Along the way, I remembered something I read in an essay by David Brin regarding the genre of science fiction. SOooooo, I jumped over to Brin-world and got sucked into reading more of his essays - some very good stuff - and I promptly lost all desire to finish my witty retort to SoundBite. Just a few words tonight that resonated with me and I'm going to bed:
In his article (written after the 2004 election) The Real Culture War, he points to the inadequacy of the left-right axis in discussing political options and shows how it lumps together people who would otherwise be at odds and divides people who could otherwise reach agreement. To him, the divide is really about modernity, which he categorizes as modernists vs. romantics (which I disagree with the firm distinction). Anyway, the piece I liked the most (so far):
"Alas, people who identify themselves on the left will seldom recognize authoritarian tendencies in paternalistic tolerance-police. Conservatives won't see that corporate power is a temptation all-too readily abused. And libertarians seem incapable of recognizing that more markets, throughout history, were ruined by aristocratic cheaters than ever were by socialists."
Agreed. Authoritarianism in any paternalistic guise bothers me more than conservatism; there is just a preponderance of authoritarians who identify as "conservative" and paternalism is sometimes harder to see.