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British author Will Jones has written a perceptive article on the difference between conservatives and progressives, pointing out that both sides are working from radically incompatible and opposing worldviews. These are not just political ideologies. Rather, they account for personalities, psychologies, and how people live. Jones favors the conservative perspective and shows why Christians tend to also, but it’s a little more complicated once we factor sin into both equations.
From Will Jones, Progressives vs conservatives: This is why we can’t just all get along:
Divide - World - Order - Things - Run
. . .The divide [is] between those who believe the world has a given order that ought to be respected because it makes things go best in the long run, and those who do not believe this and think invoking such order is little more than a tool of oppression wielded by the powerful against those they exploit.
The social order, says Jones, expresses itself in institutions such as the family and the nation-state, along with the ideas and practices that support them, such as sexual morality and the rule of law. Conservatives support them–with religious conservatives seeing them as facets of God’s creation–while progressives find them oppressive.
Respect - Order - Contrasts - Outlook - Claims
This conservative respect for natural and social order contrasts sharply with the progressive outlook which is typically hostile to claims of inherent order in nature and society. Progressives tend to follow Marx in regarding such ideas as devices created by the powerful (in Marx’s case, the owners of capital, these days, more likely straight white men) to perpetuate inequalities and restrict people’s freedom of action.
Progressives and conservatives both say they want people to be happy, but they understand very differently what this involves. Whereas conservatives see happiness as emerging from respect for the natural and social order, for progressives almost the opposite is the case: the individual’s pursuit of happiness must...
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