Conservativism is, at its root, all about being selfish

Seriously, that’s what it’s all about. So much of conservative thought (and especially libertarian policy) is about being selfish.

I got mine, so who cares about you?

Programs and policies that benefit them are perfectly acceptable but if it helps anyone else, it’s a waste of government time and money.  Oh sure, they code their selfishness with the word “liberty” but when they talk about liberty they mean they want to do whatever they want and screw anyone else who may be hurt in the process.  “I should have the liberty to discriminate and take away everyone else’s liberty” is what a lot of their argument boils down to.

But let’s be honest here — it’s not just about them personally but their group.  “Our religion needs to have its religious laws forced upon everyone else, but your religion should be banned. Our immigrant forefathers are the core of this country but you immigrants are not welcome. Tax breaks for things we do are reasonable government expenditures but tax breaks for what you do are just plain theft from me.”

The history of progress in America has largely been the fight by liberals against conservatives who selfishly did not want to share what they had: their power, their wealth, their freedoms.

What is the common thread of all of these movements in America?:

  • Abolishing slavery
  • Giving women the right to vote
  • Abolishing child labor
  • Establishing a minimum wage
  • Worker’s rights
  • Civil rights
  • Environmental protection
  • Gay rights

Yes, that’s correct. Liberals supported all of this, and conservatives opposed them, because they didn’t benefit them and in fact, removed many of them from having the power they once held.

And we’re seeing that now. It’s not a coincidence that the conservatives are the ones now protesting quarantines and refusing to protect society in general. You can discuss all sorts of political reasons why that is, but it really boils down to selfishness.

(Note: This is very much a simplification of conservative thought and does not necessarily apply to all government policies such as foreign affairs and such. But it’s useful to remember when you read something about a conservative’s position. Quite often, you can boil it down to selfishness for themselves and people like them.)

21 thoughts on “Conservativism is, at its root, all about being selfish

    • “But if we forgive student loan debt, how is that fair to people who have already struggled to pay their debt off?”

      Like, if we found a cure for cancer, would they say “We can’t cure anyone’s cancer, because that’s unfair to cancer patients who have died”?

      Probably.

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      • Well said. Or its like saying “if we give women the right to vote, how is that fair to the women who have not been able to vote in the past?”

        Or “if we abolish slavery, how is that fair to people who already died in slavery?”

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  1. Wow, put down the loaded questions strawmen and slowly back away, author.

    Funny how the author complains they want imaginary privileges enforced (by gunpoint by government) but doesn’t consider the rights of those individuals who must be stolen from in order to find what they want. Do they not have a right to their earnings? Oh, wait… You mean they only have a right to as much as you feel they’re allowed. Awfully decent of you.

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      • Except what I wrote isn’t selfish, Chief. Rather, taking from another… Or more to the point, wanting to use the force of government to take from others to fund a service you want is selfish.

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      • Thank you for putting it so succinctly and 100% accurately. And the conservatives who’ve responded here truly have only proved your point, at least from what I could glean from the gibberish they wrote. Not big on actual history, are they? Keep up the excellent work.

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      • Mr. Ventrella,
        How much of what you earn, belongs to me?
        why does it belong to me?
        when will you send it to me, so I can enjoy the benefits of your earnings belonging to me?

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    • Yours was a BS reply based on pure hubris and falsehood. You can’t even tell us what the “straw men” are, without risking ridicule. Pure hot air, or more likely a halitosis laden blast of discontent with the truth.

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      • The article begins with a statement regarding modern conservstives, then snowballs into off topics which have nothing to do with the subject at hand, thereby “building the straw man”. Slavery, for instance, hasn’t been an issue in over a century and a half, and no one alive today was around to get involved in the discussion. More to the fact, the Republican party was the one that pushed for abolition. Not only is the author’s gripe off target, it’s grossly misplaced. Yet the author uses it because he knows halfwits like you will passively read and think the topic applies to the argument. In fact, the overwhelming majority of “examples” with bullet points next to them are close to or over a half century past and bringing them up has no relevance to arguing against people alive today.

        If you’re gonna participate, know what you’re talking about, kid. Better yet, try not being so obsessed with your side and learn to be critical of your side. Intellectual laziness isn’t helping you or them

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      • “Know what you’re talking about” certainly applies. For instance, the Republican party at the time of slavery was the liberal party, as anyone who knows what they’re talking about is aware. Note I never used parties — I talked about liberal v. conservative.

        I am always willing to debate topics with anyone who knows what they’re talking about and who doesn’t insult everyone who disagrees with them. So if anyone like that shows up here, I’ll gladly respond. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.

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      • Well kid, you add falsehood to your hubris. As an example, let’s just take up the matter of the Civil War era Democrats. History is valuable, of course, and history is a lot of my vocation. Yet, what is the issue today, is today. Who do all the racists, KKK, anti-immigrants, anti-government gun-nutters, etc. vote for today? It’s the pathology that tries to claim it’s a party, the YaDon’tSay-ers. Keep lying, it won’t make what you say any better. And for the record, and indicative of just how stereotypical and empty your silly judgements are, I am probably a lot older than you. I actually did something you probably never did, and worked for 50 years (and still do). The key is, I am actually educated, where you are not. (We can compare pedigrees on that to, if you like.) I don’t watch Faux Spews liars, I am not addicted to the yens of my own ego, I don’t sit for hours watching hate TV, and my arteries have not hardened to the point that I can’t think my way out of a bag. And since I actually have to say this, unlike yourself.

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      • I responded to this because a reply icon isn’t below your last comment

        The question isn’t the KKK. The author is claiming Republicans had nothing to do with abolition, even worked against it. That’s the Democrats, baby. And the KKK was the militant wing of the Democrat party… Back when they had hundreds of thousands of members, held public office, and held their racist beliefs without concern. Today the KKK are homeless. Sure, people like you sure do like to attach them to the Republicans. But they want nothing to do with them, their ideas, or supoort.

        That being said, you’re moving the goalpost. The argument was about SLAVERY, which the democrats supported and Republicans fought. That’s the end of the story. The author didn’t mention the KKK. He mentioned civil rights… Which again was fought by southern democrats, many of them KKK members. You said you’re old? Do you remember George Wallace? Or do you blot out inconvenient memories?

        After that all you managed was creating more straw men, claiming things you do not know as if you convinced yourself everyone who isn’t part of your party must hold these beliefs because not only must they be wrong, but evil. It’s hilarious. You’ve convinced yourself you’re arguing with someone you don’t even know exists… You just really want it to be that way.

        God help anyone who learned history by you. You’re about as good at that as debate

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      • Man, you guys really have reading comprehension problems, don’t you? Does it hurt?

        I’ll say it again, although clearly you have difficulty, so I’ll try to use short, small words.

        Liberals.

        Liberals were the ones fighting for all those things in my post.

        That was the exact word I used.

        Not “Democrats.”

        Democrats back in the old days were the conservatives.

        Even in the 60s, there were lots of conservative Democrats. And there were liberal Republicans.

        Liberals were against slavery. Democrats at the time were not liberals.

        Any high school government teacher could tell you that.

        Here’s an article I wrote about this many years ago, but I warn you: It has difficult concepts, such as facts. https://ventrellaquest.com/2015/03/12/the-parties-from-50-years-ago-are-not-the-parties-of-today/

        As I said above, I am more than willing to debate with someone who has a basic understanding of what they’re talking about, so if you learn, you can come back. After all, ignorance can be cured with education. Stupidity is all on you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Conservative=holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion. . It seems to me that today’s so called conservatives are not conservative at all. Traditional attitudes would be things like truth, democracy, responsibility, fair play. honouring the separation of powers. Modern day conservatives who identify as republicans seem A-OK with trumps constant lying, the republican parties gerrymandering of the voting districts, the libertarian refusal to be responsible for the general welfare of the society, Mitch McConnel’s refusal to do his job and process the appointment of Merrick Garland or conduct a fair trial during trumps impeachment. True conservatives do not admire Machiavelli they admire honor, moral backbone and honesty even it means they will occasionally be beaten by the opposition. They are few and far between.

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  3. John Kenneth Galbraith observed back in the 1960’s: “Modern conservatives are engaged in one of mankind’s oldest philosophical exercises: the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

    That was 60-odd years ago. These days, conservatives sEem to have concluded that selfishness is its own justification.

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  4. Ya Don’t Say, you think that the KKK is homeless, really? The Klan’s newpaper has endorsed your president as has David Duke. Wake up. trump only cares about his family and his bank account. He is the most incompetent president we have ever had and probably the most racist besides Andrew Jackson, whom he loves. Supporting trump isnt an act of patriotisim, its a vote for fascism.
    (https://www.npr.org/2016/11/02/500352353/kkk-paper-endorses-trump-campaign-calls-outlet-repulsive)

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  5. Mr. Ventrella–The problem with this identity blame game is that “all” is always wrong. You imply by your rant that you wish to impose your positions on anyone who does not believe in your positions. You immediately presume any thing contradictory to your position is proof of it. I guess you are just frustrated trying to jam you position down others throats. You certainly have inspired me to think about the issues. Just don’t buy “all” your conclusions.

    Like

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