Monday, July 14, 2014

The Party of Truth!?

Many members of the GOP hold truth in esteem, while it is fashion for Democrats to declare truth relative.

There is a temptation to take this assumption and make the bold declaration that the GOP is the Party of Truth while the Democratic Party is the Party of Moral Relativism or outright lies.

While the declaration that the GOP is the Party of Truth might appeal to some conservatives. The declaration itself is quite absurd.

The classical western view is that there is a truth, but that humans lack the intellectual capacity or perspective to see this truth in its entirety. We hold truth in esteem but recognize our perspective is limited.

Political parties are the creation of man. Parties are just subject to the limits of man. As the flawed creation of man, parties tend to magnify human errors.

The "collective conscious" of a political party is not a superior being. The "collective conscious" of a political party is an accumulation of all the misperceptions held by the members of the party.

A party is not some sort of superior conscious. Political parties are ever changing political constructs that fluctuate with the political winds. Personally, I would never place faith in a party because parties are fickle and change through a process of action/reaction.

Modern conservatism is a partisan ideology that coevolved with modern progressivism. Conservatism and progressivism transform through action and reaction.

Quite often parties end up swapping positions in the never ending grub for political power. A few generations ago, Conservatives were the ones arguing for conservation and civil rights. Progressives captured these issues. Today, conservatives argue for moderation on civil rights and the environment.

Partisan ideology is a product of a political process and changes with the ebb and flow of political fortune.

While individual conservatives might hold truth in high esteem, conservatism itself does not. Nor can it.

The US Founders had a classical liberal arts education. Classical liberal arts was founded on the Trivium. The three legs of the trivium are grammar, logic and rhetoric. Logic refers to the classical analytic logic of the Aristotelian tradition.

This tradition holds truth in high esteem. I suspect that many of the founders not only believed that there was a truth, but that through the process of reason they could find a way to create a better form of governance.

Interestingly, the founders appear to be troubled by the partisanship of Europe, and although their own experiment in governance quickly broke down into partisanship, I suspect that few believe that truth evolves through a partisan process.

Personally, I suspect that the founders would reject the view that Conservatism was the Party of Truth and Progressivism was the Party of Lies.

While I admire those who believe there is a truth, partisanship is the least likely source for discovering truth.

The Left/Right partisan divide took root in the generations after the founders. Both the Left and Right adopted forms of modern logic, modern dialectics.

If we are to ever restore the American Experiment in self-rule, we need to realize that our partisan ideologies are inherently flawed. A nation cannot find truth through partisanship, but by looking beyond partisanship.

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