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Enlightened Conservatism
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Enlightened Conservatism

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Methods:

The final set of triangles is three methods that are approaches to understanding. They are simply techniques that go about analyzing and understanding the arenas of power. Analytics is a thoughtful approach to understanding the issues, trends help build the perspective of a longer-term set of thought. By looking at trend lines over periods of time you understand not only history, but you are able to put reasoning into a more logical sequence that lets you appreciate the immediate but understand it only in relation to what has happened in the past and what will more likely happen in the future. It builds the long-term perspective into thought. A good example of result and trend analysis would be an appreciation of homeownership policies in the United States. It developed a middle class because everyone owned part of the system. It is that type of vision that can work long term to create the environment sought. Trends force you to look to time lines and the future. What do present policies do to affect your children's generation? What causes the steep trend? Is it self-correcting and thereby automatically changes the present? The third, perspective, is what is refined by the analytics and the trends. It is also in large part how you learn to look realistically at the data and completes the circle of where you started. You refine your perspective of reality to what can be accomplished and the most effective methods to do so. You have hopefully tempered your natural desire to be right by challenging and proving your beginning perspectives. It also helps you focus on the effects it may have. If you realize that long-term economic value to an item, you can appreciate that short term solutions may be ineffective, unless they change long-term perspectives.

In ending with the concept of perspective as we began, we make a self-assessment about the final policies undertaken. In the cultural arts some people participate because of the publicity (society benefit) they receive and others out of dedication. Do our policies reflect the true belief they should? The best example is probably King David of the Old Testament. All before David in the Bible led to him, all after came from him. So God favored David and he is a key to the overview of manís relationship with God. Although all of his actions were not pure, he did have a devotion to God and an understanding of responsibility. As a plague swept the land, he brought together his prophets who said he should build an altar on a certain threshing floor and give a sacrifice. When he arrived there the owner of the threshing floor offered to give it to him, with an oxen for the sacrifice, and the ox yokes for the fire. He could have accepted but insisted on paying because he would not offer a sacrifice to God that cost him nothing. When we assess our final perspective, have we let convenience remove the costs to us as we have moved through the cycle? Only if we show we truly value what we do as a sacrifice to ourselves have we placed a value upon it.

While we started with perspective from the bottom up in designing the triangles, the perspective we would have after an analysis of the more modern world would certainly be that if anything, the hopes for that type of environment are somewhat limited without a significant change in direction. Changes can only be marginal, but they can often move society significantly if they come among thinkers. Perhaps only a few percent of the people would have an interest in moving to that ethical environment, but that much affects a major election. It is said that conservatives understand war and are far more hesitant to enter it, while liberals understand the inequities that bring a need for war but do not appreciate its consequences. Both have very valid points, it is the balance between them and the process of thinking through the options that gives a dedication to the principles and an understanding of the cost. The Golden Rule and the common good can conflict on issues, and this is where thoughtful analysis brings balance. It is the essence of enlightenment. If society can find a method by which it looks at these considerations, then the method hopefully would be the one presented Ė in the end it would help move society, although gradually, in a more positive direction. While these triangles give no real answers, and the relationships are somewhat nebulous because of the complexity involved, they do help give a framework for a perspective and an appreciation of a longer timeframe. They also emphasize the fact that one must shoot a rifle bullet at a long distance target to have effect whereas shooting a shotgun blast with many small pellets and a lot of noise often has limited impact at a distance. Hopefully, as you read The New Legacy, you can put many of the values and their origination in the context of these groupings, and The Language of Conscience carries the process forward.

Tieman H. Dippel, Jr.
August 2002
 
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