Left v Right IllusionsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #politics7 years ago

We have all heard American Republicans and Democrats speak of each other with rancor. It is especially tragic when we realize both "sides" want the same things; peace, prosperity, a strong WiFi signal, freedom, security, love, health, pizza, and happiness. We merely have different ideas about how to get there.

I'm going to generalize about both "teams" in order to make a point:

The "right" wants freedom for all - except in believing that people need guidance and protection from some or all of the following: drugs, the "wrong" religions, sex (same sex relations and prostitution), pregnancy issues, and "foreign terrorists". So that "freedom... but..." is an exception.

How do they account for this exception? Different conservatives may have different answers. From "just being practical" to "morality". Sometimes that morality comes from "the word of God" and sometimes "It's just what is right". Some may ask, "Who chooses what is right?" Let's simplify even more and summarize: The typical conservative paradox is: "You are free to do what you want with your property but not your body." NOTE: I'm not talking about Classical Liberals or Conservative Libertarians here! Also, I said above that I'm going to generalize and that is what I'm doing.

The "left" wants freedom for all - but they know better for people with regard to protecting them from poverty, starvation, ignorance, hurt feelings, and bad health.

How do they get around the exception? Like the conservatives, they too, might call it "morality". From their perspective, it is the moral thing to sacrifice the product of your labor in order to have the [hopefully] beneficial ends they strive for. But who chooses what those ends are and who chooses whom to take from and whom to give to? "The ends justify the means" is a dangerous idea to base policy on. The simplified version: "You are free to do what you want with your body but not your property [and now your words]."

Why is that a paradox? Because you own your body, which means you own what you do with your body, as well as that which is produced by your body. Contradictions to this principle are detrimental to the individual [thus, the group, being that it is made up of individuals] and unsustainable.

Both of those points of view share the idea that it is OK to take people's money against their will in order to fund security or sustenance. I ask you to look through this assumption and see both "sides" want the same thing and both put forth "solutions" that rely on force.


What if it is possible to have a world where we do not legitimize coercion of any kind?

This article shows one well worked-out solution:

But my real point here is this: If you are a Republican or Democrat, you want the same thing as those you deride, with your differences being only in methodology!

Also, you are both willing to give up some freedom in order to achieve those ends. You both put forth a system allowing for exceptions and contradictions to your principles and you are both intolerant of those with differing views:

"You should be free to do what you want with your own property/money BUT not your body/spirituality, which we know better how you should use."


"You should be free to do what you want with your body/spirituality BUT not your property/money/words, which we know better than you how to use".

Practical vs. Principled

Both left and right propose "practical" solutions, as opposed to principled. On the surface that may sound nice. However, without an underlying principle to tie it together, a system will become a never-ending stream of problems-and-bandaids, often contradicting itself and quickly becoming unfair, inefficient, and... impractical, because it doesn't work long, if at all. Something going wrong? Patch it!

These kind of systems tend to promote "surfacey" quick fix solutions, often leaving out four entire dimensions: (a) Time; (b) Relationships to other solutions; (c) Effects on all groups of people; and (d) Look "up" at the big picture and "down" at the underlying causes.

When a system is made up of parts, it is important to look at the relationships between the parts when deciding whether a part is "practical". That is where a "map" comes in handy to check each part against. That "map" is the principles.


Then there is the demonizing; the lack of understanding from both sides.

On the left it is ignored that the conservative is actually thinking about the future and the good of all people just as much as the liberal is. The conservative has a long term plan, just like the liberal does. The conservative's plan is usually more about delayed gratification. Sort of a "save for a rainy day" approach. This can easily be misconstrued as being okay with suffering. So they are called stupid, selfish, mean, or close minded.

The liberal tends to be more sensitive to the pain that is happening right now and have a "damn the consequences" approach, putting "compassion-now" above "consequences-later". The conservative points to this and says they are thieving fools who allow their emotion to dictate their actions. That they don't understand the economic unsustainability of their programs and how terrible the suffering of dependency is.

What if they can look at the liberal and instead say, "I appreciate your compassion for people who are disadvantaged. I feel the same way. I merely disagree with your method of how to best help those people. I see value in your quick fixes. Would you care to consider long term sustainable solutions as well?"

To go deeper with compassion for the "other team," we can explore what needs/values underlie their positions:

Conservative (Absolutist): Autonomy, Individuality, Integrity, Clarity
Liberal (Contextualist): Choice, Community, Connection, Fairness

Like Yin and Yang, it is easy to see how both positions are equivalent and necessary.
More on Absolutists/Contextualists here:

How can we get out of this mess?

What if we don't need government to force us to share and to work together? Most people have a natural desire to share. We also have a natural desire to organize and work together so that we can specialize. We see the efficiency inherent in cooperation. We don't have to be forced to cooperate. It naturally occurs.

Forced transactions have a winner and loser. Voluntary transactions have two winners because both chose the transaction because they saw benefit for themselves in it.

We hear so much from the left about the greed of conservatives, it is almost a cliche. Rarely will a liberal believe that a conservative would actually give to charities if he is allowed to keep the money he makes. "They despise the poor as lazy and would force them to starve." I propose that the average "right winger" looks at the poor and feels the same amount of sadness as the "left winger". The difference is in preference of solutions.

The root: Parenting & Pain

Think parents and the range of how they treat their children. Some will attempt to fix every pain and problem for their children for a short term gain. Others will stop and ask themselves, is this going to damage my child or merely give him/her a valuable lesson? Should I wait a bit before interfering and see what he/she does to solve their own problem? Both parents care equally for their children and want the best. Do you think the more "conservative" parent's motive is to selfishly save their energy by not interfering? I propose they are often just as eager to "save" their child from that skinned knee they see coming but they are biting their lip and holding back because they know:

We must all experience pain in order to grow and learn compassion for the pain of others. "Saving" others from their pain is often costly in more than one way, including depriving the "victim" the opportunity to save themselves.

More on the US vs THEM Game


More on parenting

Investigate Libertarianism or even Voluntaryism

They are principled approaches to politics. They are tolerant, too. You can accept other ways without condoning them.

"But what can I do, personally?"

Start here: https://steemit.com/voluntaryism/@scottermonkey/recipe-for-peaceful-revolution


It's a real shame that we have to argue to defend mutual consent and voluntary interactions. The world has gone mad my friend. Thanks and resteeming!

P.S. Any chance we'll see you in steemit.chat within #libertyprofessionals, #cooperative_agorism, or #libertarian? It's a great place to network and meet friends.

I'll echo @finnian's request for you to join us in the chat channels. We support each other, upvote, and resteem quality posts like this. We love to discuss freedom and liberty there, and you are more than welcome!

Oh, and upvoted and resteemed, of course!

You are most welcome, Finnian! I didn't know about the existence of those places you mentioned. Will check them out asap!

I know you're not a new user, but I'll share my usual new user info to possibly help:

There are a ton of other webpages to help you with Steemit. Here are some of the best for beginners:

https://steemd.com/ (This site is used to keep track of your voting power and other stats. You do not want to run out of voting power, and you only get so much per day. I keep my voting power around 80% for example.)

https://steem.makerwannabe.com/ (This site will tell you who follows you, who unfollows you, and who mutes you. It is great for meeting new people too. I regularly check it to see who has followed me to see if I should follow them back.)

https://steemit.chat/ (This site is the official chat webpage for Steemit. There are Discord channels too, but I usually stick to the official site. Come in to network and meet new friends. You can directly message people there too, so it makes it easier to communicate with your closest friends.)

Oh yeah, there are a lot of bots on here. If you see a cookie cutter reply, especially to your intro post, it is almost certainly a bot. Check the account's reputation. If it is low, I would recommend just ignoring them. Everything is public on Steemit, so you can go look at an account's comments and replies. Are they all the same? It's a bot.

Adding photos to your account as a new Steemian may be confusing at first too. The easiest way it to click to "Submit a Story." Once in there, use the built in Steemit tool to upload an image from your computer. Below the posting window, you will see "Insert images by dragging & dropping, pasting from the clipboard, or by selecting them." Click on the blue text. Once the image is uploaded, you can copy and paste the link into your account settings.

Verifying your identity is very important because it will get you more support and people will trust you more. The best way to verify is to link back to your Steemit account by using another public social media account. For example, I posted my Steemit articles from here through my Twitter account. Another person posted their Steemit information on their Facebook account. Some people will even post a video of themselves writing out their account information since that cannot be Photoshopped. The more famous a person is or the more valuable their content is, the more important it is that they verify. If a new account falls within those two categories and fails to verify, it may get blacklisted.

Wow! Thank you, Finnian! So thoughtful and useful!!!
Sure, I'm not a new user but I feel new, heh. Only really got into it recently.

I'm glad you are here. Any chance some of the others from G+ will come? Sadly, it seems only a few people have made the transition, and I miss many of my friends from there.

I'll do more active encouragement of them.

With steemit.chat it is asking me to register or sign in. Do I make a new account specific to steemit.chat or use my steemit credentials?

With steemit.chat it is asking me to register or sign in. Do I make a new account specific to steemit.chat or use my steemit credentials?

It is separate. Please use the same handle as steemit though, for it makes it easier for people to know who you are.

Hmm....did not know these channels existed in the steemitchat. Is there #anarchist or #minarchist ? Might have to drop by.

@the-ego-is-you runs the agorism channel. @richhersey runs the libertarian one. I admin the Liberty Professionals channel. Think of Liberty Professionals as a voluntary association, guild of sorts, for lovers of liberty.

It exists without separate webpages (libertyprofessionals.com will be for my security business, residential security consulting, and private investigation services), profit structures, or limitations to provide liberty minded people a way to network together for careers, barter, etc. It's a pretty open ended idea. Steemit is perfect for it, and hopefully one day soon we'll have communities to make it even more effective.

I've not seen those two channels. They probably don't need them with the ones we already have. :)

Left, center and right culture exists even within libertarian circles and it will necessarily spill over into politics sometimes unfortunately. Hopefully we can avoid the clashes as much as possible by not dodging questions of ideological consistency, which we need, but without strawmanning and further perpetuating the divide.

I recently joined r/CenterLibertarians. It's a small sub that l hope will grow, as an alternative to the already well established culture-specific subs. But I try to even visit r/Donald from time to time, just to get a look inside another cultural bubble and try to understand their perspective better.

People are better of when we talk with eachother, rather than just bumping heads in the voting booth or on the battlefield.

Wow...let them feel the pain...says it all..

Ironically I have found the more one attempts to keep someone from pain...the more pain they cause...

The best of intentions often lead to the worst consequences..

Yes...principles have dissolved...eroded...standards have been replaced by feelings...

Despite my belief that the governmental system established by our founding fathers was one of the best thought out and truest to humane goals...I also see that it can't overcome human behavior being what it is...power corrupts...systems never remain pure since gradually those in power spend their time performing acts to remain in power...

In fact...we've reached a stage in human evolution where too many adults act like kids on the play ground each yelling to the teacher louder than the other that "Johnny" started it....

Its all about "being right" , "lableling"...versus communicating and compromising...

Therefore...I don't see any "hope"...but that doesn't mean I feel "hopeless"...I try to make a difference each day in my small sphere...which lately has involved being more "vocal" within the Steemit community...

But...I don't do it to "change the world"...I am powerless over that...I do it to keep my head on straight...to sharpen the principles and purposes that I want to live by....attempting to define me....

In the end I think the human dilemma is as follows...our life experience teaches us what life isn't while never getting us fully to what life is...despite that...we live life anyway....

Well thought out reply.

Despite my belief that the governmental system established by our founding fathers was one of the best thought out and truest to humane goals...I also see that it can't overcome human behavior being what it is...power corrupts...systems never remain pure since gradually those in power spend their time performing acts to remain in power...

Hierarchical power structures, no matter what their original intent, eventually degrade because they attract paranoid psychopaths who have to be in positions of power to feel secure and respected. The power structure itself is the problem. Psychopaths without a power structure backing them have been defanged and declawed and present no danger to the rest of us.

But...I don't do it to "change the world"...I am powerless over that...I do it to keep my head on straight...to sharpen the principles and purposes that I want to live by....attempting to define me....

You are right about this too. We can only work on ourselves and we truly have no right to coerce others to change, to be like us. But that is exactly how we change the world.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. ... We need not wait to see what others do.”


This is what Gandhi actually said that has been paraphrased to "Be the change you want to see in the world," but it amounts to the same thing. As long as people make their point of view more important than someone else's and unite to force their views upon the others there will be conflict. We can deconflict the world by simply letting others live their lives they way they choose and by following our own moral path.

Appreciate the feedback...powerful stuff...

Amazed at your ability to know so many famous quotes...love it..

So what came first...the power structure that attracted deranged individuals or deranged individuals that created the power structure...?

Deranged individuals came first. If you research psychopaths, you'll find that they have certain areas of their brains that don't function properly. This makes them paranoid, self-centered, delusional control freaks. It's genetic and therefore hereditary and can't be altered via conditioning. There is a niche for psychopaths, but it isn't in politics or any place where they can be in positions of authority backed by power administrations. Some of the best surgeons are psychopathic. They have no compassion for their patient and therefore forge ahead to cut them open and do what they can to repair whatever it is that needs repairing. But they are also self-centered and often brilliant and in need of praise, so they do the best job they can possibly do and that often results in success for them and for the patient (as an aside). If the patient happens to die, the surgeon doesn't have the capacity to feel much remorse but feels he did his best and that's enough. He can go on to cut open the next "body" and do what needs to be done without worry.

Unfortunately, some psychopaths have control of armies and world financial institutions. This is not a good thing for us little people.

Truth be known, I have a few traits of psychopathology. I'm pretty narcissistic and desire praise and acknowledgement. But I am not paranoid, nor do I want to be in any position of control, other than in complete control of my own actions. If I didn't have these psychopathic traits, no doubt I would not bother writing or posting my opinions. Good or bad? It is what it is.

Though I may be a psychopath, I am not schizophrenic and neither am I. ;-)


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I have been watching a lot of Larken Rose lately. Good stuff. Makes you think.

Larken Rose(the one in the video) and his wife Amanda are great people.
They was the first that made me start to look at Anarchy as a serious political platform.

Before that i was like all other, brainwashed to believe that Anarchy and chaos was the same.
In reality, it is only chaos for the corrupted ruling elite.. ;)

Very well put and this should be required reading. The premise is false, the paradigm is false and the proof is in the actions.

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Are you familiar with George Lakoff's work on party politics and parenting?

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