Social Work Academia Defines Conservatives

From a college textbook used for an Introduction to Socialwork class (“Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare”):

“… conservatives tend to take a basically pessimistic view of human nature.  People are conceived of as being corrupt, self-centered, lazy, and incapable of true charity.”

Close! Conservatives actually do take a pessimistic, or “tragic”, as Thomas Sowell puts it, view of human nature. The list is basically correct except for that last piece, “incapable of true charity.”

On the contrary, TRUE charity is what an individual chooses to give of himself to others. It is progressives who think individuals are incapable of true charity and therefore it must be coerced by the government. Forced “charity” is not true charity. It is not charity at all. And it will always be taken advantage of by multitudes who do not warrant it.

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Conservatives do not oppose change. They do oppose change simply for its own sake, though. As a matter of fact, what is now referred to as Conservatism is actually the most Liberal idea ever unleashed regarding society on this planet: that people are sovereign and the power to govern is subject to the consent of the governed. The tragic view of humanity, that men are not angels and that power has a tendency to corrupt is exactly why our Founders crafted a system designed to keep as much power away from central government as practically possible.

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They do not think that everyone is perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, though they do believe this should be the default expectation. There are certainly exceptions, and they believe that it is first the responsibility of the family, then the community to see to it that these exceptions are taken care of.

However, progressives tend to

“confuse[] the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. ” (- Frederic Bastiat, The Law)

Which is why progressives tend to favor a system where ultimately everything is in the state, and no human or spiritual thing exists, or has any sort of value, outside the state.  There is no room for religion, no room for personal property, no room for homeschooling, or private education that does not conform to the state’s standards, no room for the individual (except, of course, for those “expert” individuals at the top – but they never admit this).

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About philmon

Part mountain junkie, part decent amateur photographer, part survivalist, part not-so-decent amateur musician, part sysadmin. Husband, step-dad, grandpa, and music freak who digs mechanical clocks, barometers, and Gil Elvgren pinups. Studied Meteorolgy & Computer Science. And the U.S. Constitution.

3 thoughts on “Social Work Academia Defines Conservatives

  1. Morgan K Freeberg

    It’s funny how whenever we find the grossest examples of misstatement in some authoritative reference manual, a lot of the time the origin of the problem is traced to a liberal being entrusted with defining what motivates conservatives.

    Why would anyone so entrust, except to slander? There is no ignorance on the globe more eminent and pervasive than the ignorance liberals have about what motivates conservatives. They don’t know, don’t care to learn, in fact are proud of not having learned and not having any intention of ever learning. So why ask them?

  2. Severian

    To be fair to the ivory tower (though God alone knows why I should be), most of these people have never, ever, in all their lives, encountered such a mysterious creature as a “conservative.” The kind of people who grow up to be professors — I speak from extensive experience — come from upper middle class families, often in college towns, and almost always from the liberal guild professions (“professor,” like “teacher,” “lawyer,” and “doctor,” is a family trade). They go to private schools and small colleges, and then grad school, and then they flip their desks around and start teaching at the same small academies.

    Naturally, then, they think they’ve got it figured out. After all, “a conservative is a universal bigot” works well enough if you define “bigot” as “one who irrationally opposes socialism,” and you’ve never even heard a rational argument against socialism.

    In fact, their definition works just as well if you say “a conservative is a Bigfoot.” Same deal. It’s an inherently unfalsifiable proposition, but if you’ve never even heard of anyone attempting to falsify it, you might not know that.

    1. nightfly

      Never heard a rational argument against OR FOR socialism, in fact. It’s all about the feels you get when you force someone to act against their own wishes and do what you tell them to do. The merest babe who first convinces a playmate that it’s better just to give up the toy rather than put up with the tantrum has mastered all there is to know about socialism.

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