Open thread, July 29-August 4, 2013

Warning: politics, etc., etc.

What do conservative political traditions squabble over?

My upbringing and social circles are moderately left-wing. There's a well-observed failure mode in these circles, not entirely dissimilar to what's discussed in Why Our Kind Can't Cooperate, where participants sabotage cooperation by going out of their way to find things to disagree about, presumably for moral posturing and virtue-signalling reasons.

In recent years I have become fairly sceptical of intrinsic differences between political groups, which leads me to my openi... (read more)

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At least in the US since the 60's, another way to divide conservatives has been in the party's three big issues: economic classical liberalism, social conservatism, and foreign-policy neo-conservatism. The moderate, short-term goals of these groups are sometimes in alignment, but their desired end-states look very different:

  • Neo-conservatives want a big military and an aggressive foreign policy, whereas classical liberals hate war and want to shrink the military, along with the rest of the government; and religious conservatives (generally- the prevalence

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0Alejandro17yAt the most basic level, the definitions are that the right wing wants to keep things as they are and the left wing wants to change them. There is one way to do the first, and innumerable to do the second. This probably accounts for a large part of the effect you observe. (There are of course, many exceptions to the given definition; for example, conservatives wanting to eliminate government programs that are currently part of the status quo. But in this case, they are likely to frame this as a return to a previous state when they didn't exist, which is still a well-defined Schelling point. Right-wingers that do not fit this categorization, such as extreme libertarians calling for a minimal state that has never existed, are known to squabble among them as much as left-wingers.)
4Lumifer7yThe left-to-right political axis is a very poor tool for looking at political goal/values/theories/opinions/etc. First, to even talk about it you need to specify at least the locality. "Left" (or, say, "liberal") in the US means something different from what "left" (or "liberal") means in Europe. I'd wager it means something different yet in China, Russia, India... Second, one dimension is clearly inadequate for political analysis. For example consider a very important (IMHO) concept in politics: statism. Is the American left statist? Well, kinda. They are statist economically but not culturally. Is the American right statist? Well, kinda. They are statist morally but not economically. I'm, of course, speaking in crude generalizations here.

Open thread, July 29-August 4, 2013

by David_Gerard 1 min read29th Jul 2013390 comments

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If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.

Of course, for "every Monday", the last one should have been dated July 22-28. *cough*