Conservatives Are Defined by Their Tolerance

 

The increasingly ubiquitous and bitter partisanship in America recently seems very odd to me, partially because I really don’t understand the basic, central difference between leftists and conservatives.  In the Civil War, Democrats and Republicans had obvious and important things they disagreed on, such as slavery and human rights.  Things seem nearly as hostile now – surely we’re not arguing about trans-sexual bathrooms or something – there must be a big topic somewhere, that I’m missing.  I discussed this in the Land of Confusion podcast with Don and David a few weeks ago, and I’ve linked to that portion of the conversation below – it runs for about six minutes.  I hope you’ll listen to it to get my point, but I’ll try to summarize here.

Leftists tend to believe in strong, centralized power structures.  Democrats are the party of big government.  I know that Republican politicians don’t always do a great job opposing the Democrats on this point, but I think a large majority of Republican voters view their ideal government as much smaller and much more constrained than Democrat voters do.  President Obama said that government is the word we use to describe the things we all do together.  Leftists profess to believe in cooperative efforts within communities, and view conservatives as radical individualists who believe in an “every man for himself” society, and say that Republicans lack empathy for others.  I know these stereotypes are just that – stereotypes – but just for the sake of argument, follow along with me here.

What I find interesting about all this is that leftist societies, which ostensibly are based on cooperative effort and collectivism, tend to be violent, tribal societies that eventually tear themselves apart.  While other societies, which are based on respect for individual thought and individual rights, tend to be more peaceful and community-based.  Part of this, of course, is the Marxist tendency to coordinate groups of lower- and middle-class people, who use their superior numbers to take what they want from the wealthy few.  But I think there’s more to it than that.

Societies that respect individual thought and individual rights are by nature more tolerant.  If you want to continue to be permitted to do as you please, you are obligated to allow your neighbor to do as he pleases, or else your rights won’t last long, either.  And if you have sufficient self-respect to actually take your views seriously, then you tend to respect the views of others, even if you disagree.

Whereas if you’re in a more collectivist society, then your identity is less dependent on your individual thoughts, and more dependent on your membership in a group.  By remaining loyal to your group, you gain power.  But only at the cost of conceding some of your rights as an individual.  If you are ok with that, then you are less likely to respect the rights of individuals with whom you disagree.

There are some criticisms of conservatives that I can understand.  But when a leftist criticizes a conservative for being intolerant, I just don’t understand that.  A conservative is, by nature, more tolerant.  He simply has to be, if he wants his rights to be tolerated as well.  I would even argue that if someone really cares what someone else thinks, and seeks to control their behavior, that their intolerance defines them as a leftist.  I’m sure there must be exceptions to that rule, but none leap to mind.

The baker from Colorado (Jack Phillips) has become famous for declining to bake cakes for trans-sexual transitions, or other things that conflict with his Christian faith.  But when he declines such jobs, he very politely gives the prospective customer a list of other bakers in his town who would be happy to help them with their request.

The baker is not telling them what to do with their life – he simply declines to participate.  That, to me, is the definition of a conservative.  I admire him for standing for his beliefs, while allowing others to do the same.

And he is going to lose.  They will keep going after him until they destroy him.  Because they are Democrats, and they are by nature intolerant.  And that’s it.

So societies based on respect for individualism are paradoxically more peaceful and community-minded, while collectivist societies tend to tear themselves apart.

In fact, I’m not even sure that it’s paradoxical.  That’s just the way it is.

If you’re so inclined, listen to my effort to explain this – it’s about 6 minutes long, and I have the video below cued up to that point in the conversation.

I’d be interested to hear your perspective on this idea.

Thanks much.

.

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  1. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Dr. Bastiat:

    So societies based on respect for individualism are paradoxically more peaceful and community-minded, while collectivist societies tend to tear themselves apart.

    Excellent post as usual!

    My derived insights go right along with this.

    Collectivists want everyone to pull together to make the world work (as they see it). Individualists recognize that it’s impossible to get everyone to agree on solutions and have created political mechanisms to best filter and resolve competing interests and views. This is why a person who doesn’t agree with collectivist’s beliefs in given policies, worldview, or remedies, is seen an obstacle who actively prevents a better world from emerging. The only reason we haven’t reached nirvana is because of these people! He is part of the problem. This is what makes them so angry at us.

    When a collectivist disagrees in whole or in part with an individualist,  the individualist is unsurprised and his fundamental hopes and dreams for society remains unthreatened. The disconnect is embedded in fundamental world views. The collectivist is not seen as an obstacle for utopia on Earth because the individualist doesn’t believe such a utopia is achievable. Moreover the individualist knows that coercing people will create more and even bigger problems.

    One side accepts human flaws as they are, knowing human nature is difficult or impossible to change (as well as cruel), and seeks to create a world that best mitigates against such flaws, while the collectivist seeks to eliminate these flaws entirely by force if necessary. And force is always necessary because it goes against our nature. When the plans fail, those in charge have to blame someone, and guess who gets blamed? Their political opponents. Those people who don’t believe in their solutions. Re-education, dispossession and finally murder becomes the only way to eliminate these human flaws.

    • #1
  2. JustmeinAZ Member
    JustmeinAZ
    @JustmeinAZ

    Dr. Bastiat: But when a leftist criticizes a conservative for being intolerant, I just don’t understand that.  A conservative is, by nature, more tolerant.

    Doc

    They don’t want tolerance. They want approval.

    • #2
  3. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Dr. Bastiat: The baker is not telling them what to do with their life – he simply declines to participate.  That, to me, is the definition of a conservative. …

    Unfortunately, the word “conservative” is mostly meaningless these days. (Too many of “us” participated in this by accepting the marketing modifier “compassionate” without embarrassment a couple of decades ago. But I digress.) There is a big difference between the literal brand (i.e. the constitution is our guide) and the big-tent “conservatism” (i.e. that which grew from the efforts of that 1999 marketing department) that is largely populated by self-identifiers that are ignorant of actual conservative principles but can find pictures of Reagan (or similar others) to use as their profile picture. This latter group largely  “joined” under the assumption that they knew they weren’t as bat s#!t crazy as Nancy Pelosi so they must be conservative. The big tent is [built] on a foundation of sand.

    • #3
  4. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I have a quite different perspective, Doc.

    I do not think that conservatives are defined by their tolerance.  Libertarians are defined by their tolerance.  They are not the same thing.

    I have progressed from libertarian in my youth, to quite conservative today.  Perhaps as a result, I tend to view libertarianism as naive and unrealistic.  It’s hard for me to tell, as an objective matter, whether this impression is correct, or whether it is an artifact of my particular political and ideological trajectory.

    As a conservative, I think that traditional values are important, and will collapse unless consciously and intentionally upheld by both law and custom.  The Leftists, to me, seem to be actively trying to tear down traditional values.  The libertarians, to me, seem to believe that traditional values will simply uphold themselves.

    Goldwater, perhaps the closest thing that we’ve had to a libertarian Republican Presidential candidate, said that “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.”  I would dispute this with something like: “toleration of vice, in defense of liberty, is no virtue.”

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

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I have a quite different perspective, Doc.

    I do not think that conservatives are defined by their tolerance. Libertarians are defined by their tolerance. They are not the same thing.

    I have progressed from libertarian in my youth, to quite conservative today. Perhaps as a result, I tend to view libertarianism as naive and unrealistic. It’s hard for me to tell, as an objective matter, whether this impression is correct, or whether it is an artifact of my particular political and ideological trajectory.

    As a conservative, I think that traditional values are important, and will collapse unless consciously and intentionally upheld by both law and custom. The Leftists, to me, seem to be actively trying to tear down traditional values. The libertarians, to me, seem to believe that traditional values will simply uphold themselves.

    Goldwater, perhaps the closest thing that we’ve had to a libertarian Republican Presidential candidate, said that “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.” I would dispute this with something like: “toleration of vice, in defense of liberty, is no virtue.”

    Very good point, Jerry.

    • #5
  6. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    I do not think that conservatives are defined by their tolerance.  Libertarians are defined by their tolerance.  They are not the same thing.

     

    I see what you are saying, but this might be a case where the title is misleading. The content seems more focused on the why and how of tolerance, and not so much “tolerance” per se.

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
      I would dispute this with something like: “toleration of vice, in defense of liberty, is no virtue.”

    Hmmm. I only agree in part. Toleration of vice in defense of liberty, is no virtue – but it’s not supposed to be a virtue, it’s an unfortunate necessity.

     

    • #6
  7. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Franco (View Comment):

     

    I do not think that conservatives are defined by their tolerance. Libertarians are defined by their tolerance. They are not the same thing.

     

    I see what you are saying, but this might be a case where the title is misleading. The content seems more focused on the why and how of tolerance, and not so much “tolerance” per se.

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I would dispute this with something like: “toleration of vice, in defense of liberty, is no virtue.”

    Hmmm. I only agree in part. Toleration of vice in defense of liberty, is no virtue – but it’s not supposed to be a virtue, it’s an unfortunate necessity.

     

    You’re right, Franco.  That’s the sort of thing I’m struggling with here.

    Jerry’s point is valid.  But I really do think that tolerance is an important factor here.  I’m just having a hard time refining my argument.

    I think…

    • #7
  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Doc, following up re #5 above.

    I wonder if part of the problem is the Enlightenment idea that moral and legal rules must be based upon reason.  I don’t think that this is possible, but that is not the point that I want to make on this particular issue.

    I may sound preachy here.  Sorry about that.  I actually hope for some feedback and criticism, which I find helpful in my efforts to develop understanding of complex issues.

    The rationalist approach seeks to found a moral system on “first principles,” or perhaps on a single “first principle.”  I don’t think that there is just one.  There are many core virtues or values, which I think must be accepted on faith.  That faith may be expressed in religious terms (“thus saith the Lord”), or may be expressed in secular terms (“we hold these truths to be self-evident”).  Though, addressing yet another issue, I don’t think that the secular approach will be defensible in the long run.

    So, at the outset, developing a rationalist moral system requires one to posit a variety of virtues or values, which cannot be defended by reason itself.  In addition, a rationalist moral system requires some decision rule when there is a conflict of virtues or values.  Once again, I don’t think that reason would tell us how to choose between different decision rules in such instances.

    For these reasons, I think that the so-called Enlightenment project is bankrupt.  It cannot be done.

    I think, however, that it is difficult for us to accept this reality.  We want a moral system based on reason.  Why?  I suspect that the answer is that we have been taught, or propagandized, to believe that this is the only acceptable way to view the world.  Anyone who disagrees is generally disparaged as “irrational,” or as a “fundamentalist,” or as a “cultural imperialist” or “white supremacist” or “Christian nationalist.”  Or, more to the point, dissenters are disparaged as “intolerant.”

    I do think that tolerance is a virtue.  Within limits.  And liberty is a virtue, within limits.  There are many others — family and sexual values, hard work and diligence, obedience to the law, respect for authority, confidence in the traditional ways of our society.  All of these are virtues.  Within limits.

    Balancing all of these competing values and virtues is, I think, beyond the capacity of any of us.  Even the supra-geniuses. 

    But within the Enlightenment paradigm, there is a constant need to justify any moral belief or position.  We are unable to do so.  As a result, I think that we tend to adopt ad-hoc positions, and to justify them based on simplified arguments, often appealing to one or two virtues or values.  I think that Jonah Goldberg had a good point when he called this the “tyranny of cliches,” though it doesn’t seem to have stopped him from attempting the same thing himself.

    • #8
  9. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    [Cont’d]

    I am finding myself increasingly contrarian and cantankerous, both here at Ricochet and elsewhere.  I’m sorry for any annoyance that this has caused.  My own view of things has been changing — and progressing, I hope — over the past couple of years, and you all are quite important to me as both a forum to present ideas, and as a check on excesses or errors.

    So one of the ways in which I’m becoming rather obnoxious, I fear, is exemplified by my original comment to this post.  Doc says that conservatives are defined by their tolerance.  And I respond that no, they’re not.  Someone else says that America is all about liberty.  And I respond that no, it’s not.

    I’m not arguing that tolerance is unimportant, or that liberty is unimportant.  My point is that these values are not the only ones, and that they can only be applied properly within limits.  Defining those limits is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

    I think that this approach has reinforced my conservatism.  This may be a temperamental thing, in part, guided by the principle that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  If something is working pretty well, we should be very, very hesitant to make changes which might have unintended consequences.

    Sorry to go on at such length.  One of my personality flaws seems to be an inability to stop myself from running off at the mouth or, in this case, the keyboard.  :)

    • #9
  10. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    philo (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: The baker is not telling them what to do with their life – he simply declines to participate. That, to me, is the definition of a conservative. …

    Unfortunately, the word “conservative” is mostly meaningless these days. (Too many of “us” participated in this by accepting the marketing modifier “compassionate” without embarrassment a couple of decades ago. But I digress.) There is a big difference between the literal brand (i.e. the constitution is our guide) and the big-tent “conservatism” (i.e. that which grew from the efforts of that 1999 marketing department) that is largely populated by self-identifiers that are ignorant of actual conservative principles but can find pictures of Reagan (or similar others) to use as their profile picture. This latter group largely “joined” under the assumption that they knew they weren’t as bat s#!t crazy as Nancy Pelosi so they must be conservative. The big tent is build on a foundation of sand.

    I have begun using the name Constitutional Conservative to describe true conservatives, or at least the conservatives that I think have modern value.

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

    If there was a leftist site with this type of conversation, I’d read it.

    I can’t find one.

    I wonder why that is.

    To support my original post, I might argue that leftists can’t discuss ideas so intensely (yet amicably), because they are intolerant of any dissent from their current ideas dogma.

    But I really don’t know why… 

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

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    Sorry to go on at such length.  One of my personality flaws seems to be an inability to stop myself from running off at the mouth or, in this case, the keyboard. 

    Brilliant stuff, Jerry.  Thanks.

    • #12
  13. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    To support my original post, I might argue that leftists can’t discuss ideas so intensely (yet amicably), because they are intolerant of any dissent from their current ideas dogma.

    But I really don’t know why… 

    They’ve never heard the counter arguments before, and it scares and confuses them. They have been told that anyone that disagrees is a racist/misogynist/homophobe,

    • #13
  14. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    [Cont’d]

    I am finding myself increasingly contrarian and cantankerous, both here at Ricochet and elsewhere. I’m sorry for any annoyance that this has caused. My own view of things has been changing — and progressing, I hope — over the past couple of years, and you all are quite important to me as both a forum to present ideas, and as a check on excesses or errors.

    So one of the ways in which I’m becoming rather obnoxious, I fear, is exemplified by my original comment to this post. Doc says that conservatives are defined by their tolerance. And I respond that no, they’re not. Someone else says that America is all about liberty. And I respond that no, it’s not.

    I’m not arguing that tolerance is unimportant, or that liberty is unimportant. My point is that these values are not the only ones, and that they can only be applied properly within limits. Defining those limits is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

    I think that this approach has reinforced my conservatism. This may be a temperamental thing, in part, guided by the principle that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If something is working pretty well, we should be very, very hesitant to make changes which might have unintended consequences.

    Sorry to go on at such length. One of my personality flaws seems to be an inability to stop myself from running off at the mouth or, in this case, the keyboard. :)

    I appreciate everything that you wrote here.

    • #14
  15. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Percival (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    To support my original post, I might argue that leftists can’t discuss ideas so intensely (yet amicably), because they are intolerant of any dissent from their current ideas dogma.

    But I really don’t know why…

    They’ve never heard the counter arguments before, and it scares and confuses them. They have been told that anyone that disagrees is a racist/misogynist/homophobe,

    Right.  They’re intolerant.

    • #15
  16. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Sorry to go on at such length. One of my personality flaws seems to be an inability to stop myself from running off at the mouth or, in this case, the keyboard. :)

    I appreciate everything that you wrote here

    Seconded.

    • #16
  17. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Percival (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    To support my original post, I might argue that leftists can’t discuss ideas so intensely (yet amicably), because they are intolerant of any dissent from their current ideas dogma.

    But I really don’t know why…

    They’ve never heard the counter arguments before, and it scares and confuses them. They have been told that anyone that disagrees is a racist/misogynist/homophobe,

    Yes.

    It’s a cult. I’ve been in, and studied cults. There are many types of cults, some more damaging than others. They aren’t always religious, although they are certainly belief systems.  Leftism is a belief system , whereas cult implies something distant from mainstream. But when mainstream is insane, it’s still a cult and exhibits cult-like behaviors.

    Quite amazingly this is an outer manifestation of our basic inner psychology.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society -Krishnamurti

    They are attending the Church of mainstream media and the High Church of academia. They must get continual validation, either of their own doing, or through outside encouragement and mutual admiration. There’s a currency of reciprocal validation and we see it playing out on social media.

    Because it is fundamentally a belief system and quite un-scientific, they must fortify themselves and  bolster each other and demonize outside ideas that call the central tenets into question. When your belief system involves others being bad actors,  there is a problem. When your belief system depends on others being worse than you and therefore you are a ‘good’ person because you are not like them, that’s a red flag.

    Forgive me if it sounds like I’m disparaging your beliefs but it’s like trying to argue with a Catholic theologian when he says that the Pope is infallible, or a Muslim who is sure his religion is the only one (I learned that as an alter boy, we felt sorry for the Protestant girl who would never get to heaven  – seriously!) or the Multi level marketing scheme that has pretty much hacked the cult techniques, more begin than Scientology, but still… Or trying to convince your 13 year old nephew that Professional Wrestling is fake. Try convincing an atheist there is indeed a God. It works both ways. 

    The key take-away is that these people want to believe these things, and you are interfering with their revelry bliss, and very identity as a smart, virtuous compassionate human being by presenting evidence that their whole raison d’etre is fiction.

     

    • #17
  18. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    Dr. Bastiat: President Obama said that government is the word we use to describe the things we all do together. 

    • #18
  19. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I have a quite different perspective, Doc.

    Stop the presses. ;)

    I do not think that conservatives are defined by their tolerance. Libertarians are defined by their tolerance. They are not the same thing.

    I suppose it depends on what the conservative is conserving. If the conservative is trying to conserve a political tradition founded on a concept of self-determination, limited government, protected rights, free markets, free speech, and freedom of conscience, then I think it’s fair to say that such a conservative is necessarily a champion of tolerance. And I think American conservatives, however imperfectly, are attempting to conserve those things.

    • #19
  20. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Individualism does not produce unified societies. Respect for individual free will and individual responsibility, among other values, within a Christian moral framework can produce unified societies. 

    Rugged individualism is just one of many shared values that defined American culture, proceeding from the similar framework of British culture. 20th-century success stories of free nations around the world are derivative of a bare handful of Christian-West cultures that seeded them (which is neither to dismiss exceptions nor pretend that Christianity or Greco-Roman heritage is absolutely determinative). 

    What defines the left has always been madness. Robespierre was surprised when the mob he fostered finally led him to the guillotine. Likewise, leftist leaders always guide their followers to ruin with promises of utopia.

    For unity, they divide and demonize. For equality, they make preferential laws. For rights of just possession, they steal. For truth, they eliminate impartial science and history. For security, they terrorize. For peace, the slaughter never ends. They decorate with brutal ugliness and call greatest of form that which is formless.  

    As you say, Democrats are the party of big government. On the left, there are those who idolize government as the solution to all problems and then the chaotic mobs that are useful to the power-hungry. In either case, they move blindly. 

    Left and right lack common ground because we do not see the same world. Common action without common understanding is at best haphazard. There is no way to live in unity without basic agreements about who and what we are as human beings… let alone who we are as Americans. 

    • #20
  21. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Franco (View Comment):
    The key take-away is that these people want to believe these things, and you are interfering with their revelry bliss, and very identity as a smart, virtuous compassionate human being by presenting evidence that their whole raison d’etre is fiction.

    It’s interesting to consider the interplay between actresses and Method actors reinterpretation of “truth”, cultish belief, and their reaction to cognitive dissonance leading to psychological projection.

    • #21
  22. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Franco (View Comment):
    When your belief system depends on others being worse than you and therefore you are a ‘good’ person because you are not like them, that’s a red flag.

    To us, but not to them.  To them, it’s more proof that they’re right, and even better than us.

    • #22
  23. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    [Cont’d]

    I am finding myself increasingly contrarian and cantankerous, both here at Ricochet and elsewhere. I’m sorry for any annoyance that this has caused. My own view of things has been changing — and progressing, I hope — over the past couple of years, and you all are quite important to me as both a forum to present ideas, and as a check on excesses or errors.

    So one of the ways in which I’m becoming rather obnoxious, I fear, is exemplified by my original comment to this post. Doc says that conservatives are defined by their tolerance. And I respond that no, they’re not. Someone else says that America is all about liberty. And I respond that no, it’s not.

    I’m not arguing that tolerance is unimportant, or that liberty is unimportant. My point is that these values are not the only ones, and that they can only be applied properly within limits. Defining those limits is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

    I think that this approach has reinforced my conservatism. This may be a temperamental thing, in part, guided by the principle that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If something is working pretty well, we should be very, very hesitant to make changes which might have unintended consequences.

    Sorry to go on at such length. One of my personality flaws seems to be an inability to stop myself from running off at the mouth or, in this case, the keyboard. :)

    Hmm, sounds like another case of “The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are filled with doubt.”

    • #23
  24. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    kedavis (View Comment):
    Hmm, sounds like another case of “The fundamental cause of the trouble in the modern world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are filled with doubt.”

    I’m not sure about that…

    • #24
  25. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    Complex subject that inspired three possibly unconnected thoughts. 

    1)  I think the terms were “liberal democracy” and “cultural democracy”. Back when NR was worth reading, there was a long article claiming that the last battle was between those two ideas. Further claim was that in every representative democracy except the United States the battle was over and cultural democracy had won. 

    2)  Collectivists are always ticked off about something. I worked with a few and asked one of them why. He always had a negative take on everything. His answer to my question was, “We have the power to make this a Utopia, but we are too selfish to do it.” He is, of course, a fool, but at least I got an honest answer. There is no reason in what passes for his mind to be respectful of selfish people who deprive him of his Utopia. Tell him that “Utopia” means nowhere and you’d get a blank, somewhat angry, stare.

    3)  I think it was that French guy or maybe Dickens who said the response to his question asked of a worker, “My good man, where is your master?” was “The son-of-a-b***h ain’t been born yet.” Similar to the fictional Kerr Avon’s response when asked if he had accepted Blake as his leader. “No. I shall continue to follow for a while longer. It’s not quite the same thing.”

    I wish I had the patience and insight to work these thoughts together, but I don’t, so this will have to do. 

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Django (View Comment):
    I think the terms were “liberal democracy” and “cultural democracy”. Back when NR was worth reading, there was a long article claiming that the last battle was between those two ideas. Further claim was that in every representative democracy except the United States the battle was over and cultural democracy had won. 

    Did they ever define what they meant by those two terms?

    • #26
  27. Eustace C. Scrubb Member
    Eustace C. Scrubb
    @EustaceCScrubb

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: But when a leftist criticizes a conservative for being intolerant, I just don’t understand that. A conservative is, by nature, more tolerant.

    Doc

    They don’t want tolerance. They want approval.

    They want more than approval. They want celebration.

    • #27
  28. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Eustace C. Scrubb (View Comment):

    JustmeinAZ (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: But when a leftist criticizes a conservative for being intolerant, I just don’t understand that. A conservative is, by nature, more tolerant.

    Doc

    They don’t want tolerance. They want approval.

    They want more than approval. They want celebration.

    And no matter how much celebration you do, it’s not ENOUGH celebration.

    • #28
  29. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):
    I think the terms were “liberal democracy” and “cultural democracy”. Back when NR was worth reading, there was a long article claiming that the last battle was between those two ideas. Further claim was that in every representative democracy except the United States the battle was over and cultural democracy had won.

    Did they ever define what they meant by those two terms?

    Yes, but it’s been so long I’m not sure I could repeat their definitions exactly. I’m sure only about the main difference. Liberal democracy values the individual. Cultural democracy values individuals only as members of specific cultural groups. In a liberal democracy the concern is whether individual rights and individual votes are protected. Cultural democracy seems more concerned with the rights of groups. 

    I’ve probably mucked it up and I wish I had access to the original article. duckduckgo has been no help in tracking it down. 

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  30. navyjag Lincoln
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Another one out of the park Dr. B. You are almost at the Paul Rahe- Victor Davis Hanson level.  And disagree with Jerry about conservative thinking. Just two thoughts.  Why are the 1% Goldman Sachs, Bezos/Zuckerberg types behind the agitation since whey will eventually be devoured? Just staving it off for a few years, I guess. Do not agree about the Colorado baker. I think he will win in the end. Many conservative lawyers will be fighting for this guy. 

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