What Tea Partiers Really Want

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What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Vaniver » Sun Nov 28, 2010 5:52 pm UTC

I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Griffin » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:33 pm UTC

Interesting way to think about it - certainly lines up with my experiences, and if its true that this is the motivation for much of the group, I can certainly understand the appeal.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby rath358 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:42 pm UTC

That was interesting. I definitely have a new way to think about them, I guess.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

I think its interesting, but two small things that bug me.

First, did the writer seriously need to do everything possible to use the word karma lots and lots of times?

Secondly, I would have liked a better look at the differences between the two main factions of the tea party.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby sardia » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:03 pm UTC

The viewpoint sounds cute, but I keep thinking bullshit when I read it.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jedidawn » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:33 pm UTC

I was very confused by one aspect of the article - what is the difference between a liberal and a libertarian? I was under the impression that they were synonymous, both coming from supportingly liberty: liberAL liberTARIAN obviously the article is making some distinction, but I'm at a loss to what it is

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby quantumcat42 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:39 pm UTC

Roughly, libertarians are fiscally conservative and socially liberal... more detail here.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:48 pm UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:I think its interesting, but two small things that bug me.

First, did the writer seriously need to do everything possible to use the word karma lots and lots of times?

Secondly, I would have liked a better look at the differences between the two main factions of the tea party.

Yeah, the karma angle seems like complete bs. Furthermore, it doesn't even bother to point out that their opinion is predicated on a completely unrealistic stereotype of how the lower classes actually live.

Once they stop insinuating that the poor are poor because they're lazy I'll care about their arguments.

Above all, they want to live in a country in which hard work and personal responsibility pay off and laziness, cheating and irresponsibility bring people to ruin.

Or read a fucking Dickens novel and realize that Capitalism makes a fucking mockery or that sentiment.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jedidawn » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:52 pm UTC

quantumcat42 wrote:Roughly, libertarians are fiscally conservative and socially liberal... more detail here.

Which differs from a liberal how?

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jahoclave » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:55 pm UTC

Jedidawn wrote:
quantumcat42 wrote:Roughly, libertarians are fiscally conservative and socially liberal... more detail here.

Which differs from a liberal how?

"Liberal" is a term used in America to refer to what is commonly known as a conservative in most nation states. Much in the same way the sport of "football" is used.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Cynical Idealist » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

Jedidawn wrote:I was very confused by one aspect of the article - what is the difference between a liberal and a libertarian? I was under the impression that they were synonymous, both coming from supportingly liberty: liberAL liberTARIAN obviously the article is making some distinction, but I'm at a loss to what it is

The easiest way to illustrate is probably to just point you at the big political parties associated with each: the Democratic Party is considered liberal, while the Libertarian Party is exactly what it says on the tin.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Glass Fractal » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:19 pm UTC

Jedidawn wrote:
quantumcat42 wrote:Roughly, libertarians are fiscally conservative and socially liberal... more detail here.

Which differs from a liberal how?


In my experience Libertarians more fiscally conservative and more socially liberal than liberals are, and at least a few of them are ridiculously extreme when it comes to the fiscal conservatism.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Silknor » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:31 pm UTC

The karma angle is interesting. And it certainly roughly fits with what I've seen in the tea party movement.

Jedidawn wrote:
quantumcat42 wrote:Roughly, libertarians are fiscally conservative and socially liberal... more detail here.

Which differs from a liberal how?


Liberals are more likely to see a prominent role for the government in economic affairs than libertarians and economic conservatives. Some examples:
Consumer protection
Income redistribution
Environmental protection

Generally you can expect from liberals:
Less faith in markets to reach socially optimal outcomes
More support for government economic regulation
Support for progressive taxation combined with income supports for the elderly, poor, disabled, etc
A general skepticism of corporations

Libertarians and economic conservatives on the other hand are more likely to believe that:
Smaller government is superior to larger government (sometimes this gets confused with the following belief):
National governments are less effective/responsive than state/local governments
Government is less efficient than private industry
Progressive tax structures create disincentives to work on both the high end (taxes too high) and the low end (too easy to live comfortably on welfare/unemployment/tax credits or the incentive to get a job or work more/harder is decreased since each extra dollar you earn won't translate to a dollar in your wallet [both because of taxes and because as you earn more income, you get less support from the government])
Lower taxes and spending are more likely to create economic growth
Private charity+strong economic growth+Low Taxes and welfare will do a better job of taking care of the poor than income redistribution by the government
Markets are generally efficient and many consumer protection laws are unnecessary because without them, consumers will simply make informed choices and avoid dangerous products

Yeah, the karma angle seems like complete bs. Furthermore, it doesn't even bother to point out that their opinion is predicated on a completely unrealistic stereotype of how the lower classes actually live.

Once they stop insinuating that the poor are poor because they're lazy I'll care about their arguments.


You don't have to be crazy or misinformed to think that incentives to work are affected by taxes and redistribution to the poor. It's plenty debatable how big of an impact these distorted incentives have, and how much we should care (instead of say focusing on the average standard of living for those at economic bottom). But it's pretty clear that providing (for example) high income support to the unemployed decreases their economic incentives to find a job. A simple thought experiment shows this: If the government pays $40000 a year to everyone without a full or part time job, then how much would an employer have to offer for you to accept a 40 hour/week job with decent working conditions. Compare that number to if the government reduces that $40000 to $10000 or $0. No, that's not perfectly illustrative of how things work, and no, it doesn't include non-monetary factors, it's just to illustrate the basic point that incentives matter.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Jplus » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:32 pm UTC

I find this a very nice analysis, a good attempt at objectivity. I suspect a Tea Partier would be about equally likely (with positive probability) to accept this perspective as a non-Tea Partier. Of course, my intuition doesn't tell much since I live in the Netherlands (most people out here would be considered communists by an American, and apart from that we simply don't have the Tea Party).

Which brings me to another question: are there any Tea Partiers at the xkcd forums?
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:50 pm UTC

The Nolan Chart.

The word "Liberal", which was originally used for a 18th century movement focused on individual rights, freedom, and free thought/speech, has been hijacked by the modern "left wing", which is now focused more on economic equality and utilitarianism. From what I can tell, it also includes a bit of fascism in the form of a Benevolent Big Brother, not that the "right wing" doesn't suffer from similar problems.

The United States was founded by Liberals. Radical Liberals. Liberals with guns. Liberals with religion. Sexist Liberals that owned/raped slaves and stole from/murdered Natives; much like a toddler learns "MINE!" long before it learns "yours", it took some maturing for the original Liberals to realize that "individual rights" apply to individuals other than themselves.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Gelsamel » Sun Nov 28, 2010 9:23 pm UTC

So... tea partiers don't have empathy and assume the worst of people and believe people "deserve" things that they judge them to "deserve"? No surprises there.



Anyway, I dislike how the whole exam thing was presented as though that is a thing that tea partiers and Glenn Beck are against, when pretty much EVERYONE I know regardless of political affiliation is against stuff like that. It's sad that such a rule was put in place, yes, but that is hardly a defining example of Tea Partiers.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby quantumcat42 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:01 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:So... tea partiers don't have empathy and assume the worst of people and believe people "deserve" things that they judge them to "deserve"? No surprises there.

So... assuming the worst possible motives for an opposing stance? No surprises there either.

Anyway, I dislike how the whole exam thing was presented as though that is a thing that tea partiers and Glenn Beck are against, when pretty much EVERYONE I know regardless of political affiliation is against stuff like that. It's sad that such a rule was put in place, yes, but that is hardly a defining example of Tea Partiers.
Do you mean the "how much would you need to be paid to receive blood from a child molester" exam? That wasn't cast as "tea party is against this and everyone else is for this". What they said about the exam is that group loyalty, respect for authority and spiritual sanctity were more important to conservatives, care and fairness were more important to liberals, and that none of the 5 were particularly key for libertarians.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Griffin » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:07 pm UTC

Once they stop insinuating that the poor are poor because they're lazy I'll care about their arguments.

From what I've seen, the viewpoint isn't so much about the way things are as the way they'd like them to be.

Basically, they want a world were people who are poor are poor BECAUSE they are lazy (and those who work hard enough can get a chance at being fabulously wealthy or at least fairly well off). While liberals want a world where people are not poor. Like in any group, however, I'm pretty sure there are plenty that confuse 'is" and "ought"
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Gelsamel » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:08 pm UTC

quantumcat42 wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:So... tea partiers don't have empathy and assume the worst of people and believe people "deserve" things that they judge them to "deserve"? No surprises there.

So... assuming the worst possible motives for an opposing stance? No surprises there either.


Uh, opposing stance?

Anyway, I wasn't assuming, I was summarizing what the article said. Way to assume the worst of me... no surprises? :-/

Do you mean the "how much would you need to be paid to receive blood from a child molester" exam? That wasn't cast as "tea party is against this and everyone else is for this". What they said about the exam is that group loyalty, respect for authority and spiritual sanctity were more important to conservatives, care and fairness were more important to liberals, and that none of the 5 were particularly key for libertarians.


I mean the exam exam, where a girl had to be held back because of everyone else.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Griffin » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:27 pm UTC

Thats the dominant movement in education right now, actually. And I'm not sure why conservatives are against - group responsibility for success of the individuals seems like a very conservative thing.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby quantumcat42 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:40 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:
quantumcat42 wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:So... tea partiers don't have empathy and assume the worst of people and believe people "deserve" things that they judge them to "deserve"? No surprises there.

So... assuming the worst possible motives for an opposing stance? No surprises there either.


Uh, opposing stance?

Anyway, I wasn't assuming, I was summarizing what the article said. Way to assume the worst of me... no surprises? :-/

Heh. Well, I disagree with that as a summary of the article. The article made an effort to present the positions in question with some semblance of objectivity. Since the "summary" cast the position described in the article in a negative moral light, my previous post required no assumption except that you yourself are not a tea partier. Was that incorrect?

I mean the exam exam, where a girl had to be held back because of everyone else.

Ah, the homeschool convert, gotcha. Sure, dissatisfaction with that situation isn't exclusively "tea party", but (like the "father slapping" exam) it's not a question of exclusive opposition -- just the weight given to the particular moral perspective described in the article.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Sartorius » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:46 pm UTC

What I don't understand is how the article can rail against the girl who was held back by everyone else, but then disagree with bailing out the banks/GM. Many, many more people than who were involved would be affected by the loss of such companies. Think of all the resources GM buys from other companies. It would be punishing people for things they didn't do, just like that girl was punished for her classmates' bad performance on the test. It would also allow people to deal with the outcome of their actions, assuming they care.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:55 pm UTC

Sartorius wrote:What I don't understand is how the article can rail against the girl who was held back by everyone else, but then disagree with bailing out the banks/GM. Many, many more people than who were involved would be affected by the loss of such companies. Think of all the resources GM buys from other companies. It would be punishing people for things they didn't do, just like that girl was punished for her classmates' bad performance on the test. It would also allow people to deal with the outcome of their actions, assuming they care.


You don't protect the good companies by taxing them and using the money to help bad companies. Ignoring philosophical arguments against government intervention, economic conservatives(the non corporatist kind) would argue that bailing out bad companies is a greater long term harm(consider the higher tax rate to pay for bailouts that will slow later growth) so it is better to let things crash and recover then try to keep resuscitating companies that failed.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Gelsamel » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:58 pm UTC

quantumcat42 wrote:Heh. Well, I disagree with that as a summary of the article. The article made an effort to present the positions in question with some semblance of objectivity. Since the "summary" cast the position described in the article in a negative moral light, my previous post required no assumption except that you yourself are not a tea partier. Was that incorrect?


I'm not a tea partier, I'd say I'm halfway between liberal and libertarian, but the tea partier's stance isn't an "opposing stance" it's just not exactly aligned with my stances. The article describes tea partiers are though they're overly concerned with other people "getting what comes to them" where "what comes to them" is a superficial personal judgement based on othering everyone else rather than empathizing with everyone else.

I disagree that that is necessarily the case, but if it is then it is very sad. Then again I also find that most of the "reprisentatives" of the tea party aren't really reprisentative at all, least of all Dick Armey.

I also take issue with presenting mistakes, or "bad decisions" as being similar to the "bad/evil" that causes karma to bring "bad/evil" back to you. In one paragraph the article is talking about how people who do bad things will get their due from karma, it keeps mentioning "morals". Then in the next paragraph it talks about making mistakes as something that should have karmic repercussions suggesting that that is the "moral" thing.

Ah, the homeschool convert, gotcha. Sure, dissatisfaction with that situation isn't exclusively "tea party", but (like the "father slapping" exam) it's not a question of exclusive opposition -- just the weight given to the particular moral perspective described in the article.


Perhaps not exclusive opposition but I imagine one would struggle to find someone that agrees with that situation. Perhaps I'm wrong though.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby quantumcat42 » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:46 pm UTC

Gelsamel, I understand your interpretation of the article, but I still think it's missing a vital element. The article didn't present this particular concept of "karma" as simply wanting people to "get what comes to them" -- a better interpretation, IMO, is wanting to maintain the natural consequences of actions in the interest of fostering personal responsibility. That meshes better with the opening "gravity" analogy, I think, as it keeps sight of the reason for opposing the systematic flattening of consequences.
I didn't get as strong a vibe of "moral judgment for mistakes"... could you point out the specific place you mentioned?

As for the education question -- as Griffin noted, it's not such a surprising occurrence in the context of the US education system right now. So while you and I might not personally know anyone who thinks it's a good idea to hold back brighter students, obviously there are enough people who do to make that the state of the system.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Nov 29, 2010 12:08 am UTC

The article says:
"But the passion of the tea-party movement is, in fact, a moral passion. It can be summarized in one word: not liberty, but karma."

"the law of karma says that for every action, there is an equal and morally commensurate reaction. Kindness, honesty and hard work will (eventually) bring good fortune; cruelty, deceit and laziness will (eventually) bring suffering."

"Bad deeds would no longer lead to bad outcomes, and the fragile moral order of our nation would break apart. For tea partiers, this scenario is not science fiction. It is the last 80 years of American history.

In the tea partiers' scheme of things, the federal government got into the business of protecting the American people—from market fluctuations as well as from their own bad decisions."


Ie. the article suggests that Tea partiers think that bad decisions (like getting that mortgage) are the same as bad deeds that should lead to bad outcomes to punish those bad-doers and that these are moral outcomes. There isn't really a difference between phrasing it in terms of "Natural consequences" and "What is coming to them", I think the later is more appropriate because, afterall, everything is the result of natural processes (even the bailout) and the "consequence" in this case is something incredibly self-judged.


Edit: And if you're going to use some other definition of natural then it almost certainly does not apply as we're already within a completely artificial system (by that definition of natural) so the idea of having natural consequences is laughable. What this article says the tea partiers want is completely anti-empathatic.

Edit2: A truely karmic system would often work in the same way that the current system does (except less blanketly applied) as the rich do not have a monopoly on those who are kind, hardworking and honest, nor do the poor have a monopoly on the deceitful, cruel and lazy. And in fact, the "natural" economic system we have now often rewards deceit and cruelty sometimes even laziness. Taxing the rich higher and the providing a safety net for the poor surely punishes some who are kind, hardworking and honest and rewards some who are deceitful, cruel and lazy but applying karma accurately is impossible and removing these measures does not result in a karmic system. It just results in the exact same karmic situation of some bad deeds being rewarded and some good deeds being punished.

So why doesn't this "naturally" cause a karmic system? Because karma is not natural. I don't believe tea partiers think that it is or that it could be. Tea partiers, hell, people are smarter than that. I think one might accurately say that most tea partiers were more about justice or specifically karma as it relates to the bailouts when the tea partiers first cropped up (as it was an action that "felt bad" to people), but now? In general?
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby quantumcat42 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:12 am UTC

We're on the same page with the word "natural", but not as much with "moral". Being empathetic and believing in the feedback value of consequences are not mutually exclusive. The morality of "getting what's coming" has overtones of judgment, and seems to assume there can be no sympathy for those facing negative consequences. The morality of "natural consequences" does not require judgment -- it's simply the idea that, morally, effects should be related to their causes. While it's certainly possible (and fairly widespread) to pass moral judgment on the "financial fat cats" who got bailed out after making bad decisions, such personal judgment is not necessary to hold the position that the bailouts were wrong. One might be very concerned with helping the poor, but still think that boosting welfare was the wrong way to go about it.

I don't dispute that a lot of people don't separate this systemic morality from personal judgment. However, not all of the illustrations of the "karma" described in the article required such judgment -- the slight support for mirroring a criminals acts upon them hints at this sort of vindictiveness, but most other examples can easily be understood without it. Therefore, I don't see that a lack of empathy is a necessary condition to endorse this version of karma, and really don't see the article as putting forward that idea.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby ++$_ » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:12 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:So why doesn't this "naturally" cause a karmic system? Because karma is not natural. I don't believe tea partiers think that it is or that it could be. Tea partiers, hell, people are smarter than that.
Actually, a lot of people act and think as though they believe in a just world. People who hold just-world beliefs have been shown to be more likely to be conservative (e.g. Rubin and Peplau, 1975).

I would not be in the slightest surprised if many tea partiers exhibit the just-world phenomenon.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:38 am UTC

Lack of empathy is perhaps a wrong way to put it. But more that it's not empathy based, or rather "anti-empathetic" as I mentioned before. "People 'deserve' things". What things? Since people do not naturally deserve things those things can only things which are judged to be deserved and are in most cases personally judged (not many people advocate for a justice system that disagrees with their personal judgements, though some do). It's this process of judging that I call anti-empathetic, not necessarily the rejection of social safety nets.

As for the just-world thing, yes, well, I more meant that I don't think they explicitly believe that it is about "one word: not liberty, but karma" (as the article puts it).
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby mmmcannibalism » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:29 am UTC

(not many people advocate for a justice system that disagrees with their personal judgements, though some do).


Could you explain what you mean by that? Are you saying people can have different sets of personal ethics and thoughts on what government should do or something else?
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:52 am UTC

mmmcannibalism wrote:
(not many people advocate for a justice system that disagrees with their personal judgements, though some do).


Could you explain what you mean by that? Are you saying people can have different sets of personal ethics and thoughts on what government should do or something else?


I think what you suggested is what I meant, maybe. People don't always believe their personal ethics should be applied universally. I, for one, have a huge personal problem with telling others what someone said to me in private (even with permission I'm uncomfortable with it), but I don't mind if other people do it at all.

Theoretically one might believe criminal or the poor or the corrupt 'deserve' a 'certain thing' but that the result born from the system is 'just' or 'right' even if it is not that 'certain thing'. Generally, though, if people think a criminal or the poor or the corrupt deserve something then it's something that that person has judged them to deserve. For an example, "Rapists should get the death penalty, rapists deserve death". Certainly if one disagrees with the bailouts on the condition it's "not what they deserved" then one doesn't believe the former.

Personally I don't think "What one deserves" is the right metric to frame moral questions in. In fact, and I've discussed this in other threads, I think it's the exact wrong metric to frame moral questions in.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby weasel@xkcd » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:22 am UTC

Interesting article but, while it might be an accurate summary of what some Tea Partiers believe, I feel that it gives many Tea Partiers too much credit and doubt that they have thought things out to this extent. On the other hand I strongly agree with the idea that 'people should get what they deserve' (obviously, otherwise they wouldn't deserve it :) ) and don't want Tea Partiers to believe in the same thing because that would mean I'm agreeing with them on something :(

I guess I differ in that I don't believe that karma is some immutable law of the universe. Unlike what the Tea Partiers are portrayed as believing; hard work, kindness and honesty clearly don't always bring good fortune IMO. Because of this I feel that it falls to society to enforce this idea of 'karma' e.g. by punishing companies which commit fraud and ensuring that the poor have the opportunity to increase their station through hard work.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One thing in the article that did leap out at me as absurd was the idea that premarital sex deserved punishment and that liberals wrongfully "protect people from the punitive side of karma" through legalising contraception and abortion. So while I suppose I support Tea Partiers' purported moral approval of Karma we would completely disagree on what sort of actions deserve punishment.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby BlackSails » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:23 am UTC

While this does explain some of their views, its not the whole story. Karma for instance, has not much to do with opposing mitigation of global warming or more health care for children.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby quantumcat42 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:29 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Lack of empathy is perhaps a wrong way to put it. But more that it's not empathy based, or rather "anti-empathetic" as I mentioned before.

Sure, I could get behind the descriptor "anti-empathetic" (in the sense of being independent of a person's empathy).

Nowhere in the article does the word "deserve" appear, though. The focus is on action and reaction -- the question is what reactions should accompany particular actions. Now, it's possible to add a layer of "deserving" ("someone who does action X deserves consequence Y"), but that adds personalization/judgment which was not present before: it's not an identical statement to "consequence Y should follow action X". The idea of karma (as described in the article) does not require any judgment of "what people deserve", it's just a question of whether the consequences of particular actions should be systemically, forcibly altered.

EDIT: I'm curious about Vaniver's take on the article, as he posted it without commentary...

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Gelsamel » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:36 am UTC

I think that the statement "consequence Y should follow action X" automatically involves personal judgement on the part of the speaker. In particular it's the meaning behind the word "should" which differentiates the statement from a simple observation.

But yeah I'd like to see Vaniver's take on the article.
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby quantumcat42 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:11 am UTC

Gelsamel wrote:I think that the statement "consequence Y should follow action X" automatically involves personal judgement on the part of the speaker. In particular it's the meaning behind the word "should" which differentiates the statement from a simple observation.

Judgment, maybe, but not personal. Judging an action and judging a person are not the same thing. One can "judge" an action and consequence to be morally linked without extending that judgment any farther.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Czhorat » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:26 am UTC

In my opinion, this article gets a couple of things wrong.

First, as mentioned earlier in this thread, is the notion that the poor are poor because they "deserve" to be -- that if they made better choices and/or had a better work ethic they'd be rich. It's a Horatio Alger story, and it's not true. The real world is more complicated than that.

Second is the idea that socially liberal ideas are a rejection of the idea of "karma" or morality in general. They are not, any more than the thought that wives no longer need to obey their husbands without question is an erosion of morality, or that acceptance of interracial relationships is an erosion of morality. It's a change in societal norms. Whether these changes are for the better is open for debate, but I'd be very comfortable making moral arguments FOR pre-marital sex and same-sex relationships to pick two of social conservatives' issues.

Equating the idea of "karma" to gravity and claiming karmic retribution is the only reason someone could find themselves in need of government assistance strikes me as so great a stretch the author must be searching for ways to justify the Tea Party's barely consistent positions.

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Saurus33 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:55 am UTC

Not to mention that it isn't that big a step from "the poor deserve to be poor" and "(some minority) are more likely to be poor" to "(some minority) deserves to be poor."

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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby nitePhyyre » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:37 am UTC

It seems to me like tea partiers have a juvenile understanding of issues. "We started child support just to make the single mommy feel better about herself, no other considerations."
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Re: What Tea Partiers Really Want

Postby Zamfir » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:36 am UTC

This exactly Weber's "The Protestant work ethic and the spirit of capitalism".


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