Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Hegelian mambo

(Thanks to Zippy of Zippy Catholic and What’s Wrong with the World for first directing me to this idea.)

Some preliminaries:

1. "Liberal" is hereby being used to mean those who accept as true liberal autonomy theory. "Liberal autonomy theory" is, in turn, generally defined as follows: a political, ethical and anthropological position that holds the individual will to be the foundational attribute of the human person, freedom of choice to be the greatest good, and views the individual as completely autonomous, all interpersonal relations being a matter of personal choice. By this definition, most American "conservatives" are simply right-liberals.

2. An unprincipled exception is a non-liberal value or assertion that is not identified as, or realized to be, non-liberal.

The definition of the Hegelian mambo can be found in, or at least figured out from, the comments here. I am, for the most part, going to first use the steps to the dance laid out by Matt in the second to last comment, then I am going to define what I understand the steps to mean.

The steps to the Hegelian mambo, our nations hottest new political dance:

1. Thesis step to the left, Thesis step to the left,
2. Grab Antithesis on your right and step to the left,
3. Twirl around
4. Synthesize
5. cha cha cha
6. And step to the Left...

The Hegelian mambo, broken down and explained:

1. Move further in a leftward and liberal direction.

2. Make the few unprincipled exceptions you are going to make, even while still moving in a more leftward and liberal direction on other issues.

3. Display your unprincipled exceptions for all to see, fooling conservatives to accept you as a conservative yourself, especially those conservative whose positions are a matter of tradition, piety and religious faith, but who themselves do not have a strong intellectual defense against liberalism.

4. Eventually your positions are accepted as the new "conservatism" by most people.

5. Hold to these positions for a time, either because you are not yet bothered by some of your illiberal positions or because you need to shore up support.

6. Start the dance all over again.

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