A gang of us over at Talk Polywell were discussing my recent post Emotional Decision Making.

One commenter left a link to Why Liberals Misunderstand Conservatives. Well that got me thinking, “Why do conservatives misunderstand libertarians?” Naturally I added a few words on the subject to the discussion.


For example, one of the leading approaches to the study of political attitudes states that political conservatism is a form of motivated social cognition: people embrace conservatism in part “because it serves to reduce fear, anxiety, and uncertainty;…

From: http://sentimentsofrationality.blogspot.com/2006/04/why-liberals-misunderstand.html

If you have been following along some of the other threads that is exactly the point I have been making about some of our conservative friends.

They hate that.

Politics is in the main a fear driven activity. To get meta to it you have to be mostly free of fears. i.e. you can’t let your gut drive your thought. It leaves you without reason.

Carl Sagan looked at that in his “The Dragons of Eden” book.

When we live in fear we are little better than animals.

Which is why conservatives hate libertarians. “What? You are not afraid of X? What is wrong with you?” In fact just telling them they should be free of fear (it was at one time referred to as “Trust In God”) drives them into a frenzy. Which gives a fine object lesson to the lurkers.


Then I added a comment to the “Why Liberals Misunderstand Conservatives” site. Reprized at Talk Polywell with a few prefatory remarks:

My attitude is: what ever comes up I will deal with it. What is the point of being afraid?

Here is a comment I left there:

You don’t get libertarians. They are not morally impoverished. They are free of fear (mostly).

Which makes them a whole other animal compared to the left or the right.

In a different age it would have been said “They Trust in God”. So important it is even printed on our money.


Which is to say we live in a godless age. An age full of fear. Which may be why the founders said that without God liberty can’t survive. Those who printed “In God We Trust” on our money were trying to send us a message. It was not about Talmudic like scholarship and the “shalls” and “shall nots” – which vary according to place and time. It was being confident that what ever came up you would deal with it to the best of your ability. No nanny state required to prevent some things from coming up.

So let me repeat here something from some of my favorite girls. The Bene Gesserit Sisters.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.


Cross Posted at Power and Control