Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dinesh D'Souza on conservatives and liberals

At root, conservatives and liberals see the world so differently because they have different conceptions of human nature. Liberals tend to believe in Rousseau's proposition that humans are intrinsically good. Therefore they believe that people who fail or do bad things are not acting out of laziness or wickedness; rather, society puts them in this unfortunate position. Since people are innately good, liberals hold, the great conflicts of the world are not a result of good versus evil; rather, they arise out of terrible misunderstandings that can be corrected through ongoing conversation and through the mediation of such groups as the United Nations. Finally, liberals' high opinion of human nature leads to the view that if you give people autonomy they will use their freedom well.

Conservatives know better. Conservatives recognize that there are two principles in human nature — good and evil &mdash and these are in constant conflict. Given the warped timber of humanity, conservatives seek a social structure that helps bring out the best in human nature and suppress man's lower or base impulses. Conservatives support capitalism because it is a way of steering our natural pursuit of self-interest toward the betterment of society at large. Conservatives insist that because there are evil rĂ©gimes and destructive forces in the world that cannot be talked out of their nefarious objectives, force is an indispensable element of international relations. Finally, conservatives support autonomy when it is attached to personality responsibility — when people are held accountable for their actions — but they also believe in the indispensability of moral incubators (the family, the church, civic institutions) that are aimed at instructing people to choose virtue over vice. . . .

Since liberals have a wrong view of man, their policies are unlikely to achieve good results. Indeed, liberal programs frequently subvert liberal goals. . . . By contrast, conservative policies are not only more likely to produce the good society, they are also the best means to achieve liberal goals such as peace, tolerance, and social justice.

(Dinesh D'Souza, Letters to a Young Conservative [New York, NY: Basic Books, 2005], 9-10)

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