We Don’t Disagree On Objectives

On Modeled Behavior, Karl posts that Unemployment is ‘Awful’. And he posts a chart illustrating that losing a job is a serious emotional experience.

But, the most obvious conclusion from the data in that chart is that “separation from your social and familial group” – separation from your tribe – is what troubles human beings the most. There is nothing to be learned about ‘money’ from the list of psychological stressors.

That aside, and back to your point: No one disagrees that unemployment is bad. The disagreement results from our differences in opinion over how to improve unemployment while producing the least damaging externalities.

The difference between conservatives and progressives is largely one of creating systemic fixes with positive externalities using the private sector that may take time on the one hand, and creating dependencies that create negative externalities using the government sector that produce immediate relief and long term negative consequences that serve to reduce liberty on the other.

And in the different evaluation of those externalities by the two sides. To progressives, a powerful state that helps them oppose the market is beneficial. To conservatives a powerful state that opposes the market is a threat.

It is inconceivable to conservatives that freedom is not more important than temporary stress. Conservatives in the US are classical liberals, which by definition means liberty-seekers. Freedom is an intrinsic good. They do not understand that freedom is, and always has been, a minority proposition, and that only under rare circumstances can freedom be obtained – precisely because a large percentage of people do not want it, and another group can achieve elite status by preventing any group from obtaining it.

Market prosperity requires personal freedom: property rights. Market prosperity does not require political or national freedom. Given the distribution of freedom seekers versus security seekers, Political freedom for the majority is a guarantee that the freedom-seeking minority will lose both political and personal freedom.

Freedom is not a desire of the many. Inexpensive goods that result from freedom are. But freedom to take risks in the market is, and always has been, a minority proposition that is only possible during periods where the majority of citizens are small business people – such as under expansionist agrarianism in both Classical Greece, MIgration Period Settlement, Ascendent England, and the conquest of the american continent.

The rest of the time, most people are some form of dependent – serfs – to the minority of people who actually take personal speculative risk in creating production for the market.

The progressive vision of the universe is that there is a world of plenty from which they are ostracized. The conservative vision of the universe is that there is a world of scarcity which must be constantly replenished through risk taking and experimentation. The progressive sees human reason as able to solve anything we can agree upon. The conservative vision sees human reason as demonstrably frail, and that our hubris is what undermines our success – only discipline and work can create material improvement.

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