Modern Conservatism and Modern Liberalism were born of the same dialectical process. This process unfolded in the generations after the US Founders.
The Constitution does mentions neither the Republican nor the Democratic Party. The Left/Right split which dominates every facet of politics did not come into being until the generations after the founders.
This split came as a reactionary movement to the social changes caused by the U.S. Revolution.
This day also saw the rise of a new hyper-partisan form of logical called Modern Logic. Marx called his logical form "Material Dialectics." But I will use the term "Partisan Dialectics."
A partisan has his eyes on the prize: election and power. The methodology of the partisan is to associate his party with positive images and the opposition with negative images.
Partisans often spend more time framing the position of their opposition than in defining their own position. A great example of this is Marx. Marx wrote a huge multi-tomed work called "Das Kapital" which frames the free market in a negative light.
I need to repeat, the partisan dialectics in America started as a reactionary movement after the Revolution. Conservatives in the 1800s were desperate to preserve the social order.
I keep pointing to Hegel because Hegel is a good target to attack. The Hanoverian Kings of England funded the German University and charged it with framing the monarchy as progressive. Hegel was an arch-conservative who adored Napoleon and threw his weight into building up the monarchy in the German States.
There is a Hegelian Right and Hegelian Left. The direct descendants of this ideology (The Hegelian Right) includes Fascism and Naziism. A group called The Young Hegelians created a Leftist interpretation of Hegel. This group includes Ludwig Feuerbach (who is the father of modern Atheism) and Karl Marx (father of Capitalism).
Modern Capitalism is perhaps the best example of ugly effects of Partisan Dialectics. Marx's goal in writing Das Kapital was to project every negative image he could find onto the free market.
Hegelian Conservatives, who were playing the same dialectical games, began arguing for Marx's Capitalism.
Neither Adam Smith nor the Founders of the US argued with the terms of Modern Capitalism. Adam Smith and the Founders argued for the free market from a classical moral perspective.
In classical economics, capital was simply one part of the means of production. Marx's capitalism created a completely imbalanced view of the market with capital controlling people.
Conservative defend Marx's view of Capitalism because Marx's Capitalism creates the top-down social systems that Conservatives crave. Capitalism creates a small but distinct ruling class that owns and the vast majority of mankind is reduced to subsistence as disenfranchised workers.
It blows my mind. Conservatives spend their days labeling their opposition as Marxists, then turn around and defend Marx's Das Kapital.
A true free market should empower, but the Marxian economic vision supported by Conservatives creates a class society with a ruling class of capitalist controlling all facets of being and the vast majority of people reduced to workers.
To defend the free market, one needs to counter both the Far Left which has fallen in love with Marx's undefined vision of a Communist Utopia and right which has fallen in loved with the class society created by Marx's Capitalism.
It is possible to create a free society. Unfortunately, you will find the greatest opposition to freedom coming from conservatives who are infatuated with the class society created my Marx's Capitalism.
Partisan dialectics is a completely irrational system in which in which society evolves through partisan conflict. The partisans engage in a series of thesis/anti-thesis conflict with an occasional catharsis which sets up the next thesis/anti-thesis battle.
The partisan's goal is power. Partisans look at the current mix of conflicts and tries to associate the party with images that poll well and associate their partisan foes with images that poll poorly.
Partisans might switch positions on issue. A great example of this is racism.
The Left from Marx to the Civil Rights Movement used racism to motivate people. The KKK was last century's equivalent of OWS. The KKK used racial fears to unify people and demand greater social. The Jim Crows were based on the idea that we needed a big intrusive government to keep people segregated because people led by natural human behavior tend to integrate.
Scientific Socialism of last century used all sorts of nonsensical racist claims to demand centralized power.
As the racist claims proved false and racism no longer polled well, the Left made the wise decision to stop using racism. Conservatives wanting to preserve the social order courted the people who were put out by this move.
The Left has become dependent on projecting racism on the Right. Neither racism nor tolerance is exclusive to one party.
Partisans, however, do everything they can to project negative images on the opposition and positive images onto themselves.
Now, the partisan game of capturing images and institutions is inherently irrational.
In contrast, the US Founders were actually more committed to reason than the partisans of today.
The US Founders had a Liberal Arts Education based on Classical Logic (The Trivium). They applied Classical Logic to the question of Liberty and came up with the American system with a limited government and unlimited people. I like to call the Founders "Classical Liberals."
The legs of the Trivium are Grammar, Classical Logic and Rhetoric. Grammar is about the structure of the language. Logic refers to the structure of ideas. Rhetoric is art of communicating ideas.
When one jumps into classical logic, one not only learns how to structure his ideas, one learns how to understand the ideas of others.
When you have people who are committed to this classical structure, they learn how to formulate and communicate their ideas and how to understand the ideas of others.
The Founders were weened on classical logic as taught by Arnauld, Isaac Watts and others. They had read the great literature such as Cato at Cicero. Because the founders had a commitment to reason, they could actually gather and communicate ideas.
For example, during the Constitutional Convention, people were able to created and stick with compromises.
I've noted in many blog posts that it is impossible to compromise with a progressive. The Modern Progressive believes that society evolves through conflict. Each compromise sets up the next conflict.
When negotiating with a progressive, one cannot end a conflict with a compromise because the progressive will simply use the compromise to create a new conflict. This problem is inherent in progressive methodology.
After grabbing the short end of multiple compromises, the opposition to the progressives must degenerate in to shrill partisan screeching with the progressive and opposition yelling past each other.
What is happening in America is really quite sad. Modern dialectics began as a reactionary movement with the aim of preserving the social order of the Monarchy. Conservatives started by projecting every negative image that they could on their opponents. A new opposition formed. The new opposition is better at using the dialectical methods pioneered by the reactionary thinkers of the 1800s.
We are now essentially locked into this shrill conflict between the Hegelians (Modern Conservatives) and the Young Hegelians and the result will be a horrible future for America.
The solution to the partisan divide is to realize that the Left/Right split developed as a reaction to the American Experiment in Self Rule.
To preserve the Experiment in Self Rule, we have to rethink things such as Modern Conservatism, Capitalism, hyper partisanship and other creations of this reactionary movement.
For proof that Modern Conservatives and Modern Liberals spend more time projecting images on each other, just look at the most Left and Right tweet streams. Paul Mero of the Sutherland Institute consistently demonstrates shallow thinking. For example example, Paul Mero dislikes Libertarians and so he writes a post claiming Libertarians wantonly kill things.
For proof that Classical Liberals communicated with each other, look at the US Constitution and the Scientific Revolution (which has its roots in classical liberal thought).
I should point out that Modern Libertarians are raised with modern logic and tend to engage in the style of the day. They can get as nasty as the left and right. It is very difficult for people raised on modern dialectics to engage in true civil discourse. This is the fault of modern dialectics and not of the the minority systems of thoughts. A person who is committed to civil discourse today will simply be trammeled down and run out.