The Corner

Re: The Wishful Thinking Period

It’s all about the metaxy, dang it. From a reader:

Doesn’t the repeated announcement of “new politics” proceed from the fundamental progressive / Left assumption that all problems are fundamentally rooted in the particular social arrangements of the day? So every past failure of similar efforts is negligible because it wasn’t addressed at the new, or newly understood, problem.

Conservatives, on the other hand, assume that human nature is, at some important level, fundamentally unchanging, and that the problems created by that nature never go away. It’s not a hopeless doctrine — some arrangements mitigate and control problems better than others, and any arrangement admits some improvement. But it is skeptical that improvements can go past some certain point, and wary that efforts to go further can make things worse. It’s not static, either, as social and technological changes can render past solutions of the ancient problems less useful — but even then, a new solution has to recognize that the problem it addresses will never really go away.