Thursday, September 29, 2005

Double Dubya

The Economist has an article discussing the realignment of the conservative movement as a result of Bush. In their dichotomy of different types of conservatives, here's how I believe I fall:

Small government v. Big government:
I am for effective, efficient government. It is my understanding that, just like business, there is an ideal size for government. As the size of an organization grows, its organizational structure grows exponentially. As a result, the larger an organization becomes, the less efficient it will become. However, organizations can also reap economies of scale. A government the size of Luxembourg's, for example, would have tremendous difficulty governing the U.S. The ideal size, then, is where the increased effectiveness of size is equal to the cost of running such a government. What size is that? I don't know, but I think that it's smaller than the one we have now.

Faith v. Doubt:
Oddly enough, for those who know me, I fall more strongly under the conservatives of doubt. I do believe that the government can legislate morality (what are laws against theft, except enforcing thou shalt not steal?), but I believe that it can also legislate immorality. I believe that I am better off limiting the government's excursions into the field of morality, for the morality legislated will be much less moral, and the immorality much more immoral, than I would otherwise choose. The only moral legislation I support is that which is necessary to the establishment of a stable society (killing people is bad, for example).

Insurgent v. Establishment:
I'm an insurgent conservative; I distrust what comes out of Washington. I have a theory about why this is so. Most nations, the United States and Brazil being the major exceptions, have capital cities that were cities for some other reason. The United States and Brazil created their capitals for the purpose of being capital cities. I believe this is a mistake, because it creates groupthink government. Everyone who is in D.C. is there because of government. Those who do not work for the government work to support those who are in government. The entire city is entirely dependent on the government, and, as such, the people who spend their time in D.C. never come into contact with ordinary people whose livelihoods depend on other things. There's no one who will question the government, because they all depend on it. As an example of a city that was a capital city for some other reason, Moscow is the capital of Russia because it was so far out in the sticks that the Mongols didn't bother to conquer it.

Business v. Relgion:
I'm undecided on this one.

Neo v. Traditional:
Traditional, with a tendency towards a Realpolitik "whatever works" approach. Even though it interferes with the economy (gasp) I support some programs like a tax on pollution, because it seems to be the best way to deal with the problem. I support some limited redistributive programs (gasp) because it seems to be an efficient way of stabilizing society.

I want more dichotomies like this one. They are very helpful in analyzing your political views, particularly if you have a blog and can comment on why you picked the way you do.


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