Tuesday, April 16, 2013


"Why can't we all get along?" Arnold Kling has an interesting response via his three-axis (ones favored by progressives, conservatives, libertarians) model which he has cited at various times on his blog.  He elaborates in his e-book, which strikes me as including an amazingly high ratio of insights per dollar (or reading time) spent.  He adds that life would be better if we understood where adversaries are coming from?  Give them a break by trying to understand their favored axis.  He admits that this is a tall order because confirmation bias runs deep; we are more likely to be status-seekers within our respective tribes than truth-seekers.

Stalin, Che, Mao, the Castro brothers, Hugo Chavez and others (Kim Jong-un?) have had their defenders among affluent and intelligent Westerners.  Fellow travelers seemingly emphasize the oppressor-oppressed axis (the progressives; the other two axes are civilization-barbarism, favored by conservatives and freedom-coercion emphasized by libertarians).

Taking sides is the easy part.  Thinking about what those we disagree with are up to is the harder part.