VALUE SYSTEMS AND WORLD VIEWS Radical Bleeding Heart image


It is easy to see how these ways of looking at the world, based on different value systems, would coalesce into distinct political philosophies. Conservative views of the world are divisive and limiting, while liberal views are open and accepting. Self-deniers, with their obsession with purity, are apt to believe in absolute good and evil like the do-badders. If you accept an all-knowing Authority, you will be horrified by heresy and thus terrified by those with different beliefs. And the do-badders are obviously at home with the excluders. So while these are distinctly different values, there is harmony between the world-views we think of as “conservative” just as there is between those deemed “liberal.” But there is also the potential for conflict within those two broad categories.

What is not clear from this brief overview is how the interests of the rich and powerful always manage to dominate conservative thinking. This is curious because, unlike the other “conservative” values, the interests of the plutocrats are entirely selfish. They simply want what keeps them rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else. True, the moneybags fund large think-tanks devoted to devising arguments and theories about the way the world works that will appeal to the do-badders, self-deniers, authority-seekers, and the excluders, but actually serve the interests of the powerful. Those arguments are interesting but frightening. They work because they appeal to the worst in people.

But the most important way in which the rich control the way we look at the world is through economics. In this way they appeal to something everyone values: money. They have managed to convince us that what is economically good for the rich is good for us all. Unfortunately, to understand how we have been suckered, swindled, and conned by the rich, we have to understand a bit of that boring, dry, and dismal science of economics. (Yes, I'm afraid we do! but it is not really as bad as it seems. Remember: it is in the interest of the rich and powerful to keep us ignorant of economics, the tool they use to keep us in their power — could they possibly want it to seem difficult?)

Remember that old saying: The truth shall make you free ? [John 8:32] Well, the opposite is also true; lies and illusions are the chains and shackles that bind and enslave us.

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