There is a debate in the internet land of Punditia about just what is the “counterculture” and why do Leftists dominate it. The conservative side is pretty well summed up by this quote from one Samuel, a commenter at NewsReal Blog:
“A Conservative, be s/he a Christian Conservative, Deist Conservative or an Atheist Conservative, all live by fundamental principles. At the top of the list would be, that individual freedom is unlimited under the level that it remains below the infringement of others freedom.”
What so many Conservatives don’t seem to get, is that the counter culturist types describe themselves essentially the same way!!! They seek to maximize individual freedoms that do not infringe upon other’s freedoms.
Isn’t that JUST what most (non-politically active) people of a counter culture bent are all about? They are drawn Left simply because there they have more opportunity to express their creativity, whether it is art, music or writing.
Why must pundits and leaders on the Right and Left equate artistic creativity with POLITICAL movements that seek to REMOVE traditional elements from society rather than make SOME of them more optional? Things like how you dress or what you can do for a living as a man or woman or minority, and what kind of art you can produce.
It is the FAULT of the Conservatives as well as the progressives if Leftists dominate the creative world! Conservatism is a FACET of thought, not a religion that needs to be kept pure and un-tainted.
The political progressives seek to change entire societal systems to THEIR model; not just allow more elbow room for expression and differences in style and tone; they seek to LIMIT other’s ability to express themselves, JUST LIKE THE CONSERVATIVE EXTREMISTS.
Why else does David Horowitz so often make the point that he is a CLASSIC LIBERAL, not a classic Conservative?!?
A pure Leftist or pure Conservative cannot form a healthy government. NEITHER ONE!
Just look at one of history’s examples of a truly conservative group: The Catholic Church.
Just when in the history of the Church can it be said that there were no Liberal influences moderating the harshness of the Conservative ones? Are those times you would want to live in? As I read history the less influence classic Liberal thought had the more corruption and evil the Church did to the societies it held under its authority.
Can progressive expression of Liberal ideas go too far in shedding traditions? Of course they can, just like Conservative ideas can go too far when unmediated by LIBERAL thought.
On the Left we have seen the brutality of the Protestants against Catholics in the wars of religion, the horrific acts by Communist inspired groups abetted by modern technology in the 20th, and The Terror after the French Revolution. On the Right we have the Spanish Inquisition and that whole mentality which extended all across Europe at one time or another including Conservative Catholic family outings like the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Arguments can be made that Nazi Germany had elements of BOTH Left and Right; explain THAT one in black and white partisan terms if you can!!!
The accident of history that gave the Nazis, Japanese and Communists modern weaponry and transportation to abet their crimes does not in any way alleviate the intimate similarities between Right extremists and Left extremists; it is hypocritical to claim that as an excuse to not be critical of your “allies’s” actions.
The simple truth is that pure conservatism is not just boring, it is stagnant. The most purely conservative group in American history that I can think of off hand were the Puritans. Does anyone on the political Right really WANT to live in a society like that? Is that really your goal? Do not forget, to protect their “Godly” society these wonderful CONSERVATIVES had no trouble hanging a couple sisters for the crime of being Quaker. They also drove one preacher right out of their colony for the truly heinous crime of insisting that a forced faith was not true faith! If the colonies had not united in the U.S. how far do you think they would have gone? Are you all unaware that it was this very Conservative extremism that prompted the majority of colonies to endorse the whole freedom of religion ideal?
IS. THIS. REALLY. WHAT. YOU. WANT? Is THAT the America that those Liberal bastards Franklin and Paine and Jefferson and yes, even Washington wanted?
Frankly, one of the biggest reasons it is so hard for many moderates to embrace their Conservative side publically is just how BORING most True Blue Republicans are! Why do you think Huckabee got so much attention? He actually had NUANCE to his lifestyle.
It may come as a surprise to a lot of culturaly isolated Conservatives but, the majority of people are not content with re-runs of I Love Lucy and a stack of Frank Sinatra records.
Heck, if you eliminated all art produced by those Limbaugh woukd CALL “Leftist” and that produced by “active” homosexuals and “drug” users, just WHAT would you have left?
Dickens, Twain, Melville, Shakepeare, Dumas, Wilde, Elvis, Judy Garland, Ella, Billie Holiday, oh, why bother with a list; almost ALL literature, music, art, plays, blah, blah, blah, is produced by those that the True Blue Conservative ™ would ELIMINATE FROM PARTICIPATION in society!!!
The fact that LEFTISTS in total control would destroy the balance of society just as surely does NOT excuse the partisanship of the Right.
It comes as a constant surpise to me that people actually try to defend the idea of eliminating the influence of Liberals(or Conservatives) from politics. Can anyone truly be that ignorant, to believe that that “victory” would end up in anything but a horrific tyranny of one sort or another?
The label of Conservative is not a shield against immorality or abuse of power, nor is Progressive. Deal with it folks!
Oh, and while I am on a rant, if Conservative Principals are what Republicans say they are, WHO are these people who are registered as Republicans and call themselves Christians who do not seem to GET the whole free speech and freedom of religion thing, not to mention the whole “if you allow one religion to use a public platform ALL must be allowed” thing that the Supreme Court has been so adamant about?
It seems to ME, a MODERATE, that BOTH side’s partisans just love to supress others when they get a chance. Free speech for me but not for thee.
Whether you call yourself Democrat or Republican, THAT ISNT ABOUT FREEDOM AND THAT ISN”T WHAT AMERICA’S CONSTITUTION IS ABOUT!
(Pure Leftist Mind) “Things are not the way we THINK they should be so, we must tear down everything to make it as it should be. Those who stand in the way fully support ALL evil, real and imagined, done by the current system. We are not responsible for ANY evil commited in this noble pursuit.”
(Pure Conservative Mind)”It Ain’t the way Daddy did it so it ain’t the way I gonna do it! It must be immoral and against God; it aint’ NATURAL! IT is a slippery slope. Those who seek ANY changes fully support ALL evil Our Party must not be charged with any evil commited by the status quo.”
Get riled if you want, but that is JUST what most Conservative arguments against change come down to!
This attitude has saturated the Conservative stance in debates ranging from slavery to child labor, women’s votes, black votes, EVERY new form of music and ALL new styles of dress and undress.
The Leftist attitude has successfully co-opted much of the “Liberal” world due to the Conservatives opposing ANY creative changes to society, no matter WHAT the motivation for them may be.
Is there a single creative change that can be listed that did NOT receive immediate opposition from the “Conservative” elements of society?
It is not often that you get a “Liberal” change that does not find support even in the bastions of Conservatism. (Abolition, child labor, minority religious rights, minority racial rights, etc. etc. ad nauseum), and the truly immoral and heinous ideals, like NAMBLA’s agenda, unites Conservatives with people across the spectrum in defense of, not tradition, but life, children and the things that matter to a harmonious society.
Counter culture is nothing more or less than a label for CREATIVE people who seek to express themselves in ways not allowed by the straight-jacket of strict Conservatism.
At certain times politics can intertwine with these people but, do not forget that Leftists are just as authoritarian and CONSERVATIVE about THEIR principals as “real” Conservatives” are and usualy wll offend the most creative after a while.
How do you tell the difference from the inside between a strict Stalinist society and a strict “conservative” one in terms of how the freedom of the individual and their families differ?
Look at a “proper” Puritan household and see how they self edit and apply double-think, and are IN NO WAY SIGNIFICANTLY different from the 1950’s Russian family watching every word and action lest they “sin” and bring down the punishment of God (The State)
One extreme wants to tear down the Constitution and replace it with Marx, the other side wants to tear down the Constitution and replace it with THEIR interpretation of what the Bible says.
Neither side should be allowed to run a society alone without adult supervision.