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We All Get the Same Amount of Snow
Susan’s beautiful post about beauty reminded me of an old story which goes something like this: There are two men who live next door to one another. One of them loves snow. He thinks it’s beautiful, he gets excited watching the weather forecasts, and he enjoys watching the neighborhood kids play in the snow the way he did as a child. His neighbor hates snow, finding it to be cold, wet, and miserable. The point, of course, is that even though they have very different feelings about snow, each of them gets the same amount of snow.
So Susan’s effort to actively search out the beauty even in difficult situations is not only admirable, I think it’s absolutely necessary to our sanity. Particularly in difficult times, it’s easy to see nothing but negatives, and pretty soon the most beautiful sight you’ll see all day is a bottle of bourbon. Which can be a helpful crutch from time to time, but is unhelpful in living a fulfilling life (…although I keep trying).
In the recent thread about the upcoming changes to Ricochet, iWe made a casual comment (which I suspect was more than half-joking) that, as a conservative, he had a natural aversion to change. (This, from an extraordinarily creative entrepreneur who seeks to change an entire industry in his professional life.) This desire for consistency is a common description of conservatism, and has some merit, as many conservatives tend to look askance at new ideas which oppose the wisdom of the ages.
On the other hand, it is leftists who seek limitless centralized power to control change. They apparently think that even the weather should be the same all the time, and that any changes in climate must be stopped. Whereas conservatives accept that allowing individuals to do as they please will lead to countless changes in society which cannot be anticipated, but which are likely to be ok, overall, most of the time.
Leftists consider any snow they did not specifically design to be a dangerous variable to be controlled somehow. While conservatives tend to say, “Hey, it’s just snow,” and perhaps even go play in it from time to time.
There are many reasons leftism is so consistently and extraordinarily destructive, but this is a big one. You can’t control the whole world. But efforts to do so, even though they inevitably fail, are universally catastrophic.
This is why leftists are so offended when confronted with the possibility that things may not be quite as bad as their fellow leftists describe them to be. If things are mostly ok now, and are likely to be mostly ok in the future (despite whatever changes are coming our way), then why are such destructive measures necessary? Why attempt to control a system which is already working? Such thoughts are poison to leftists.
Leftists are generally unhappy, because they must be. If they ever recognize the beauty in life that Susan sought to highlight, then leftism makes no sense whatsoever. So leftists destroy artwork, blindly support the FBI’s stifling power grabs, and criminalize free speech. Remember, they call themselves “liberals.”
Which is why I use the term “leftists” instead of “liberals.” I’m a liberal – I believe in liberty, and I accept what comes from the beautiful chaos which results from it. Leftists fear change, and thus seek total control, which then stifles any growth or beauty that might otherwise have happened spontaneously.
Which is why political violence is a feature of the left. Conservatives don’t need to resort to violence to force people to do whatever they want. But leftists can’t control people’s behavior without at least the threat of violence.
Republicans are known as the party of “no.” Democrats want to put R-rated books about transsexual topics into elementary school libraries, and Republicans say “no.” Increased taxes – no. Limitless regulations – no. Destroying our energy sector – no. And so on.
But Republicans should be the party of beauty. They should follow Susan’s lead, and simply try to convince American voters that life is beautiful. Even the parts of life that we can’t possibly control (which, as it turns out, is essentially all of life). Even those parts are beautiful. Even the stuff that looks scary — that’s beautiful too — even if it scares us initially.
Our inability to understand something does not make it inherently bad. It just means that we struggle to understand. Simple humility converts the scary unknown into the exciting possibilities of opportunities for beauty. Beauty which is not initially obvious, but may become more clear even to us Philistines over time. If we will only get out of the way, and allow it to do so.
I’m not suggesting that man’s every whim is beautiful. Far from it. But I am suggesting that attempting to control everything, all the time, is destructive in ways that are not immediately apparent.
Try to look past the ugliness, and try to find the beautiful, and then everything will be ok. Pretty much. Most of the time.
Because, after all, we all get the same amount of snow.
Published in General
If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you. — Calvin Coolidge
Two thoughts, even about this little bit of the post.
First, this strikes me as a poor analogy. Your analogy is growth. A good gardener doesn’t leave things completely alone, does he? He pulls the weeds, and often prunes the good plants.
Second, the idea that Leftists fear change doesn’t seem to be an accurate description of reality. Leftists love change — the collapse of the family, illegitimacy, divorce, homosexual perversion and sodomy, and now self-mutilation in denial of the reality of our nature as men and women. That’s change. They love this change.
I think that it’s awful. I think that it should have been stopped in its tracks.
I think that it would have been stopped in its tracks, if not for the type of libertarian ideology expressed in your post, Doc.
You’re a doc, Doc. There’s such a thing as cancer, in the body. I think that there are many things that are the social equivalent of cancer. A good doctor doesn’t leave them alone.
This is a very good point.
Rush Limbaugh said that he understood leftists. He said he knew them like the back of his hand.
I don’t. I don’t understand.
This post is an effort to understand their aversion to liberty and chaos. After sitting down, thinking about it, and writing about it, I still don’t understand.
Here’s an honest effort:
I think that some people want others to think like them – leftists decide that trans-sexual birthday cakes are important this afternoon, so they want you to think the same thing.
I think that if you allow me to think as I do, and I allow you to think as you do, then everything will probably be mostly ok, most of the time.
Both world views have their problems, as you point out.
But honestly, I don’t understand. And I don’t pretend to understand.
But it seems clear that leftists fear free speech and independent thought.
And I don’t.
And that seems to be an important distinction.
And humor. Tell as many jokes as you can.
Especially jokes that mock leftists and their loony ideas.
Great post and a great conclusion.
Freedom is hard. Capitalism can be scary and uncertain. But they are both ingredients for prosperity and true happiness.
So snow is beautiful? Not in San Fran. But if I go to Colorado should get ready for it. Will be like neighbor no. 2. At least I will save money in old age. Otherwise right on with this post. To me beautiful is $2.00 a gallon gasoline.
We all do get the same amount of snow. My wife would spend hours just looking through the window. I felt so bad I had to let her in.
I was thinking on the same lines a few days ago. There was an article on Drudge about controlling the weather by making mini-volcanos. They would release sulfur into the atmosphere to reflect the sun’s heat. I’m sure there are no consequences to consider here. After all, if something bad happed they would just blame it on us.
We’re the only side that can.
This is a beautiful post, Dr. And thank you for your kind remarks about my post.
The mistake some people make is that change is necessary, but not all change is good or helpful. We have to be prepared for poor outcomes if we’re trying something new, but we can learn from it. Change should be moral and constructive (see that paradox?) so change only for the sake of change is often counterproductive and hurtful.
But when we initiate change or grow through change, it is probably the only way we do grow. We may have a change in perspective, or belief, or even values. We might try a new hobby, or an exotic food, or a new friendship. If we seek goodness from our efforts and are open to learning, we will grow; if we don’t, we’ll likely fail in one way or another.
Thanks for the thoughtful post, Doc! I think you hit on a key piece of the puzzle (at least for me) that helps explain leftist thought. While Jerry might be right about the left’s seeming penchant for progressive change on the surface, it actually masks their true totalitarian impulses to resist any change to their utopian ideal once it has been reached. Communism bears that out 100%.
The Global Warming phobia was a terrific example of fear of change! Never thought of that one before. It is a great paradox that conservatives like to “conserve” old-fashioned values, but will let people be free, whereas leftists want to change all the old-fashioned values yet they will not tolerate freedom.
I don’t understand it either.
Humor is powerful.
If you have an agenda, you require a crisis.
This seems to me a mistunderstanding of the essential point that Leftists fear any change they do not or cannot control. The pejorations and degradations of society you mention are all changes the Left thinks they can control and they are happy as clams as long as their hands are the ones on the rudder. When a group of parents decides to change the membership of the school board to return sanity to choices of educational materials for teens and pre-teens, well, that change must be fought tooth and nail by the Left. “Change” is a neutral term. We as conservatives should seek restoration, improvement, ennoblement of our public life.
This why Klavan is one of our most effective media figures.
Agree. Babylon Bee too.
From time to time, I’ve complained, mildly of course, that I don’t like rain. Sometimes someone listening would say, “Ah, but the farmers need rain,” or some other equally silly sentiment. I find that odd. Whether I like the rain doesn’t change whether it rains. Claiming that not liking rain can be detrimental to crops is only a half step removed from doing rain“ dances to appease the weather gods.
Thanks Doc. This post, inadvertently, helped me this morning get ready for work, which has just been a back-breaking exercise lately, and a place I no longer want to participate in.
Calvin always helps. My fellow Vermonter.
Yes. Leftists change everything from normal to insane, and do so in such a rapid pace that it’s hard to put the brakes on . . .
I don’t believe the Left is motivated by fear of change. As St. Augustine (of Hippo, not Ricochet) pointed out, all sin is a product of disordered love, not fear. The Left loves power more than anything else. “You will be as gods.” — Satan. It is a psycho-spiritual phenomenon expressed in the darkening of the intellect (shallow thinking — failing to ask “and then what?”) and weakening of the will (lack of self-control which is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit).
There is nothing the Left won’t do for “more power” (Tim Allen), including the murder, mutilation, and sexploitation of children. It has torn out the (Judeo-Christian) moral framework and replaced it with the tyranny of relativism — the denial of objective truth (objectively?). No one and nothing will be spared in the Left’s effort to concentrate power.
Have a nice day.
I’m sure you’ll understand if I can’t click the ‘like’ button on that…
I’m interested to know if you think it’s a true assessment, though.
I think I disagree with this, if I’m getting your meaning right. You can easily be consumed with power and fear change at the same time. They kind of go hand-in-hand. I think pretty much all dictators in history feared change. That’s why they took draconian measures to keep things the way they were.
I agree that there is nothing the Left won’t do for “more power,” but that necessarily means they cannot tolerate dissent or any change from their course. Lust for power may be the prime motivating factor, but there are many other corollary motivations involved, for instance suppression of speech, control of private property, freedom from an almighty creator, abolition of sexual taboos, convenience of killing babies and old folks, etc….
I don’t think anybody fears change. People do fear particular changes or types of changes, though.
Is there any leftist who fears having an increase in his power over others, or his party’s power over others? That would be a change.
Excellent and accurate. The left can only destroy, not create. Destruction is the left’s dopamine. The left has made art ugly.
The left also can’t control the rage monsters that they have created.
I was going to bring that up but you beat me to it! “Change” is such a broad term that it really has to be defined more specifically for the conversation we are having. It would cause just as much confusion if I declared that some group is afraid of “stability” or “uncertainty.” Stability or uncertainty of what?