Why am I Conservative?

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by Phdtobe, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    My first rudimentary understanding the of term republic was non-monarchy, or more specific post-monarchy. Thanks, DI, after 40+ years I now have to do some update.
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Given everything else you say, this part was quite an understatement.
  3. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    Clearly this is one motivation but just as clearly there are a number of others. I'm guessing that there are things you do for others without expecting payment.
    Why is that?
    Abner likes this.
  4. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Charity comes from folks who have the ability to be charitable and perceive that there's a need to be. Something in your charitable recipient resonates with you.

    If you're unable to be charitable due to financial constraints or time constraints and prioritization - you won't be no matter how nice of a person you are or how it resonates.
  5. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    This may reflect your own values but there is no question that there have been instances where people will give their last dollar, or even their lives, for others.
  6. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    I'm pretty well convinced that human beings evolved social instincts long ago. Pre-human hominins probably possessed them. Many animals besides humans do. (My dog does.) We seem to have an innate sense of fairness and reciprocity, for example. We tend to want to protect and care for small children. We form into us-and-them groups and identify strongly with, and will even fight to protect the us-group. Sometimes we feel compassion. Sometimes we feel love. And sometimes we don't.

    But having acknowledged our social instincts, I'm exceedingly doubtful whether the barista at Starbucks is behind the counter out of compassion for us poor pitiable coffee-starved wretches, or out of some selfless desire to serve others. He or she is doing it to make money.

    My sense is that human beings have concentric circles of concern. The closer the other person, the more we care. Our children and mates are closest to us. Then close friends and family. Back in paleolithic times, that's probably the cutting edge of what human society was, small clan groupings linked together by blood and by social instinct.

    After the neolithic revolution and the appearance of small farming and pastoral communities, we see blood ties being greatly expanded into more extended tribes, but still based on the family grouping with their legends of mythical ancestors. The mythology of the ancient Hebrews seems to reflect this. We see it all over, surviving in many places even today. But as social ties grew more and more extended and fanciful, I'm sure that they were weakening as well.

    Then cities with tens of thousands of residents started to appear in ancient Mesopotamia. And family, clan and tribal ties almost certainly started to break down. People were confronted by strangers whenever they left their homes. People were confronted with people who might have no blood tie to them at all.

    My guess is that money and the market was a big part of why it ended up working. The markets in the city were so much richer than back in their little farming settlements people came from. There were so many more opportunities. With money, it was possible to induce skilled craftsmen and traders who you might have never met before to do what you wanted, to labor on your behalf.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  7. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Oh sure. I respect and agree with that. But a couple points.

    1. My values are pretty simple, but they've nothing to do with this conversation or my thoughts on the matter.
    2. When posting thoughts online I don't (generally) take the position of outlier as my basis.

    If there was a social scaling where pure philanthropy was at one end of the scale and pure self was at the other, I'd consider both unhealthy (barring extreme circumstances) and worthy of needing therapy even if one was more socially acceptable than the other.

    What's an extreme circumstance? I'd say the folks that took extreme risk to protect others from genocide. Morally right, entirely worthy of being done and the life/death circumstances justify it. However, as I said with point 2 above, that's not what I was talking about in the post you quoted.

    Thanks for reading
  8. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    First - Great post!

    Personal opinion - highly simplified as I've had this conversation many, many times.

    - Social instincts evolved out of survival instincts.
    - Reinforcing social instincts led to fear based religion. (again survival instincts)
    - Agriculture led to food at scale which led to larger villages. (survival and reproductive instincts)
    - External threats (again survival instincts) led to cities. When fear based religion resulted in widespread death you see reformation (again survival instinct)

    and so on and so on.

    Social constructs latch on to the basic building blocks like LEGO expansion sets and the definition of what it meant to be "the fittest" changed with the emergent society that adapted with each new construct. (barter v. coin v. feudalism v. democracy v. free market) The 1% in 2019 is much different than the 1% back in Ancient Sumeria or Early Africa, but the trends and patterns that you'd see in societies repeat over time with different flavors.
    Phdtobe likes this.
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    The original point I responded to was a statement suggesting that money was the only motivating force in human interaction. I disagreed. Then, you stated

    "If you're unable to be charitable due to financial constraints or time constraints and prioritization - you won't be no matter how nice of a person you are or how it resonates."

    I disagree with this point as well. There are people who literally give away everything they own, lead lives of poverty, self-sacrifice and service to others. We all recognize that people like this exist all over the world. This is because of their values. These values differ from your own. The fact that you made the above statement proves this. This idea you express of being unable to be charitable due to financial constraints is a value statement. You draw the line in a certain place ("I can only give so much of my income...") while other might drawn the line in a different place. This reflects values. There's nothing wrong with your position. Most of us are doing the same thing, myself included. However, I recognize that however much I give to charity, it is a reflection of my values.
  10. ITJD

    ITJD Active Member

    Kizmet - I think it's fair now to advise that you're the reason I continue to take long leaves of absence from posting on this site.

    I'm sorry to say it's time for me to take another. While I'm happy to have reasonable discourse with anyone. I'm not ok with your insistence of using your lens to interpret what I write; when I tell you what I write is not how you perceive it. Less problematic were you not an administrator, but the place wouldn't be what it is without you.

    Be well, you're a good person.
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator

    I've expressed myself in a reasonable way. I'm sorry that you can not tolerate someone disagreeing with you. Enjoy your vacation.
  12. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    I think you're all good - each and every one of you. But I can't take this anymore. The drama, the insane drama, is too much for me.

    Therefore, I think it's time for me to take a break from this board. Like the other drama queens that have to make major announcements when they depart DI (Rich D. retains the title of biggest master of this, but Jimmy C. was not too far behind him), I cannot go quietly into the night, but have to make a major production of leaving. So I'm leaving you. Right here, right now. Because I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore. Like Howard Beale. (If you don't know the reference, look up the film Network on Wiki.)

    Besides, I'm getting tired of the whacked out abbreviations around this joint. Take ITJD's sig line: what the hell is a MSCSIA degree? To me, it's just another degree du jour.

    So I'm taking a break from DI. For at least an hour or two. Um, maybe three. Or perhaps three and a half hours. Don't beg me not to go; it won't work. Yes, I'm fed up. But perhaps I'll forgive you, then come back to start a thread on what it's like to be a radical liberal Republican libertarian white something-or-other. Or perhaps not.

    Oh, well, see y'all tonight.
  13. Filmmaker2Be

    Filmmaker2Be Active Member

    Assimilation goes way farther than merely "fitting in". It means abandoning one's own cultural identity and heritage and taking on the cultural identity and heritage of another group, usually that of the dominant cultural group.

    What is with this underlying idea that people aren't capable of retaining their cultural heritage and obeying the laws of the land at the same time? What if they don't want to be like the dominant population? Will they be punished for not assimilating even though they are law abiding? (Rhetorical question. It already happens routinely.)

    Can you see how this point of view is problematic for someone who is not a member of the dominant population? Also, assimilation isn't just expected of immigrants. It's also expected of native born Americans who are not members of the dominant population.

    So, what happens when people refuse to subject themselves to this cultural genocide called assimilation?
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    This all seems based on the notion that a person can only identify with a single culture, and that's not true.
  15. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    People who don't want to adapt to a different culture might need to re-think their motives for moving as a permanent resident into the home of a different culture. (Tourists, business travelers and foreign students who plan to return home are something else.)
  16. Filmmaker2Be

    Filmmaker2Be Active Member

    You're totally missing my point. It's not about identifying with one or more cultures. It's about the dynamic between dominant/majority and subordinate/minority cultures, and it's about people from subordinate/minority cultures losing (or compromising) who they fundamentally are, under duress, when they have to set aside their own culture and heritage in order to "experience social class mobility and structural inclusion in society". Assimilation is not merely taking a "while in Rome" approach, as heirophant is suggesting. It goes much deeper and is more insidious. And, it takes a toll; often heavy. Dr. W.E.B. DuBois referred to it as double consciousness.

    You're not expected to assimilate; this country was set up, by default, for white men. That's why you missed my point. A person of color is telling you what assimilation looks like from their point of view; from their reality. Don't diminish it or try to de-legitimize it because you don't have a frame of reference for it.

    Adaptation ("while in Rome") and assimilation (become someone else) are not the same thing. Adapting is not slaughtering and butchering a goat in your backyard. Adapting is understanding that your new city has a noise ordinance and you can't keep your party going until two o'clock in the morning. Assimilation is using dangerous, carcinogenic chemicals to change the natural texture of your hair to mimic the straight hair texture of the dominant (white) population so you'll be hired for a job. Assimilation is changing how you speak to emulate the speech patterns and inflections of the dominant (white) population. I'm not an immigrant and I've done both of these things, and more.

    You are using the word assimilation interchangeably with the word adapt, and in your mind they are the same thing... except, they're not. You should always try to choose the correct words to convey what you're trying to say. When you say assimilation, you think "adapt". I think of the Borg - "You will assimilate. Resistance is futile." Make no mistake, most of us who have assimilated have done so under duress. Choose your words more carefully.
  17. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    That seems to be a function of whether somebody is a temporary visitor, or a would-be permanent resident.

    I used the words precisely as I intended.

    I think that I'm in the best position to say what I think.

    Virtually all of today's 'migrants' are moving voluntarily.

    If somebody from one country makes a permanent move to a second country, where the second country is already the homeland of the of its own people, of a thousand years of its own history and of its own culture, then the new immigrant should intend to join the people who are already there, adopt their culture and become one of them. (Use whatever word you like.)

    That process won't happen overnight. But it in 'melting pot' societies it does eventually happen. That's why the rate of immigration needs to be such that huge communities of millions of unassimilated foreigners don't build up as little colonies in the destination country's midst. We are seeing that today and it's threatening to tear Western civilization apart.

    It's especially pernicious when the new arrivals arrive with attitudes, with chips on their shoulders, or are swept up by domestic political forces that hope to shape alienated and estranged social sub-groups into political coalitions. Then voices begin to shout that the cultures of the new arrivals are just as much the cultures of the new country as the culture that evolved there over a thousand years. Voices loudly insist that the native culture has no more standing in the country of its origin than the cultures of the new arrivals. That seems to be the 'multicultural' vision.

    So yes, I agree with you that there is an element of "cultural genocide" involved. That's brought about by trying to deprive the native peoples and native cultures of destination countries of their homelands.

    Everyone seems to assume that human rights exist. That social justice is desirable. That women should have equal opportunity. That racism is an evil. That homosexuals shouldn't be harassed. That people shouldn't be put to death for blasphemy.

    But none of our "progressive" values is God-given or self-evident. Most of the cultures all around the world, in all periods of human history, haven't embraced them. So where did these ideas and values come from? They are socially-constructed, historically and culturally contingent.

    Subvert the societies that construct the "socially constructed" values that everyone pretends to love so much, the values that put everyone on the same page so to speak, and the result is nihilism. A mere collection of disseparate individuals with little or nothing in common with one another. Life in such a world is almost guaranteed to become much more Hobbesian, either nasty, brutal and short, or dictatorial and totalitarian.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  18. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    I had to adapt to the Tejano culture in South Texas. They're the majority, and they were there longer.
  19. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Your choice of italics makes it sound like you believe you speak for all people of color. You also make it sound like anyone who disagrees with you has misunderstood you, and I can only hope you're merely using that as a cheap rhetorical device and don't actually believe something that arrogant. Disagreement neither diminishes nor de-legitimizes the other person's point of view as an individual.

    Moreover, your assumption that I have no frame of reference for this is also incorrect. My experience living in a country where I am an ethnic minority has been an instructive one. If you believe, for example, that the U.S. is the only society where outsiders engage in code switching, I can assure you that's not so. Also instructive was seeing my wife, a foreign-born person of color, adapt to U.S. society, which, as it happens, she did very successfully without adopting your perspective on the matter.
    JBjunior and Helpful2013 like this.
  20. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I wonder: hierophant's version of "conservatism", by his own admission, mixes nationalism and socialism (or so would some posters call it). Does me pointing it out invoke Godwin's Law already? Hmmm...

Share This Page