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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
Finding goodness in things, affirmation and acceptance are hideous traps that could lead to prayer and otherwise undercut the goal of empowerment. Dissatisfaction with society, biology and the weather is a necessary pre-req to claiming that creation of a central power to impose a better reality is needed.
A few corrections:
A good gardener tends to his garden but doesn’t control it. He understands he can’t control the weather but must adapt and react to it. When the gardener tries to smother the plants with care, he over-waters and over fertilizes plants, harming them. When the gardener tries to create his own ideas of living space rather than follow years of acquired knowledge of gardening, all plants will not live and thrive. Some will be deprived of space, sun, and nourishment. Good gardening isn’t an example of control.
The change the lefties want is a change away from small government to a large, controlling one, from capitalism to socialism, from Christianity to atheism, from our founding principles to Marxism. The changes you listed aren’t changes as much as they are the tools to destroy the Judeo-Christian Western culture and bring about their progressive utopia.
Doc’s ideology isn’t what allowed the changes to happen. All facets of conservatism share in the guilt. Even Democrats share in the guilt for letting the left take over their party. The progressives have been at this since at least 1898. Trump pushed back. It wasn’t just libertarians who stabbed him in the back.
The rise of secularism tore down the last bulwark against Marxism and the progressive assault on our way of life. Education has been degraded and now produces the left’s cultural warriors. This wasn’t sudden. Scholars have traced the decline back to Dewey.
The change the left fears isn’t really change but a return to what was there before, to a return to our founding principles and beliefs.
The motive is the accumulation and retention of power. It makes sense that a tyrant who achieves tyranny does not wish to give it up, but I’d still call it love of (lust for) power, not fear.
These are means, not motives. The motive is still concentration of power.
The Left has made people ugly. I could go contentedly every day for the rest of my life without seeing a nose ring in someone. . .
You’re right, Steve, but from my work in this area, I’ve found that almost everyone is afraid of the outcome from the change. Even if I decide to change my hair style, what if the stylist cuts it too short? Or I don’t like the way it came out. Yes, I understand that ultimately it will grow out so what’s the big deal? Say you change an ingredient in a favorite recipe, or add more or less of it, you may feel certain that the dish will be enhanced–but what about your spouse? So I stand by my umpteen years of experience that it’s the outcomes that can be difficult, not the change.
Leftists pretend to be humanists when, in fact, all of what they do is against the human race. I often wonder why they hate themselves so much. In the leftist view, everything takes precedence over the human species, whether it be lower forms of mammals or larger entities such as our planet. I love our planet, but if not for the fact that Earth is the home of the human species, it may as well be just another rock floating in the universe. Conservatism has a certain amount of cheerful contentedness about it that generally makes people happier.
Just for the rest of us. They intend to have it all for themselves.
I’m struggling with a case of the blues. I will take your advice and try to focus on the beauty of life, instead of, well, all the garbage. Maybe it will help.
It takes a certain commitment to the goal to work. I try to notice what triggers my blues–and then I have my “go-to” pleasures: my orchids, sunshine, smiling at folks at the gym, making fun of myself. Sometimes sending a cheerful email to a friend (with the determination to make it cheerful!) helps. It’s like building good habits or body strength: repetition and commitment. Sounds dull, but the rewards are great!
Exactly. In most cases, the revolutionaries get eaten by their own revolution . . .