Saturday, February 13, 2010

Implications of Conservative Thought

I think what is happening in Colorado Springs is really interesting. Apparently inspired by the Tea Party Movement, they are conceding to do without many public services as an experiment in lower taxation. It's funny to me that Greece is in the opposite situation. The Greeks are unable to convince and prepare the public for the austerity measures necessary to balance the budget. People in Greece are rallying at the severe reduction in government services while Colorado Springs is rallying to severely reduce government services. It will be fascinating to see how it turns out. Germany is surely not excited about bailing out Greece and had, in fact, set "no bailouts" as a condition of economic (specifically currency) union with Europe. Interesting times!

I think the Tea Party movement imagines that private business can provide services better than governments can. This sounds good and reasonable to me actually, until you realize that the outcome will probably be that wealthy people have excellent services and poor people suffer dearly under conservative politics. And the implication is the wealthy will have to defend their wealth with weapons against the rest of the world.

Conservatives philosophy has an inherent flaw. It's all about US, our town, our people making a good life for ourselves. The trouble is, as I have said before, for everyone in the world to live like a wealthy American we need a planet 70 times larger in land and resources. This implies, uncomfortably, that we and our ways are better and more valuable to preserve than the millions of other people out there. It means that one society has to imagine its self as more worthwhile and with higher individual value than every other society and support this claim with big guns trained on the hungry masses.

The conservative mentality is "if it's us or them...then I think WE should win!" When the draft comes, I'll surely be fighting right beside them. However, is this the only and best way to run a planet? I'd think that normalizing wealth would be the only humane way to have a peaceful world without war.

Studies show that wealthier societies do not have such high birth rates. What do we think we are going to do about all the new mouths to feed under the current patterns? Trust in starvation, floods, wars and other acts of "god"? A sustainable world is one where everyone is well enough off that they don't use reproduction as a weapon, but the world manages growth at or below the planet's reasonable capacity and everyone is well off. EVERYONE IS WELL OFF! That means you can't have tycoons that scorch the environment and amass wealth at the expense of other people. Earth is a finite system.

Capitalism is a fine motivator and has been priceless to establish our society.
"Gather all the wood you can and we will be sure of having fire"...until there is no more forest as "tribes" compete to out-grow each other.

In a finite world where the system is competition for resources, it makes sense to have as many children as possible, amass as much wealth as possible and dominate. The implication give hunger, thirst, disease, exposure and sometimes bombs to all the other over-growing factions. Thus the Earth is won for US not them. That's the end game of conservatism. It makes perfect logical sense, but is utterly inhumane and couldn't be called christian at all (if christian still means loving one's neighbor).

Pseudo-communistic dictatorships have been tried as well as violent fascist totalitarian systems. Somewhere there is another way that provides enough motivation while not refusing dignity and individual worth to any person.