Saturday, May 05, 2007

It's the means, stupid!

One of my favorite inside jokes with my wife is to say that we are actually liberals. We are vegetarians (which by the way, makes us much more ecofriendly than anyone who drives a Prius and believes in Al Gore – and still we drive high mileage cars); we are in favor of civil unions for gays; we are rabidly against racism; my wife is totally against death penalty; we are very much pro (legal) immigration; we don’t follow any religion.

There are of course some political beliefs that we follow that match with the right: we believe that you need a strong military and that you need to use it from time to time; we are pro-life; we think people should be able to own a gun within some guidelines; we are against high taxes and huge social programs.

But the question remains: Why are we conservatives that are somewhat liberal and not liberals that have some conservative traits?

I believe the answer has to do with our attitude towards other people. Again let’s talk about vegetarianism. We love it. I had a bunch of health issues before and now they are gone. My wife can tell you all the horrible atrocities animals suffer. All and all, it’s really a clear belief for us that at this point in our life we don’t need to eat animals and a lot more people could do the same.

However, you won’t see us protesting with PETA. We don’t want the government to outlaw eating meat. You won’t even see us swearing at people who have barbecues in their houses.

We won’t be at these barbecues either, but there is a huge difference between not doing something and wanting to force other people not to do it.

I think that this “militant” approach is what irritates us most about liberals and people on the left in general. It’s not just the silly idea that you need to save the world in all fronts. It’s more this notion that people are not able to make decisions; that information is never enough, and that you need to find little ways to trick people into doing what you want them to do.

There is also the feelings vs. logic issue. I go nuts every time I hear someone say this kind of stuff, or when I hear people trying to justify government economic actions on the “this will help the helpless” banner. Sometimes I even agree with the outcome, but I can’t stand the demagogy.

So the means do make a difference after all. At least for us.

7 comments:

Cláudio said...

Eu acho que concordo que o lance é mesmo uma questão de meios.

Conheço alguns lefties que são genuinamente pessoas boas, mas por alguma razão acreditam que compartilham dessa mesma bondade com o Estado.

Durante uma discussão com uma dessas lefties sobre salário mínimo, após eu explicar como salários fixados acima do ponto de equilíbrio entre a oferta e a demanda geram desemprego ou informalidade, a leftie me saiu com uma "é de vidas humanas que estamos falando!".

E eu "Eu sei disso. É por isso que eu pago muito acima do que manda a lei para a minha empregada apesar de saber que arrumaria outra por muito menos. E ainda pago a passagem e ajudo com outras coisas. E você, paga quanto?"

Resposta sem-graça: "Salário + passagem".

São os meios. São os meios...

Andre Kenji de said...

Hmmm. Mas com certeza vai haver violência se o Sarkozy cumprir suas promessas de campanha e tentar alterar a legislação trabalhista...

Cláudio said...

Eu também acho que o pau vai quebrar bonito. Sarkozy deve ganhar, mas será que vai levar?

Afinal de contas é da França que estamos falando.

Anonymous said...

Deu Sarkozy.

Hermenauta said...

É mesmo tudo uma questão de meios. Por exemplo, você deveria se esforçar para entender melhor o quanto a sua defesa da utilização de um Exército forte pelos EUA é, apenas, uma forma de justificar ações do governo americano cuja última ratio é econômica. Mas eu não "go nuts" com isso, só me divirto. :)

fyi said...

smart,
Se vc considera vida ou morte uma questao de economia, then we agree.

Anonimo,
Sim. Vamos ver se vao destruir tudo nas ruas ou nao :-)

Francisco said...

To be fair, Paulo, we hear of liberals with conservative traits all the time. There are plenty of liberals who dislike gun control and affirmative action, for instance, even down here in Brazil. You have some very pro-trade Democrats, even if they are currently less powerful within their party. And of course there are Democrats who share your national security inclinations.