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HOW LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES PERCEIVE THE PEOPLE

Posted by Tim Bryce on April 9, 2014

BRYCE ON POLITICS

– Our perceptions dictate not only how we will manage workers, but how we want to govern the people.

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
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I have described the differences between liberals and conservatives on more than one occasion. More recently, I examined their personalities, but herein I want to discuss their perspectives of the American people.

In the business world, one of the elements used to determine our style of management is how we perceive our workers, such as their strengths and weaknesses, their ability to assume responsibility, and their intelligence level. If managers perceive workers as lazy and unintelligent, they will likely chose a “Theory X” form of management, representing autocratic rule and considerable micromanagement. The byproduct of this “top-down” form of management promotes a slave mentality in workers. However, if they perceive workers as intelligent and responsible, they are more likely to implement a “Theory Y or Z” management philosophy, e.g., empower the workers, and turn them loose with minimal supervision. This “bottom-up” approach provides more freedom for workers, and encourages teamwork and personal initiative. This distinction is true in the political world as well.

Liberals tend to look upon the people as unintelligent and lazy, requiring someone to chaperone and think for them. In this way, they want to govern in the manner of a parent to its children, e.g., the parent knows what is best, the parent makes all the decisions, the parent watches the child’s every move, the parent dictates how the child must think. This is “Theory X” behavior in its robust form.

There is an element of truth that certain people behave like cattle and need to be herded accordingly. These are people who shirk responsibility and are content to be nothing more than wards of the state. The vast majority of the American people are intelligent, assume responsibility for their actions and want to think for themselves. These are people who embrace the concept of capitalism as opposed to socialism.

Conservatives believe in the rights of the individual, that each person must accept a certain amount of risk in their lives whereby they might succeed or fail. All they want is a chance, and not be encumbered by too much management or bureaucracy. This again is analogous to “Theory Y or Z” whereby the people are empowered and turned loose with minimal supervision.

It all comes down to simple human perspective. From it, our political ideology is formed just as our style of management is formed from observing our workers. Those who comfortably behave like sheep will gladly accept the liberal agenda, while responsible workers who are freethinking will accept the conservative agenda.

So, should people be able to roam on their own, or do they have to be herded? Your answer will dictate your political ideology.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2014 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

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9 Responses to “HOW LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES PERCEIVE THE PEOPLE”

  1. Tim Bryce said

    A W.A. of the Dominican Republic wrote…

    “Excellent article today, Tim. Short and to the point. I fear, however, that the current occupier of the WH, is getting close to producing more sheep than the country can afford to feed and that will be the end of the story. I wish there was a way to have all those sheep visit the 6-8 dollar a day workers here in the DR, as it would be a great wake up call to them, and just maybe an appreciation for the opportunity they have in the US.”

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A T.M. of Massachusetts wrote…

    “Excellent review of liberal versus conservative perspectives. My personal challenge is that, as a society we have all too often gone to dramatic lengths to coddle and care for a large percentage of children without letting them learn their limits. The children then grow into “entitled” adults, which the liberals then herd. We have a growing wave of needy adults who have no safety net. Wild children become adult criminals. The mental-health system is now the judicial system. Prisons are the new rehabilitation centers. Wards too often become prisoners. We can do better.

    As a Scoutmaster, I’ve seen where teaching character, civic responsibility and leadership through outdoor skills and holding the scouts responsible for the actions and achievements or failures strengthens their foundation for adulthood. With the Venturing Program, these skills and character traits are available for girls and boys. It works. “

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  3. Tim Bryce said

    A B.D. of Boulder, Colorado wrote…

    “A real conservative wouldn’t want to govern over people because they believe in free will rather than government oppression.”

    Like

  4. Perhaps the best exposition of how the Left and the Right see the world differently (and definitely of the ramifications of that dichotomy) is still Thomas Sowell’s book A Conflict of Visions. It is by no stretch a casual read, but what was still largely a theoretical construct (i.e. in terms of the law/policy consequences of radically different ways of viewing reality), when the volume was written in the late 80s, has now played out to such an extent that one might now call Atlas Shrugged a definite work of non-fiction.

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  5. Tim Bryce said

    A D.F. of New York City wrote…

    “Tim, I’m always amazed that both liberals and conservatives have this almost magical belief in the powers of government. In that it can solve problems and promote various behaviors or as I like to quote a Johnny Rivers song the 7th Son “heal the sick, raise the dead and make little girls talk out of their heads”. Well maybe President Bubba could do the last one but just when has the government showed it can do much of anything except spend our money? Yet the belief goes on.”

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  6. Tim Bryce said

    A K.S. of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma wrote…

    “Spot on my friend.”

    Like

  7. Tim Bryce said

    An M.S. of Kansas wrote…

    “Considering they’re generalizations, I think they do make useful, practical sense in the economic realm. Now in the “moral” realm, conservatives can get pushy too. Libertarians are the ones who will cut the individual slack in both realms. If you haven’t, check out my post sometime on the same topic titled “Redhead Roasters and Wingbats at Wendy’s.” Should be good for a laugh or two anyway.” 🙂

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  8. […] HOW LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES PERCEIVE THE PEOPLE […]

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  9. Tim Bryce said

    An S.F. of Chicago, Illinois wrote…

    “This discussion actually dates all the way back to Locke and Rousseau and the general condition of mankind as inherently good, or inherently evil. The debate rages on, except now it is termed liberal versus conservative. A liberal has all sorts of noble notions regarding “helping the poor”. Unfortunately the liberal perspective says that everyone has to be forcibly compelled to help their fellow man and that all common behaviors are based upon greedy intent to hoard things for ourselves while others suffer. The larger government is supposed to be our moral police force, persuading us to do the “right thing” by punitive measures, legislation (rules upon layers of rules), and financial penalty for not complying-because after all, that money we are hoarding must be given to the poor. A conservative actually believes that humans are capable of achieving noble goals and caring for their fellow man, but not our of fear of reprisal, but through education, hard work, and experiencing surplus due to efforts. When somebody isn’t concerned about where their next meal is coming from, or where they might sleep that is warm, dry, and clean, they are free to focus outside themselves and engage in altruistic and philanthropic efforts to help others achieve the same level of comfort and security. The biggest difference in the equation, is that a conservative feels that everyone needs to put some sort of effort in achieving, in order to appreciate what they have. A liberal seems to feel that the mere condition of existence entitles a person without any effort on their part. Granted, we are not all equally able, nor are we all born to privilege and financial security, but we all share an equal opportunity to strive for these things. A liberal believes in literal equality, and would even have us believe that government can change our size and shape to conform to a successful pattern, while at the same time preaching tolerance and inclusion. A conservative is actually more inclusive, as they welcome all the diverse abilities, skills, and differences that make up a diverse and varied economy and society. A conservative does not particularly care about size or appearance, but rather performance. I am reminded of the story of a sociology instructor who did an experiment with his class. Upon receiving their tests back, each and every student received a C, no matter how many questions they had answered correctly-even students with 100%. As you can imagine, this created quite an indignant response from the class. The instructor informed them that they had just experienced liberalism, where everybody is entitled to the exact same result, regardless of effort, regardless of excellence, regardless of ability and in total absence of race, gender, religion, or political viewpoint. Wonder why that example isn’t used more often as we educate our youth, but then perhaps the class tarred, feathered, and ran the professor out on a rail.”

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