Vapid

“President Barack Obama promised Wednesday that any U.S. military strike at Syria would be a “shot across the bow” that avoids seeing America pulled into “any kind of open-ended conflict.”

But “if, in fact, we can take limited, tailored approaches, not getting drawn into a long conflict — not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about — but if we are saying in a clear and decisive but very limited way, we send a shot across the bow saying, stop doing this, that can have a positive impact on our national security over the long term,” the president said.

So in other words, if we make a big show out of it but promise not to do anything of consequence, we can save face. And don’t worry. By promising not to do anything of consequence ahead of time, that won’t have any effect on anyone’s decision making, like just how much they can ignore it. It’ll scare the pants off of them, promise. We’re just firing a shot in the air, after yelling “Hey, I’m gonna just fire this shot in the air to let you know how truly unhappy I am, but it really doesn’t mean anything more than that.”

Stephen Green was right. Our foreign policy is no longer feckless. It’s just vapid.

Now go away or we shall taunt you a second time!

Paging Captain Obvious

Who knew?

mcds

(Via David Thompson)

Those dastards!  Making a profit by supplying a need.  Will horrors never cease?!

Another:

McDonald’s food is full of additives that fatten up citizens and lower the chance of active political rebellion.

One wonders why, say, North Korea hasn’t tried this innovative new dissent-suppressing tactic.  Kim Jong-un certainly looks like he’s a fan of the Double Quarter-Pounder, if you know what I mean.

kim-jong-un-hairstyleWhen I’m dictator, I can assure you, you’ll have all the McDonald’s you can stand.

The Pleasures of Anger

Theodore Dalrymple, excellent as always:

I think – though I cannot prove – that anger is often a defense against feared insignificance, the fear or even awareness that everything we say, and everything we think, and everything we do, is writ on water. Strong emotion counters that fear, at least while it lasts, and anger is one of the easiest and strongest emotions that we can conjure at will.

He continues:

Anger allegedly felt on behalf of vast numbers of people who are believed to suffer because of a single characteristic that they have in common is deeply satisfying to those who feel it because it assures them that they are, at heart, generous and open-minded people, capable of empathizing with a large proportion of suffering mankind (the larger the better), despite their own personal good fortune.

Dr. Dalrymple goes on to wonder why such people need such reassurance.  I think he’s already answered it well enough:  They’re worried about their own personal insignificance, and this land of plenty offers too few occasions to get legitimately mad at others.  The kind of shrill, humorless shrike who goes around getting mad at Society invariably lives in a nice quiet suburb, full of people who would rather be knifed to death than raise their voices in public.  Were they to take up residence down in the ‘hood or up the holler, where the Maury Povich Show is cinema verite, they’d be happy gladiators in the neverending neighborhood soap opera.

But they don’t [raaaaaacists! -ed], so we see them all aflutter over Global Weather, or the differences between liberals and conservatives, or SlutWalk, or similar Grievance Studies nonsense.

Sad, isn’t it?

Enjoying the Culture of Poverty

Via Gerard. Christopher Orlet writes in the American Spectator:

If you move to a new rental every six months, yanking your kids out of school after school, and if you do drugs in front of your children, and sell your food stamps for cash, then chances are you are part of that culture. If you are 20 years old, living with your grandmother, with no interest in ever getting a job, or getting married, or doing much of anything, chances are you are part of that culture. If you do not have a kitchen table, but you do have a big flat screen TV, and when the social worker comes to visit someone yells, “The social worker is here, go get the light bulb,” then chances are you are part of that culture.

When I moved into the inner-city, I hoped to gain some insight and understanding of the poor and their situation. Two years later I left feeling the situation is intractable. Everything the professional uplifters do for the poor is but pruning the branches, instead of hacking at the roots of the problem. For the underclass to escape the culture of poverty they would have to cease doing most if not all of the above, and I don’t see that happening.

Besides, as I have written before, too many of the underclass enjoy the culture of poverty. They would feel horribly out of place in a tony subdivision where they would have to work to make a house and car payment, instead of drinking beer all day on the stoop ― they don’t even have stoops in the suburbs. They would have to cut their lawns and keep the trash and noise to a minimum. What fun is that? In the inner-city you can do whatever the hell you want. You can even shoot somebody, and chances are no one will rat you out, because that is the code of the inner-city streets, and people there hate the cops more than they hate the drug dealers.

My broken-record recurring chorus about Architects and Medicators grew out of an understanding that when the miscreant appears in front of the magistrate to determine guilt vs. innocence, and to receive his sentence, what we are seeing is not an instance of the errant appearing before the validating mechanism and then getting properly straightened out. What we are seeing is a collision between two different and contrary value systems — neither of which runs into any real trouble prior to impact. Just like planets, you might say. And this is why the meeting will likely be repeated not too far off into the future. The meeting is the real cause of the trouble. And the value systems have to do with feeling versus thinking — therefore, with instant gratification versus delayed.

In the land from which the convict comes, it is “right” not to pay your child support. Not, I hasten to add, a right — that is not the point. The point is, it is the desire that makes behavior proper. Wants before needs. You get a job if you want to. Make your car payment if you want to. Or act drunken and disorderly in public if you want to. Such a community ultimately becomes blighted, because mankind’s achievements are mostly connected to delayed gratification. But people adapt. They become entrenched further and further into the Architect-thinker-delayed-gratification way of living life, once they’ve made that initial choice, or they become entrenched further and further to the Medicator-feeler do-what-everyone-else-is-doing want-it-now-now-now way of living life if they’ve made the other.

Each community works according to an economic system. One of those economic systems has to do with helping other people do, or get, things before you can do, or get, what you want. The other economic system has to do with just demanding stuff; therefore, not very often building or fixing anything. Can you guess which is which.

“Drinking beer all day long on the stoop,” by the way, is literally medicating. Such people are, ironically, fastidious and perfectionist custodians of their own emotional state, if of nothing else in life. In the moment.

I would add many more bullet points to Mr. Orlet’s list. Softer ones, since I think those are the important ones; people who haven’t given it much thought, just starting to be seduced into the Medicator lifestyle. I would invade suburbia with my own list. If you voted Obama/Biden in 2012, or if you have a bumper sticker on your car saying so. If you had your school-age son “diagnosed” and strung him out on medication so he can “succeed in school.” If your kids send text messages at the dinner table, or if you don’t have any kind of dinner table, and don’t see anything wrong with not having one. If your spouse, and your kids, are essentially just bored and boring roommates.

Or if you are one of the kids — if you can score straight A’s on the latest test by “studying,” but know you possess little to nothing of the actual conceptual command, and wouldn’t be able to earn a passing grade 48 hours afterward…and don’t care. You’re part of it. If your first impulse, finding out something exists that you want, is to go clamoring to momma or someone else to get it for you. Pondering, not what you can do to earn it, but the who & where & when & how to do your begging, how sweetly to bat your eyelashes. Those are the signs. That’s enjoying the culture of poverty.

Not building things, not fixing things. Harassing your fellow citizens about their “carbon emissions” or what not, as opposed to helping them, servicing them, soothing them, becoming a part of their efforts.

Neither “planet” runs into real trouble before the collision. But there is a difference: Only one, in perfect isolation from the other, exists in a self-sustaining cycle. Ultimately, it’s a choice between the symbiotic and the parasitic.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes and Right Wing News.

Media Fragmentation?

Megan McArdle:

As I say, a more ideological media will probably also be a more conservative media, because there are a lot more conservatives in the donor class, and in the audience, than there are in the media. Which means that this edge will probably slip.

I agree, I guess, except…. what prospect is there, really, of additional conservative “news” outlets springing up?

Hyper-ChickenI’m no fancy big city lawyer, but it seems to me that if there really were a huge market for conservative media, there’d be some by now.

Think football.  The Miami Dolphins ran that stupid “wildcat” thing for a season and won a few games.  Next season, half the teams in the league had a “wildcat” look.  The season after that, Tim Tebow (!!!!) was a first round draft pick.  In a hypercompetitive environment like the NFL, any gimmick or wrinkle that offers the even the possibility of adding a single win gets jumped on faster than Al Sharpton on a fake racial grievance.

Fox News routinely cleans everybody else’s clock.  They’ve dominated every rating that matters for eleven straight years.  They get more eyeballs in prime time than CNN, MSNBC, and HLN combined.  They’ve got the top 11 programs in cable news and eight of the top ten programs in tv’s key demo.

And yet, nobody else has tried this. Doesn’t that seem weird?

The daily leftwing rags in the major metros are hemorrhaging money.  The Boston Globe, the most recent casualty, sold for a piddly $70 million, after being purchased by the New York Times for just north of $1 billion twenty years ago.  Say what you will about their reporting and editorial staff [they’re all a bunch of leftwing retards -ed.], their CEOs are no fools.  Judging by Fox’s numbers and McArdle’s stats, there’s a whole bunch of conservative money out there.  Just a few thousand sets of eyeballs could keep these papers in business.

And yet… the Washington Examiner, the explicitly conservative alternative to the Washington Post, all but folded up shop earlier this year.  And this in a time of cratering circulation at the Post and cratering Obama administration poll numbers.

Something ain’t right here.

Seems to me that ideology is a package deal.  For instance, I’m conservative but not Christian.  Which means I’m pretty much alone in the United States.  The “Secular Right” blog lists five contributors.  Add me –which they’d never do– and you’ve got an even half-dozen.  They couldn’t even field a softball team.

In other words, any fledgling conservative “news” organization would face the same problems Fox’s competitors do — the chase for the same demographic set of eyeballs.  Just as you can get your DNC talking points in mild, hyperbolic, or hysterical from ABC, CNN, and MSNBC, respectively, so “conservative” media would, I imagine, end up as Fox Lite and Fox Lite 2.0 (or Fox Militant, I guess).

I think there’s some wishcasting going on here, Ms. McArdle.

UPDATE: This started as a reply to tim, but I think it’s worth putting above the fold.

Tv “news” programs are just another form of branding.  I doubt there are many folks, even “low info voters,” who get the majority of what info they have off the tv news.  When’s the last time a water-cooler conversation started with “I saw ___ on the news last night”?  This is why people tend to identify the source when they talk.  Nobody says “I heard on the radio that____.”  It’s always “I heard on Rush Limbaugh that ___” or “I heard on NPR that ____.”

Tv’s the same way.  I have a buddy, for instance, who once told me that he considers Rachel Maddow the best journalist on tv.  Which is just silly.  I’d bet my life savings he doesn’t actually believe this — because, ya know, it’s Rachel fucking Maddow — but it’s important to him to be seen as the kind of guy who believes this.  It’s the middle aged version of “I get all my news from Jon Stewart.”

Given that, I doubt the viability of a straight conservative network.  I don’t think there’s enough money in sending reporters out to Tel Aviv and Cairo to find out what’s really going on, and relying on AP like all the other nets do means encoding the same bias.  The only revenue-generating thing I can see would be something like “Newsbusters: The TV Show,” if they started doing lifestyle segments or something.

I guess what I’m getting at is that, as I said above, ideology is a package deal.  The people who are interested in getting the “real story” behind the MSM’s obvious bias don’t actually watch the MSM.  They don’t watch Fox, either.  They read blogs.  The people who really want the “real story” straight up — those people who need firmware-level facts in order to do their jobs — read specialist publications.  For everyone else, there’s just branding.  There’s Fox and Not-Fox, according to taste.  A Megan McArdle would like there to be more Foxes, probably for self-interested economic reasons, but I don’t see it happening.

[I see her name a lot.  I assume it’s for stuff like this.  She’s doing what David Brooks used to do — cast a veil of plausibility over conservative wishcasting.  Wasn’t she one of the prime “Obama probably won’t be that bad” voices back in 2008?].

A Modest Proposal: Flagellant Processions

monksOver at Morgan’s place, I’ve been watching the gruesome contortions of the Cuttlefish trying to argue…. hell, I can’t even tell anymore.  Something about how Louis XVI was a conservative, so that justifies Stalin.  It’s surreal.  Meanwhile, over at Rhymes with Cars and Girls, supposedly staunch Libertarian open borders spergs are arguing that it’s a moral obligation to spread the wealth.

You know that Joe Theismann injury on Monday Night Football, the one where, thirty years later, anyone who saw it still winces and feels a little sick to his stomach if he’s reminded of it?  Reading these comments is like that.

I'm the one in the middle.

I’m the one in the middle.

The point of these “arguments,” obviously, is that their proponents are simply Better Than You.  You’re concerned about petty stuff like historical accuracy, economics, reason, the rule of law.  They say they’re concerned about Social Justice.  But what they’re really concerned about is being seen as concerned about Social Justice.

As is obvious the minute you ask them what they, personally, have done to advance universal equality lately.

So I’ve got a modest proposal that I’d like you to give some serious consideration:  We should re-institute the flagellant procession.

Nobody’s more concerned about “social justice” than a group of flagellants.  These people are, after all, taking the sins of the entire world on their backs, and forcing God Himself to take notice.  It’s ostentatious, megalomaniacal, and completely ineffective — the liberal trifecta.  And — sadly, horrifically — we’re all too aware of how much lefties like stripping off for the Cause (don’t click that link unless you’ve got a very strong stomach).  Hell, judging by the way these spergs keep coming back to get smacked around in the comments, a lot of them would probably enjoy it.  What’s the downside?

Tell me a cat o' nine tails wouldn't improve every single thing here.

Tell me a cat o’ nine tails wouldn’t improve every single thing here.

A Few More to the List

Morgan’s wonderful list says almost everything that needs to be said about the real differences between liberals and conservatives.  I have a few modest additions:

Conservatives spend some of their mental energy noticing stuff; Liberals spend a great deal of their mental energy not noticing stuff.

For instance, the Crimson Reach notices that teenybopper clothiers Forever 21 have made all their employees part time, a completely rational response to Obamacare’s idiotic disincentives.

Call me a dork if you must, but I think Dungeons and Dragons got something fundamental right about human beings.  We’ve all got a certain amount of “ability points;” adding all your points to one skill means that others don’t develop, or even atrophy.  Then when you find yourself in a situation where you’ve got to use one of those underdeveloped skills — when a bow-and-arrow guy is forced to pull out a mace and start bashing — it’s orders of magnitude harder than it would be for a more balanced character.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALiberals went all in on “theory.”  Jacked the “consider yourself an intellectual” slider all the way to the right.  Cranked the “humanities” knob up to eleven.  So:  Not only did they not bother with Econ 101 crap like incentives, they don’t even understand the basic tools for the job.  They’ve been handed a mace, and they’re desperately trying to figure out how to load it into a bow.

There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact.

That’s Emerson, but it works well here.  To put it another way:  Conservatives are better at understanding the difference between subjective and objective, descriptive and evaluative, fact and opinion.  We all have a tendency to think that our way of viewing the world is not only correct, but morally right.  But it ain’t so.  Nature doesn’t care how we feel about it.  Neither does history.  Conservatives are better at recognizing this.

In the “discussion” that inspired Morgan’s original list, for instance, we find a leftist gadfly maintaining that “the political right is defined as people advocating less equality.”  When confronted with the obvious truth that no conservative thinker has ever maintained this, they “retract” it thusly:

The right encompasses conservatives, those who only want to maintain or defend traditional inequalities, and not necessarily bring about less equality. Those who want to significantly unwind progress are sometimes called reactionaries.

Which you might notice amounts to pretty much the same thing.  In both cases, the conservative intent is to maintain inequality.  It’s a moral claim — conservatives want to defend an obvious injustice.  Meanwhile, in that same thread we find the Cuttlefish maintaining that it’s reasonable for one class to punish seek redress in the here-and-now for the historical wrongs of another class, and that it’s consistent with “advocating for greater equality” to hate an entire group and seek its destruction (in this case, the Ancien Regime).

Which only works if the words “we are advocating for greater equality” are a get out of jail free card for even the most monstrous of crimes.  Historian Eric Hobsbawm thought so — he’s on record stating that the millions killed by communist regimes would’ve been worth it for real socialism.  But most lefties aren’t that honest, or brave.  They want to maintain their pose of moral superiority even in the face of labor camps and torture chambers.  So they pull an Emerson — conservatives might be right about the awful consequences of “equality,” but they’re still a bunch of big meanies.

Settled Science Update

Turns out there’s a problem with tree rings, too.

A new paper now in open review in the journal Climate of the Past suggests that “modern sample bias “has “seriously compromised” tree-ring temperature reconstructions, producing an “artificial positive signal [e.g. ‘hockey stick’] in the final chronology.”

Oy.  But I’m not worried — as soon as they get through “normalizing” the data, I’m sure it’ll show that the alwarmists were right all along, and we’re doomed.  Dooooooooomed!!!!

Liberals and Conservatives, Left and Right

There are two understandings of this; The Zachriels’, and everybody else’s. Such terms are used to convey ideas among people who come together from different backgrounds and with different values and biases, so before anybody can communicate about such things, there’s going to have to be an effort brought to a successful completion getting the entire world to use these terms the way The Zachriel do.

Thought I’d help them out.

My understanding of it is, there is this cartilaginous binding between conservative/liberal, and left/right; the two disagreements correlate somewhat, but are not synonymous. Their words:

“Conservatives” tend to believe that traditional values and institutions are the bulwark of society, that too fast of change can result in unintended consequences or even anarchy. Rational conservatives believe in change and reform, of course, but believe the change must be gradual and moderated. Conservatives tend to look to the past for inspiration, cultural stratifications being a consequence of natural order.

“Liberals” tend to believe that traditional values and institutions can impede progress, that too slow of change can result in cultural stagnation or even disintegration. Rational liberals believe in the preservation of traditional values and institutions, of course, but believe they must be pushed to adapt to modern times. Liberals tend to look to the future for inspiration, the progress of history being seen as a march towards a more egalitarian society.

Right-wing “reactionaries”, such as fascists, believe in absolute inequality, and want to overthrow corrupt modern institutions and return to a mythological and heroic past.

Left-wing “radicals”, such as communists, believe in absolute equality, and want to overthrow corrupt ancient institutions and bring forth a mythological and glorious future.

Among the reasons this doesn’t work:

Newt Gingrich’s “revolution” of 1994, according to this, would be “left wing radical,” and so would the American Revolution.

The definitions seem to have been internationalized, which really doesn’t work well in America. I would even venture to say this “cartilaginous” binding between those two disagreements is entirely unnecessary, and it’s safe to go ahead and fuse the bones together: Conservatives are right and liberals are left. I realize this creates problems when we look at other cultures in other countries. That is alright.

I have raised the point about the feminist movement, and the women who support it only insofar as the push for equal pay. Like my Mother, they jump off the bandwagon when it veers into man-bashing “men are the problem” territory. These definitions would make such women moderate lefties. I’ve never met one who self-identifies that way; they consider themselves to be, and seem to be, staunchly right-wing. So here, as well, the definitions don’t work.

The left-wing in America, for a very long time now, has actually championed disparate levels of privilege for different classes. The preservation of President Obama’s entrenched perks retains deep symbolic value for passionate and pie-eyed lefties. The definitions above would define that preservation to be “conservative.”

Adolf Hitler, according to the definitions above, would be a “left-wing” (on the “glorious future” part) “conservative.”

Liberals, in this day & age in America, hate. That is what they do. There’s always some bad guy, either a bad individual or a bad class, that has to be pruned down to size. The desire to make everyone equal, is incompatible with this mandatory hate.

Concerns about solvency, which would be necessary for a “glorious future,” are entirely ignored by the “left.” They only pretend to pay attention to it when a tax cut comes along that they don’t happen to like, and then they pretend it’s going to “cost” the treasury something. That’s the only time they show any concern. If any one of them shows some concern about something that really does cost something, that person ceases on the spot to be a proper leftist. Unless he’s talking about a military budget item.

In order for an egalitarian society to thrive, rights and responsibilities would have to be fastened together. Lefties in America are opposed to this; they want one set of people to have rights, and a different set of people to have responsibilities. In order to do that, you have to create classes that are different from one another. In this sense, and in others, I get the impression that I disagree with The Zachriel because they’re evaluating “the left” according to the left’s promises, and I’m evaluating that same thing according to deliveries made. I like my way better.

What might work better:
• In liberalism, nature has made something unfair and it is the job of people to make it fair
• In liberalism, there is always an oppressor and there is always a victim
• In liberalism, there is a “Dear Leader” who never makes mistakes because if he does, it stops being a mistake
• In liberalism, the people furthest away from the work make rules followed by people closest to the work
• In conservatism, a new rule has to be tried out in a “sandbox” and possibly revised
• In conservatism, it is desirable to provide for the possibility that a rule might turn out to be stupid
• Conservatives fear the eventuality that a dumb rule might lead to dumb decisions; liberals seem to count on this
• In conservatism, the elected should truly be servants, who serve for a limited time
• Liberalism is strongly associated, throughout history, with over-privileged dictators-for-life
• Conservatives tend to be motivated by profits, which they envision as the result of fulfilling someone’s demand
• Liberals tend to be motivated by the next revolution; therefore, by some kind of resentment or offense
• Conservatives favor a “legacy economy” in which people acquire by providing products or services to other people
• Liberals favor an “Occupy economy” in which people acquire by frustrating, annoying, or impeding the work of, others
• Liberalism favors change when it is not yet in power; once it is in power, it favors stasis
• Conservatism tries to preserve a linkage between rights and responsibilities
• Liberalism tries to push a new order in which some have rights, and others have responsibilities
• Conservatism advocates rewards, usually natural, for delayed gratification
• Liberalism advocates rewards, usually artifiical, for immediate gratification
• Liberalism pushes for more freedom in things that have something to do with sex, less freedom in everything else
• Conservatism pushes for more freedom in everything else
• Liberals are fatalists about net worth, standard of living, debt, and many other things within human control
• Conservatives are fatalists where fatalism makes the most sense, like salvation vs. damnation, and global climate
• Conservatism favors a strong national defense and limited government
• Liberalism favors internationalism, anemic defense, and a sprawling, out-of-control government
• Conservatism sees terrorism as an act of war
• Liberalism sees terrorism as a legal issue and, in John Kerry’s words, a “nuisance”
• Conservatism thinks charity should be a voluntary act
• Liberalism thinks charity should be a requirement, therefore stop being charity
• Conservatism favors thinking as an individual; an idea doesn’t make sense if it wouldn’t make sense to an individual
• Liberalism favors group-think; if a group can’t see a flaw that an individual could see, the flaw isn’t really there
• To a conservative, individual effort counts; the group merely coordinates, which can be useful for funding
• To a liberal, the group effort is everything and the individual effort is nothing (unless it’s Dear Leader’s effort)
• Conservatism sees a “right” as something that belongs to the individual
• Liberalism confers “rights” on classes of people
• Conservatism recognizes a “right” as something people have by virtue of their existence
• Conservatives, therefore, see the list of rights as something that changes very slowly or not at all
• Liberalism sees a “right” as something granted by the government
• Liberals, therefore, see the list of rights as something that changes all the time, shrinking and growing
• Conservatives believe in the right to private property
• Liberals believe everybody’s rights end wherever their feelings begin, and they feel someone has too much
• Conservatives learn from history
• Liberals are often caught trying out failed policies, behaving as if history only began this morning
• Conservatives understand people get tired of seeing the same things, and absence makes the heart grow fonder
• Liberals think people learn to like things they see often, and to loathe things that are restricted in supply
• Conservatives see commerce as a succession of transactions that tend to benefit both sides, so everyone wins
• Liberals see commerce as nothing more than a flurry of activity
• Conservatives predict the effect of new policies around realistic expectations of human incentive
• Liberals are consistently surprised when human incentive doesn’t go the way they wanted it to go
• Conservatives are concerned with outcome
• Liberals are concerned with process
• Conservatives value opportunity over security
• Liberals value security over opportunity
• Conservatives have more respect for occupations that create assets, and defend the realm
• Liberals somehow reserve their respect for occupations that do not do this
• To a conservative, a true contradiction is impossible; so an apparent contradiction is an opportunity for learning
• To a liberal, an apparent contradiction is just a problem, solved by discarding the least-desirable evidence that’s part of it
• If a conservative hears something on the radio he doesn’t like, he changes the station
• If a liberal hears something on the radio he doesn’t like, he wants it banned
• If a conservative’s most cherished theory is challenged by reality, he discards or reforms the theory
• If a liberal’s most cherished theory is challenged by reality, reality must yield and the theory must prevail
• Conservatives tend to be Architects, concerned primarily about matters of cause-and-effect
• Liberals tend to be Medicators, concerned primarily about their own momentary emotional state

If any authoritative reference material contradicts my bullet points above, I hold that such reference material is creating more confusion than it is curing; since, when people use the words, whether they be aware of it or not, the bullets above capture what they’re really trying to say. If The Zachriel want to reform or reverse that in some way, I wish them well.

What probably kicks the whole thing off:
• Conservatives seek to create and preserve things that create or preserve, and destroy things that destroy
• Liberals seek to create or preserve things that destroy, and destroy things that create or preserve

Another thing that might kick the whole thing off, as I believe I mentioned before, is the Conflict of Visions defined by Prof. Thomas Sowell in his book.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes.