The Rational Liberal

Liberal (progressives?) as compared to conservatives have some social features which are readily evident. As compared to conservatives they much less willing pull together to work for a common goal, less respectful of law and order and those officers who enforce that, as well as a smaller connection to traditional family structures. Additionally they have weaker or more abstracted ties to traditional religious beliefs. Contrast behavior of the two anti-government movements (Tea Party/Occupy X Street) and their respective treatments of law enforcement and property.

In the recent political discourse regarding government spending over healthcare and more generically what roles government should take and to what extent in civic life, liberal tend to favor more centralized and stronger government institutions. Taking the above differences into account, one might argue that the desire for these structures to be taken by government is a rational choice (except the dislike/distrust of police perhaps). If you don’t have family to lean on as you get older, you’ll want the government to be ready to step in to that role for example. My point is that having made the decision that those behaviors are requried, it is rational to want a more socialized government with stronger social support.

What is not as rational is the initial step, i.e., that the failure to pull together for communal efforts as an example is laudable or a virtue. Specifically, it seems that while having made the decision to be liberal the requirements noted above follow. What doesn’t follow is that being liberal in this sense is in any way shape or form a good idea, i.e., rational.

In fact, none of those difference highlighted above are very good. Taken together they make the case that Mr Habermas tries to make in his debate with Cardinal Ratzinger very difficult. Their debate centered around the question of whether liberal secular democratic society contain the institutional and societal cohesion to sustain itself. Without the ability to organize, without strong family and so on, …  can it survive. Police forces are primarily staffed by conservatives, for reasons noted above. Can a society which is almost all secular liberals … staff a police force? Who within that society would make the personal sacrifices to take on those sorts of jobs? Why? What motivates the person to put life and limb on the line on a daily basis for mediocre renumeration within the context of the liberal worldview? Review the individuals taking part in the various “Sitting” protests today. What percentage of these young people will be future policemen and women? How close is that percentage to zero? How about joining the Armed services to defend his/her country?

Just askin.

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15 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    Ohhh, we don’t. NYC that almost always votes liberal democrat has 500 police officers. Canada does ’em one better, they just have one cop. Granted he commands a lot of respect with the mountie hat and horse and all. France and Germany, they share a cop but he’s bilingual so he puts on a good show. Criminals in those countries follow an alternatiing schedule…crime is allowed in Germany on even days, in France on odd.

    Now can you tell us how conservatives manage to write blogs without a functioning brain stem?

  2. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Now can you tell us how conservatives manage to write blogs without a functioning brain stem?

    You know, when you make comments like that, you need to really make sure your response was halfway intelligent. New York has no conservatives apparently, nor people of faith. No churches at all? France? The land of the burning cars is non-religious? Ms Delsol famous French conservative philosopher is a mirage?

    Let’s see, which liberal groups sent busloads of people to New Orleans to help in the recovery? The point is, which you are ignoring, is that there were none. Liberals instead rely on the government, which is in turn why they rationally choose to wish that government would be there for them. The problem is, it isn’t rational to choose to live in such a way that you wouldn’t absent government force to be in groups which send busloads of people to New Orleans to help.

  3. Boonton says:

    Considering what it is, the occupy Wall Street movement has been very peaceful and very cooporative. They have volunteer committes to clean the restrooms of nearby businesses that are getting a lot of traffic from protesters who have to use their facilities, the LA groups have gone out of their way to praise the LAPD for their professionalism (and its not like the LAPD is usually among the most favored police forces for liberal groups). Yes there have been some arrests and some confrontations but we are talking about tens of thousands of people who’ve been doing this nonstop for weeks now.

    Note how most Tea Party rallies typically only last a few hours and even that’s too long a time for them to avoid degrading their movement with their racist and Obama=Hitler signs.

  4. As compared to conservatives they much less willing pull together to work for a common goal, less respectful of law and order and those officers who enforce that, as well as a smaller connection to traditional family structures. Additionally they have weaker or more abstracted ties to traditional religious beliefs.

    You do not understand liberals and your thinking is sloppy.

    Liberals are quite willing to pull together to work for a common goal. It’s happened many times, from the civil-rights protests to the Vietnam protests to Habitat for Humanity to more non-profit organizations than you can count.

    We are no less respectful of law and order than you are, we just aren’t mindlessly respectful. To paraphrase a quote about religion, liberal morality is doing what’s right rather than what your told, while conservative morality is doing what you’re told regardless of what’s right.

    Liberals are somewhat less religious and much less traditionally religious, but that is a feature, not a bug.

    If you don’t have family to lean on as you get older, you’ll want the government to be ready to step in to that role for example.

    Or if you’re not so completely self-absorbed so as to recognize that other people do not have family to lean on or that their families themselves are struggling, you’ll want the government to be ready to step in.

    What is not as rational is the initial step, i.e., that the failure to pull together for communal efforts as an example is laudable or a virtue.

    Straw man. Nobody considers that laudable or a virtue. The difference between conservatives/libertarians and liberals is that c/vs like to pretend that we all live in Andy Griffith’s Mayberry while liberals live in reality.

    Can a society which is almost all secular liberals … staff a police force? Who within that society would make the personal sacrifices to take on those sorts of jobs?

    As Boonton pointed out, secular liberal countries have police forces (and much lower crime!) so you’re full of shit. Also, your insinuation that liberals are unwilling to make personal sacrifices is disgusting and false.

    What motivates the person to put life and limb on the line on a daily basis for mediocre renumeration within the context of the liberal worldview? Review the individuals taking part in the various “Sitting” protests today. What percentage of these young people will be future policemen and women? How close is that percentage to zero? How about joining the Armed services to defend his/her country?

    You do not understand why liberals are underrepresented in police and the armed forces and you are incorrectly assuming the worst. Are you completely ignorant of history? Are you not aware that for at least two generations the military has been used much more for offense and stupidity than for defense? Are you not aware that the police have been used in large part for the downright evil “war on drugs?” These are things that liberals tend to have serious moral issues with.

    We’re also less likely to fetishize violence and weapons and the conservative caricature of “manliness” that causes so many young men to join those professions.

    As for the self-sacrifice issues, you’ll find liberals sacrificing income to do things like become teachers or social workers or religious workers or scientists everywhere you look. Conservatives may join the army to fight some vastly overblown threat, but it’s generally liberals who are fighting the incomprehensibly bigger threats of cancer, HIV, etc. etc. Conservatives aren’t doing what will help the most people, they’re doing what lets them feel like “real men” so that they can make noises like Tim Allen and convince themselves that they’re special.

  5. Mark says:

    JA,

    Liberals are quite willing to pull together to work for a common goal. It’s happened many times, from the civil-rights protests to the Vietnam protests to Habitat for Humanity to more non-profit organizations than you can count.

    You do realize that you were the one that admitted the opposite. Again, was not New Orleans relief a worthy goal? Apparently not. Remember, that you were the one that pointed out that liberals are not as good at charity and organizing for charitable causes. Here you deny it, when it is pointed out. That’s a problem not for me, but for you to realign your conflicting statements.

    We are no less respectful of law and order than you are, we just aren’t mindlessly respectful.

    Never never again refer to yourself as the “reality” based party or group. You are far less respectful. Just this week we got treated to photos of an “Occupy” individual defecating on a police car. I missed the pictures were the rest of the “Occupy” beat the crap out of him and cleaned up the mess with his pants.

    The difference between conservatives/libertarians and liberals is that c/vs like to pretend that we all live in Andy Griffith’s Mayberry while liberals live in reality.

    Remind me which parts of the country still don’t lock there doors at night or leave keys in their cars when parked?

    You do not understand why liberals are underrepresented in police and the armed forces and you are incorrectly assuming the worst.

    You do realize that when you are ordered to “take that hill” or “hold that position” you do so not knowing the reason why you are laying down your life.

    As for the self-sacrifice issues, you’ll find liberals sacrificing income to do things like become teachers or social workers or religious workers or scientists everywhere you look.

    Teachers and scientists put their lives on the line on a daily basis? That’s laughable. And if you didn’t know from experience, actual real live scientists don’t see their career choice as a sacrifice.

    Conservatives aren’t doing what will help the most people, they’re doing what lets them feel like “real men” so that they can make noises like Tim Allen and convince themselves that they’re special.

    Proving yet again that liberals have no idea what they are talking about. You of course have talked to dozens, nay, hundreds of soldiers about their motivations. This is well in line with the thinking that they join the service ’cause they can’t get a job elsewhere.

    We’re also less likely to fetishize violence and weapons and the conservative caricature of “manliness” that causes so many young men to join those professions.

    This isn’t just a straw man, it’s categorically false. See my first remark, “Reality” label now permanently revoked?

    Or if you’re not so completely self-absorbed so as to recognize that other people do not have family to lean on or that their families themselves are struggling, you’ll want the government to be ready to step in.

    Here in this “universe” we discovered quite some time ago that spontaneous generation is not possible. People with no parents are children remaining alive are quite rare compared to those who have extant living relatives. Yet apparently the state needs not to provide a safety net for this half/tenth percent but instead must do so for all of us? That’s criminally stupid thinking.

  6. You do realize that you were the one that admitted the opposite.

    Cite please. I’m sure this is an example of your atrocious reading comprehension.

    Again, was not New Orleans relief a worthy goal? Apparently not.

    No liberals contributed to New Orleans relief??? WTF?

    Just this week we got treated to photos of an “Occupy” individual defecating on a police car. I missed the pictures were the rest of the “Occupy” beat the crap out of him and cleaned up the mess with his pants.

    So 1 individual represents an entire movement?? And the lack of vigilante justice proves that we DON’T respect law and order??

    Remind me which parts of the country still don’t lock there doors at night or leave keys in their cars when parked?

    Huh?

    You do realize that when you are ordered to “take that hill” or “hold that position” you do so not knowing the reason why you are laying down your life.

    No, but if you know the odds are the whole operation is stupid or immoral then you don’t put yourself in that position in the first place.

    Teachers and scientists put their lives on the line on a daily basis? That’s laughable.

    Reading comprehension, Mark.

    And if you didn’t know from experience, actual real live scientists don’t see their career choice as a sacrifice.

    I’m not sure what goalposts you’re trying to shift here, but It’s obviously a sacrifice of income, which is what I said it is. Clearly they get a sense of purpose because they’re helping humanity in response, which was kind of my point.

    Proving yet again that liberals have no idea what they are talking about. You of course have talked to dozens, nay, hundreds of soldiers about their motivations. This is well in line with the thinking that they join the service ’cause they can’t get a job elsewhere.

    I’ve probably talked to more than you have, smart guy.

    Here in this “universe” we discovered quite some time ago that spontaneous generation is not possible. People with no parents are children remaining alive are quite rare compared to those who have extant living relatives. Yet apparently the state needs not to provide a safety net for this half/tenth percent but instead must do so for all of us? That’s criminally stupid thinking.

    A safety net by definition is only for those who need it.

  7. Mark says:

    JA,

    No liberals contributed to New Orleans relief??? WTF?

    Cite please the busloads of secular liberals going down to clean up.

    So 1 individual represents an entire movement?? And the lack of vigilante justice proves that we DON’T respect law and order??

    Either that guy really gets around because they are many reports of similar acts (and similar acts inside local establishment restrooms where defecation inside toilet seats is apparently not “the thing” to do in those crowds). OK. Don’t “beat him up” … restrain him for the return of the officer.

    Reading comprehension, Mark.

    Right back at you. When I cited police officers the sentence in the above essay salary was not the sole criteria What motivates the person to put life and limb on the line on a daily basis for mediocre renumeration was the exact phrase. You came back with “teachers or social workers or religious workers or scientists” who at best sacrifice salary. It’s your comprehension lacking as you just decided to drop the life and limb part and daily danger as unimportant. As I noted, scientists aren’t sacrificing. I spent 6 years in grad school. Publish or perish is not a life lived as sacrifice to society. It’s the quest for knowledge and for that matter fame in a highly selective circle. My judgment from living the life for that 6 years was that it (a) wasn’t felt as sacrifice and (b) certainly wasn’t for some altruistic notion of doing so for the Nation or even humanity at large.

    A safety net by definition is only for those who need it.

    So we all have Social Security and Medicare … why? SS payments are regulated based on proving need? Reality based … not by a long shot dude.

    Regarding differences in treatment of law an order and the police in particular, google a bit for the treatment of cops at the respective Dem vs GOP conventions by the convention attendees. Defend that difference w.r.t. your claim that liberal respect law and order as much or more.

    No, but if you know the odds are the whole operation is stupid or immoral then you don’t put yourself in that position in the first place.

    Wow. So, if your “operation” is judged by you to be stupid then you refuse the order to go? And when the heck is defend hill 464 an immoral order? Have you never heard of Bastogne or Guadalcanal? Do you realize that there are countless other times when the order to hold was given and it didn’t work out quite as well strategically. Is the order to hold moral only if, with 20/20 hindsight, it is seen to be for a working strategy?

  8. Mark says:

    JA,
    I’m not really good at web/time traveling. From two posts in this period, it seems that there was a well received study (Pew) about charity and liberals vs conservatives at least to references were made to it, but we hadn’t discussed it in detail. Reading between the line there was a implicit assumption that the highly religious groups gave more in charity than the (wealthier) non-religous demographic sectors.

    Here is one of your remarks in which you admit that atheists (and liberals) are “a little worse at charity.” Another tack you took is that conservative religious groups “require” it (note: they don’t … encourage != require).

    Your comment:

    Besides all the made-up God stuff, can you think of any ways that atheists are less moral than theists? We might be a little worse at charity, statistically speaking, but that’s all I can think of. We don’t go around beating ourselves up not living up to a stone-age view of morality, so we’re arrogant or less moral? Please. We’re no more likely (and probably less likely) to “sin” against our fellow man than theists are, and we don’t need to fast to accomplish that.

    Are you less moral or more arrogant than the theists of old who fasted for days at a time and self-flagellated? Where’s your hair-shirt?

    Boy my reply was confusing. I am less moral than the theists of old to whom I refered, e.g., Maximus the Confessor.

  9. Cite please the busloads of secular liberals going down to clean up.

    Oh, now we’re just talking about secular liberals? Why the goalpost shift? Anyway, you’re the one who made the inflammatory slander, you back it up. Okay, fine, I’ll spend FIVE SECONDS on google and find an example: Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers (AA&F). Care to apologize?

    So we all have Social Security and Medicare … why? SS payments are regulated based on proving need? Reality based … not by a long shot dude.

    It’s exhausting to keep changing topics, man. You said safety net first.

    Wow. So, if your “operation” is judged by you to be stupid then you refuse the order to go? And when the heck is defend hill 464 an immoral order? Have you never heard of Bastogne or Guadalcanal? Do you realize that there are countless other times when the order to hold was given and it didn’t work out quite as well strategically. Is the order to hold moral only if, with 20/20 hindsight, it is seen to be for a working strategy?

    I was referring to not joining the military in the first place, not disobeying specific orders to take hills.

    Besides all the made-up God stuff, can you think of any ways that atheists are less moral than theists? We might be a little worse at charity, statistically speaking, but that’s all I can think of. We don’t go around beating ourselves up not living up to a stone-age view of morality, so we’re arrogant or less moral? Please. We’re no more likely (and probably less likely) to “sin” against our fellow man than theists are, and we don’t need to fast to accomplish that.

    Yeah, a slight statistical correlation about ATHEISTS according to some studies, not “liberals.” You were basically saying “liberals” give NO charity and make NO sacrifices.

  10. Boonton says:

    Just this week we got treated to photos of an “Occupy” individual defecating on a police car.

    So we are now allowed to judge the Tea Party by the actions of any single individual.

    Thanks, that helps us quite a bit 🙂

  11. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    As pointed out this occurred to quite a number of police cars. One individual got captured photographically in the act. However, he’s quite the performer if all those cars were all vandalized by him.

  12. Mark says:

    JA,

    Yeah, a slight statistical correlation about ATHEISTS according to some studies, not “liberals.” You were basically saying “liberals” give NO charity and make NO sacrifices.

    No, not “no” but far less … which is why the feel that government is the solution. The question dials down to the Habermas/Ratzinger debate. Which I have returned to as you might note.

  13. Boonton says:

    As pointed out this occurred to quite a number of police cars. One individual got captured photographically in the act

    I guess there were lots of arrests….or did the cops park their police cars in the middle of the protests and go elsewhere leaving them to be vandalized while they weren’t looking?

    Again judge not least your Tea Party friends get judged by the same standards. Your flury of ancedotes does not refute the fact that the protests have been remarkably peacefull overall and have had a high level of shared sacrifice AND mutual cooporation both between protestors and with people impacted by them.

  14. No, not “no” but far less … which is why the feel that government is the solution. The question dials down to the Habermas/Ratzinger debate. Which I have returned to as you might note.

    Citation needed for “far less.” But the bigger point is regardless of how much people give to charity, it hasn’t been enough to ensure that everybody gets (e.g.) adequate health care. If it were enough, we wouldn’t be having this discussion because there would be no need for it.

  15. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Your flury of ancedotes does not refute the fact that the protests have been remarkably peacefull overall and have had a high level of shared sacrifice AND mutual cooporation both between protestors and with people impacted by them.

    So you say. I have not seen independent reports that is the case. I’d note that the “shared sacrifice” meme is overrated. From my understanding such protests and so on for the young and unemployed college age kids is a lot of fun.