OPM, OPV, OPL

“You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative.” claims Jim DeMint.  Allahpundit explores this very odd statement.  Ace also takes note.

I dislike “conservative” and “liberal” because they’re social labels, not rational ones.  Consider scientific disputes.  Scientists argue all the time, but they all agree on the definition of “the speed of light” and the value of pi

You want to claim that “conservative” and “liberal” are rational terms?  Just come up with definitions acceptable to both groups, then.  Good luck with that.

(Yes,  “progressive” is used freely at this site.  Of my encounters with self-professed progressive minds and arguments, 100% have been anti-liberty.  So it’s a rational term.  As a synonym for totalitarian.) 

Probably all W.O.R.M. readers are fiscally conservative.  Don’t spend money you don’t have, financial discipline is a virtue, etc. etc.

But social conservatism is problematic.  Millions of “conservatives” make the same mistake, socially, that “liberals” do fiscally.  Liberals are generous spenders of OPM, Other People’s Money.  And their counterparts are conservative with OPV…Other People’s Values. 

As noted here previously, Christians should not use legal force in trying to prevent other people’s sin.   Does God forcibly prevent us from sinning?  No.  So you can pretend you’re wiser than Him, but the W.O.R.M. is sitting that one out.

So I must break social conservatism into two categories: good and bad.

Good social conservatives practice it.  They lead by example, they raise their children in their earnest beliefs.  Christians will be more socially conservative than many other Americans because our faith constrains much natural behavior. 

Take note: our behavior.  Bad social conservatives don’t simply practice social conservatism…they try to enforce it.  Worse, on a national scale.  And all without amending the Constitution!

As an American, I oppose those social conservatives exactly as I do fiscal liberals.  And for the same exact reason:  they infringe upon OPL.

Other People’s Liberty.

About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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5 Responses to OPM, OPV, OPL

  1. DiogenesLamp says:

    This is a topic that I discuss often. For those that don’t understand it on a fundamental level, it’s difficult to get the important points across, especially because people don’t WANT to accept them. Rather than go into a long winded explanation of why Social Conservatism and Fiscal Conservatism are like an electro-magnetic wave (They are sort of at right angles to each other, but you can’t really have one without the other. look at “tytler cycle” ) I’ll just quote you some Edmund Burk. (Father of Conservative Philosophy)

    “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters. “

    • wormme says:

      But what’s the optimal balance between legal liberty and rectitude? That’s why I specifically made my objections to national policies. I have no problem if one state bans alcohol and another goes the Lotus Eater route. People will see pretty quickly which approaches are most condusive to a full and good life.

      • DiogenesLamp says:

        The balance is dynamic and generationally determined by trial and error, which becomes experience. Over the last couple of thousand years it has been experimentally demonstrated that something like Christianity is necessary for a society to grow and prosper.

        There MUST be a common set of moral principles to which everyone agrees, and they MUST be inviolable. For example: Slavery. At one time some people considered it acceptable, and others did not. (Still the case today in some parts of the world.)

        Another example: Blowing up airplanes by suicide bombers. When air flights catered only to people who believed such things were wrong, we didn’t have any planes getting blown up. Now that we cater to people that do not share our moral beliefs in this regard, we have to take extraordinary precautions to prevent these people with a DIFFERENT morality from blowing up airplanes.

        The notion that you can REGULATE, or ENFORCE people to behave is ludicrous. They must be CONVINCED to behave because they share common moral beliefs. Again with Edmund Burke.

        “The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered.

        And while we’re at it, how about a little John Adams?

        “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

        Every libertarian i’ve ever met eschews “morality”, not realizing that they exist in a society that is the result of embracing it. I have this same argument with Athiests. (I am an agnostic) They postulate an existence without Christianity oblivious that they are living in an ocean of it and it’s past works. There is a strong argument that it was Christianity (especially after the reformation) that dragged Europe out of misery and into the enlightened age. Here’s a website that Argues this very point.

        http://www.bede.org.uk/sciencehistory.htm

      • wormme says:

        Wow, that comment touches on all sorts of essential points. Too bad the people who don’t get them aren’t reading this.

        Of all the labels out there, I’d call myself a “libertarian” long before conservative, liberal, whatever. So you’ve now met one libertarian who doesn’t eschew morality. But of course you’re right about doctrinare libertarians.

        “The balance is dynamic” point is excellent. It’s yet another reason why states should be given complete freedom to experiment as long as that “common set of moral principles” is adhered to.

        Thanks so much for your involvement here.

  2. DiogenesLamp says:

    Thank you for the opportunity to present my perspective of things, and I agree with you about the Federalism.

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