Wayne Holland: Irrational Universe


Liberal vs Conservative

June 11, 2015 ...


Am I the only person who is nearing the limit of his patience with all this liberal/conservative mumbo jumbo? Surely not. I may not think too highly of society at large, but I do have some respect for the opinions of individuals, enough to suspect that there are a number of them who are just as disenchanted as I am with all of this oversimplistic hype over the liberal versus the conservative perspective.

There is indeed something of the overly simplistic in the consignment of an argument to either this or that compartment. Life is rarely so simple.

When I rewind the tape, and live again the days of my youth, I am unable to dig up a single memory of this modern nonsense that we so glibly refer to as liberal vs conservative. But at present it seems to be all the rage, as if everything that comes out of our mouth is branded as either a liberal or a conservative point of view.

As if.

I most solemnly assure you that, when I am letting the bullshit fly, which is pretty much all the time (I am currently approaching 500 essays), I am most emphatically not thinking about whether or not it is liberal or conservative bullshit.

If I had to stop and ponder such petty irrelevance I would never get anything posted.

One of the most persuasive examples of an issue (another word I have come to hate) that I can clearly remember as not being a matter of contention at all, but pretty much an accepted reality, is the debate over global warming.

I recently re-visited an essay on the subject, titled, No More Ice Ages?, by Isaac Asimov. It appeared in his very first collection of essays that had previously been published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

When Asimov wrote that essay (in freaking 1950, for God's sake), there was not even the slightest hint of global warming being a liberal/conservative bone of contention.

Asimov had no political agenda whatsoever, no axe to grind. He simply penned an essay in which he suggested the very possible prospect of the excessive use of fossil fuels causing the planet to warm up.

I am forever indulging in thought experiments. Suddenly I find myself nigh-helplessly driven to whisk away in my time machine to 1950 and look up Dr. Asimov for the purpose of sharing with him a glimpse of a future he never saw, especially his own impact on that future.

I try to imagine the look that might come across his face when I tell him about the liberal and conservative camps and their debate over the subject of his essay.

I imagine his brow furrowing, and a puzzled look coming across his visage, a look that conveys utter disbelief. I imagine him saying, "What? You're kidding me."

He pauses for a moment, looking for something more to say, but the words don't quite come. He almost stutters in astonishment. "I just ... I mean ... I don't know what to say. I am truly speechless, and that's saying something for me."

Yes, indeed, for a man who wrote 500 books to be speechless is saying something.

The conservatives are absolutely moronic for arguing that global warming is some feature of the liberal narrative intended to somehow (ultimately) justify the redistribution of wealth.

It is difficult to imagine anything in the political arena that is more absurd than this.

I cannot describe the depth of my reluctance to brand myself as anything, especially if my choices are such childish nonsense as liberal or conservative.

But if I were going to make such a choice, it is actually a no-brainer. I'm going with the liberal side, and for a very good reason: Life is liberal.

If Life were conservative we wouldn't be here discussing it.

Home | Books