What is the story of every depredation in society since at least the French Revolution?
The people in power fail to fulfill their responsibilities to society; in particular, they can be faulted for failing to fulfill specific Biblical responsibilities to the poor, the widows, the orphans, the debtors, and the slaves. Some elements of society (not necessarily the oppressed ones, but more likely some in the middle) complain or riot or cut some heads off. Since political power actually (if not theoretically or legally) relies on the voluntary submission of the governed, this causes trouble for people in authority, who then panic and starting beating up the troublemakers. The troublemakers then make more trouble, starting civil wars, bombing cafes, shooting presidents, marching with big signs, etc. Sometimes, fortuitous “accidents” occur, such as a timely assassination or a false flag attack, but the general social trend continues. There is conflict between conservatives and reformers, or unionists and rebels, or loyalists and revolutionaries, or some other pair of labeled adversaries. Laws end up changing, because it is nearly impossible to govern with unpopular laws; either the enforcement has to be arbitrarily vicious, or it has to be non-existent, or it has to be bought-and-sold. Sometimes governments change, or state-federal relations change, or governmental systems change.
Along the way, so-called “conservatives” sit up and notice that “the peasants are revolting.” While it’s happening, they tend to be socially conservative enough to be concerned, but not morally principled enough to change themselves. After the laws or governmental systems have already changed for practical reasons, “conservatives” go on and on bitterly denouncing the changes. Because society moves on, they are no longer “conservative”, insofar as they no longer have something to conserve; so they are just another kind of idealist, albeit one that has chosen an arbitrary point in time as ideal, such as 1890 or 1910 or 1952 or 1960, for example.
They want to blame Darwin for religious apostasy; they want to blame gays for high divorce rates; they want to blame women for men’s career failures; they want to blame liberals for conservative immorality; they want to blame government for business failures.
These are the people whose opinions I wish I could like, but I don’t. I don’t like the fact that they trade off moral values for social values, discarding personal responsibility in the name of creating a godly society. I don’t like the fact that they idealize a point in history, rather than just admitting that their fondest wish is to radically reform society to match their vision of perfection (which just happens to match a hazy myth set in a particular time period in the past). I don’t like the fact that they blame other people’s ideals for the failure of their ideals. I don’t like the fact that they blame some person who has been dead for decades, or maybe for hundreds of years, for the fact that everyone thinks their personal idol is a jerk today. I don’t like the fact that they moan endlessly about how the government oppresses them, but only when they aren’t whining about how the government doesn’t support them or about how the government doesn’t oppress other people enough.
I actually prefer the company of these folks–they are almost all friendlier, happier, and nicer than most liberals. I just can’t stand the way political thinking has squished their brains until their intelligence is dripping out onto the BBQ grill and sizzling into plumes of black smoke, forcing their IQ into the range of mental retardation.
My experience with politics evaporating the intelligence of liberals is slightly more limited, since as I said, I don’t really enjoy their company. It did happen with one important person, though–for years I thought I just needed to get up to his level of learning, but I finally discovered that nothing was in his head except a pile of alcohol-soaked, ignorant prejudices: strawmen and adolescent resentments jostled with Dawkins-style deliberate ignorance and arrogance. Yet, everything he does is a sacrifice of praise to the idols of sex or politics.
I could easily blame sex, money, food, climate, or religion for my frustrations with other people, but I like to blame politics, because it is so useless. It is not just that particular opinions seem to be in error, or that “the system” is pointless; it is the way politics consumes people’s identities and rationalizations for everything, despite the fact that it has no practical significance for them. It becomes their entertainment and their religion, yet they refuse to admit that, and will insist that their opinions carry incredible significance. Most disturbingly, for conservatives, politics turns and defines their relationship with God in a way that sometimes seems truly evil. This is the very definition of corruption.