Maybe if we all used small words and bullet points?
Tyler Cowen over at Marginal Revolution has posted a couple interesting ten-point guides to Progressivism and Conservatism in American politics. It’s really intriguing to me to see these ideological foundation stones (for contemporary discussion, anyway) put so baldly. To wit, in conservatism:
1. Evil is real and there exist evil nations in the world; the relatively virtuous Western powers require strong states to fend off such evils. This distinct from “big government” in the sense advocated by modern liberals.
2. In international affairs, in the twentieth century, the United States in particular has been unselfish to a remarkable degree. We therefore should trust the United States with unprecedented power. In fact we have no alternative. Some cultures really are better than others.
And in progressivism:
4. The needs of the neediest ought to be our top priority, as variations in the well-being of other individuals are usually small by comparison, at least in the United States.
8. We should support free trade, more immigration, and more foreign aid, but the nation-state will remain the fundamental locus for redistribution. That means helping the poor at home more than abroad; a decision to do otherwise would destroy political equilibrium and make everyone worse off.
I’d freely admit that I lean much closer to Progressivism than I do Conservatism, but it’s a weird mirror effect, seeing the thoughts laid out plainly. The comments for both are well worth checking out.