For a good time now I have been listening to Conservatives talk about how they are loosing and I think I’ve come up with an idea why. I can’t say it is a theory, I haven’t come up with a way to test it, so lets just call it a working hypothesis. Let’s just shake it out and get it some rigor into its thinking for now.
The first postulate is the growing acceptance of the idea of “No Comprise” that has really taken hold in some areas of the right and conservative movement. The second postulate is that “because of what their goals are even when they win they loose”. As this second postulate is the more complex, lets start with it.
When I say that the Conservative Movement & the Right (from this point on I will just be using ‘the right’ for shorthand for all forms os Conservativitiesum) loose when the win and that their goals insure this all I mean is that their goals, by their very nature are not achievable in the real world. For the most part the Right wants to do two types of things. They want to keep things the way they are or they want to go back to the ‘good old days’ to the way things were. Both of these types of goals have serous fundimital characteristics that doom their achievement.
Lets start with looking at “keeping things the way they are, the same”. This is a quite natural desire of anyone. Even people like myself, who like new things, changes, sometimes have trouble with what changes the univers throughs at us. The problem is the univers is nothing but change. All things change and even when it looks like no change is happening, it is, none the less changing. More often than not it is our failure to detect the change that is at fault, not that the change is not occupied. Physical science has long excepted this idea and has even given it a name “entropy”.
So lets look at things logically, after all that is what this blog is supposed to be about. Lets try a thought experiment: lets say you do not want some cultural value to change, lets choose something none controversial, the preference of what pet people prefer. Lets say N people have pets in America. That means C people have cats and D people have dogs and O people have other pets. That means N=C+D+O and the relationship between C,D, and O can not change. What does this mean.
First off you have to keep the total population steady or when the population changes you have to take action to insure that the size of C:D:O stay in exact relationship with each other as the population changes and you must take steps to insure that the number of Cats, Dogs, and others stays in step. In worst case this means that if the total population shrinks you would have to get ride of the the excess Cats, Dog and others. An lets say the people who left the population did not own any pets at all, that means someone(s) will have to loose their pet(s). I think you see the problem. Another, more basic problem with no change in human activity is that change itself is a cherished human social norm. We all want to better for our children, we all want progress in our jobs, etc.
Finally, on staying the same, what most who are attracted to the right want is not “No Change” but rather “No Change that I don’t like or Want”. The problem here is that change that I like and want just might be change others may not like or want. An as the Bard said, “Ah there’s the rub”.
Now lets turn to the goal of turning back the clock to the “Way Things Were”. There are, at lest, two basic problems here. First what most people say when they say the ‘way things were’ is an idealized past. Most humans don’t remember all of the details of their earlier life. Even people with eiditic memory are quite capable of editing things out that the just don’t want to remember. So what people want to do is live in the perfect way things were and not in the real way they were.
The second problem with turning back the clock is that you can;t just change the social/political/economic environment, you will need to change the people too. This is because the people who are alive now have different background than the people who lived then. Time for another thought experiment….Some people idealize the 1950’s so say we find away to change everything back to the 1950’s we would, at the least give everyone over the age 15 the expreanses of living thru World War Two. Many of the men in their 30’s or older the expeance of fighting in the war. Not only that you would have to remove from people my age the Vet Nam War and Watergate. An these are just the big issues that affected lots of people. What about the small events that only affected a few people? See the problems?
So once more what we end up with is the same problem as before. What is being sought is not what is really wanted. What is being asked for is not “Lets go back to a better past” but “Lets go back to an idealized Past”.
An now were are at the crux of the problem of the Right Loosing, even when they win. When they get what they are asking for it turns out, more often than not, not what they were really asking for.