Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Not Naturally Radical

I had a whole line of thought about how foreign policy experts used to say certain actions were radicalizing the 'Arab street', like there was a street, or that Arabs weren't more or less radical according to their own inclinations. I do think I've been radicalized though- an eldest son has every reason to be conservative. He has a family and a position to defend, and in days long gone, could have gotten a decent job. So, he'd very quickly be raising his own children,feel at least somewhat responsible for surviving parents, and want to keep his relationships with his siblings.
The conservative mindset serves well under these circumstances, but we live in modern circumstances. You get penalized with a conservative approach. It is essentially a conformist approach, but the 'traditional' is no longer true. You can even see on food labels; if a product has traditional on the label, but has high fructose corn syrup in it, how can that be true? That stuff hasn't existed that long.
Similar issues occur in politics, religion, whatever. If you instinctively use tradition as a guide, you'll get burned and eventually find tradition has already been changed. The progressives rearranged everything. They know you'll start championing the constitution. They also know they've been able to get this far with the constitution.

And then there is the flip side. Alternative views are sometimes more costly than the standard view, but sometimes they end up being wildly valuable. If you hit the jackpot in one area, all the alternative views begin to seem more valuable. Your mindset becomes more anarchic- more views are preferred, not in the silly progressive sense where everybody's idiotic idea must be heard, but in a free market sense- the right view is out there, but the likelihood a government can determine which one it is by fiat is almost nil. Indeed, the presence of fiats suggest an inability to think clearly.

So, you can end up thinking your greater weakness is not radicalism, but prudence. Conformity doesn't seem to have many beneficial effects. This is not to suggest things like debt are good- debt is bad, and it is one of the perversions of tradition that they pretend going to college on debt is a good thing. But making decisions wildly out of sync with the standard American seems to be a great idea.

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