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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

May 21, 2004
Oh, Pits

I have to buy yet another copy of The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.

What's going to happen in India?

Wondering why someone is liberal seems to me to be an odd preoccupation. We're liberal because that's the political and social tradition of this country, just like conservatives are conservatives because human beings are (for the most part) innately conservative animals.

The existence of liberal movements is why civilization progresses. The presence of conservative movements is how it retains stability during such changes.

Andrew probably wouldn't care for my dismissive reasoning, I'm not sure I do myself, even with the "small 'l'" and "small 'c'" designations, but he does say arguing the topic "doesn't address anything substantial", which is probably true.

I'm not blogging the prisoner abuse thing today because you can read about that elsewhere. Almost anywhere. I'm not blogging about the disgusting Lindh picture or the revelation he was abused. I'm not blogging about how the newly released Abu Ghraib pictures are more horrifying than most of the ones we saw first. I'm not blogging about the dissolution of the wall of denial of knowledge and complicity in the government.

Not today.

Today, I've just had all I can take. I'm so ashamed, I'm so appalled, and I'm so disappointed in us that I just can't stand it.

Posted by AnneZook at 12:09 PM


Comments

Anne: Two of my favorite historian quotations of all time:

"The conservative who resists change is as valuable as the radical who proposes it." -- Will and Ariel Durant

"Perhaps the chief carriers of Western culture today are those who within its midst most criticize it and demand that it justify itself." -- Kagan, Ozment, Turner, The Western Heritage.

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at May 21, 2004 01:24 PM

Heh. Validation!

(It's nice to realize I must be absorbing something from all of the reading I do.)

Posted by: Anne at May 21, 2004 02:02 PM

Actually, I concur with your reasoning, although it is necessarily somewhat shallow (how much can you fit in a paragraph, after all?). You've summed up the basics very well, it seems to me: humanity needs both the liberals who seek out new ideas and the conservatives who remind us that many old ideas still have merit. The problem being that many of today's conservatives and liberal bear little semblance to the more traditional uses of the terms.

Posted by: Andrew at May 26, 2004 10:04 PM

Exactly, Andrew. There's good to be said for both points of view and having both at work is good for a society (I think).

It's extremes that are a problem.

That, and people automatically dismissing other points of view without giving them valid consideration.

Posted by: Anne at May 27, 2004 09:57 PM