Discussion turned into difference between righ and left
The letters and comments going back and forth regarding social conscience and socialism are very telling. It all started with a letter stating the opinion of one author that socialism was bad, and a social conscience was good.
From there the debate ensued, often jumping back and forth between historical perspectives and current day examples. It all depended on who was trying to make what point.
This exchange quickly digressed into a history lesson on the virtues of some very questionable historical figures. It appeared that some of the letter writers and commenters were blissfully unaware of just how much they were revealing of their own, dare I say it, political agendas, with their responses.
Left wing or right wing, everyone is entitled to their opinion.
One observation I noted was those defending their conservative ideals did not come out clearly and state that. They danced around it. They chose to stand behind statements about “social conscience”. They did not declare their political positioning but used subtext and innuendo instead. They were very adamant that you did not need a political agenda to do good. This may or may not be true, but a right wing conservative social conscience does not look like my social conscience.
In that first letter the author declared that socialism hurt charities. I believe that the need for charities is an indication of societal failure. She stated that socialism drives the “average person into an inevitable sense of apathy and mediocrity”. I believe that precarious, low payed employment that keeps people in poverty so that the middle class can continue to enjoy cheap goods drives people into apathy and despair. I could go on. My point is that of course political positions matter and neither hers nor anyone else’s is a mystery.
The disingenuous nature of some of the letter writers, regarding political positioning, rankled a bit. A far more robust exchange could have been had and both sides might have learned from the other if there had been a little bit more honest disclosure on the authors’ parts. Maybe there are some valid and valuable points of right-wing conservatism that I am unaware of, and that Ms. Moen could have enlightened me to had she chosen to be more forthcoming in her musings. Perhaps I could have had the opportunity to share with her how and why a more socialistic approach to governance benefits all and not just the few. We could have come out of this richer on both sides. We might even be closer in ideology than we are aware. Instead, I fear, each side is more entrenched than it was before. Preconceptions have been confirmed and judgements have been made.
I find it distasteful when an attempt is made to disseminate a false or misleading narrative with distraction and populist writings. Probably another difference in our “social consciences”.
I found Mr. Rock’s letters informative and witty. I guess it is all in the perspective that you read them. I completely agreed with Ms. Jackson’s position that without a political framework the impact of exercising one’s social conscience is diminished.
Lastly, Ms. Moen and her posse have failed to defend the position that socialism is bad with any credibility (historical communist dictators aside). After all, that is the statement that started all of this. This was never about knowing the difference between right and wrong; it was, however, about knowing the difference between right and left.