Sunday, September 17, 2006

Capitalization matters... but not really

Warning: sweeping generalizations ahead. Read accordingly.

I've noticed a trend in discussion of politics on the internet. I'm sure it's not universally true, but all of the Liberals (political ideology) that I've been in contact with are also more liberal (a philosophy of open-mindedness, tolerance, freedom from prejudice and bigotry, even avant-gardeness) than the Conservatives (another political ideology), who are also conservative (a philosophy of closed-mindednes, obstinacy and inflexibility). This is specifically evidenced in Campaigns Wikia, where those who identify with the Liberal side of the political spectrum encourage the expression of diverse perspectives and try to eschew US-centricity, while the more Conservative (a faction that is unfortunately smaller, and may not be an accurate sample group) are prone to attempt to suppress views that differ from their own and favor separating users by nationality.

Is this coincidence, a result of external factors, or is there a causal relationship? The idea of wikis, which allow anyone to edit and advocate positive contribution rather than limitation, is inherently liberal. This, combined with the correlation discussed above, explains the general dominance of Liberalism among wiki editors, but why aren't there more conservative Liberals or liberal Conservatives? Does a generally liberal philosophy lead to Liberalism, and a conservative philosophy to Conservatism? Do the political ideologies lead to the philosophies? Is there some other explanation?

1 comment:

Chad Lupkes said...

I believe that we have reached the point in our intellectual and cultural understanding of history and potential historical development that we may have more of an understanding of what we are fighting for and what we are fighting against than at any previous time in history. Whether we choose to term the dicotomy as Liberal vs. Conservative, liberal vs. conservative, empire vs. community or anything else, we are getting a picture of what we want and we are able to communicate with other people from across the United States and around the world that either believe the same as we do, or believe differently.

I see it as a potential godsend, and as a potential danger. On the one hand, we can develop our infrastructure in accordance with our values, and on the other hand we are potentially alienating those who have not reached our level of evolution or have made different decisions about what is really important in the world.

Given, this is 9:36 at night after about a bottle of wine and listening to Richard Thompson's "1000 years of popular music", so my perspective may be a bit off.

But I doubt it.