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Saturday Politics Thread: Now With More Butane [Y-not] | Main | Saturday College Football Thread
November 29, 2014

Fundamental Concepts : The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many [Weirddave]

Last week, after the fundamental concepts thread was mostly dead, a poster came in and excoriated me for being part of the gay mafia. It seems that because I have a gay friend, and because I respect and like her and am able to discuss serious topics with her, I am a deluded fool. The poster was dismayed that s/he had to read such drivel "on a conservative blog", and furthermore...I'll just quote:

I do not care about meeting your gay friends.

I do not care to consider them as individuals, they are not worth my time. As the fanatics that protects them left and right.

You are a tribalist and decided to keep in your tribe people who are part of the problem and not of the solution. That is your problem, not mine. being called homophobes by gay supporter fanatics as you is a badge of honour.

They will throw you under the bus when they obtain all the stupid things they want (destroying religious freedom) but you are too stupid to pay attention.

If you're really interested, you can read it all at the end of last week's thread (Don't post there, I don't know how many days have to pass before the auto-banhammer kicks in for posting on an old thread).

Anyhow, as soon as this exchange occurred, I knew the topic of this weeks thread: The supremacy of the individual. This is a key difference in the way conservatives see the world versus how progs see the world.

In the leftist worldview, the individual doesn't matter except as part of a group. They are all about manipulating differing groups against each other to consolidate their hold on power. Look at any leftist movement in history and it's front and center in all of them. The French Revolution started with the people vs the aristocracy (and ended with the people vs themselves). Marx was all about the proletariat vs the bourgeois. Today's Democrats are all about pigeonholing people into one or more groups: black, gay, female, Hispanic, whatever. It doesn't matter anything about a given individual, they are slotted into one or more group identities and assumed to have a certain set of beliefs, desires and behaviors depending on which group they are in.

It's madness, of course. A prog will tell you with a straight face that the black, female child of the President of the United States is an oppressed victim (two traits assigned to the groups "black" and "woman") and should therefore be given preferential treatment over the son of an illiterate Appalachian coal miner ("white","male") when applying for college.

A conservative, on the other hand, knows that this country was founded on the primacy of the individual. If you tell me that someone is black, that tells me exactly nothing about them except that they have a higher natural resistance to sunlight than I do. Are we talking about Allen West or Michael Brown? There is a difference. Allen West is an individual who is suited to lead men into combat or to lead the country. Michael Brown excelled at getting high and robbing the Quik-E-Mart. Being black doesn't make Allen West a leader anymore than being black made Michael Brown a thug. Their individual choices and life experiences did that.

And that's the crux of it. I am a white male. Peyton Manning is a white male. If "white male" is your criteria, then I'm just as likely to lead a football team to the Super Bowl as Peyton. In real life, the chances of that happening go up just a tad if you chose him as your QB over me.

That's what you get when you treat people as individuals. Peyton Manning would likely be a lousy insurance agent. I'm a stellar one. I'm a lousy QB. He's better. Each of us got that way by making the most of our individual abilities and opportunities.

And that's how our system is supposed to work. We all share a framework of the rule of law. That's the starting point. After that, it's up to each one of us. We can go as far as our desire and ability will take us, in whatever direction we chose to go. Yes, some people will fail, and sometimes it isn't even their fault. That's why the rule of law exists, to keep us on a level playing field and prevent some people from excelling at the expense of others. If Dana fails at being a baker, it should be because of Dana's choices, not because Pat was excelling at being a serial killer.

Treating people as individuals does one thing for society as a whole: it raises the mean. Confining people into groups depresses it. Treating people as individuals results in better outcomes for a higher percentage of the population than doing otherwise. Shouldn't that be the goal of any successful society?

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:06 AM

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