Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Why Can't the Left Use Historical Examples?

One of the more amusing aspects of the left is the way the supposedly intellectual side of the political spectrum almost always uses historical analogies based on events that occurred since liberalism was invented. As far as they're concerned, the universe began with the French Revolution (or maybe Karl Marx) and recorded history started with World War II. They rarely used the example of the Star Chamber during Clinton's impeachment even despite the fact that it was both a plausible analogy and a cute sound bite. (Googling usenet for “star chamber” and clinton and impeachment produced only 186 examples. Googling for “starr chamber” and clinton and impeachment produced 210 examples.) Antiwar leftists talk about Nazi Germany in a very misplaced analogy. Antiwar conservatives talk about Imperial Rome (a far more plausible analogy).

Of course, from the point of view of the Berkeley psychology department, an optimistic conservative talking about the past wants to return to an idealized time and a pessimistic conservative talking about the past is showing fear and aggession …


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