Charlie's Blog: Politics and Temperament


Politics and Temperament

Where you stand depends on where you sit.

Miles's Law came about from the observation of how a bureaucrat changed his thinking on a thing when he was promoted to a different position requiring a different viewpoint. Instead of basing his opinions on an objective view of the facts, he chose to mold his opinion to his paycheck. Similarly, most people's political viewpoints are based not on reason or creed but merely on what enables them to get paid. Yet, we see people who can take a welfare check and still vote Republican. Or consider the character of Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation who was a libertarian who worked for a government agency. You can decry certain people as hypocrites or sell outs. Yet, Miles's Law contains a truth and an untruth. People's political viewpoints are not based so much on reason or where they get a paycheck so much as temperament. Their personalities are what determines their politics more than anything else. And this matters because it points to the futility of reason in the political sphere.

The terms "left" and "right" come to us from the French Revolution of 1789 when members of the National Assembly sat down. Those who supported the king and the Roman Catholic Church sat on the right. These were the conservatives. Those who opposed the king and supported revolution sat on the left. These were the liberals. Left and Right have been with us ever since.

The Left/Right thing is present in virtually every country. In the USA, we have the Republicans on the Right and the Democrats on the Left. In the UK, they have the Conservative Party on the Right and the Labor Party on the Left. In Israel, they have the Likud Party on the Right, and the Labor Party on the Left. Granted, there are third parties such as the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, etc. But they tend to be greater or lesser extremes of Left/Right. When I was a libertarian, I tried to defy the Left/Right thing, but I have to admit that I was on the Right and always have been. I have never voted for a Democrat in my entire life.

People tend to fall on either the Left or the Right. It is much like the issue of Continental divide with water and streams flowing either towards the Atlantic side or the Pacific side. Now, this tendency towards Left and Right defies reasonable explanation. For instance, in the USA, everyone was essentially conservative at one time. If you were blue collar, you voted Democrat. If you were white collar, you voted Republican. Otherwise, the country agreed on many things. The split between Left and Right began under FDR as Roosevelt instituted social programs. Blacks who had been Republican like Lincoln started to become Democrats. Southern whites who had always been Democrats became Republicans. Today, you have weird things like blue collar people supporting conservative and Republican candidates, and hedge fund traders giving millions to support Democrats and Hillary Clinton. If Miles's Law held, these people should be voting completely opposite to how they actually do. But they don't.

The explanation for these oddities come from temperament. A person's temperament is their natural disposition. Some people are simply predisposed to fall on the Left or the Right. And this predisposition is easy to discern in a person. You should not ask someone what their politics may be, but ask them how they feel about work. The answer to that question will tell you everything you need to know about that person's politics.

People on the Left hate work. Work is a curse. The Left has not always thought this way, but we have Karl Marx to thank for this mental shift. Marx was all about the working class or the "proletariat." He was at pains to show how the working class was downtrodden and victimized. The irony was that Marx was never a member of this proletariat. He was basically a lazy bum trying desperately to not be working class.

Leftists today are essentially the same as Marx in their laziness. This is why liberals champion expansion of the welfare state, taxing the rich, and wish for a socialist state with a gigantic sucking bureaucracy where people like themselves do very little all day and get paid handsomely for it. When leftists do work such as in academia, journalism, government, NGOs, and the entertainment industry, they work at jobs that resemble play more than work, and they draw down salaries far in excess of anything a working person receives. And they have no problems or qualms availing themselves of every tax break and Swiss bank account they can find to keep their lightly earned lucre.

People on the Right are different. They believe in hard work. They take the hard jobs, and they work hard. They become entrepreneurs or work hard in companies. If they do work for the government, it is in the grittier roles of the police and military. People of a conservative temperament are used to work, but they resent having their income stripped from them and employed in things they disagree with. People on the Left like to decry the greed of the Right, yet it is conservatives and not liberals who give the most to charity and are most grateful for what they have.

I have seen this division more times than I count, and it explains the reason people become either liberal or conservative more than anything else I have considered. It defies wealth and class. It also explains why a blue collar worker would wave the flag and vote for a Republican despite the Democrats trying to champion his cause. It also explains how a billionaire like Warren Buffett can be a Democrat and a liberal giving millions to causes like Planned Parenthood. Warren Buffett has never had to do a day of real work in his life.

I wrack my brain trying to think of an honest worker who was a Democrat, and the few examples I come up with are handful of black people who were 99% Republican on the issues but insisted on voting their race instead of their deeply held beliefs. Beyond that, those belonging to the Parasite Class tend to be liberal and Democrat while those who belong to the Producer Class tend to be conservative and Republican. Where you stand on the issues depends on where you sit as a producer or a parasite.

I have always been a producer in my life. Consequently, I have always been on the Right. I was a conservative then a libertarian and now I'm back to being a conservative. Despite being an atheist at one time, I could never embrace progressive thinking or the Democrat Party that champions that thinking. Despite my religious views being very different, my political views have been much more consistent. This is an important thing to consider when it comes to political discourse and debate.

If people were liberal or conservative based upon conclusions derived from reasoned arguments, you could stand a chance of persuading them. But if people are liberal or conservative based upon being hard working or lazy, you are wasting your time. You would have better luck convincing these people to change their hairstyles or their fashion sense than you will with their politics. But this begs another set of questions. Are conservatives good? Are liberals evil? Is work a curse?

Work is not a curse. The curse of work comes from the frustration of work, and liberals are fond of creating such frustration. As it stands, liberals and liberalism/progressivism is evil. Their revolution is not so much to overthrow aristocracy as the original leftists back in France desired but to become the new aristocracy set free from work. Conversely, conservatives are champions of work and the work ethic. Conservatives are good.

If you abhor honest work, you will be a Leftist and a Democrat. If you believe in honest work, you will be a conservative and a Republican. It really is that basic.