Monday, June 7, 2010

Loyalty and Politics

So, LOG has a new writer, a lady as it happens, who embarks with this:
loyalty is, at its core, irrational.  It requires a person to stick by her friends when her friends are wrong, stay with a job when another job pays more, live in her hometown when there are better opportunities elsewhere, follow a tradition that serves no tangible purpose beyond its own perpetuation, and support a particular baseball team when said team begins the season 16 and 41.  Such is the nature of loyalty, the one value I most want to rescue from the long list of out-of-fashion ideals.

But she is also a "loyal Democrat," which at first glance makes no sense given the above paragraph, but she explains it rather confusingly. Nevertheless, it all makes perfect sense to FLG. Loyalty is only irrational if you have short time horizons. Longer time horizons make it more rational. If we consider the prototypical patron-client relationship as the archetype of loyalty, then it might be irrational to be loyal when your patron is out of favor. Ah, but what about when he comes back into power? Will he forget your betrayal? FLG thinks not.  Loyalty is for those with longer time horizons, which is why it is of more value to conservatives than to liberals.

She continues:
I mostly identify with the small (but growing?) “Laschian Left;” some mix of personal and cultural moderate conservatism, economic and democratic populism and a genuine regard for historical continuity.
Now this is getting interesting.  Here we have somebody on the Left who supposedly has long time horizons, or at least is interested in historical continuity, which as you all know violates FLG's theory that Lefties value the present at far higher rates than conservatives.  Fascinating, but he isn't sure how you reconcile economic and democratic populism with it. 

In any case, FLG has hope that this new Ordinary Lady in the League will be a bit more intellectually interesting than Freddie or Jamelle, who thankfully seemed to have stopped posting over there. Now, if we could just get Rufus to stop butching fucking Plato, then FLG would be contented.

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