Monday, March 15, 2010

In Case You're Wondering.................

On the charges frequently thrown at conservatives is that their choices in life are a product of preference or an inability to see another's point of view. Many of the liberal Left are convinced that we just "don't get it" and that deficiencies of intellect or character are what give a man a conservative point of view.

This may be the case for some conservatives, but not me. Whilst I've always found the intellectual underpinnings that form the foundation of the left wing view of the world pathetically weak, some of them do resonate. For instance, though I know it is wrong, atheism is attractive. Also, the allure of Hedonism is also quite compelling. If I were to describe my "natural default mode" it would be that a of highly cynical skeptical hedonist; someone perhaps "harder" are more opportunistic than Roissy.

When you combine "the faith" with that type of mindset what you get is a fair amount of questioning and doubt. In my early days of proper religion, I'd often wonder if I made the right choice, or if the people who lived the libertine care free existence were actually having more fun than I was. The pleasure of the libertines was self evident as the barrenness of my ascetic existence. Religion in University was not "joyous", in fact it was lack of joyous. A man who wants to live the Religion gives up a lot; and it's a lot to give up when the arguments at the time are purely intellectual, the pleasures of the flesh real. I'm convinced that God has a sense of humour. Giving a man religion whilst in an ocean of nubile females has more the quality of a comedic act rather than a serious test of character by a humorless examiner.

I think it was Blake who said "Oh Gallilean, the world has gone pale with thy breath". This snippet, which I picked up in Chesterton, resonated powerfully with me; especially in university. In the world of my young adulthood I often felt that I was a member of the boring team. The lefties were having more fun than I was. Being good was no fun.

This sentiment of mine gradually became dispelled as I practiced medicine and came into contact with people from different walks of life. Doing some back of envelope calculations, I imagine that I have had approximately one hundred thousand consultations with patients in my clinical career. That much contact certainly does leave impressions, impression which over time have strengthened my view of my religion and disabused me of any illusions of who was having more fun. It was the lefties who straightened my belief in God.

Some things I've observed in my clinical practice over the years:

1) For all their freedom from social constraints, lefties actually seem less happy than conservatives. This is not my opinion, this is something I have observed. It's something I continue to observe and one of the biggest proofs that their world view is wrong and personally unappealing. People who are miserable always hope that a change in circumstance will improve their lot, I imagine that's why liberals are Utopians.

2)Whilst lefties seem to have more sexual encounters with different people, if the hook up culture was giving them personal happiness, they certainly didn't show it. Their relationships with their partners were never "clean". There were always issues of some kind or another. Loneliness seemed to permeate the liberal's existence even when they were in a relationship.
With conservative couples you always got the impression that they were a "unit" even if they hated each other. With liberals, the parties always seemed separate event though they were officially a couple.

3)As a group they're were a miserable and hateful bunch. When conservative patients disagree with me, they tend to be polite. Liberals tended to become very aggressive. My most aggressive and intolerant patients tend to be liberals and New Age Spiritualists. Now the fact that people disagree with me is not the issue, it's how they disagree with me. Personal venom and invective seems to be a feature of the liberal character.

4)Children of liberal parents are badly behaved, the kids of right wing parents much better.

5)Proletarian lefties are generally happier than their better educated lefty overlords, who generally as a group, are miserable and boring. Amongst a group five conservatives you're likely to get five opinions, amongst a group of five liberals only one.

6)Liberal girls do it because they have to, conservative girls because they want to. Conservative girls tend to be prettier.

7)Conservative women generally were happier, more confident and had less "issues".

8)Conservative men are both physically and psychologically manly: the more liberal a man, the less manly he is.

9)Liberals are more artistic and dress better than conservatives.

10) Liberals are have better theoretical education than conservatives, but worse practical application of that education. They might be able to describe the workings of a locust liver but be unable to manage their day to day financial affairs.

11) Conservative people "lived" their lives better than liberals. What I mean here is that their lives seemed more fulfilling and less drama filled.

12)When liberals did "fun" things, they seemed to have less fun than conservatives. I can't explain why, it's an impression that's been formed.

Once again, these are things that I observed and they are impressions that firmed with experience and time. They are not the product of any statistical study. I do believe that I'm fairly objective about the matter.The one thing that contact with liberals has proven to me is that whatever makes up a liberal's "headspace" it certainly doesn't seem to lead to happiness in the real world. I don't worry any more about missing out on the "fun" by being religious. Just in case you were wondering.

(Note by Conservative, I mean Social Conservative not Social Liberal)

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Happiness is a state of mind.
The threshold for it is set by morality, which in turn is just a circumscribed form of rationality.

Fun is something borne out of irrationality.Those who equate happiness with fun are sure to lose track of one or both when their irrationality can't be extended anymore.

"For all their freedom from social constraints"

Can also be read as enslavement to their own constraints.
A rational code of restraint and the resulting freedom from desires can't be formed by someone who runs away from rationality.
If they think they can come to some form of code after a life of irrationality they are gravely mistaken.

Their lives shall end up being governed by irrational actions called as 'fun', they will crave for the days when it fulfilled them, happiness will elude them.

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. said...

"Nay for a little while we live, and life hath mutable wings.
A little while and we die; shall life not thrive as it may?
For no man under the sky lives twice, outliving his day.
And grief is a grievous thing, and a man hath enough of his tears:
Why should he labour, and bring fresh grief to blacken his years?
Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean; the world has gone grey from thy breath."

from "Hymn to Prosperpine" by Algernon Charles Swinburne.

Achmetha said...

I'm glad you write these things down. I feel and think things but I can't seem to write them to make much sense.

Read: I agree and see this every day myself.

Tupac Chopra said...

I think all the differences you outline can be explained if you take into account that the "liberal" point of view will always be fundamentally a *nonconventional* point of view, i.e., an attempt to break from the status quo. This impulse may be noble or base, but regardless, it speaks to a truculent aspect of the human organism which has butressed all innovation and all revolutionary/rebellious attempts to break free of stagnant repetition.

This is understandably upsetting to those who take solace in tradition, routine, and comfort. But for better or worse, progress is only made through the upending of established norms. This philosophical issue is unresovable logically, and is fundamentally a force of nature that can only be, at best, mitigated and shunted.

This is not to condone the many and varied attempts by lesser mortals to form the world in their own idiosyncratic image of the Good, but the fact is, historically, those impulses which prevailed were undeniably revolutionary, or at the very least novel.

The behavioral differences you note among your patients could just as easily be analogized to the dynamic between parents and their rebellious teenagers. In most cases, the wisdom of their elders proves to be the Good, but in a significant number of cases the child overcomes the limiting beliefs and habituated shells of their forbears.

I understand that you, as a religious man, may have difficulty accepting these eternal truths, but eternal they are. I personally see the attempt to adapt oneself to these forces of nature as more a function of improvisational Aesthetic than pure Reason. Only time will tell.
History is made by the winners.

Tupac Chopra said...

P.S. "The Practioner knows that people have no direct access to Truth, nor do they have the ability to find out what Truth is.

Instead they have religions, superstitions, degrees, certificates, test scores, badges, passports, licenses, and, of course, good old-fashioned ancestor worship.
They all have in common the worship of authority and power which the common man attempts to manipulate through gestures (i.e., obsessions), hopes, beliefs and structured living.
For example, she gets her college degree; gets married (which, in turn, unrolls an entire subset of additional obsessions such as making babies, attending school functions, arranging baptisms, buying houses, and selecting furniture); getting a job (which provides its own set of obsessions such as buying a car, being preoccupied with taxes, looking forward to holidays and vacations, attending office parties, working to improve social status, preparing for retirement); retirement (which brings preoccupation with diseases, leisure, and grandchildren); and -- finally-- death.
The truly funny thing about all of this is that each and every person thinks he is deciding and controlling these activities intentionally and consciously and they are unique in the history of the world.
In reality, anyone with an ounce of awareness knows that these activities are common, banal, trite, vacuous, insignificant, boring and ridiculuous -- and make for great sport for the Practioner.
He will often make believe that he takes these things seriously as he disrupts these "unique" social patterns.
For example, he can have a good laugh over someone's mother having her varicose veins stripped or John's getting caught having an affair or Bill's having been diagnosed with manic-depressive psychosis.

The normal man can be defined by his repetitive routines. He takes vacations every year -- some even take them at the same place every year. Her performs certain behaviors and avoids others on certain days of the week. Humans only have a small set of events to look forward to. How many Christmases can you tolerate!!
If a man sat alone, bought nothing, did nothing but had the physicial strength to act, he would either destroy himself or everything about him. The fact that we measure time linearly while, at the same time, the days repeat endlessly until we die, attests to the reality of the human condition.
Even the normal man knows, at some level, that all of this is meaningless and empty. Some even respond to this condition by having a nervous breakdown. The cure, however, is fascinating: few psychologists or psychiatrists would propose that the patient climb Mt. Everest, sail across an ocean, quit his job, divorce his wife or abandon his children.
Instead almost all of them will provide the drug-of-the-moment and help the poor schnook return to the very routines which drove him mad to begin with."
-- C.S. Hyatt

Tupac Chopra said...

P.S. "The Practioner knows that people have no direct access to Truth, nor do they have the ability to find out what Truth is.

Instead they have religions, superstitions, degrees, certificates, test scores, badges, passports, licenses, and, of course, good old-fashioned ancestor worship.
They all have in common the worship of authority and power which the common man attempts to manipulate through gestures (i.e., obsessions), hopes, beliefs and structured living.
For example, she gets her college degree; gets married (which, in turn, unrolls an entire subset of additional obsessions such as making babies, attending school functions, arranging baptisms, buying houses, and selecting furniture); getting a job (which provides its own set of obsessions such as buying a car, being preoccupied with taxes, looking forward to holidays and vacations, attending office parties, working to improve social status, preparing for retirement); retirement (which brings preoccupation with diseases, leisure, and grandchildren); and -- finally-- death.
The truly funny thing about all of this is that each and every person thinks he is deciding and controlling these activities intentionally and consciously and they are unique in the history of the world.
In reality, anyone with an ounce of awareness knows that these activities are common, banal, trite, vacuous, insignificant, boring and ridiculuous -- and make for great sport for the Practioner.
He will often make believe that he takes these things seriously as he disrupts these "unique" social patterns.
For example, he can have a good laugh over someone's mother having her varicose veins stripped or John's getting caught having an affair or Bill's having been diagnosed with manic-depressive psychosis.

The normal man can be defined by his repetitive routines. He takes vacations every year -- some even take them at the same place every year. Her performs certain behaviors and avoids others on certain days of the week. Humans only have a small set of events to look forward to. How many Christmases can you tolerate!!
If a man sat alone, bought nothing, did nothing but had the physicial strength to act, he would either destroy himself or everything about him. The fact that we measure time linearly while, at the same time, the days repeat endlessly until we die, attests to the reality of the human condition.
Even the normal man knows, at some level, that all of this is meaningless and empty. Some even respond to this condition by having a nervous breakdown. The cure, however, is fascinating: few psychologists or psychiatrists would propose that the patient climb Mt. Everest, sail across an ocean, quit his job, divorce his wife or abandon his children.
Instead almost all of them will provide the drug-of-the-moment and help the poor schnook return to the very routines which drove him mad to begin with."
-- C.S. Hyatt

The Social Pathologist said...

Anonymous@ 5.00am

Very good comment. In the real world, men either govern by their reason or are slaves to their passions.

The one thing that always struck me about the liberals was just how unhappy liberals were. They struck me like those people you meet who tell you their having fun but you can see that their miserable.

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq.
Thanks for dropping by and correcting my ignorance.

Achmetha.
Thanks.

Tupac.
For me, religion is not a solace, it's a restraint. An empty universe is something I would have to simply accept if I thought it was true. What I want has nothing to do with the nature of reality. Religion isn't something "I want" it's something that's out there.

I also understand that men crave novelty, but the point of my post is that it hasn't seemed to have bought the practitioners happiness.
I've got no problem with the trying of new things, what sucks is being a worse position than you were in before.

Oh, and I don't think people don't have access to the truth, I think a lot of it is kept from them. I think a bit of a more balanced media would influence social mores quite significantly. For example, single motherhood is an economic and psychological disaster for the woman, but when Dan Quay criticised Murphy Brown for choosing to be a single mother, the MSM pilloried him for daring to suggest that single motherhood was a bone headed decision. Candice Bergen taking special pleasure in the pot shots. A beautiful exercise in social conditioning.

Years later Candice confessed.(when the media attention had died down)

In 2002, Bergen said in an interview that she personally agreed with much of Quayle's speech, calling it "a perfectly intelligent speech about fathers not being dispensable" and adding that "nobody agreed with that more than I did.

She was an attention whore.

Anonymous said...

My observation is that liberals fail to distinguish fun/happiness from joy, and generally have no peace in their lives.

Fundamentally, I think this lack of peace is a product of their belief that their lives are driven by externalities, i.e., it's never their fault, if only the circumstances would change, etc. On the other hand, conservatives tend to be internally driven, and consequently less inclined to hopelessness.

Responsibility and accepting consequences - the difference between adults and children and between liberals and conservatives.

The Social Pathologist said...

Anonymous:

I think this lack of peace is a product of their belief that their lives are driven by externalities

I think it also partially explains their utopianism. Happiness is obviously predicated on the arrangement of the world. Happiness can only be achieved if the world is organised according to the liberal vision. Of course, since the locus of happiness is internal, happiness eludes the liberal.

Anonymous said...

"though I know it is wrong, atheism is attractive."

If theism requires a *personal* god, then perhaps I am not a theist.

I do not consider it important whether the Supreme Being is personal or impersonal. The Supreme Being is beyond mortal ken, so why debate Trinitarianism versus Unitarian theologies?

God is not a doctrine to be believed, but a reality to be experienced.

The human race does not need priests who repeat rote doctrines, but rather shamans who go into the spirit world and SEE for themselves.

The Social Pathologist said...

The human race does not need priests who repeat rote doctrines, but rather shamans who go into the spirit world and SEE for themselves.

My shamans have known God and determined that he wants priests.