

    • #4
  5. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    They say you need to break a few eggs to get an omelet, but they never seem to produce the omelet while many eggs are crushed and destroyed.

    You would think people would notice a pattern after a while…

    • #5
  6. AMD Texas Member
    AMD Texas
    @DarinJohnson

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Leftists and socialists hope to build a Utopia here on earth, and as such they are very intolerant of the flaws of others, which might get in the way of building a perfect world.

    It’s a weird dichotomy that they have. They think heaven can be created here on earth and that man can be perfected. They also seem to think that undesirables can be gotten rid of if you don’t go along with their program. They say you need to break a few eggs to get an omelet, but they never seem to produce the omelet while many eggs are crushed and destroyed.

    I think that is what has made our revolution so much different than so many others. The founders were not looking to make Utopia and they let us know from the beginning….

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    It is your right to pursue happiness. It doesn’t say what happiness is for every individual and it doesn’t promise that it would be found by every individual. You have the right to make your own Utopia but others are free to seek their own..

    • #6
  7. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    The OP uses the word “conservatism” a lot.   Many people think “conservatism” is about “conserving” something and thus opposing everything.   That is a reactionary mindset and guaranteed to annoy anyone of another mindset.   I think of “conservatism” as promoting a government/culture which optimizes human flourishing while reducing risk of tragedy.  Usually, that is a goal that everyone can agree with and after that you can disagree about the effects of certain policies and the valuation of “flourishing”.  The Leftists/Progressives/Commies/Marxists/Socialists/Democrats generally victims of static analysis and disregard history, risk and long-term outcomes. 

    There, now you know what to think about what others think.

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    They say you need to break a few eggs to get an omelet, but they never seem to produce the omelet while many eggs are crushed and destroyed.

    You would think people would notice a pattern after a while…

    • #8
  9. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):
    The OP uses the word “conservatism” a lot.

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):
    The Leftists/Progressives/Commies/Marxists/Socialists/Democrats generally victims of static analysis and disregard history, risk and long-term outcomes.

    You’re right.  Terminology is a problem here.  Since I value liberty, I consider myself to be a liberal, so I hesitate to call statists by their preferred term of liberal.  So I don’t know what word to use for my belief system, or anyone else’s.

    It makes the exchange of ideas much more difficult.

    • #9
  10. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Dr. Bastiat: Since personal liberty is so important to conservatives, we tend to be more tolerant of those with whom we disagree. 

    Conservative.  You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.  :)

    Sometimes, modern “conservatives” seem to be trying to conserve the worst excesses of the 1960s.  It is not strange to me that people would want to live in a sort of society involving:

    • Widespread fornication, adultery, and outright perversion — the fornication and adultery are tolerated, the perversion is affirmatively celebrated and given legal privileges hitherto reserved for marriage
    • Public lewdness, even in schools and libraries
    • Rampant drug abuse and alcoholism
    • Genocide against the unborn
    • An illegitimacy rate of around 30%, must worse among black Americans
    • The constant use of foul language in public, in music, in movies, and even on ordinary television

    What is strange to me is the idea that people who tolerate such things would call themselves conservatives.

    On another note, the comment about tolerance is particularly funny at the moment, Doc, coming on the heels of the vilification of Sen. Cornyn and a number of other Republican Senators relating to some gun bill.  

    • #10
  11. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Since personal liberty is so important to conservatives, we tend to be more tolerant of those with whom we disagree.

    Conservative. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. :)

    Sometimes, modern “conservatives” seem to be trying to conserve the worst excesses of the 1960s. It is not strange to me that people would want to live in a sort of society involving:

    • Widespread fornication, adultery, and outright perversion — the fornication and adultery are tolerated, the perversion is affirmatively celebrated and given legal privileges hitherto reserved for marriage
    • Public lewdness, even in schools and libraries
    • Rampant drug abuse and alcoholism
    • Genocide against the unborn
    • An illegitimacy rate of around 30%, must worse among black Americans
    • The constant use of foul language in public, in music, in movies, and even on ordinary television

    What is strange to me is the idea that people who tolerate such things would call themselves conservatives.

    On another note, the comment about tolerance is particularly funny at the moment, Doc, coming on the heels of the vilification of Sen. Cornyn and a number of other Republican Senators relating to some gun bill.

    Your search for something to disagree with has led you to a whole list of things I didn’t say.

    For what it’s worth, I disagree with most of that, too.

    Geez… 

    • #11
  12. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Satan wanted to rule the world and hated humans, too.

    • #12
  13. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    When the goal is literally Utopia what matter are a few dozen ( hundred, thousand, tens or thousands ) lives?   Don’t you think that those unfortunates would gladly give their lives if it meant ushering in Utopia for their children and their children’s children?  Of course they would. To make an omelet you must break some eggs, no?

    The environmental extremists have adopted a similar logic with their assertion that climate change is an existential threat.

    • #13
  14. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Since personal liberty is so important to conservatives, we tend to be more tolerant of those with whom we disagree.

    Conservative. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. :)

    Sometimes, modern “conservatives” seem to be trying to conserve the worst excesses of the 1960s. It is not strange to me that people would want to live in a sort of society involving:

    • Widespread fornication, adultery, and outright perversion — the fornication and adultery are tolerated, the perversion is affirmatively celebrated and given legal privileges hitherto reserved for marriage
    • Public lewdness, even in schools and libraries
    • Rampant drug abuse and alcoholism
    • Genocide against the unborn
    • An illegitimacy rate of around 30%, must worse among black Americans
    • The constant use of foul language in public, in music, in movies, and even on ordinary television

    What is strange to me is the idea that people who tolerate such things would call themselves conservatives.

    On another note, the comment about tolerance is particularly funny at the moment, Doc, coming on the heels of the vilification of Sen. Cornyn and a number of other Republican Senators relating to some gun bill.

    Your search for something to disagree with has led you to a whole list of things I didn’t say.

    For what it’s worth, I disagree with most of that, too.

    Geez…

    OK, Doc, sorry if I misinterpreted you.  I do reject the idea that tolerance is a wonderful virtue.  We have been taught this.  You and I seem to have been in the first American cohort taught this idea.  (For this conclusion, I rely on Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind, in which he documented a change in the attitudes of his college students starting in the early-to-mid 1980s.)

    You did argue:

    Dr. Bastiat: We understand that we must tolerate the idiosyncrasies of others, if we expect others to tolerate our own idiosyncrasies. 

    What sort of idiosyncrasies did you have in mind?  If it’s just about whether you like Mexican or Thai food, I’ll agree to live and let live.  If it’s illegitimacy or polygamy, count me out.

    • #14
  15. Mountie Coolidge
    Mountie
    @Mountie

    Highly recommend this course from Great Courses

     

     

    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/utopia-and-terror-in-the-20th-century

     

     

    • #15
  16. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Since personal liberty is so important to conservatives, we tend to be more tolerant of those with whom we disagree.

    Conservative. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. :)

    Sometimes, modern “conservatives” seem to be trying to conserve the worst excesses of the 1960s. It is not strange to me that people would want to live in a sort of society involving:

    • Widespread fornication, adultery, and outright perversion — the fornication and adultery are tolerated, the perversion is affirmatively celebrated and given legal privileges hitherto reserved for marriage
    • Public lewdness, even in schools and libraries
    • Rampant drug abuse and alcoholism
    • Genocide against the unborn
    • An illegitimacy rate of around 30%, must worse among black Americans
    • The constant use of foul language in public, in music, in movies, and even on ordinary television

    What is strange to me is the idea that people who tolerate such things would call themselves conservatives.

    On another note, the comment about tolerance is particularly funny at the moment, Doc, coming on the heels of the vilification of Sen. Cornyn and a number of other Republican Senators relating to some gun bill.

    Your search for something to disagree with has led you to a whole list of things I didn’t say.

    For what it’s worth, I disagree with most of that, too.

    Geez…

    OK, Doc, sorry if I misinterpreted you. I do reject the idea that tolerance is a wonderful virtue. We have been taught this. You and I seem to have been in the first American cohort taught this idea. (For this conclusion, I rely on Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind, in which he documented a change in the attitudes of his college students starting in the early-to-mid 1980s.)

    You did argue:

    Dr. Bastiat: We understand that we must tolerate the idiosyncrasies of others, if we expect others to tolerate our own idiosyncrasies.

    What sort of idiosyncrasies did you have in mind? If it’s just about whether you like Mexican or Thai food, I’ll agree to live and let live. If it’s illegitimacy or polygamy, count me out.

    I think the problem is a lack of a standard to judge by. Christian tolerance is tolerating that which is not explicitly forbidden in scripture. Tolerate shell fish and stay at home dads. Not homosexuality and abortion.

    Because our current definition of “American” is so lacking in any kind of decent standard, we get tolerating homosexuality while looking out for your own kids is labeled racism.

    There is not going to be a productive discussion on tolerance and intolerance without some agreement on foundational moral principles. This is why trying to be a country of 3 billion individuals is not conducive to unity and why tolerating every culture is a recipe for disaster.

    • #16
  17. Terry Mott Member
    Terry Mott
    @TerryMott

    Stina (View Comment):

    Satan wanted to rule the world and hated humans, too.

    Correction: Satan wants to rule the world and hates humans, too.

    • #17
  18. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):
    They say you need to break a few eggs to get an omelet, but they never seem to produce the omelet while many eggs are crushed and destroyed.

    You would think people would notice a pattern after a while…

    They get a fresh generation every few years. 

    • #18
  19. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):

    The OP uses the word “conservatism” a lot. Many people think “conservatism” is about “conserving” something and thus opposing everything. That is a reactionary mindset and guaranteed to annoy anyone of another mindset. I think of “conservatism” as promoting a government/culture which optimizes human flourishing while reducing risk of tragedy. Usually, that is a goal that everyone can agree with and after that you can disagree about the effects of certain policies and the valuation of “flourishing”. The Leftists/Progressives/Commies/Marxists/Socialists/Democrats generally victims of static analysis and disregard history, risk and long-term outcomes.

    There, now you know what to think about what others think.

    All the academic leftists I know frequently use the word “flourishing.”

    • #19
  20. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Mountie (View Comment):

    Highly recommend this course from Great Courses

     

     

    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/utopia-and-terror-in-the-20th-century

     

     

    I enjoyed the course. Great Courses, now Wonderium (sp?), is slidding woke. 

    • #20
  21. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):

    The OP uses the word “conservatism” a lot. Many people think “conservatism” is about “conserving” something and thus opposing everything. That is a reactionary mindset and guaranteed to annoy anyone of another mindset. I think of “conservatism” as promoting a government/culture which optimizes human flourishing while reducing risk of tragedy. Usually, that is a goal that everyone can agree with and after that you can disagree about the effects of certain policies and the valuation of “flourishing”. The Leftists/Progressives/Commies/Marxists/Socialists/Democrats generally victims of static analysis and disregard history, risk and long-term outcomes.

    There, now you know what to think about what others think.

    All the academic leftists I know frequently use the word “flourishing.”

    Yeah, and from what I can see, their version of “flourishing” involves a lot of anal intercourse.  Not many kids, but a lot of that.

    • #21
  22. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):
    All the academic leftists I know frequently use the word “flourishing.”

    What word would you recommend?   I considered “prospering”, but wanted more pizazz.

    • #22
  23. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Dr. Bastiat: Whenever I meet someone, I look for something about them that I like.

    I knew immediately I was gonna like the fellow that had usurped our traditional restaurant table at lunch today.  Maybe it was the Trump hat.

    Now to read the rest of the post.

    • #23
  24. Fritz Coolidge
    Fritz
    @Fritz

    Reading the post brought to mind a one-time friend whose extreme leftist views had finally led me to sever the connection altogether. One example that illustrates her and the left’s tendency to find something about others they can dislike. An avid cyclist who’d gone on an extended bike ride with a group — some 60 to 80 miles a day, in a giant loop through some of the most gorgeous countryside in the state of Idaho. Upon her return? She railed about those backward rubes in Idaho– “They don’t even recycle!” she ranted.

    • #24
  25. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    To quote Randall Graves from Clerks “This job would be great if it weren’t for the f****** customers.” That seems to be how the Left views the American people at large. But it is us that they should serve and  represent. 

    • #25
  26. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):
    All the academic leftists I know frequently use the word “flourishing.”

    What word would you recommend? I considered “prospering”, but wanted more pizazz.

    In my context I’d have define flourishing.   There is a similar problem with “progress.”

    • #26
  27. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    I don’t.

    • #27
  28. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    So I guess it’s really down to the basics now. We are happy with the Constitution and capitalism as it helped us succeed. The other side is not and wants to “transform” this wicked society. Wonder who will win? Assume I will not be here to see the final result. 

    • #28
  29. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    navyjag (View Comment):

    So I guess it’s really down to the basics now. We are happy with the Constitution and capitalism as it helped us succeed. The other side is not and wants to “transform” this wicked society. Wonder who will win? Assume I will not be here to see the final result.

    You hope!

    • #29
  30. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    AMD Texas (View Comment):

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Leftists and socialists hope to build a Utopia here on earth, and as such they are very intolerant of the flaws of others, which might get in the way of building a perfect world.

    It’s a weird dichotomy that they have. They think heaven can be created here on earth and that man can be perfected. They also seem to think that undesirables can be gotten rid of if you don’t go along with their program. They say you need to break a few eggs to get an omelet, but they never seem to produce the omelet while many eggs are crushed and destroyed.

    I think that is what has made our revolution so much different than so many others. The founders were not looking to make Utopia and they let us know from the beginning….

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    It is your right to pursue happiness. It doesn’t say what happiness is for every individual and it doesn’t promise that it would be found by every individual. You have the right to make your own Utopia but others are free to seek their own..

    You said a lot there, in just a few words.

    • #30
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