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Going green: Moving beyond left-right split

In “Moral Development and Politics” I asserted that the love of humanity is more morally evolved than the love of country, to which a reader took exception.

While it is natural to seek vengeance when harmed, many have managed to rise above this instinct – from Jesus forgiving his executioners, to the sister of the man who would not desert his disabled friend at the World Trade Center. She, like several grieving relatives (who got no media attention for this), were adamantly opposed to the bombing of Afghanistan in their loved ones’ names.



Most things worth achieving are difficult. The bulk of humanity is shown the way by people of exceptional character and virtue, who teach us we are not doomed to live forever by the law of the jungle.




However, by claiming that compassion for all is more evolved than a blind love of country, I was not endorsing the entire liberal agenda.

Liberal values, which stem from the Enlightenment, were indeed an evolutionary progression from a church-state feudalism based on rigid hierarchies, militarism, paternalism and mythic religion.

However, every new developmental stage brings about its own package of potential pathologies and each previous stage still embodies absolutely indispensable truths. My favorite conservative truths are the importance of social stability, the need to take personal responsibility, and a willingness to rank values.

The liberal agenda champions the inalienable rights of minorities but tends to blame everything on social forces and fails to articulate a clear value system. Fearing to offend a particular group with the truth, it gets mired in political correctness and wishy-washy-ness.

Our current political choices boil down to a healthy but regressive Conservatism, which seeks to re-establish a social order based on outmoded hierarchies or a sick Liberalism, which has degenerated into a “do whatever feels good to you” mentality.

Thankfully, a new political force is moving beyond the left-right split and integrating the best of liberalism and conservatism.

Tired of the mainstream stalemate, I joined the Green Party because its “whole-systems-thinking” perspective is more capable of addressing the complexities of the modern world.

Janine Rickard

Nevada City


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