Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Tom Maguire Asks About Unconditional Values

Maguire puts his finger on the question: What are the core principles for which you would fight without surrender?

The bimodal distribution of political views in the current American forum - the polarization and vitriol of contemporary American political dialogue - pertains to which values people value unconditionally.

The left values two things unconditionally: (1.) equality of individual economic outcomes and (2.) their own governmental power as a means to pushing certain traditional values and ways of life out of the core of American culture. (Notice that both the means and the end in (2.) are valued unconditionally. Leftism is totalitarian, valuing governmental power as an end as well as a means.)

The rest of us value liberty and certain traditional values and ways of life. These are inconsistent with the leftist's (1.) and (2.).

The values we would die for are distributed bimodally and incoherently. This country's political fabric has been rendered incoherent by the rise and inclusion within it of leftism.

There is very little in the way of common ground between the two modes. Therefore the political dialogue has broken down. Dialogue in this country should take place about a single coherent network of values: liberty and certain traditional values. The dialogue would be spirited at times, as it has been, but it would be about the trade-offs and application of that network. But there is no way to add the leftist network of values into the forum. The leftist network of values is inconsistent with the other network. The two won't mesh. This is what I meant by "bimodal": bimodal in the logical space of mutually exclusive values a society can uphold. Yet perhaps 30% of the country are, roughly and however confusedly, leftists. They are vocal and well-financed. Hence the dysfunctional polarity and stridency of what passes for political dialogue in the country today.

In addition, leftism is a social dysfunction in itself; it has been proven so by the more than 100 years of its history. It is not that it is as reasonable and viable a way of life as traditional American political culture. So, the bimodality of value in the forum isn't the only dysfunction. One of the two modes is dysfunctional in itself.