Saturday, August 23, 2008

Your Political Science Lesson For Today

People don't understand the classical definitions of the four different types of people, politically, in any human society. Let's have a quickie refresher, so that you can determine which one you are. You may be surprised!

1) Radicals want rapid fundamental change, by whatever means necessary. These guys are usually having bad lives. They are discriminated against. They are excluded from the main stream of the life of their society. Their families are often not getting enough to eat. Oh, remember those dirty, long haired guys in the sixties? They weren't really radicals. Remember the Black Panthers? They were. Lenin and Trotsky were radicals. Stalin was not.

2)Liberals think that society has been changing for the better and want to see more of the same type of changes occur. These people are doing better than they used to be and look forward to doing better yet. America is an innately liberal society. Most people living in America are very liberal. They don't see this because they often are most interested in the changes occurring in a specific area of society, that benefit them, different or even contradictory to changes that other, also liberal groups are interested in. Evangelical Christians are among of the most liberal of groups, much more than secular humanists, who really may not want much change at all.

3)Conservatives want things to stay the same. This group is composed differently than most people think. The largest group of conservative in America today are union members with good pay, comprehensive benefits and strong collective bargaining. Public employees are members of this category and probably the most conservative segment of American society. The police and military are doubly conservative because they both enforce the status quo for a living and depend upon it for their own continuity of life. Small business people who buy existing franchises or who did not build up their business themselves also fit here. Entrepreneurs do not. The truly idle rich, who are too lazy or stupid to use their capital to profit from changing conditions fall in to this group but it's a very small percentage. Not even Paris Hilton or George Bush would fit in here.

4) Reactionaries want to return to a supposedly better time in the past. It's difficult to give examples of true reactionaries. Hypothetically, anyone who's situation used to be better and who would like to return to that time, would qualify. I guess one could argue that fundamentalist Mormon groups that practice polygamy and are extremely patriarchal would qualify. Old time silent movie stars, who hoped that talkies were only a passing fancy were reactionary. Where reactionary thought is concerned, it's difficult to tell where political philosophy ends and psychosis begins.

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