Politics

Progressives Won the Social Culture War: Can Libertarians and Conservatives Win the Economic Culture War?

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Jonathan Haidt
Credit: New York University

In a smart analysis over in the journal Democracy, New York University psychologist Jonathan Haidt sets out the campaign map for the looming war between Progressives and Economic Liberals. First, he declares that it's all over except for shouting in the decades-long Social Culture War between the religious right and secular liberals: 

Issues related to sexuality, drugs, religion, family life, and patriotism were particularly vexing, and many people over 40 can recall the names of battlefields such as Mapplethorpe, needle exchange, 2 Live Crew, and the flag-burning amendment. But the left won a smashing victory in the 2012 elections, including the first victories at the ballot box for gay marriage.

The Culture War has moved on to the Economic Theater in which the fight is over the size and cost of government. Using insights from his moral foundations theory which probes how people put their together moral beliefs based on six different foundations—Care/Harm, Fairness/Cheating, Liberty/Oppression, Loyalty/Betrayal, Authority/Subversion, and Sanctity/Degradation—Haidt delineates the battle lines for the culture war in the Economics Theater. To make a long story short, Haidt's data suggest that leftwingers chiefly rely on the first three moral foundations, Care, Fairness and Liberty, whereas folks with a conservative bent construct their sense of morality using all six. At stake are the hearts, minds and votes of the younger generation:

The millennial generation has been raised on a diet of tolerance, diversity, and a reluctance to make moral judgments…hey have little fondness for hierarchy and tradition, so it will be hard to woo them with appeals based on the Authority foundation. And they have no visceral sense of disgust at homosexuality, and have been socialized to be as inclusive as possible, so arguments about sexuality derived from Sanctity will fail to move them.

But the millennials also realize they are likely to get a raw deal when it comes to taxes and entitlements. They are well aware that previous generations borrowed heavily to subsidize their own retirement years, and left the generations to come holding the bag. They are likely to listen carefully to arguments about fairness, taxing, and spending from both parties.

How each side regards Fairness and Liberty defines the frontline in the Economic fight. Fairness comes in three forms. The first is procedural—are the rules impartial or rigged (think crony capitalism). Leftists and economic liberals differ over distributive fairness—who deserves to get what. Leftists insist on equal outcomes whereas libertarians and conservatives want to reward people in proportion to their contributions. Data from Haidt's moral foundations survey shows just how deeply the moral intuitions of Progressives and Economic Liberals diverge over distributive fairness:

For example, consider this item, which pits equality versus proportionality: "All employees in a job category should be paid the same, regardless of productivity." Among subjects who call themselves "very liberal," 30 percent agreed. But just 3 percent of our "very conservative" subjects did. Liberals had to think about it, but for conservatives it's a no-brainer: Imposing equality of outcomes in the absence of equality of inputs is a violation of fairness as proportionality.

First thought: Liberals are kidding, right? Apparently not.

Of course, all Americans value Liberty. Libertarians and conservatives stress negative liberty which refers to the absence of obstacles that block human action. Progressives favor positive liberty which refers to having the power and resources to choose one's path and fulfill one's potential. Republicans are seen as the Party of Wall Street whereas Democrats come off as the Party of overweening Nanny-Staters.

Ultimately, Haidt's advice to Republicans and Democrats for winning over younger voters is for both parties to move in a more libertarian direction: Republicans should give up their opposition to gay marriage and agree to end the drug war; Democrats should back off on race-based affirmative action and agree to rein in the regulatory state. Sounds like good advice to me.

Haidt's whole essay, "Of Freedom and Fairness" is worth reading. See Haidt's recent talk in New York on why "It's Hard To Gross Out a Libertarian" on Reason TV:

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  1. While they may tell themselves stories about how they are on the right side of Liberty/Oppression, progs generally manage to come down on the wrong side of that one. Still, if they are receptive to that narrative, that may be an opening.

    My impression is that progs also like to think they are on the Subversion side of Authority/Subversion, which may be another opening.

    Still, I tend to think that your real died in the wool proggie is both (a) a minority and (b) a lost cause. The win here will come from pushing the liberty narrative on the rest of the country.

    1. What is it about minorities that makes them impossible to convert to your wonderful economic beliefs?

      Just curious.

      1. No, he’s saying the “died in the wool proggie” is a minority within the left, not a racial minority persay.

        1. I don’t know what a proggie is.

            1. I think it’s someone Glenn Beck made up in his head.

              1. No, it’s an abbreviation for progressive. Not too hard to understand or figure out.

              2. Keep your gay conversion fantasies to yourself.

          1. There’s a lot you don’t know.

      2. Blacks have a special history that turns them off through guilt by association with Republicans. But ask a black entrepreneur how he feels about it, and you’ll get a different answer.

        When it comes to immigrant minorities, they’re just bringing baggage from their home country, but if you poll across generations, you find that 2nd-generation immigrants are more libertarian than 1st, and 3rd-generation are more libertarian than 2nd, etc.

      3. Count on Tony to see the word “minority” in a post about political beliefs and assume it refers to racial/ethnic groups rather than numerical predominance.

        And, in my experience, the vast majority of proggies are not only white, but relatively well-off.

        1. And, in my experience, the vast majority of proggies are not only white, but relatively well-off.

          Takoma Park, MD. Come for the overpaid, white gubmint professionals and Kumbuya Nights, stay for the compulsory behavior. I said, STAY.

          1. on that side of the Potomac please.

            1. Oh, the Fairfaxers and Arlingtonians are giving them a run for the money.

              I’d be sorely tempted to suddenly “lose control” and run my car in to the (empty) million dollar bus stop.

              1. Lose control of my car, that is.

        2. Sorry for misreading. But I got the answer I was looking for from KPres anyway.

    2. died in the wool

      Aren’t you prohibited from using your own rule?

  2. Yes, Progressives won the social war. That’s why we have a government which controls what I can put in my body, what my kids can think, what I can say, etc. A government which asserts the right to extrajudicially kill or indefinitely imprison anyone at the President’s whim. A government which routinely intercepts electronic communications without a warrant.

    1. That about sums it up.

  3. The President got re-elected on a platform of full-on economic and social progressivism. On no point did he advocate either social or economic freedom; it was authoritarianism all the way down, whether the subject be government spending or mandatory birth control/abortifacients.

    It’s a progressive version of “fusionism” – but instead of a fusion of libertarianism and traditional morality, it’s a fusion of authoritarianism and unconventional morality.

    1. The President got re-elected on a platform of full-on economic and social progressivism.

      No he did not.

      He won a small ball campaign by successfully painting Romney as an evil plutocrat that wanted to rape the country.

      1. and he promised free shit and kept right on doing so through his inaugural speech.

      2. Also, WAR ON WIMMINZ dictates that any vote not going to an approved Team Blue oligarch makes you a rapist.

        1. . . . oh, and lest I forget the whole, “If you don’t vote Democrat and blindly support our hike taxes, the Republicans are going to RAISE TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS CUZ RICH PEOPLE WON’T PAY EVERY DIME THEY HAVE!1111” stupidity that’s STILL somehow fucking going on.

      3. You don’t remember the part where Obama accused Republicans of wanting to defund Planned Parenthood? (And Romney said nothing in response, apparently because the charge was simply too devastating?) Or where he warned of the horrible effects of Paul Ryan’s proposed budget cuts? Defended the HHS mandate? Government being “the one thing we all belong to?”

        1. A DNC ad aimed at Pennsylvania and devoted exclusively to federal funding for Planned Parenthood:

          http://pcl.stanford.edu/campaigns/2012/ (scroll down to “Romney: Wrong for Women, Wrong for PA”)

          And don’t forget Lena Dunham’s “first time” ad, and the importance of the HHS mandate.

    2. it was authoritarianism all the way down, whether the subject be government spending or mandatory birth control/abortifacients.

      Abortions for all! Miniature American flags for no one!

      Yeah, I missed this part of the campaign.

      1. See the ads I cite above.

  4. Progressives Won the Social Culture War: Can Libertarians and Conservatives Win the Economic Culture War?

    Ha! Not a fucking chance.

    1. Doesn’t even depend on how badly they collapse it?

  5. I think it’s going a little far to argue that progressives “won” the social war. Firstly, because in their own minds, there are still battles to fight. It’s not enough to allow birth control and abortion, everyone must be made to pay for it, and conservative doctors must be pressured to provide those services. It’s not enough to allow gay marriage, conservatives and Christians must be coerced into participating in them at the risk of their livelihoods. It’s not enough for women to get equality, they deserve to have that without sacrificing any of the privileges afforded by chivalry too (unless they choose to give them up). Progressivism isn’t a philosophy of governance, it’s a religion — it doesn’t demand simple obedience, but full submission, mind, body, and soul.

    That leads to another issue: not only will they keep fighting the culture war well into conservatives’ home territory, metaphorically speaking, they run the risk of losing even the ground they gained if that fails disastrously. “Progress” in culture and politics has cyclical tendencies.

    1. Progressives have lost the culture war over gun rights, are losing the abortion debate and are universally ridiculed for their nanny positions.

    2. what’s funny is how proggies keep fighting battles that are largely won – civil rights, feminimism, labor. Life is significantly better for minorities, for women, and for employees, but these folks keep insisting that America is perpetually-mired in the days of the robber-baron. Admitting otherwise would, of course, require activists to get real jobs.

      1. Its not just progressives.

        Look at MADD. The founder realized they had won and quit. Why does the org even still exist?

        1. The same reason the SPLC still exists. Cash strictly cash.

          1. That was the only reason the SPLC ever existed, so there is a difference.

            1. MADD isn’t a progressive outfit? Urging government action to punish those who are mostly guilty of victimless crimes?

              1. I’ll submit that the fine line between progressivism and fascism ceased to be meaningful some time ago.

                1. The only difference has ever been that fascists are uncool progressives we’ve all agreed it’s okay to bomb.

              2. MADD isn’t a progressive outfit?

                Yeah, probably.

                They were just the only example I could think of of someone reaching a goal and quitting.

                1. There was a pro-gay marriage organization in New England somewhere that disbanded after their victory. Someone on HnR mentioned it.

                  1. Love Makes a Family in Connecticut in 2009.

                    I was hoping they’d start a trend. I’m still waiting for it.

  6. The millennial generation has been raised on a diet of tolerance, diversity, and a reluctance to make moral judgments…hey have little fondness for hierarchy and tradition, so it will be hard to woo them with appeals based on the Authority foundation.

    Then why exactly are so many of them voting liberal? They were not raised on a diet of tolerance. They were raised on a diet of intolerance and blind obedience couched in a lot of newsspeak about tolerance.

    1. Bingo. Millenials have been steeping in a much more hierarchical and authoritarian environment than early generations. Like fish in the sea, its often invisible to them.

      If your a boomer or post-boomer, your childhood and college years were much more unstructured, open, non-hierarchical, etc. than Gen Y or millenials. Maybe they will revolt against the smothering control they grew up with, but they haven’t yet.

      1. Maybe they will revolt against the smothering control they grew up with, but they haven’t yet.

        That would be like fish rebelling against the sea.

        Why should they? They’ve been raised in a time of unprecedented wealth, little to no unmanufacturered social strife, cheap and ubiquitous technology and now an unparalleled ability to stay connected with others.

        The big problems have all been solved, for the most part, in this country. Now all they have to do is nibble around the edges, gin up outrage over non-problems and go home to the cheap and instant gratification that the current culture offers. They have more disposable income and free time, and options for their time, than any other previous generation. Why would they try and kill that goose?

        Of course, this party is going to come to a sudden and crashing halt eventually and they’ll be pissed at the elders who mortgaged their future, but like the majority of any cadre of 20-somethings, they have very little regard for the abstract future.

        1. Shorter me: they’re fat and happy and see no reason to rebel.

          That isn’t to say that there aren’t good reasons, there are, but they don’t see them as a net positive.

          Mommy and daddy were able to provide them with almost anything they wanted and now the state claims it will too. They’re not going to try and fuck that ride up until it’s too late in the game to make any difference.

    2. Worse, those who show signs of being bored or rebellious in the current environment are diagnosed with a disorder and drugged into compliance. What do you think the explosion in ADHD and Ritalin are?

      1. I keep hearing people say this, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. The drugs like Ritalin aren’t dulling kids minds or making them compliant, they just help them focus and get things done.

        I certainly agree that schools should have no say in whether or not any kid should take a stimulant or any other drug. And it is certainly a problem if a diagnosis is forced on a kid who is just bored.

        But in my experience people taking ADHD drugs don’t lose any of their rebelliousness. If anything, they are better at it because they can stay on task better.

    3. Tolerance means not tolerating intolerance. So the more hostile you are to anyone who disagrees with the collective, the more tolerant you are.

      Same idea with diversity. Celebrating diversity means being openly hostile to anything that disagrees with the collective.

  7. The millennial generation has been raised on a diet of tolerance, diversity, and a reluctance to make moral judgments…

    and yet, neither of the first two things means what the millenials think they mean, and that factors into the third. We all make moral judgments in a host of ways every day, from who we choose as friends to the business we patronize, or don’t, to other things. Further, liberalism is the very antithesis of either tolerance or diversity beyond the notion of people who look different marching in groupthink, which seems a moral judgment of its own re: those who see things differently.

    Maybe folks who write articles like Haidt’s could stop relying on politi-speak that is meaningless in the regular world, and just say what they think. My kids include a couple of Millenials who must be total oddballs since they see tradition as a cool thing in culture while getting that the world around them changes all the time.

  8. The economic and social cultures are inextricably linked. Advantage: statists.

  9. Isnt Haidt the guy that screwed up his basic premise so bad that he entirely missed libertarians the first time around and had to add new categories just to find us?

    Yeah, Im not sure why reason blows him so hard.

    1. robc: Among other reasons is that Haidt dropped the whole simplistic Left/Right dichotomy that deforms so much of the rest of social science research on American politics when he realized that his data were showing that he had overlooked a significant part of U.S.’s politico-moral spectrum, namely libertarians.

      1. Yes, this. I actually like Haidt’s work, and part of why is that he (eventually) presents libertarianism as a veery distinct and interesting category in and of itself.

        This is like the whole Portman gay marriage thing. Don’t be pissy about how they got there, just appreciate that they got there.

        1. Fuck that. So Portman happened to get one thing right for all the wrong reasons. His lack of principles means that he will get many other things wrong for the wrong reasons. Also, what keeps him from regressing on the thing he got right? He has no principles to back it up, so he’s constantly swinging in the wind.

          1. It doesn’t mean you have to like Portman or think he’s now some sort of enlightened soul. But if you’re pushing for something (be it gay marriage or recognition that libertarians are not (exclusively) tinfoil hat types) then people coming around to your viewpoint and respecting it (if not agreeing completely) is a Good Thing.

            Wanting people not only to agree with your positions, but to do so for the right reasons is irritating progressive mind-control bullshit.

      2. How about more coverage of the guys who didnt START with the simplistic dichotomy?

        You all do a good job of covering them in the economics field, Im sure they exist (in much smaller numbers) in the rest of the social sciences.

  10. Democrats should back off on race-based affirmative action

    Sure, and my cat should stop puking on the carpet RIGHT after I vacuum it.

    But will either of these things happen? I doubt it.

  11. For example, consider this item, which pits equality versus proportionality: “All employees in a job category should be paid the same, regardless of productivity.” Among subjects who call themselves “very liberal,” 30 percent agreed. But just 3 percent of our “very conservative” subjects did. Liberals had to think about it, but for conservatives it’s a no-brainer: Imposing equality of outcomes in the absence of equality of inputs is a violation of fairness as proportionality.

    That is an utterly meaningless result because the question is not put to the respondents how it is put to the public in reality. The question is never about productivity and pay. It is always a question of “if a man and a women are doing the same job should they receive the same pay?” Put in those terms with the proper buzzwords and the millennials will have the Pavlovian response their educators have conditioned them to have.

    1. Well, it’s the bait and switch. Equal pay for equal work is something everyone believes in. That’s the bait. The switch when it comes to women in the workforce is conflating aggregated statistics with individuals.

  12. Care/Harm, Fairness/Cheating, Liberty/Oppression, Loyalty/Betrayal, Authority/Subversion, and Sanctity/Degradation…Haidt’s data suggest that leftwingers chiefly rely on the first three moral foundations, Care, Fairness and Liberty

    You meant to write Harm, Cheating and Oppression, correct?

  13. This “Regressives won the Social Culture War” argument is precipated on the false notion that Regressives actually give a shit about ending drug prohibition, reforming immigration, or allowing gays to marry outside of their usual election year hotair.

    Judging the Left Wing by the reality of their actions instead of their own sollipsistic self-imaging exposes this lie.

    1. Exactly. Watch what happens if Republicans DO become social liberals. Progs will drop the civil liberty platform in a heartbeat, because they won’t be able to use it as a club…the only reason they have it now.

      Ultimately, the distinction between economic liberty and civil liberty is a false dichotomy. If you’re going to centrally plan a society, you have to control all behavior, economic or not.

      1. Progs will drop the civil liberty platform in a heartbeat,

        They already have. Look at their reaction to Paul’s filibuster on drones. They are more merciless and more uncompromising on the war on radical Islam than Bush ever was. If you really just hate Muslims, you should always vote for Democratic President who will unlike Republicans be able kill with impunity.

        1. If you really hate Muslims you should vote Republican because they kill so many more of them. Same goes for if you hate American soldiers.

          1. Obama has killed many more Muslims than Bush ever did and in more countries. And Obama has the added bonus of assassinating American citizens. Under Bush the drone program was reasonably limited. It exploded under Obama and went world wide.

            Obama has probably presided over the deaths of more foreigners at US hands than any President since Johnson and is the only President since Lincoln to have directly ordered the death of American citizens.

            That is his legacy Tony. You need to learn to accept it and live with it.

            1. Well you probably fuck goats. See I can just make shit up too. Christ, what planet are you on?

              1. The planet where a Nobel Peace Prize winner has a kill list.

                1. “The planet where a Nobel Peace Prize winner has a kill list.”

                  Can’t be emphasized enough.

              2. Did Obama not continue two wars? Did he not order the death of two Americans? Are all those deaths in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Libya just imaginary?

                1. As imaginary as the ones in Iraq under Bush.

                  1. And how many of those deaths were caused by our enemies. In terms of number of people US troops have actually killed, we have almost certainly killed more in the last five years than in the 8 years under Bush. Obama has one hell of a butcher’s bill. He has been extremely efficient at killing people. Aren’t you proud of that?

                    1. Our biggest enemy was G.W. Bush, if you’re going by actions that lead to body count. The Iraq War was based on lies, John. It should never have been fought. And you’re delusional on the claims you’re making here too.

                    2. And yet your hero continued both wars, wanted to extend our occupation of Iraq past the Bush deadline, ridiculously ramped up the use of drones, decided it was ok to have a kill list, killed two american citizens, and entered into more hostilities against other foreign powers.

                      Go fuck a diseased cock you slimy sycophantic demfag.

                    3. wow – what a wonderful and perfectly pure world to live in where your enemies are always wrong and always more immoral than you and those you support.

                      Such confidence you must have in yourself in just knowing that on EVERY SINGLE ISSUE, that Obama is correct, or Bush/Repubs caused all the bad things to happen which are happening or your opponents has done so many awful things in the past, all current immoral actions being committed by those you support are immediately justifiable by comparison.

                      “Doubt is unpleasant. Certainty absurd.” – Voltaire

                      Though since that quote argues against you and your dear leader’s belief in Obama’s omnipotence, I suppose Voltaire is some Republican plant, huh?

        2. “They already have. Look at their reaction to Paul’s filibuster on drones.”

          Bingo. Had this been a Democrat senator fillibustering the Bush admin over Iraq (which wouldn’t have happened, seeing as how the majority of them were pro-Iraq War until the 04 elections, which Tony conveniently omits) you’d be hearing “speaking truth to power” everywhere you turned.

          But, instead, it’s a Reich-Wing Rethuglican obstructing Dear Leader’s attempts to exercise the Will of the People, so he’s grandstanding, and also, he has a different solution to same-sex marriage that doesn’t involve government overlording and that’s SO much more sacreligious than killbots.

      2. Why do you have to control all behavior?

        Even your politics entails some amount of “central planning.” So why are you not on the slippery slope to Stalinism?

        1. Yeah. Libertarian politics involves “central planning” because it takes central planners to stop the central planners from central planning.

          Your stupidity never ceases to amaze.

          1. sarc….you need to stop writing the circular reference passages…you’re going to fall down and hit your head.

          2. That’s literally the only fucking argument he has. Take it away from him, and he’s just some homeless old guy dropping his pants and singing “Old Gray Mare” on the side of the highway.

      3. “Progs will drop the civil liberty platform in a heartbeat…”

        Also look how many now support a military draft; even those that protested against in during the Vietnam War.

  14. And also, since cultures are never static, no one ever “wins” the culture war. Just because culture swings one way for a few decades or even a century doesn’t mean it won’t swing back at some point.

  15. As long as proponents of laissez-faire economics are in bed with religious fundies and neocons, it’s gonna be hard to get converts. Of course increased liberalization of culture is inevitable. In the modern age the only way to halt it is constant pressure from the clerical class, and that doesn’t really happen in this country except in certain pockets of uncultivated backwoods.

    The only real variable that will determine whether young people accept laissez-faire economics is their relationship to empirical reality. If they completely ignore it, you have a shot. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up. These things tend to go in cycles, and the Reaganomics era went out with a bang. Young people are not overall radical individualists but strongly appreciate community. It has to be so–that attitude goes hand-in-hand with increasing tolerance. You arrive at both liberal cultural values and liberal economic values this way, by being around people who are different from you and not getting in a tizzy about it.

    1. Of course increased liberalization of culture is inevitable.

      Odd. I think a good case can be made that the smothering bureaucracy of “tolerance” compliance hasn’t actually liberalized our culture.

      In any event, nothing cultural is inevitable. Look at the Mideast: many countries there were well on their way to Westernizing before the Wahhabists arrived and fundamentalist Islam became so powerful.

      1. That’s what I said: cultural progress can be halted, but only by religion. And religion is on its way out in the civilized world. It will be slower-going in strongly theocratic place such as some areas of the Mideast, but the spread of information (hence secularism) is an organic process, while religious oppression takes constant effort.

        1. And how about the cultural regression that took place in places like the USSR and Nazi Germany?

          1. And how about the cultural regression that took place in places like the USSR and Nazi Germany?

            Without a belief in a higher power or in guiding principles, those in power have nothing to constrain themselves. The result is pure evil, which is what Tony wants.

        2. It will be slower-going in strongly theocratic place such as some areas of the Mideast, but the spread of information (hence secularism) is an organic process, while religious oppression takes constant effort.

          Yeah and the secular cultures across the planet start dying off just as soon as they reach the zenith of your “progress”.

          But you carry on I’m enjoying the show

        3. And religion is on its way out in the civilized world.

          Worshiping government as a god is not a religion?

          while religious oppression takes constant effort

          Yes, it does take effort for your god government to oppress.

        4. Tony that is complete nonsense. Cultures never stay the same. There are any number of examples of once tolerant or even decadent cultures completely turning in a matter of a decade and becoming very oppressive.

          And no Tony, it is not just religion that does it. There are these evil triplets known as communism, socialism and fascism that do it quite effectively. Ever hear of decadent bourgeois/Jewish art and morals?

        5. This from the guy who supports mandatory birth control and thinks that killing global-warming deniers is less radical than doing nothing. And who defends the governments ability to kill citizens without trial.

          1. This from the guy who eats babies and rapes goats. WTF?

            1. Shall I go to the archives and dredge up those quotes? Or are you going to pretend that you and Space Tony are 2 different people now?

              1. I support access to birth control, believe that doing nothing with respect to global warming is the most radical action to take, and I’ve never supported doing away with due process.

                1. I’ve never supported doing away with due process.

                  ________

                  Except when you cast your vote to reelect President Drone Strike.

                  1. So casting a vote for someone means you support everything they ever do?

                    1. Only if you consider the action you oppose to be an important one.

                      So either you support the drone strikes, or the death of innocent children isn’t important to you.

                      So which is it?

                    2. You imply there is some alternative. I vote Democratic less because I like what they do and more because they aren’t Republicans, who WILL kill more innocent children and would be far less judicious in their use of new military technologies. That’s just a given. Do you suppose there is some pacifist alternative? Or does voting your “conscience” absolve you of all the bad things your government does in your name? You are better because, rather than choosing the lesser of two evils, you sat on your ass and thought about what a good person you are?

                    3. That’s a good one. Tell me another.

                    4. who WILL kill more innocent children and would be far less judicious in their use of new military technologies. That’s just a given.

                      ___

                      Begging the question. Plus laughably untrue, considering WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam were all Team Blue.

                      ____

                      Do you suppose there is some pacifist alternative? Or does voting your “conscience” absolve you of all the bad things your government does in your name?
                      ___

                      I’m not a pacifist dipshit. I have this quaint belief that war should be fought against adults, not children. You savage fucking piece of shit.

                      My conscience is clear, because the people I vote for renounce aggressive war. You cannot say the same.

                      I am much, much, much better then you. You are a loathsome turd, a fellater of tyrants, a sniveling coward who is pleased to lick boots and grateful for his chains. You are worthless.

                    5. I’m talking about the current parties, as you well know.

                      So how many lives have you saved by voting your conscience? Guesstimation?

                    6. And you still dodge the fact that the first five wars of the 20th century were started by Democrats.

                      God you are a boring demfag sockpuppet.

          2. Tony has no morality beyond “might makes right.”

            So to him rape and murder are only wrong if there is someone mightier than you to stop you. No self restraint other than fear of punishment. With no fear of punishment, anything goes.

            When people like him gain power, the result is death. This is what Tony celebrates: death.

            1. You will never get it so I don’t know why I bother…

              Rape and murder are wrong. But they haven’t always been considered wrong. Rape has at times been among the spoils of victory in war. What we would call murder has been sanctioned in various forms throughout history.

              The only point about force is that if someone is trying to rape or murder you, muttering moral principles into the air is not likely to stop them. You are not more morally upright because you feel things in your heart in a certain way.

              1. Well, if some tries to rape and murder me, I’m going to shoot them dead. But you want to deny me that ability, right? Retarded little control freak statist.

                1. Ideally I’d prefer that neither you nor the rapist had a gun, so as to minimize the chance of someone dying, but no I’m not in favor of doing away with self-defense.

                  1. but no I’m not in favor of doing away with self-defense.

                    *snort*

                  2. Ideally I’d prefer that neither you nor the rapist had a gun, so as to minimize the chance of someone dying, maximize the chance of a successful rape, but no I’m not in favor of doing away with self-defense.

                  3. Just like you’re in favor of free speech, so long as no one has a radio transmitter or a printing press?

              2. The only point about force is that if someone is trying to rape or murder you, muttering moral principles into the air is not likely to stop them.

                Neither is dialing 911. You would prefer that victims be unarmed and unable to defend themselves. So in effect you do not believe rape and murder are wrong, or you would support allowing people do defend themselves without having to beg for help from your god government.

                1. But I do support the right to self-defense…

                  1. Just not the right to shoot anyone you want because you think you’re the ultimate authority on everything.

                    1. Just not the right to shoot anyone you want because you think you’re the ultimate authority on everything.

                      Time to trot out the straw man. Any more fallacies while we’re here?

      2. If I recall correctly, homosexuality was pretty well tolerated in Hellenic culture. So why are we having a debate about it right now if cultural trends are inevitable? Shouldn’t that issue have been solved 2000 years ago?

        1. My hypothesis doesn’t apply to any era other than the modern one. Of course there were ebbs and flows of cultural progress through history.

          And we could have some kind of apocalyptic event that destroys our institutions and networks of information flow and then in a couple generations be back to the dark ages. Sure that could happen. All I’m saying is it seems that liberalization is a natural process for societies not under a religious yoke.

          1. Which countries are those not under a religious yoke? Members of the European Union, which tend to be far less religiously diverse and tolerant than the US? Or quickly liberalizing places like Brazil, also with extremely low religious diversity?

    2. Could you go to another website and bore people?

    3. That’s the problem, really. The proggy victory in the social/cultural war has created innumerable mechanisms of control that are inevitably applied to economics.

      The vast “civil rights” bureaucracy regulations, and the eternally receding horizon of racial/ethnic/gender/religious “equality” are directed mostly at economic activity, after all.

      1. Liberals have no more access to mechanisms of control than anyone else, except by virtue of them winning elections more (and that certainly doesn’t always happen).

        Liberals do have an economic morality, and it is contrasted with the bankrupt version you guys are trying to peddle. When almost all gains in worker productivity result in increases in wealth not for workers but for a tiny elite who are gaming the system, liberals consider that a problem to be rectified. You call it evil thievery of course.

        1. Liberals do have an economic morality, and it is contrasted with the bankrupt version you guys are trying to peddle.

          Liberals do have an economic morality, and it is contrasted with the bankrupt version you guys are trying to peddle. involves throwing the ignorant rabble just enough scraps to continue to vote and keep them, TEAM BLUE, in power. Oh that and by continuing the hated policies of the republicans by continuing to wet nurse the banking system.

          The corrected passage.

          I’m glad your in academia…you’re clearly too stupid to survive out side of your hot house.

        2. When almost all gains in worker productivity result in increases in wealth not for workers but for a tiny elite who are gaming the system

          That “system” is what you support. When you have the Federal Reserve explicitly transferring wealth from the poorest to the richest, there is no gaming necessary. As if that wasn’t enough, Progressives couple that with the gargantuan regulatory state that completely erases most economic opportunities for the poor and further entrenches the already wealthy.

        3. “When almost all gains in worker productivity result in increases in wealth not for workers but for a tiny elite who are gaming the system, liberals consider that a problem to be rectified.”

          Cite one fucking single example in all of history where this occured, as opposed to a tightknit group of said “workers” banding together to form a tiny elite who game the system for themselves AL LA every Union ever.

          But then, that’s not really your concern so much as ensuring that you yourself get to be one of those Top Men, right?

          1. I think a more equitable distribution of wealth is not only morally preferable but necessary for a healthy economy.

            And anyone who is obsessing over the alleged abuses of organized labor while ignoring the widespread economy-destroying abuses of organized corporate kleptocracy is just a tool and an idiot.

            1. “I think a more equitable distribution of wealth is not only morally preferable but necessary for a healthy economy.”

              Inequality is necessary for globalization. Workers can’t fund factories in China, only rich capitalists can. Ironically, trickle-down is working, it’s just that the trickling is trickling all the way down to workers in 3rd world countries, when Americans thought it would stop with us.

        4. “When almost all gains in worker productivity result in increases in wealth not for workers but for a tiny elite who are gaming the system, liberals consider that a problem to be rectified.”

          Luckily for us, you guys don’t understand this phenomenon, and so you’ll screw up the politics.

          What’s commonly called the “productivity gap” is entirely explained by the difference in deflators the two measurements use, ie, the PPI vs the CPI. If you measured productivity using the CPI, the gap disappears. That’s not to say using the CPI is appropriate, but it does reveal the cause, namely, that consumer prices have risen faster than producer inputs. The only way that could happen is with the expansion of consumer credit, which fuels demand without corresponding production, and is entirely a result of world-wide central bank expansion of the money supply. This is why the gap began to emerge right after the fall of Bretton Woods.

          The good news is these days are over, or at least, coming to an end, despite the best efforts of Paul Krugman. Debt-fueled demand can’t go on forever, and the Great Recession is really the Great Correction.

          1. But these are market failures…

    4. Almost reads like a Hitler Youth recruitment flier.

  16. “The only real variable that will determine whether young people accept laissez-faire economics is their relationship to empirical reality.”

    Why? Impirical reality is on our side. Central planning is dead and won’t be reborn. The only progressive current issue that resonates with anybody is inequality, and while this is a result of economic liberalism, it’s only by proxy. Globalization, and the increase in the supply of workers it brings is the direct cause, and is only temporary. When the workforce stops growing, new sources of cheap labor run out and the bargaining power of workers is restored. The point is you can’t stop it without stunting the fantastic growth in developing countries, which of course, will show up in the data if the progs try.

    “Young people are not overall radical individualists but strongly appreciate community.”

    They are more individualist than they’ve ever been. You don’t have any historical perspective. The 60s generation were outright commies. All that’s gone. The anti-corporation rhetoric is there, but that’s not collectivist in nature, more anarchist, and is fueled by the inequality. Again, ultimately temporary.

    1. All politics is collectivist, and all politics entails central planning. No matter what you tell yourself to sleep at night, no laissez-faire system has ever happened because the people wanted it. It always has to be imposed, and it’s always imposed by political and economic elites who know that it’s the perfect system to drain society of its wealth and take it for themselves.

      And ignore me if I’m incorrectly interpreting you, but you seem to be playing the China card. As in, look at what capitalism is doing for China! As if there isn’t far more central planning and collectivism in China than even I advocate.

      1. Because it takes force to stop those who initiate force from initiating force, libertarianism is nothing short of tyranny!

      2. China is doing well because there is less central planning than before they were doing well.
        Yes there is a lot of central planning, but that doesn’t mean that they are prospering because of it. If so they would have prospered more when there was more central planning.
        So if they are prospering because of less central planning, then maybe central planning is not the reason why they are prospering.
        Maybe they are prospering despite central planning.

        Fuck, you’re stupid. I mean…. fuck.

        1. Your problem is an inability to see gray areas. It’s not your fault. There’s science that says your genes made you that way.

          For pretty much everything it’s usually not the case that more or less is always better. I believe in a balance of capitalism and government. I don’t believe in more government all the time forever. Both a free market and central planning have their uses. In America we invent new stuff on a regular basis. In China they can build the world’s tallest skyscraper in three months, whereas here we can’t build a smaller one in 10 years. It’s all about attempting to find the right balance of priorities.

          1. I’m suspect your genes render you incapable of understanding logic.

          2. You don’t understand the first fucking thing about science

          3. Maybe that’s because of all the bullshit rules and regulations people like you impose on construction.

            FUCK YOU. You want shit to be built faster, then don’t make me spend 8 months investigating if this area of wet earth is a wet land or just the runoff from the neighbors leaking pool only to tell me that because the neighbors pool leaked you’re now considering it a wetland and thus unbuildable.

      3. “All politics is collectivist, and all politics entails central planning.”

        Please die in a fire. Redefining words doesn’t change the fact that there’s a difference between liberal and authoritarian government.

        1. Nobody is advocating for authoritarianism.

          1. Nobody is advocating for authoritarianism.

            Authoritarianism is the logical conclusion of what you advocate. But since you are genetically incapable of understanding logic, I do not expect you to understand.

            1. Why is it the logical conclusion? Why isn’t it also the logical conclusion of your beliefs, since you aren’t a total anarchist?

          2. The progressive movement is authoritarian in nature and always has been. The American left is some kind of unholy marriage between progressivism and liberalism, and can’t really be sustained because the two are internally contradictory. The only thing keeping it alive right now is a reactionary response to Republican theocracy and a good bit of race-baiting. You guys are losing the ideological war but can’t see it because you’ve won a few political victories. But that’s only because you’ve been able to import voters with strong predispositions toward socialism. But the immigration rate is crashing (I believe 2011 was actually net negative), and will continue to because the Mexican economy is growing faster than the American, so why come here?

      4. First of all, no laissez-faire system has happened because government and big business have always colluded with each other. The smaller the government has been (historically) the more laissez-faire the economy has been.

        Second. China didn’t start to fucking prosper till capitalism started slipping in and the higher ups in the party decided to let go of their stranglehold on the economy.

        Jesus Christ you are a stupid demfag.

  17. But the millennials also realize they are likely to get a raw deal when it comes to taxes and entitlements. They are well aware that previous generations borrowed heavily to subsidize their own retirement years, and left the generations to come holding the bag. They are likely to listen carefully to arguments about fairness, taxing, and spending from both parties.

    Their proffered political preferences indicate the exact opposite.

  18. Proggy win = loss for freedom.

    Proggies can keep their progressivism and socialists can keep their socialism.. but I wish we could take back the word “liberal”, instead of having to append “classical” every time.. or having to explain liberalization of markets means freeing up markets or deregulation..

    And with regards to the article, while I understand the separate categorization, there really is no distinction between social/civil and the economic spheres. Economic activity consists of any exchange between people. You don’t have to trade in terms of money either. And civil freedoms also involve exchanges. About the only individual freedom that doesn’t involve exchange is physical movement of your body, and technically the just means to do so–acquiring land/property or getting permission from property owners–also involves exchange.

    1. Proggies believe that freedom means using force. Freedom means forcing smokers to shiver in the cold or forcing the rich to pay for government programs. For them everything comes down to force.

  19. Republicans should give up their opposition to gay marriage and agree to end the drug war

    Agree with who? The Republicans have been mostly agreeing with the Democrats on the drug war since 1913, 1937, 1961,1966, 1970, 1981…

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