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I am an IT professional (a.k.a. Geek) and I desire to glorify God in all that I do and say. I like to read, write, and think about morality and worldview as they apply to public policy. In person I have an active and somewhat sardonic sense of humor. In print I repress this trait and try to avoid saying anything that could give offense when not offered with a broad grin. I strive to be genuine in my dealings with everyone and to be frank, straightforward, and kind to friend and foe alike. I believe that the defense of truth is too important to be waged with anger or malice, but when "speaking the truth in love" neither must we shrink from it.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Fiscal and Social Conservatism: A False Dichotomy

I've always felt that the classifying conservatives as "fiscally" or "socially" conservative is a false dichotomy. In my opinion social conservatives are usually more fiscally conservative than the so-called fiscal conservatives. (However, if we must classify them in parallel terms then I think we should use the words "moral" and "machiavellian" instead of "social" and "fiscal.")

Fiscal conservatives favor only those parts of conservatism that immediately facilitate economic prosperity. They do not seem overly concerned with doing what is right. In my opinion this view is not only immoral but internally inconsistent since it ignores the fact that an unjust society cannot long remain a free society, and a free society is the only society in which material prosperity is possible. In other words, left to their own devices they would saw off the branch that they are sitting on.

Those who use the terms "social conservative" and "fiscal conservative" do not understand that you cannot divorce societal morality from societal prosperity. A society which is not moral must constantly be either in a state of anarchy or of tyranny. A good historical example is the French revolution where one tyrant was overthrown only to be replaced by anarchy and eventually a series of far worse tyrants. We also see this today in Syria and other parts of the middle east. At no point can the people be considered free for they must constantly be in fear either of each other or of an oppressive government (or both). All of this tends toward the destruction and confiscation of the wealth and capital needed to drive an economy.

In a word, a society which does not remain moral cannot remain free, and a society which is not free cannot remain prosperous. To be nothing more than "fiscally conservative" is to be short-sighted.

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