POLLIWOG (Tadpole): the early stage of an animal that will eventually become a frog, hoping to be kissed by a princess, turning into a prince! POLIBLOG (Political Blog): the early stage of a center-right political blog that may eventually become a full blown blog of the center-right. Join in if you find any merit in the comments. If you are on the left and disagree, feel free to straighten me out! Who knows, with effort from all of us this blog may turn into a prince!

Location: San Diego, California, United States

Monday, August 13, 2007

The HEART of the Left/Right discord: STATIC v DYNAMIC

Two threads of thought have led to this post: 1) the Iraq war and 2) global warming.

Now, most of us on the right and the left are intelligent, thinking people with the good of the country high on our list of priorities. We have the same goals - a good job, a healthy family, freedom to pursue our desires - and yet the methods we see to achieve these goals are diametrically opposed. How could this be?

The "world" is very dynamic. Would anyone disagree with this statement? I think not!

An example to put the Iraq war situation into perspective was mentioned by Victor Davis Hanson in a discussion with Hugh Hewitt the other day regarding the Second World War. He pointed out that when we started massive bombing of Europe from English bases with our B-17's and B-24's there were massive losses of aircraft and flyers, and a din arose in the U.S. that it will never work and we should stop before we lose all our planes and men (sounds similar to comments we hear everyday about Iraq). But it did not happen because of the dynamism of the war effort. We developed new types of fighter aircraft to protect the bombers, we added disposable gas tanks that gave them greater range to protect the bombers, and in the end the bombing was very successful at an acceptable cost and shortened the war tremendously, undoubtedly saving lives in the long run.

Support, even though the result was not clear, and patience were what was required! The naysayers looked at the situation in "static" terms, and this led them to incorrect decisions.

Is this what is going on with the left today regarding Iraq? I think so!

The concern with Global Warming suffers from the same phenomenon. The world is getting warmer - no one argues with that. But, it has gotten warmer before, and then has gotten colder, due to natural phenomena long before man was effecting the environment in any way. Everwonder why Greenland is named "Greenland", though it is covered by ice today? It was once, only a few hundred years ago, warmer and was actually a rich agricultural land. There are many examples like this.

Again a "static" evaluation of the situation leads to incorrect decisions. We live in a "dynamic" world and things will change to correct mansj effects on the environment. We certainly need to be sensitive to the situation and take appropriate cost effective action to minimize our effects, but overreaction and unaffordable solutions do much more harm than good.

What is needed is awareness of our "dynamic" world and patience!

So, my conclusion is that the left loves "static" analysis because it forces actions that they favor and the right loves "dynamic" analysis because it gives the opportunity for "natural" solution without the pandering to all of us by our leaders.




Blogger Curt said...

Certainly the static/dynamic distinction is an interesting one, but I'm not convinced that it maps to left/right...

The 'static' view tends to be a linear projection of current trends, often leading to 'doomsday' scenarios. I think that this is frequently a mistake, but it does raise awareness about certain issues.

The 'dynamic' view, as you say, tends to project that things will change, that trends will shift.

This raises the question of why things are dynamic. In part it's simply that everything is in motion, change is the constant. But it's also, I'd argue, due to the fact that activists on certain issues do cause change to happen (and some of those activists may have been motivated by a 'static' analysis, oddly enough).

As a counter example for the left/right divide: at the moment it seems that the right is much more worried about immigration than the left. According to the dynamic argument it seems like the right should just calm down - things will change, have patience.

But I'd say that it's exactly the fact that people who are upset about the issue (perhaps more than their rational self-interest should allow), will be the ones who think about it most and propose changes. They are what help make it a dynamic situation.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

The fact you point out in your fourth paragraph is a great one! Perhaps this is why left/right exists.

Either approach by itself would lead to trouble: the "static" due to not letting things develop over time, thus delaying or stopping positive changes (I'd posit that the lack of attention to Social Security is an example of where static analysis "won"); and the "dynamic" due to not recognizing significant problems that need attention (perhaps environmentalists are an example of this, where activists point out problems that can be effectively modified with some attention).

My static/dynamic theory only applies to analysis. Your next paragraph sites immigration as an example.

1. The right is not concerned a whit about immigration - only ILLEGAL immigration - it would be much easier to discuss if we use proper terms.

2. The operative word in their concern is ILLEGAL - not immigrant.

3. ILLEGAL does not allow for "things will change, have patience." It requires action, thus this worry on the right.

4. And finally, politics enters into it in that the left wants the current ILLEGAL immigrants accepted and a stream to follow (note lack of support for border control) to increase their base. This is a great example of the pandering to voters by politicians based on bias's we are discussing in another conversation. My question is why W wants the same thing - and I have not reached a conclusion on this yet!

So, I do not think your example of the right not being patient is valid. I am sure examples exist of the right pandering for a set of voter bias's, but cannot think of one right now.

Social Security is a real good example of "static" analysis - Dems - "dynamic" analysis - Republicans - and Bryan Caplan's theory of "The MYTH of the RATIONAL VOTER" and the pandering I believe it fosters.

1:30 PM  

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