Liberal and Conservative World-Views and Values Radical Bleeding Heart image

The Three Gulfs Between Us

There are three important areas in which values appear to create a gulf between liberals from conservatives. All of them are useful to the manipulating plutocrats. There are the Do-Gooders vs. the Do-Badders, the Self-Acceptors vs. the Self-Haters, and the Doubters vs. the Believers.

But our values shape our world views, and in all three cases what appears to be a striking difference in values turns out to be more about world views. People behave differently because they live in different worlds.

The Do-Gooders vs. the Do-Badders

There is one area in which the apparent difference in core values is deep and wide. When so-called conservatives wish to express their utter contempt for liberals, what denigrating labels do they use?

Do-gooder. Sob Sister. And (I note with some pride) Bleeding Heart.

This is our first and greatest gulf: that between those who wish to do good and those committed to doing bad.

Self Accepters vs. the Self-Haters

Conservatives are always carrying on about morality. They love to pose as soldiers against sin. But while they inevitably see the wickedness they must fight in others, it is their own base impulses that motivate them. They hate parts of themselves, the parts they see as shameful and wicked.

While liberals tend to be a peace with themselves, conservatives are terrified of the wickedness they find in themselves yet somehow always see outside themselves.

Doubters vs. Believers

Those who lust for certainty live in a world in which there can be no unanswered questions. They must find an Authority who can dispel all doubt. Questioners do not believe that anyone or anything has all the answers. Obtaining the truth is a matter of painfully probing, reasoning, and above all, testing.

Liberals accept at least a degree of doubt while conservatives demand certainty.

[Next: What Do These Three Have in Common?]