Conservative Tolerance, Liberal Hate

A few days ago I commented on the fundamental different views of human nature that is at the core of differing liberal and conservative worldviews. The post is here. Basically, I argued that liberals see human nature as malleable and a product of society and institutions. If people are good, liberals believe it is because they were educated or guided to be good. If people are corrupt, poor or unhealthy, it is because society and institutions made them that way. McDonald’s makes fat people fat, Big Tobacco gives smokers lung cancer and gun manufacturers make murderers. People are not to blame, the institutions that corrupted them are to blame.

Conservatives, on the other hand, universally see human nature as constant and unchangeable. At the core of the human condition is self interest. Conservatives see this to be true of all people of all cultures throughout history. This cannot be trained away and is always present. People are fat because they overeat and don’t exercise, smokers smoke cigarettes because they enjoy it and criminals misuse the products of gun manufacturers in ways the manufacturers cannot control or be responsible for. Individuals are responsible for their own behavior. Institutions don’t corrupt people, conservatives will argue, people corrupt institutions.

These opposing views of human nature are are constantly at odds and are at the center of the political divide. The way each of us sees human nature defines how we see each other. I recently had a conversation with a Swiss national who is a resident of the United States. He was asking me my position on various issues. He asked me how I felt about homosexuals. I told I don’t think about them much but ultimately I don’t care what they do. What about Muslims? Again, if they leave me and my family alone, I don’t care what they do. Group after group and activity after activity my answer was the same: I don’t care what they do as long as they leave me and my family alone.

“Do other conservatives in America feel this way,” he asked me.

“Not all but I think most do”, I said. This surprised him. He had understood conservatives to be intolerant.

I believe that since conservatives see human nature as basically selfish, they expect to see that selfishness in all people. We look out for our self-interest and we expect other people to do the same. My answers to my Swiss friend’s questions again and again included the caveat, “…as long as they leave me and my family alone.” Since I expect to live my life in the manner I choose without interference, I expect other people to want to do the same. Therefore I don’t feel it any of my business to interfere with the activities of homosexuals, Satanists, Islamists or anybody else. Because I want to be left alone to pursue my self interest, it is easy for me to respect their desire to do the same. Sure they are being selfish but all people are, including me. I have no problem with what they do, just as long as they give me the same respect and space as I give them.

Liberals, on the other hand, don’t see human nature as selfish or of any any other constant. They see human nature as a blank slate waiting to be written on by society and institutions. They imagine their own nature to be that way and believe that their character and nature are progressive. They believe they have made progress to improve their nature and so, therefore, should everyone else. They believe that people who have not made the progress in character development that they have made should be encouraged, educated, prodded and cajoled into doing so. After all, why wouldn’t everyone want to advance to a higher, better more enlightened human condition? The problem for liberals is that some people neither want to “progress” or believe it is even possible to “progress”. These stubborn people are conservatives.

Conservatives see themselves and everyone else as basically selfish. Since we see ourselves that way, we don’t hold it against others when we see them that way as well. Liberals are doing their selfish thing and that is cool with us as long as they leave us alone to do our selfish thing. Unfortunately they won’t leave us alone. They are not content to let us wallow in our selfishness. If we insist on promoting our self interest and refuse to make progressive advances toward enlightenment, it can only be because we are stupid, evil or greedy. They become furious with our absolute unwillingness to advance out of what they see as ignorance, evil and greed. They grow to hate us for our retrograde, reactionary unwillingness to give up our greedy self interest.

So this is the conflict of vision. Conservatives see liberals as, like themselves, self interested and treat them like they believe self interested people want to be treated: with a shrug and noninterference. Liberals, on the other hand, see conservatives as stubborn, selfish, greedy and evil – retrograde Neanderthals who refuse to be enlightened. It is the height of irony that conservatives get tagged as “haters” and liberals are deemed “tolerant.” The truth is exactly the opposite. Conservatives are extremely tolerant of the selfishness they see in themselves when they judge other people. Liberals, on the other hand, are usually very intolerant of what they see as stubborn refusal by conservatives to be enlightened. Liberals will not suffer a conservative speaker on a college campus and will shout him down and drive him from the lectern. Conservatives shouting down a liberal speaker is virtually unheard of. It is liberals who are the intolerant haters, not conservatives.

The final irony is that the liberal view of human nature is horribly, profoundly flawed. Liberals are as self interested as everyone else. Their self image as progressively enlightened is an illusion of their own making that actually massages their own selfish psyches. Liberalism is the selfish desire to feel self righteous and morally superior. Unfortunately they don’t recognize their selfish nature and actually believe that they have it in their power to fix humanity by fixing society. That means that they don’t leave us alone and they aren’t tolerant. When they are in power, they are perfectly comfortable with forcibly enlightening their subjects by whatever means necessary. Liberals hate. Liberals are intolerant. Liberals will use whatever means necessary to “improve” humanity. That is why they are dangerous.

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32 Responses to Conservative Tolerance, Liberal Hate

  1. R.D. Walker says:

    Unhinged liberal hate and intolerance on display here.

    It is ugly and a proof of my hypothesis above.

  2. McLaren says:

    All true. In addition, they truly believe conservatives to be grossly unintelligent people. Talk to any person who grew up on either coast, and they will tell you that to need a hospital anywhere in the interior of the country, and you might as well be in the sparsest areas of Siberia. They actually believe we all have been featured on COPS or some similar show.

    One troll once told me that Sherman should have destroyed the entire Midwest and South because there was nothing worth saving. I had to educate this East Coaster that Sherman was born and raised about 60 miles from my Midwestern home, and that the Midwest was in the Union. Didn’t make a dent. His ignorance was rutted and frankly embarrassing. For all I know the above picture is the punk I described.

    Again, well said R.D.

  3. R.D. Walker says:

    LOL! Sherman destroy the Midwest. Classic. Your correspondent apparently believes that Atlanta remains in the burned state Sherman left it in.

    By the way, U.S. Grant lived within about 60 miles of where I live: Galena, IL.

  4. BaconNeggs says:

    My own observations of “Liberals”…yes they are tolerant and open to all cultures, races, etc, as long as its in these terms.

    1.On a global level- its makes them feel so good to be acknowledged for their “altruism”, helping the poverty-stricken or down-trodden in some far away country or village.

    2.Also tolerant towards those they come into contact as long as they share the same socialist kool-aid of big government and state tyranny ideology.

    However, these same tolerant “Liberals” will quickly display strong dislike and genuine hate and anger towards those with contray political ideology from their own socialist world-view.

    Working with these tolerant Liberal/socialist, expect angry temper tantrums, abuse if in a position of power.

    Socialists tolerant?

    My ass!

  5. BaconNeggs says:

    Incidentally a thought just crossed my mind, regarding the Military, Socialism and Fascism.

    If one were to attempt to define the Military ideology/system as an -ism, which -ism would you say it most closely relates to?

  6. R.D. Walker says:

    Hmmmmm, interesting question. The military is certainly authoritarian. Overall, it is conservative. The military mission is to kill those who would kill us if they had a chance. The military recognizes the enemy’s overwhelming selfishness and strives to prevent them from imposing it on those it defends.

  7. Jim says:

    Another great post with a big question: ‘to what extent are those who profess tolerance really tolerant?’ These post relates to a deep intellectual threat to what were western values and rights. So why does the liberal left not care about this loss and denial of critical thought? Perhaps they’ll accept that the cornerstone of democracy is based on plurality which confers equal rights to its individual citizens, which also means the right to speak freely (within limits that prohibit incitement to violence, of course).

    The deep irony here is that liberals affirm illiberal suppression of free speech, not just here in the US but across the West. In addition to the recent example you provided, Ayaan Hirsi Ali was booted out of Holland with not a whimper of protest by liberals or feminists, for criticizing Muslim treatment of women. Sarah Palin was thrown under the bus by the MSM with only a handful of feminists like Camille Paglia coming to her defense in the wake of the most intense and vitriolic scrutiny I’ve ever seen towards a political figure. There are other examples too numerous to list but too often justified/rationalized by the left.

    Behind these poorly crafted and specious apologia we’ve seen from the left lies the new concept of ‘liberalism’ in the Western politically correct mind. Liberalism (at least classical liberalism) used to entail a globally relevant morality, not a culturally relative view of values amd truth.

    Not to hijack this post, but I think this post relates to the larger philosophical debate of individualism vs. collectivism. Frankly, I’ve seen enough of collectivist-socialist societies across much of Europe and elsewhere to know I don’t want to see them replicated here in the US.

    I’ll also go one step further, compare two revolutions – the American and French Revolutions. The first believed that humans are endowed with God given individual rights while the second was initially atheist. Look at the bloodshed the latter caused towards its own people. (Belatedly Robespierre realized that they needed God to prop up his regime so he started a new short-lived religion based on the Supreme Being.)

    The former believed that our individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were given by our Creator and thus cannot be taken away. The latter believed that our rights were given by the state and thus can be taken away. With Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and a resurgent left in charge we’ll get to see how far they’re willing to sell off our individual rights in favor of global collectivism.

    Once again, great post RD!!!

  8. McLaren says:

    Well said, Jim. R.D. has a post about the disaster that was the French Revolution and dovetails your thoughts.
    Read it here:

    http://therealrevo.com/blog/?p=1062

  9. R.D. Walker says:

    Great comment Jim! Here is how I see the American vs. the French Revolutions.

    The American Revolution was based on self interest. The Founders didn’t want to be taxed by the British. They didn’t want to have British soldiers in their streets and in their homes. They didn’t want to be told with whom they could trade. The American Revolution was a fix to those issues. The Founders saw Americans as independent, self reliant and suspicious of centralized government. The Revolution provided for that while retaining English Common law and a close duplicate of the British parliamentary system.

    The French Revolution was meant to be a complete redesign of society and its citizenry. The French wanted a complete break with the past and the creation of an “enlightened” society based on selfless fraternity and logical reason. It wasn’t just a redress of grievances, it anticipated a complete remake of society and man.

    Little was expected of the American Revolution and it changed the world. The French Revolution was designed to change the world and accomplished almost nothing. These two facts are perfect commentary on conservatism vs liberalism.

  10. Roy Ryder says:

    On a small scale, my personal dealing with many liberals has followed a common pattern:
    1 – Liberal spouts bullshit.
    2 – Conservative demonstrates flaws in logic/reality.
    3 – Liberal sputters, regurgitates bullshit.
    4 – Conservative demonstrates flaws in logic/reality.
    5 – Liberal rolls eyes, claims that Conservative “just doesn’t get it”, “doesn’t feel their pain”, “has personal flaw” etc. and then regards Conservative with hatred/suspicion.

    I’ve had a lot of really enjoyable discussions with liberals over politics, but they usually go this way after a while. I can understand it. I mean, who wants to be proven wrong so consistently and easily? If I were liberal, it would hurt my self-esteem, too.

  11. Spense says:

    You fools should wake up and realize both conseratives and liberals have their groups of people that are hateful as well as tolerant. Saying one group of people are one thing and the other is something else is purely unrealistic.

    The only thing this website is doing is showing how that you can stereotype people. Way to go, I sure hope you aren’t an adult. If so, grow up and be more accepting of others. No one likes bigots.

    Too much conservatism = a bad thing.
    Too much liberalism = a bad thing.
    ^ -The truth.

  12. R.D. Walker says:

    Gee Spense, thank you for the rhetorical equivalent of “nuh uh.” Is this your usual approach to blog commentary? To simply contradict without the slightest supporting argument? If so, you might find YouTube commentary more to your liking.

    Now run along. The grown ups are talking.

  13. Midge Baker says:

    Spence is right, both sides have their haters, and you are being stereotypical. R.D. walker’s specious comment “Now run along, The grown ups are talking” proves it. I find that offhand dismissal offensive, and it wasn’t even directed at me. It reminds me of a teenager’s comment to a younger sibling. The teenager claims to be adult, but is not.

    The proper course is Moderation, while acknowledging that both sides have the right to their opinions, but that both sides have equal chances of being correct or incorrect. The real discourse should focus on the substance of the disagreement, rather than ad hominem arguments against the speaker.

    And as for the American v French revolutions, BOTH sides were fighting against monarchies. The original Tea Party was a protest against tariffs which gave advantage to the India East Company (the AIG of its day)over the commercial interests of American-owned small markets. The French Revolution was accomplished by the starving populace rising up against their Royal oppressors.

    The biggest difference between the two was that England had to end her military thousands of miles across an ocean, while the French military was right there at home.

    Finally, the republican/democratic form of government, promulgated by Ben Franklin both here and in France, was based on the system used by the Algonquin Indians.

  14. R.D. Walker says:

    Gee Midge, I didn’t realize that I needed to be so polite to a commenter who starts off by calling me a “fool.” Spense first insulted me and then, without supporting argument, contradicted me. I didn’t feel the need to be polite to somebody who wasn’t polite to me.

    Frankly, other than some dubious history, you don’t bring much to the discussion of the right/left divide either.

    The original tea party used the tax on tea as a pretense for a larger protestation of the heavy handed disrespect and generally oppressive manner in which the Crown treated the colonists for 170 years. It wasn’t about tea, midge, it was about liberty and self-determination. The Sons of Liberty were not, for the most part, from the merchant class. They were rank and file people frustrated with a disrespectful and oppressive regime.

    There are exactly zero meaningful similarities between the East India Company and AIG.

    The biggest difference between the French and American revolutions is that the colonists didn’t really have a revolution. They adopted British parliamentary practices and British common law. It wasn’t so much a revolution as a simple change of government. The French revolution, on the other hand, was a complete social, economic, religious and governmental revolution. There are far more dissimilarities between the two situations than similarities.

  15. McLaren says:

    The proper course is Moderation, while acknowledging that both sides have the right to their opinions, but that both sides have equal chances of being correct or incorrect. The real discourse should focus on the substance of the disagreement, rather than ad hominem arguments against the speaker.

    Why is the proper course “Moderation?” What in moderation is better than purity or an extreme, aside from unhealthy habits? I was once a neo-liberal so I feel a special ability and right to judge those who are still neo-liberals. As R.D. wrote, I couldn’t care less what the neo-libs do, as long as they don’t interfere with my rights. But the neo-liberal feels compelled to butt into every aspect of every day of everybody in the quest for some dreamy utopia.

    The Left is by and large angry and easily led around by the nose. This isn’t a judgment on their character, just an observation. Of course there are haters on the Right. The difference is that those of us on the Right call them out and expose their bigotry.

  16. Midwesterner says:

    I totally agree with R.D. Walker, one of the creators of this websites, that mankind has the innate or inborn trait of being self-serving. It has been a reasonable surival tool that has led to man’s success. And if one looks around, one sees it everywhere in the living world. Animals fight with other animals over territory to insure a plentiful supply of resources that keep their kind alive. Birds don’t say, “Here, take my worm. I’ll starve so that you may live” because such ALTRUISM does not keep their species from going extinct. Thus there is some “VIRTUE TO SELFISHNESS.”
    But as animal behaviorists know there is a down side to this philosophy. And it rests at the other end of the discussion continuum. It is part and parcel of Mother Nature’s PARADOXES that also lie everywhere. And as paradoxes, opposing and contradictory points of view become just as valid in the world at large. Thus altruism and NON-SELFISHNESS is revealed as being equally right, good, and meritous as selfishness is.
    Where do Americans fall on this line of opposite extremes? If one looks at what has created our present ECONOMIC CRISIS it becomes apparent that we lie way to the side of extreme selfishness and greed in this country. And I say that about all walks of life in America. We want everything now, and have no sense of delayed gratification when it comes to dead and inanimate material possessions. There is NO RESTRAINT on how far we’d go in order to get more and more “things” into our lives. We’d even sacrifice the future of our children just so that we can hoard one more non-living object in our lives. And our basements are bulging at the seams because of it.
    It is this LACK OF RESTRAINT that is reminescent of how PRIMITIVE MAN has acted when he gourged himself on some fresh kill. Yet it was appropriate back then because a GLUTTONOUS or GREEDY APPETITE could help sustain humans through bad times of famine. But the things that modern man hoards and has gluttony for do not serve to feed his body nutrionally in today’s world. Instead they are things that are meant to assuage, mitigate, and lessen the psychological pain and stress that he feels over being a contemporary man in today’s society. It’s a sort of ANTI-DEPRESSANT PILL for modern man. Rather than deal responsibly with the issues confronting him, he has fled to drugs and addictions as a form of distractions from what ails him. Out of control “BUYING” of inanimate things is just one of those addictions. It is a symptom of a nuerotic species making its way to psychosis. “Things” NUMB the mind. But the problems of America never go away.
    Competing for STATUS SYMBOLS, as a way of saying, “My dog, house, car and lifestyle is bigger and better than yours”is yet another reason for this lack of retraint. We no longer measure our worth and that of others by one’s CHARACTER or INTEGRITY, but by the number of “things” that one has. And when we don’t have these “things” we secretly COVET what our neighbor does have. And we obsess over it.
    ‘LACK OF RESTRAINT’ from the CAVE MAN ERA does not serve us well in present times. It is only serving to speed up the process of our final demise as a species. And to passively accept this is to be like one of the Jonestown Cult members, who willingly chose to end their lives rather than change that which no longer serves them well.
    It is time for Americans to EVOLVE. One doesn’t have to stop looking after one’s own self-interests in order to become bigger and better as a species. One just has to add more to the mix. There can be a time to be self-serving and virtously selfish and a time to be altruistic and non-selfish. But we need to move the pointer of who we are more to the MIDDLE of this paradox. We need to REBALANCE our psychological selves. As the saying goes, “There is a time and place for everything.”
    Traditional Native Americans had known of the need to evolve in this way. They understood the INTERCONNECTEDNESS of all living things, of which mankind was a part of. They believed in survival but acted not in ISOLATION from all other living things, as if they were the only species or person on the planet. There was a time to COMPETE and a time to COOPERATE, a time to think of themselves and a time to think of others. The putting of the TRIBE or COMMUNITY FIRST, while also attending to the needs of the INDIVIDUAL sustained their cultures for thousands of years. Yet we have made a mess of ours in only a short (200+) years. Maybe there is something to learn from these cultures?
    Yet presently, mankind and Americans are at the extreme and competitive end of the competition/cooperation spectrum. We act as if the rest of the world and other living things don’t exist. We ignore the needs of others both in this country and throughout the world. And it is that kind of selfishness that other countries so resent and want to retaliate against. It’s also what fuels our massive need to sue each other, whose lawsuits only serve to clog up our courts. Our “US VERSUS THEM” mentality amongst ourselves, as promoted by this Ayn Rand philosophy has created great DISTRUST of our fellow Americans. And we relegate ourselves within our home fortresses because of it, and then wonder why we feel so lonely, so detached, so alienated from each other. It is a sad, sad state of affairs.
    But it can be made WHOLE again. We can come back into BALANCE. We don’t have to give up our Ayn Rand philosophy on the Virtue of Selfishnes. We only need to COMPLETE THE PARADOX by adding more altrusim and non-selfishness to the mix that already exists.

  17. McLaren says:

    I disagree. While material wealth can be excessive, the current mess we are in is because do-gooders threw human nature a forced curve ball. When you intentionally throw the the market out of balance, what you have actually done is try to guide human nature to a place it doesn’t belong. The sub-prime fiasco is a direct result of do-gooders meddling in the market.

  18. Midwesterner says:

    I couldn’t agree more with McLaren when he says that the PRIMARY cause of the economic crisis started with people wanting to do good by the poor and minorities in this country. This makes the tag name of “Do-Gooder” an appropriate one. Such things as The Equal Opportunity Act of 1977, which imposed heavy sanctions on financial institutions found guilty of discrimination were initially meant to stop such things as “REDLINING”. Redlining whole communities, whether they had the ability to pay or not, acted as the stimulus to a whole array of acts, guidelines, and regulations that quite quickly got out of hand. Quotas were set. Activist Housing demands were reported to government, who acted upon them with heavy penalties. And the loosening of income thresholds occurred. Those are the facts that we can agree upon.

    I’m all for the market working as it should have. And this means that all people, rich and poor, must be able to have a home, IF they have the means to pay for it. And having the means entails either having a marketable education or some skill or training that is in demand in the market. And when their financial means are less then their house is less. A certain modesty in the size of one’s home must fit their pocketbook.

    But when I hear Fox 6 News report that some school bus driver is about to have his almost million dollar home foreclosed upon and he wants bail out monies from taxpayers, I get angry. I call that SELFISHNESS. Certainly he had to have known that the wages of a school bus driver could not afford such an immodest home. And it is no excuse for him or anyone like him to say that he thought that the bankers knew what they were doing when they handed out the home loan and so he/she did not read the fine print in the contract.

  19. Alex McCarthy says:

    On either side, it’s easy to sit in judgment of the other and refer to the policies, beliefs and principles of the opposition as “hate” while referring to one’s own as “tolerance”.

    I’ve never defined myself as liberal or conservative but I’ve had plenty of discussions, arguments and debates with people on both sides of the divide. In my experiences, I’ve found the conservatives (mostly the social conservatives) are the most intolerant and reactionary. Liberals can often be screechy, preachy and condescending but rarely have I been outright yelled at by a liberal. I understand passion and dedication to one’s cause, but when you yell at anyone during a discussion and tell them they are unequivocally wrong it seems hateful and childish. This seems to be in the repetoire for many conservatives.

    The conversation between the Swiss national and the American conservative seems to be, from my experience, more the exception than the rule.

  20. R.D. Walker says:

    Alex: Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I think the conservatives you have met are very much un-Revo, however. You will find us to be driven by individualism more than anything else. As long as you don’t tread on me, I don’t care what your kink is.

    I am guessing you have never been yelled at by a liberal because you have never said anything like, “Say what you want about Dick Cheney, he is a good man and a patriot.”

    Try it and let us know how it turns out.

  21. Alex McCarthy says:

    R.D., you’re right about that. I have never said anything about Dick Cheney being a good man and a patriot. Then again, I don’t think he is a good man or a patriot. All of the information I have ever read, seen or heard of the man point to the opposite. He’s a war-profiteer who has never been to war and someone who would cover his own lies as “bad intelligence”.

    I have, however, pointed out the incompetence of Nancy Pelosi, the foibles of President Clinton (though I was mostly a Clinton supporter), Al Gore’s misguidedness (even though he sometimes has a point) and more recently, President Obama’s perpetuation of bailouts and handouts that were started at the bitter end of the Bush Administration.

    I try to stay informed on all sides, because an uninformed opinion is the most worthless opinion of all. You might as well just tell lies at that point.

  22. VR says:

    Very interesting site, as well as interesting commentary.

    I am an active duty military member, which means that I’ve made a conscious decision to curb some of my freedoms of speech, in defense of yours. We don’t need any more bad press (mostly misguided and/or misdirected) than what we already get, after all.

    That being said, I have been stationed in many places, among them Northern California. While there, I was subjected to a heckler’s call from some guy who walked past me on the street while I was in uniform (coward didn’t even have the decency to face me while stating his ‘wisdom’) who asked me, ‘How can you live with yourself?’ I simply responded, ‘Easy, I wear the cloth of the Nation; yourself?’ No response…

    I witnessed more vandalism to our offices and government vehicles than anywhere I’ve ever been (yep, our tax dollars paid to repair all this damage, but the liberal statements and their points were made, thank you very much).

    Never have I been subjected to such hate by any conservative. To this day, it baffles me how someone can justify vandalizing government property to prove to the world that ‘recruiters are the root of all evil.’

    Hmmmm! Funny thing is all of us in the military, recruiters or not, take an oath to uphold the constitution and to obey the orders of those appointed over us. At no time did any of these morons even think that all we military members are doing is OUR JOB, as we’ve been directed to do so by OUR SUPERIORS.

    These folks were attacking us, instead of the policy makers who gave us our orders, even if those orders are a tour with recruiting.

    Yet, when the ‘it’ hits the fan, these are the same folks who start raising a fist to the air and demand that the ‘Government help us out of this mess! Send in the Marines!!!’

    Demons to a select few, until they need us to save their hides. Yeah, buddy!

    BTW, I’m not a Marine, but I do have the outmost respect for them, especially the one that demonstrated the outmost dignity and self-restraint when one of these liberal-loving protestors took time out of his busy schedule to spit on the man’s face.

    ‘And on the eight day, God created the Marines!’

    God bless our troops who are putting their lives on the line on a daily basis in defense of the freedoms that so many of us take for granted.

  23. Midwesterner says:

    Why does it always come down to to someone saying that human nature intrinsically is either “NATURE-BASED” or “NUTURE-BASED”??? Cetainly Quatum Physics has shown that human matter is BOTH. According to Quatum Physics human matter can be both a particle and a wave of invisible energy at the same time. In the world of Einstein there are no absolutes. And at the atomic level, matter does not even exist with certainty. It only exists as a tendency to exist. With that in mind, then one could say then human nature can also be a combination of two contradictory things. It can be both a combination of “nature” and “nuture.”

    Let’s take ,as an exampe, an individual who has been raised in a family that has not only sexually abused that individual, but has taught him that it okay to lie and exploit and hurt others for his own gain. We all know that brain washing has always been a viable tool used by those wishing to influence and change others towards their own ways of thinking and being. Innocent children are impressionable and will have to spend years in therapy or prison because of the inappropriate kind of “nuturing” that they have received.And obviously conservatives also believe that “nuture” plays some sort of role in shaping an impressionable person. Or otherwise they would not be concerned about sending their own children to a school where some teacher is indoctrinating beliefs into them that are contrary to their own.

    But it also true that human nature has been and continues to need to be SELF-SERVING. Historically it has been a survival tool that has kept him alive. And in a socity where everyone is self-serving,as you and others have said, who is going to look out after him if he doesn’t look out for himself and his own needs? He pretty much has to be self-serving. Doesn’t he????

    So in my mind BOTH “NATURE” and “NUTURE” play a role in a young person’s life. The question is: to what degree should one emphasize one in importance over the other? And I ask that, while knowing that the individual always has the ability and responsibility to accept or refuse the edicts of what his DNA or his family has taught him. But again I ask, ‘to what degree should one emphasize one in importance over the other?’

    It seems that Conservatives emphasize “NATURE”. The intrinsic virtue of selfishness and self-servingness is emphasized to such an overwhelming degree in our society amongst conservatives that great damage has been done in the name of these many SELVES. A small case in point is this. I recently got a rescue dog from a puppy mill. The puppy mill’s goal was to breed as many dogs that they could in as short a time possible so they could sell them cheaply to pet shops and make a PROFIT. That meant keeping puppy volumes high and costs of maintenance low. It’s the capitalist way of doing things. And as a result the dog that I received came to me as a bag of bones, infested with parasites of all kinds. She lived in a (4) by (4) wire cage and lived in her own feces on a diet of cheap and unnutritional food. After having litter after litter, which sucked her already undernourished body dry,she was sold for $5.00 at an auction. They’re called “THROW AWAY DOGS.” I.e. use them up and throw them away when they’ve been made worthless to themselves and to the owners. It is this kind of exploitation being done in the name of SELFISHNESS that I take issue with because there is the good kind of selfishness and self-servingness and then there is the bad kind. This story is most definitely an example of the bad kind of self-servingness. But as a story it is not alone for there many, many other examples just like it. The stories are everywhere!

    We see these stories when we hear how our massive oceans have been sucked dry of its fish with overfishing in order to serve the ‘self-serving’. We hear these stories when people complain about inferior products that fall apart after little use because they are made so cheaply as a way to increase profits. We hear them when customers complain that some contractor has charged them more because they were perceived to have more money than other customers. We see it in bankers who cash in on “liar” loans so that they can build yet a third mansion for themselves. And we witness it when the poor want something for nothing without working for it. So when I hear someone telling me that they extol the virtue of selfishness, I know that I better do my research and homework and close monitoring or I’m likely to get a knife stuck in my back in some way. I’ll know that he most likely will be looking out for himself more so than he probably be looking out for me. Distrust of my fellow man becomes the name of the game. And a lawsuit crazy society is the end result of all of this distrust and selfishness, as seen in this country. And I certainly would not want someone ,who brags about his own selfishness, as a friend. He’d probably considered his needs and desires more important than mine.And when I hear someone say, “Hi. I’m selfish”, I run.

    At the same time, I’m just as critical of LIBERALS. Too often they are willing to GIVE AWAY the baby’s bed to St. Vincent’s with the baby still in it. They’ve encouraged DEPENDENCY and a sort of laziness that does not fit society’s need for everyone to be pulling their own weight in this country. As you can see I value hard work and effort and don’t expect life to be served to me on a silver platter. Nor do I want to be serving someone else a silver platter of things until I am sucked dry. It absolutely infuriated me when some school bus driver wanted to bailed out by government because he bought himself a house worth close to a million dollars that he could not afford! So wanting something for nothing or the least amount of effort really gets my hackles up.

    Basically, the only way that the GOOD KIND OF SELFISHNESS can sustain itself is with the idea of NUTURING the rights of others WITHIN REASON. To treat others as they would like to be treated is a path to the good kind of selfishness and self-servingness. To not sell a worthless bill of goods or take advantage of someone or some system is part of this. To not over-exploit resources and other living things in the name of the bad kind of selfishness is to be admired. To know that one’s capitalistic actions are not in isolation from all that surrounds them is a positive trait. And to know that one is paid according to one’s level of effort, skill, creativity, inventiveness, talent and education is another. It’s an outwardly orientated kind of thinking that includes more living beings in a larger sense of SELF than just its own personal being. It’s one that realizes the interconnectedness of all beings.It says that one’s self-serving actions do indeed reverberate throughout the whole system, sometimes in negative ways that we don’t even realize are happening. It’s having a sense of MORALS and ETHICS that apply to all,including oneself. It means that one’s inner character becomes more important than the number of dead and superficial material possessions that he or she owns. It’s being able to see THE BIG PICTURE and how one fits into it. Because ,when there is just a SELF PORTRAIT on the wall, philosophical buyers beware!

  24. Midwesterner says:

    This is a further response to MCLAREN’S May 22nd 10:02 A.M. comments. (Some of it is repetitive in nature.) Previously, McLaren was responding to my outlook on things as dated as May 22, 8:57 A.M. I had further added in the evening of that same day that I couldn’t agree more with McLaren when he said that the Subprime fiasco’s primary cause was because of “LIBERAL DO-GOODERS”, who were meddling in the market. I agreed back then that Liberal do-gooders were the FIRST TO INITIATE the acts and laws that started the bad ball rolling in the housing industry and its surrounding home loan offices and banks.These acts and laws applied intense pressure and metered out heavy consequences for not giving enough home loans to poor people. But that is only part of the picture. Is it not?

    The other side of the picture in this scenario reveals that the bankers, home loan officers, and wall street traders who packaged these home loans for the investment industry were just as involved in the economy’s demise. The banking industry is a powerful industry with some equally powerful lobbyists acting on their behalf. These lobbyists could have stormed congress with their concerns. They also have the great financial means to educate the public through a proliferation of ads and articles on the negative repercussions to society at large. If such media coverage had addressed the fact that they were being so forcefully pushed by government into handing out bad loans, maybe this economic disaster could have been averted. They could have sounded the alarm bell and warned the public with specific possible outcomes to such home loan practices being forced down their gullets. But they didn’t. All I remember hearing was the fear that someday the housing market bubble would burst. There were no explainations. There were no specifics on why they were saying that. And yet the banking industry on the whole remained mute, while joining the upward climb of the roller coaster as it rose ever higher and higher. In fact, these bankers even milked the situation to their own GREEDY BENEFIT. And society was then burdened not only with GREEDY POOR PEOPLE trying to get homes that they could ill afford, but also burdened with GREEDY RICH PEOPLE who were also EXPLOITING the home loan industry for more millions on top of the millions that they already had. And I dare to say that these bankers are most probably REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVES.

    So in my mind BOTH CONCERVATIVES and LIBERALS ARE TO BLAME! Greed is an equal opportunity vice that is PANDEMIC in nature, which goes across all party lines in this country, just R.D. Walker has said. And so I label myself neither as a Liberal and neither as a Conservative. I don’t want to associate with either one at this point. Presently, I am a party-less citizen with no political affiliation because both parties so disgust me after what has happened.And I am tired of the BLAME GAME with all of its fingerpointing. Doesn’t anyone take responsibility for their actions these days????? Instead there is DENIAL, DENIAL, and more DENIAL. And denial is one of the main traits of a SOCIOPATHOLOGY.

    Basically, I am fed up with BLEEDING HEART LIBERALS who go over board and at the expense of the whole system, called America. I’m also fed up with the rigidity of CONSERVATIVES who stubbornly refuse to see their part in things when it comes to the big picture. Both groups are SELFISH, GREEDY and SELF-SERVING. And those of us who are in between can just go to hell in a hand basket for all either one cares.

    I’m disgusted when CONSERVATIVE BANKERS who have millions of dollars already, while wanting even more millions on top of that. In our small town,years before the Subprime fiasco, the bankers gave themselves such huge bonuses that it broke the local bank. It’s customers lost everything! And the bankers got away with the people’s money scott-free with no consequences. I call that a “WHITE COLLAR CRIME.” And these SELF-SERVING CONSERVATIVE BANKERS had no governmental push the likes of what has been seen in our present situation.

    But LIBERALS are no better. I read quite recently how some poor single mothers had discovered some loopholes in the DAY CARE SOCIAL SYSTEM. They were exploiting the social program by watching the children of other relatives and getting paid for it by government to such an extant that it infuriated me! I don’t believe that any of these mothers had an education beyond high school. Nor did they have jobs. Yet they were making more money than me through the liberal use of government handouts. And I had not one, but (2) college degrees! I was furious! So I wrote some letters to protest this milking of the social system.

    But I’ve also written a fair share of letters to bankers as well. As I see it R.D. Walker and I are seeing his own REVO PHILOSOPHY based on Ayan Rand’s “Virtue of Selfishness” being played out by all sorts of people in both CONSERVATIVE and LIBERAL camps. But why should that surprise R.D. or I??????? R.D. Walker’s philosophy and mine says that SELF-SERVINGNESS is an intrinsic trait of all human nature. And ‘all’ means both Conservatives and Liberals combined. So we are getting what we have been promoting. Have we not???????

    In response to this, both R.D. Walker and I most likely would give a “Yeah,but……..” here. People will be self-serving BUT that ends where others rights and basic needs begin. And the only way to fairly determine where those lines exist is through honest, straight-forward, dialog, if that even exists anymore. An awareness must also be there that what we ask for has to be determined within the confines of the TOTAL BIG PICTURE which holds us all. One must trace how one’s actions can domino off into the hazy distance while knocking down other people’s blocks along the way. And if we don’t, one of those many lines of domino blocks could eventually make its way back to us to our own detriment.

    It’s good to be an INDIVIDUAL but not exclusively. I’m Scotch. And the Scots are fiercely independent and protectors of individuality. But as Scots we also realize that we all live on an island, whether it be big or small. And its boundaries are non-expandable boundaries. But its population is growing. And sometimes one has to temporarily or once in awhile put individuality aside for the Greater Good of the Whole so that the individuals can further flourish. It’s called having a SENSE OF COMMUNITY.

    If we don’t do this,as resources dwindle, we’ll all see a kind of fighting that will mushroom much like the fall out from clouds of some nuclear bombs, going off simultaneously. It will make all (3) WORLD WARS LOOK LIKE SOME WALKS IN THE PARK in comparison. Then mankind will become the BIGGEST PREDATOR OF MANKIND. And we’ll all feel like we live in a shark tank, where we’re always watching our backs for the next SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST individual to intrude on our needs. It will get very nasty as we all get closer to the end of the good life as we see it. Life won’t be worth living then because it will be such a cut-throat environment.

    So we have a choice. We can either be PRO-ACTIVE now with an eye towards the future or RE-ACTIVE later, when the full set of crises are upon us. But if we’re going to be proactive, first we must serve the NEEDS OF THE BIG PICTURE with the needs of all individuals in mind, as well. And it must be done with sound and fair reasoning with WIN-WIN gaols in mind. To not do this is to purposely sign our own death warrant as a civilization, which will fall much as Rome did long ago. It even has the potential to make us EXTINCT as a species considering how hard and violently people will fight amongst themselves for the last of the resources. And that would make the mass suicide of the Jonestown cult look like nothing in comparison because it will be a much more slow and painful death. But that is our choice, either change somewhat or die. And if we choose to die, then don’t complain if we say that other cultures and other people have been much more successful than ours. Native Americans lived here in America in big numbers with (500) nations within our borders for 30,000 to 50,000 years. And we, the Non-natives, most possibly could be gone after being here only (300) to (500) years or more! At the rate that we’re going in this country, which is similar to cannabalism, we’ll for sure never make it to our (1000th) year anniversary.

    BUT WE STILL HAVE A CHOICE !

  25. Ace Frehley says:

    typical commentary…nothing worth perusing in detail

  26. Mad Brad says:

    Just like your gay antics on stage ACE.

  27. Laura in MT says:

    Here is another example of selfishness and liberals trying to control everything… right now an Idaho-based environmental group and two canoe outfitters are suing the BLM trying to get cows off of the Missouri River so that more recreators can float down the river without smelling cow shit. Just because they want to recreate doesn’t mean that they should be able to take away our way of life. When was the last time that they or someone they know ate a burger or steak? Well, this is how good American beef is raised. The ranching industry can’t be treated the same as big business. We need to protect our country’s food sources. Can’t liberals understand the need for survival? Maybe us conservatives that provide food for all of the liberals should just starve them out.

  28. fishguru73 says:

    Back and forth it never ends. I am a true conservative but I don’t have enough time to answer every ignorant statement from a new liberal and there is an entire media complex brain washing the ignorant. It makes me sick but oh well; I have to enjoy being free for as long as I can until idiots allow tyrants with promises of a better life at the expense of others to destroy what is left of this nation. Currently, the US is bankrupt off the books but solvent on monetary confiscation. Congress just increased the debt ceiling, with a wink and a nod from private bankers that are in charge of the issuance of our currency (thank you Woodrow Wilson) at the expense of all of us. You know what sheeple, in order to maintain their expenditure on special interest whiney groups they are going to have to raise taxes to do it and we have all been saddled with the debt and the interest owed. Kiss this nation goodbye. We’re screwed.

  29. Enigman says:

    Well said R.D., well said. It is a lot like what I have tried to explain to other conservatives regarding discussions with liberals. “How can you have a reasonable discussion with an unreasonable person?”

  30. R.D. Walker says:

    Thanks much. It’s good to see this still gets read.

  31. Hambone says:

    Dems and Repubs alike all share similiar characteristics. If you have an animal that craves public office you have to ask WHY? Its simple. Power! There is no need to look at the granuals a sand as the beach itself is the real eye opener. Government is the Beach and the tide has been going out for quite a while. The beach is large and growing. Allowing men and women to be in positions of power for unlimited amounts of time has been our undoing. Selfishness mentioned in this article is also to blame. It is said time and again I dont care what they do as long as they leave me and my family alone. Trouble with that is you are like a frog in warm water. The heat has been slowly applied and you failed to jump now you are a short time from boiled frog legs my friends. The fabric of the nation has been being soiled since we got “The New Deal” and now when 50% of Americans do not pay taxes the tipping point is near. When rich politicians are allowed to promote class warfare speaking of the evil rich when they themselves are rich the tipping point is near. Ignorance reins supreme in Americans. We are all guilty of allowing the rapid growth of Government and its intrusion into our lives continues. If you want proof of ignorance look no further than who is your president. I am not saying he is ignorant, I am saying those who voted for him are but then perhaps they have a different view of what our country should be. Now we can look at the granuals of sand and break down points of view. The truth of it all is we are all to blame some through actiona and others through inaction.

  32. John Cox says:

    Excellent read, RD. There is a great deal of truth in that post.

    This observation is a classic illustration of liberal intolerance vs. conservative forbearance:
    “Liberals will not suffer a conservative speaker on a college campus and will shout him down and drive him from the lectern. Conservatives shouting down a liberal speaker is virtually unheard of.”

    I also agree with Roy’s characterization of the lifecycle of a close encounter with a liberal. How true.