Look closer. Think harder. Choose the sound argument over the clever one.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

How can you argue with a dream?

One of my favorite bloggers reads one of my favorite authors.

Horowitz says it so well...

conservatism was an attitude about lessons from an actual past. By contrast, the attention of progressives was directed towards an imagined future. Conservatism was an attitude of caution based on a sense of human limits and what politics could accomplish. To ask whether conservatives were conservative was to ask a practical question about whether particular institutions were worth conserving...

The reason why progressives were unable to ask a similar question went to the root of their intolerant attitudes. Because the outlook of progressives was based on the idea of a liberated future, there was no way to disagree with them without appearing to oppose what was decent and humane. To criticize the radical project places one in opposition to a world in which social justice and harmony would prevail.

To which she eloquently adds...

In summary, he is saying: how can you argue with a dream? Although dreams ordinarily don't hurt people, this one has caused profound harm to untold millions of people during the course of the twentieth century, and is still causing misery in certain places. ...

"Progressives" feel that conservatives ... get their kicks from stomping on a dream.

No, we "non-progressives" [sic] don't get our kicks that way. But we, like Hobbes (as opposed to your Rousseau), see human nature as an imperfect given, something that needs to be taken into account when advocating a plan for society, or attempting a remedy for social ills.

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