Each of the following four things is not like the others. But too often we assume some or all of them to be one and the same. This misunderstanding is a major cause of partisan rancor.
- The psychological profiles of liberalism, conservatism, and libertarianism, consisting of things like
- Personality traits like openness or orderliness
- Cognitive styles like Platonic idealism or Aristotelian empiricism
- Moral foundations
- The feelings, emotions, and intuitions each of us experience in response to the things we see in the social world
- The ideologies of liberalism and conservatism, their tenets, and their sacred values
- The principles, practices, and social structures necessary for civil society
Feelings, emotions, and intuitions are real.
Every individual deserves the dignity of respect and should not be dismissed. All of us are created equal, and in this sense each of us is equally valuable.
The principles, practices, and social structures empirically proven by human experience to work – in which “to work” means “to create the greatest amount of personal autonomy and quality of life, health, happiness, and prosperity for the greatest number of people” – are sometimes at odds with our feelings, emotions, and intuitions, and even at times with the tenets and sacred values of our ideologies.
The problem is that many of the proven principles, practices, and social structures necessary for happy, healthy, human society are in direct conflict with the feelings, emotions, intuitions, and even the ideologies and sacred values, that follow from some psychological profiles.
And when those conflicts occur, the people whose feelings are opposed by the necessary ingredients of civil society may feel disrespected and dismissed. They may feel that their sacred values have been violated. They may lash out in anger and even in violence. They may no-platform, or disinvite, or shout down people who advocate the necessary ingredients of civil society. They may even act out their anger and hurt feelings by rioting in the streets, destroying property, and assaulting people who they believe contribute to their hurt feelings.
The proven, necessary, ingredients of civil society are, in a nutshell, the following:
- Negative liberty
- Process-based liberty, equality, justice, and fairness.
- The home, or the family, as the basic unit of human existence, and of human society, and as the primary object of care and compassion.
- Government power as a necessary evil, and therefore the necessity to separate it into different centers for different purposes, and the setting against one another of the centers of powers
- The purpose of government is to protect rights, and enforce the processes
The feelings, emotions, intuitions, and ideologies, which follow from some psychological profiles rest, in a nutshell, in the following:
- Positive liberty
- Outcome-based liberty, equality, justice, and fairness
- The individual as the basic unit of human existence, and of human society, and as the object primary object of care and compassion.
- Ggovernment power as a force for “good,” and therefore its consolidation and concentration into a single center in order to best achieve good.
- The purpose of government is to protect individuals, and enforce equal, or “fair” outcomes
Political strife happens when…
…the feelings, emotions, intuitions, and ideologies of Positive Liberty, because of human respect and dignity and the innate desire to treat every person, are treated as if they were as valid in the discussion of the necessary ingredients of civil society as the ACTUAL necessary ingredients.
Societal decay, degradation, and normlessness happen happen when the feelings, emotions, intuitions, and ideologies of Positive liberty become public policy and the law of the land.