Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Why, Conservatives?

[Every now and again these thoughts come to mind. It's time to put them down.]

There's an enormous strangeness at the heart of conservatism.  Conservatives schemed and fought, and won the rule of the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. And what have they done with their power? They fight pointless wars. They crash the global economy. They build a vast and oppressive surveillance state.

They have taken something strong and beautiful, and done their level best to destroy it. How can this even be called conservatism? Nothing of value is being conserved, and much is being destroyed.

Now I know there are individual motivations: greed, paranoia, religious rigidity. But none of these require destruction. I can only conclude that, somehow, beyond ideology and simple human failings, there is a simple love of destruction. It is not hard to see that conservative ideologies have been destructive. Surely the conversion of Iraq into a Shiite state is failure? So is crashing the world economy. Yet, somehow, conservatives go on, working to conserve…nothing, apparently.


Conservatives have won many victories in the past 30 years. Most of these victories have lead to painful failures. Yet somehow they still want more. It seems that they will not be satisfied until they have destroyed the Union of the United States of America.

[1/8/2014, cleanup and addition]

I think I know. Cortez, it is said, cried when he realized he was going to have destroy Tenochtitlán in order to conquer it: he had wanted to rule the most beautiful city he had ever seen. But he destroyed it, to rule what was left. For these people it is power or nothing.

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