Re: MD liberals, conservatives & suffering

From: Horse (
Date: Sat Aug 23 2003 - 09:05:53 BST

  • Next message: james marshall: "Re: MD liberals, conservatives & suffering"
    Hi Steve

    On 21 Aug 2003 at 9:49, Steve Peterson wrote:

    > Hi Horse,
    > > On 20 Aug 2003 at 20:22, Steve Peterson wrote:
    > >
    > >> Interesting thought.  I bet this will merely spur a new way to bicker, but
    > >> I'll try it.  I would say that liberals tend to focus on fulfilling material
    > >> (inorganic and biological) needs while conservatives focus on improving
    > >> social quality for the suffering.
    > >
    > I was led to this thinking because Wilber's internal/external split is close
    > to Pirsig's distinction of saying that the inorganic and biological levels
    > are objective while the social and intellectual level are subjective.
    > > Just a thought, but shouldn't the above be the other way around?
    > I don't think so.  Marxism is a good example of the leftist emphasis on the
    > lower levels.  It says that what people really need are material goods and
    > seeks to give them to people through wealth redistribution while denying
    > personal freedoms and spiritual needs.  People are little more than
    > consumers of goods.  Marxism tears town social hierarchies which is seem as
    > a good thing in the light of the MOQ but doesn't replace social hierarchies
    > with a social structure that respects the individual.

    Any disagreement here is probably partly due to a difference in how we see or define liberals and conservatives.
    I would see the conservative as more driven by the capitalist ethic and material possession and
    thus a greater emphasis placed at the inorganic/biological levels. The liberal, on the other
    hand, is more likely to be motivated by a socialist ethic with the aim of (re-)ordering of social patterns for better social and intellectual quality for a greater number.
    Conservative noteables would be Reagan, Thatcher, Bush (Snr.) who were not noted for their
    desire to improve the lot of the lower orders as their policies generally benefitted the wealthier
    and more powerful.
    Liberals such as Chomsky, Pilger, Albert etc. appear to prefer a more eglatarian society which
    entails a re-distribution of wealth - downwards - theoretically benefitting the least well off.
    Of course the above is a very simplistic view and not one I would get into an argument about.

    The point you make about Marx is that in order to alleviate suffering at a social level the
    biological and inorganic levels (material goods) must be more freely available to a greater
    number. Marxism doesn't necessarily rule out personal freedom or spiritual needs - although
    practice of Marxism may do just that. J. S. Mill, who was around at the same time as Marx,
    was a noted liberal (and of socialist persuasion) and also strongly libertarian and concerned with improving social quality. Many conservatives also profess to be libertarian.

    The point I'm making is that both liberals and conservatives emphasise different areas of the
    static levels but both partake of (are created by) all levels. The different emphasis at each level is what determines the way in which suffering is/is not alleviated and not the reduction to EITHER Inorganic/Biological (Object) OR Social/Intellectual (Subject). Actually I'm firmly with Squonk here in seeing the Subject/Object split as pointless and detrimental to understanding the MoQ.
    Alleviating suffering is about harmonizing static patterns and receptivity to DQ.


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