Skip to comments.Hated textbook gets Reaganís dark side half right
Posted on 02/25/2014 4:14:15 PM PST by ReformationFan
Conservative student group Turning Point USA caused a stir last week by posting pages online from a textbook used at the University of South Carolina. The book calls Ronald Reagan sexist and says conservatives take a basically pessimistic view of human nature one in which people are conceived of as being corrupt. Several avowed conservatives balked not just at the negative portrayal of Reagan but also at the idea that the conservative persuasion contains a measure of pessimism. On this point, the textbook is right and they are wrong. Russell Kirk was the man credited by William F. Buckley for the very existence of an American conservatism. To Kirk, human fallenness was an essential pillar of conservative thought. He called Original Sin the one empirically verifiable dogma. Human nature suffers irremediably from certain grave faults, Kirk wrote. To seek for utopia is to end in disaster, the conservative says: we are not made for perfect things. This sentiment is shared by the Apostle Paul, who wrote that human beings are by nature children of wrath, and by John Adams, who warned us to distrust government because there is danger from all men. If conservatives are offended by this idea, they have forgotten their own inheritance. The conservative intellectual tradition has been challenging progressive assumptions since Edmund Burke assailed the tyranny of Jacobin France.
(Excerpt) Read more at rare.us ...
The irony is that conservatives believe in a flawed man who should be left to fend on his own; i.e., given individual liberty; while the liberal purports to believe in a perfectible man who requires lots of governmental meddling since he apparently shouldn’t be trusted to make his own decisions.
It breaks down nicely into those that believe God’s Word (The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?) and those that don’t. True conservatives believe the Scriptures and what they have to say about human nature. So did the Founding Fathers. The fool hath said in his heart there is no God.
Not all people.
says conservatives take a basically pessimistic view of human nature
We take a REALISTIC view of humanity, where the liberals all clamor over each other to believe the lie that is the “Noble Savage” myth.
...take a basically pessimistic view of human nature
Isn’t that the view that eugenists, environmentalists, and animal right’s activists take? The view that the world would be better off without people?
Fine sentiments, but some self-professed original sin conservatives thought Reagan was far too cheery, optimistic, and Emersonian.
The article does go on to make the point that pessimism about human nature and optimism about reality aren't opposites, but it's an open question.
He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet
They feel there are way too many people, and from their personal perspective living in big polluted cities they are 100% correct.
The term environmentalist used to mean conservative. The original Sierra Club was a Republican social club. Environmentalism was hijacked by the communists as another disguise for their evil swill.
Russell Kirk... called Original Sin the one empirically verifiable dogma. Human nature suffers irremediably from certain grave faults, Kirk wrote. To seek for utopia is to end in disaster, the conservative says: we are not made for perfect things.
The even greater irony is that liberals believe people aren’t able to make their own decisions, but somehow there is a special group of people who can make not only their own decisions but also everybody else’s.
The author is a libertarian and Rand Paul fan who quotes Calvin Coolidge, if that is any help. I would be interested to know how others think this stance may inform his views on the topic of a pessimistic view of human nature.
I would say that was correct and it was something the Left never caught during the Reagan years. I personally think ‘Original Sin’ is a brilliant concept that even atheists can identify with. Man is at best flawed. RR, more power to him, actually thought man was basically good and left to his own actions would rise and flourish. I find many perhaps a majority are weak, greedy, selfish, petty, corrupt and cowardly. To make people rise above themselves you have to create hell on earth, as Joe Stalin said in 1942 or so “It was more dangerous to be a coward than a hero in the Soviet Union.” To make people rise above their petty selves some sort of forcing house has to be used or some sort of forge of destiny effect such as global war must occur.
‘says conservatives take a basically pessimistic view of human nature
We take a REALISTIC view of humanity, where the liberals all clamor over each other to believe the lie that is the Noble Savage myth.’
EXACTLY! And look at all the human wreckage that resulted in attempting to enforce Rousseau’s “Noble Savage” myth-
the Reign of Terror, the Russian Revolution, the Maoist Cultural Revolution, the Killing Fields in Cambodia, etc.
actually I’ve view the concept of man is flawed as a subset of Socrates concept that the only wisdom is knowing you know nothing in other words grace is gain in understanding your inherent lack of perfection...
Conservatives think people are selfish.
Liberals think people are stupid.
It is interesting that the article, which comes from an apparently libertarian website, quotes Russell Kirk and Edmund Burke and other conservatives.
Kirk was strongly opposed to libertarianism. See this article that he wrote:
“The term “libertarianism”is distasteful to people who think seriously about politics.”
Conservatives believe that we need societal institutions and constraints to function as a civil society. That is why libertarians and conservatives disagree strongly about fundamental issues like abortion and re-defining marriage.
In politics, the Rats routinely sponsor and finance libertarians to split right-leaning voters to enable them to win close elections like the recent Virginia governor’s race, the Montana Senate races, and many others.
All in all, any conservative who votes for a libertarian even in races where a Republican or Rat will clearly win is making a big mistake.