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Conservative or Liberal?
Conservative
25%
 25%  [ 15 ]
Liberal
65%
 65%  [ 39 ]
Apolitical
10%
 10%  [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 60

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mxskweeb
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 7:15 pm    Post subject: Conservative or Liberal? Reply with quote

Ok, I really really don't intend this post to be an invitation to debate the inherit rightness or wrongness of conservative versus liberal political philosophy. I really like everyone in this community and from their posts find most people here to be intelligent and articulate whether or not the political leanings exposed in their posts differ dramatically from mine. Even when that dramatic difference is expressed in personal attacks on people and institutions that I side with or even admire, I don't let it bother me - I respect those opinions and those holding them for their various positive qualities. A big part of that is because I'm here to share in a passion for Linux that establishes much more common ground than politics.

My questions then are these: are there other conservatives out there in Gentooland? I ask because even though I like this community regardless, I just often feel like I'm the only one or at least that we are significantly outnumbered.

And why would that be? In off-line life, society appears just about evenly divided (at least in the US), with a very slight majority rising in the conservative camp (if the last congressional election is any indication). Is it because Linux and Gentoo attract a younger crowd, which naturally tends to be more liberal? Is it the IT industry in general?

I hope no one takes this too seriously. I've just been wondering about the numbers and the reasons behind them lately. If massive flames ensue, I promise to return to the apolitical linux-only mxskweeb.
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pjp
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I generally find that "Conservative" and "Liberal" are very limiting terms. I agree with many aspects of both views, but I am neither.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I agree: "conservative" and "liberal" are too limiting terms for any real insight.

In USA the political spectrum is split between these to supposedly opposing forces. But from where I'm sitting (at an almost safe distance in Denmark), they are both quite right-wing, and quite indistinguishable. If I had to vote for either, I guess I'd vote for whichever promised to change the spelling of "indistinguishable" to "i15e".

If "apolitical" means "no party fits my views", then I suppose I'm apolitical, but I have very clear and reasoned opnions on matters of society. It's just that nobody listens to me, even if I know more than they do. I wonder why that is?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dont like trying to split people up into liberal vs conservative. The world is much more complex than that. All it really does is cause people to split up into little clannish groups flamming each other because they belong to the other group. It causes people to act like those parents that attack the other little league coach with baseball bats. 8O

Also, one has to ask, whose definition of liberal or conservative? In the US those definitions are often based on the 2 major political parties, but what if you dont belong to eithe one? For instance, the Green party is mosty liberal, but quite conservative in some areas, where as the Libertarians would seem to be very conservative in many big areas, but are quite liberal in others.

I generally find myself to be fairly liberal about some things, conservative about others, and on a completly different plane on others.

Quote:

And why would that be? In off-line life, society appears just about evenly divided (at least in the US), with a very slight majority rising in the conservative camp (if the last congressional election is any indication). Is it because Linux and Gentoo attract a younger crowd, which naturally tends to be more liberal? Is it the IT industry in general?


That is part of it, but not all. People using Linux, and by extension Gentoo, are more likely to have higher education, either having graduated college, in college or on their way. More educated people are more likely to be liberal in their views. This would extend to the IT industry in general. Then there are the people that use Linux for philisophical reasons, most of which fit in with liberal ideology. There are probably other demographic reasons, but I don't know what they would be.

Put simply, it is complex. :wink:
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good points on the limiting nature of the two terms. I thought about editing the poll to add libertarian, green etc. but decided those terms would be too specific in favor of establishing a broad snapshot - i.e. Libertarian easily fits under conservative and green under liberal. I totally agree that most people agree with various aspects of both views, but I also believe that few people are in the exact mid-point. Rather I think most people are on one side of that midpoint or the other, but by widely varying degrees.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

carmiac wrote:
More educated people are more likely to be liberal in their views.
Really? I can't say I've read anything that would confirm this. What I have read, is that "liberal" students tend to leave many of "their" liberal views behind once they get into the real world.

If an accurate census could be taken, I would put money that there are more college/university educated conservatives than there are liberals. Consider blue-collar workers that tend to be liberal. While not all are lacking college/university education, my perception is that most do.
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BaronVonOwn
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to the poli sci courses I've taken, the breakdown goes like this (by highest level of education):
High school - tends to be liberal
College - conservative
Graduate school - liberal
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What I have read, is that "liberal" students tend to leave many of "their" liberal views behind once they get into the real world.

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one


Quote:
If an accurate census could be taken, I would put money that there are more college/ university educated conservatives than there are liberals. Consider blue-collar workers that tend to be liberal. While not all are lacking college/university education, my perception is that most do.

I understand what you mean, but I don't agree. If one considers all leading businessmen and women educated in their trade, then you're right. I just don't consider most of what goes for education as real education. Science and art, that's education. I don't think you'll find more than 50% conservatives on universities.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BaronVonOwn wrote:
High school - tends to be liberal
College - conservative
Graduate school - liberal
Which is not surprising. Most pursuits in graduate school tend toward academia; which brings us back to:
kanuslupus wrote:
"liberal" students tend to leave many of "their" liberal views behind once they get into the real world.
Kind of circular.



Herodot wrote:
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one
Which can be said from every differinig point of view. Consider the most extreme viewpoint that opposes yours, and ask yourself if you'd like the world to be as one. I most definately say no. Nevermind that it would be bland and uninteresting.
Quote:
If one considers all leading businessmen and women educated in their trade, then you're right.
In the US, most degrees go well beyond "their trade" (too much if you ask me).
Quote:
I just don't consider most of what goes for education as real education.
I'd agree with you there.
Quote:
Science and art, that's education.
Hopefully you don't mean only those parts are education. I would loathe the populace who's only educatoin were science and art.
Quote:
I don't think you'll find more than 50% conservatives on universities.
Meaning employed by universities? If that is your point, then I'd agree. I don't think that is a Good Thing though. I'd also suggest that with such a skewed leadership in education (professors & administration), that education itself is compromised.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't fit on either of the poll categories.

I'm a radical leftist, what in my country is called a socialist.
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carlivar
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh man, I gotta chime in here. Take a look at my .sig!

First of all, this poll exemplifies the restrictive viewpoint most people have with political ideologies.

Please note that a more accurate political categorization system would have 4 categories: liberal, conservative, authoritarian, and libertarian. Well, 5 if you include centrist.

Go here for a basic profile of what you are:

http://www.lp.org/quiz/
(even though the quiz is hosted by the U.S. Libertarian Party it is not biased in any direction. The LP just wants people to realize they might be libertarian and not know it).

Anyway, chalk me up as Libertarian of course. That can best be summarized as "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" for those with left/right political blinders on. Needless to say I certainly won't vote on this particular poll.

Carl
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put in apolitical as a protest vote, though if I counted out all the issues I had an opinion in, the majority would land left of center. During college it would have been an even split or slightly conservative, and HS would have been conservative.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

More educated people are more likely to be liberal in their views.


I disagree. People with higher education tend to make more money. People that make more money tend to be conservative (fiscally) because the government takes quite a bit of it away.

People who don't make much money, however, are often liberal (fiscally) because they don't get as much money taken away. Instead, they are on the receiving end of that money taken from the money-makers.

This doesn't factor in people that vote on purely ideological reasons, of course. In general, though, I feel people vote for what will benefit THEM. People vote out of greed. The rich want to keep their money and the poor want to take the rich's money.

I suppose I vote for ideological reasons (pro-guns, pro-drug legalization for instance) and for personal, "greedy" reasons (lowering and eliminating taxes). Both of these though fall under one overall ideology for me: freedom.

Carl
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mxskweeb wrote:
Libertarian easily fits under conservative

Would you say...

-legalizing drugs
-legalizing prostitution
-drastically reducing the military (defending homelands only, getting out of foreign countries)

...are conservative positions?

Carl
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put in apolitical as a protest vote as well.

Honestly, Republicans aren't any more conservative than Democrats anymore. It's the same damn party, just with a bigger mascot. If Bush and Gore had any fundamental differences other than "The other party is bad" I'd have a lot more faith in the US political system.

I wonder how much our political system would improve if the voting system was better. (by voting systems I don't mean the Florida mess, I mean enabling voters to vote for Nader without fear of making Bush president over Gore)
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a card-carrying, tree-hugging, sierra-clubbing, recycling, vegetarian, pro-gay, pro-environment, anti-corporation, anti-prayer-in-schools, anti-censorship, pro-PeTA, Proctor&Gamble-boycotting, flaming liberal.


Oh, I'm sorry. Did I just say that out loud? 8O
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Herodot wrote:
I don't think you'll find more than 50% conservatives on universities.


Very true. I think Baron's statistics actually support this in that those more entrenched in academic society (i.e. more likely to choose grad school) are far more likely to be liberal. I actually cannot think of any instructors I had in various college settings that were obviously conservative. Some were too objective to tell, but most were pretty obvious that they stood to the left of center.

Lanark - props on your unambiguous declaration.

Carlivan - TR was the freakin man. He is my second favorite president of the 20th century. Anyway, I don't mean to force the other three under the the first two labels. I was just trying to get a general picture based on the opinion that almost nobody is dead in the center. I meant those two labels in the sense that if you added up all your opions that you perceived to be on one side or the other, where would you have the greater number? That's my basis for the assesment of Libertarianism earlier. Except for kinds of issues you cited, I would just about be a Libertarian.


Last edited by mxskweeb on Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

well I was always for opposition - until everybody else was - then I switched sides - but former opposition became majority - so I was opposition again?

my point is its pointless to categorize, I may be liberal, but I don't think that we should legalize drugs. Kinda pick stuff you like from different parties, and if some party makes strong point, you go vote for them.

It's liberal to choose to be liberal or not, too...
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

carlivar wrote:
Go here for a basic profile of what you are:

http://www.lp.org/quiz/
As if 10 questions can be definitive ;)

According to the website, I'm a "Centrist":
Your Personal Self-Government Score is 60%.
Your Economic Self-Government Score is 50%.

Find the center, my point was up and left one intersection.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Carlivan - TR was the freakin man. He is my second favorite president of the 20th century. Anyway, I don't mean to force the other three under the the first two labels. I was just trying to get a general picture based on the opinion that almost nobody is dead in the center. I meant those two labels in the sense that if you added up all your opions that you perceived to be on one side or the other, where would you have the greater number? That's my basis for the assesment of Libertarianism earlier. Except for kinds of issues you cited, I would just about be a Libertarian.


Yeah I see what you mean.

TR is indeed the man! Definitely my 20th-century favorite. Who's your #1? Actually TR is tied with Thomas Jefferson overall for me.

Carl
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Quote:
Science and art, that's education.

Hopefully you don't mean only those parts are education. I would loathe the populace who's only educatoin were science and art.

What else would you like? Telephone sanitisers?
I guess it depends on how broadly you define science, but education is basicly about getting a good an large understanding of things, so you can make the right decisions towards whatever goal you have. Why would you loathe such people?

We're probably disagreeing on mere words here!

Quote:
Quote:
I don't think you'll find more than 50% conservatives on universities.

Meaning employed by universities? If that is your point, then I'd agree. I don't think that is a Good Thing though. I'd also suggest that with such a skewed leadership in education (professors & administration), that education itself is compromised.

No, I meant students as well. I can't exactly claim that I know this from my own time at the university, but danish left-wing / right-wing relations are more complex than liberal / conservative.

I think the quest for knowledge is more often found in people left of the middle, or maybe it's the other way around. This fits well with the fact that when you go to the left of the political spectrum, you go towards a scientific look on things (ie marxism), and when you go to the right, you see more ideologies (eg fascism). That particular observation is confirmed by every politician I know.

Well, this is a big discussion, probably not well suited for this forum.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a simple theory on why academics and students tend to be on the left.

Academic life is not the "real world". Helping your fellow man, socialism, etc. sound nice and noble on paper and in the classroom.

Then you get out in the real world, work 40 hours a week and see how much is taken out of your paycheck and see some of the "people" your money is going to... and your views may change very quickly.

This is not to say that academics don't work hard or long, either. I just think it's a sheltered environment.

Ironically, academic life is extremely capitalist-oriented. You succeed or fail based on your own intelligence and hard work. Imagine if the smartest students' grades were "taxed" and distributed to the weaker students so that everyone is more equal. The whole educational system would fall apart. How funny that many academics are against a system they themselves are a part of.

Carl
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

carlivar wrote:
TR is indeed the man! Definitely my 20th-century favorite. Who's your #1? Actually TR is tied with Thomas Jefferson overall for me.


Yeah, definitely Thomas Jefferson for overall. TR was my number one for the 20th century for a long time, but I decided personally my life has been more significantly affected by the fall of the Soviet Union, the reviving of the US military, and the revival of the US economy after the 70's. :D
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The historian Arthur Schlesinger wrote a book called The Cycles of American History, which I found very enlightening. The basic thing I took away from it is that, on average (this is more of a population-level theory, rather than a personal-level theory. readers familiar with Asimov's Foundation, it's that sort of thing), people rebel against their parents' political beliefs, and so generational political views tend to oscillate with a 30-year period, that lengthens as childbearing is delayed. So, in addition to the other factors being mentioned, there may be some of this generational effect at work.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

more government (especially national) is rarely a good thing
Which leaves me kinda out of the options.
Liberals mainly want more govt., but the conservatives seem to as well, especially Bush and friends.
I put conservative since they're the lesser of two evils usually.
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