Originally posted 2009-06-05 23:12:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter
* There is bliss in knowing that we are provided for, that our needs are met. When we are provided for, we are left to a state of intense fulfillment and a rich sense of enjoyment of our life. Engulfing oneself in such a state leaves all matters of duty, responsibility and obligation outside of our cocoon. Outside of this bubble, others clamor to fill the void in control which we’ve left behind.
* We strive to impose our will onto situations and manipulate conditions to our will. By so doing, we carve our own path through life, meticulously building our lives in the image we had set out at the onset. Leaving things to chance is avoided at all cost. Careful planning is the mantra, behind which controlled execution leads to advancement toward our stated goals.
These descriptions, while sounding harshly opposite and incompatible, in fact describe the two conditions of the modern man. Indeed, they might even describe the same man at different stages of his maturation within the society.
We are all born into different circumstances and our upbringing materially influences our perception of the importance of maintaining control over our lives – something we call empowerment and self determination.
The material conditions in which a child is raised – weather in poverty, in middle class comfort or within a high level of affluence – affect the later adult differently insofar as the way in which the individual perceives their need to self determine his destiny. Of these three classes, the poor and the wealthy, particularly when in their extreme, tend to gravitate toward placing little importance, or outright dismissing of such need. On the other hand, the middle class individual tends to cherish this right and value its importance in defining his life’s course.
Both Poverty and Wealth Influence Liberal Thinking
An individual born into poverty, by the time he becomes an adult member of society, has likely developed a sense of hopelessness. In all likelihood, he and his immediate surrounding have drawn on the society’s support resources for much of their life and known little opportunity to witness the results of their own contributions. Self-determination is not a practical objective when survival and subsistence absorb the focus of daily activities. Dependence on support systems becomes complete with diminishing opportunity to divorce oneself from their perpetual grasp. There are few if any support systems which aid in the building of the individual’s self esteem, or to teach him to creatively engage in activities that yield the betterment of his condition.
An affluent individual that has achieved a high measure of wealth and comfort progressively becomes more and more withdrawn from the productive part of society. Once a predictably affluent lifestyle is achieved, the individual no longer feels the need to control many aspects of his life, and is willing to relinquish such control to the support system that his wealth has produced. Self determination is no longer a principle goal as wealth has dampened the individuals desire to further contribute to his surrounding and society at large.
In either case – poverty or affluence – a desire to absolve oneself from the societal expectations arising from empowerment, succumbs the individual into accepting a system which will provide for him and relieve him of the high expectations which self determination would otherwise impose on him. In one case, the support system is structured around government social programs; in the other, it is built by the individual to support his own needs. In either case, the individual is inexorably drawn toward promoting a liberal attitude which, because it defines his life and is necessary for his existence, he both accepts and actively cultivates.
The liberal thus created considers his condition to be permanent and has little desire to change it.
Conservatism – The Middle Class Ideology Alternative
This is contrasted with the mindset of a person cultivated in the traditions and upbringing of the middle class. To the middle class, affluence is an attainable goal. It is within reach, provided that one exercises control in a prudent and well thought out way. Any support systems created by the government, even though they may cushion an unintended fall, act as a repelling force which, when approached, remind the individual of the consequences of the loss of control over their own destiny. Becoming caught in their web is typically a source of embarrassment, but not resignation.
The middle class individual considers his position in society as transient; not as a destiny but rather as a path toward his fulfillment of attainable goals. He gazes up toward examples of success and models his behavior so as to maximize his chances of fleeing his current state. He is not angry with those who have excelled beyond his own levels of success. Instead, he learns from observing them and adjusts his actions to improve his own measures. He detests acquiescence and is infuriated by his own failures and others acceptance of failure. His attitude is strongly shaped by the Constitution’s founding principles, which act as both a guiding light and also provide the boundaries within which his actions are contained.
Most importantly, the middle class conservative is not willing to relinquish (or delegate) the controls necessary for him to craft his own path toward fulfillment.
Call To Action
While conservative principals of self determination are natural to the spirit of every human being, people need to be cultivated into accepting of dependence as a way of life. Liberalism is not an equilibrium to which all forces draw, but rather an unnatural state which needs to be constantly built up and reinforced, lest it collapses of its own artificial weight. Certainly history gives many examples of such implosions.
Yet in our society, the marketing of socialism and extreme liberalism has been masterfully crafted and is being executed before our eyes. Conservatives should make particular note of the dominance of liberal ideology among the poor and the affluent.
The affluent, as compared to the poor, are considerably more resistant to change and, while they represent a relatively small part of the population, their influence is multiplied by virtue of their wealth and notoriety. Fortunately, they represent a culture of followers more so then leaders, and will be heavily influenced by the outcome of the attitude change in the masses. As a result, to affect a change in their behavior and philosophy requires no specific actions other than those applied to the other, more important social group – the poor.
The poor represent a considerably larger pool of the population, into which intelligently designed and strategically injected conservative programs can create a magnified effect of positive influence and potential derivative results. Such programs should promote small business development opportunities and should target individuals who have demonstrated socially responsible behavior and a desire to disentangle themselves from the bounds of their social support systems.
At the same time conservatives must be on constant lookout for opposing programs introduced by proponents of socialization and government control, programs which aim to remove the social lifelines that still exist which aspiring poor could otherwise use to improve their condition.
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Next week: “Equality and Fairness – they are not the same” addresses what impact attempts to achieve both equality and fairness have on society.