Wil Wheaton. Don’t let it get under your skin. I’m still a fan.
Donald Lindsay

I don’t know if one can say that by “intent” the two concepts are adversarial. At the most simplified level, liberal thinkers advocate a model of progress that encourages the alteration of institutions to rectify social grievances and conservative thinkers long to preserve traditional institutions because they feel the order they provide is more valuable than what is gained by striving for a more equitable, sustainable, or efficient society. So, yes, you are right, they are opposed, but I would not say as much by intent as by the nature of reality.

Transformation implies the destruction (at least in part) of the old.

Preservation means a resistance (at least in part) to change.

I think that even if we removed the polarizing forces of a media system that preys on the ignorant mind’s desire for simple black and white problems, there would be an inherent opposition between these two ideologies.

As for the idiots harassing Wil, they are not even discussing the merits of different ideas. They are merely engaging in the kind of base tactics that the modern right employs to achieve their ends. As an exercise, try and find examples of left-leaning intellectuals, activists, and leaders engaging in or encouraging these kinds of herd-mentality attacks. They are far less prevalent. This is because left political movements and ideologies are built on data, evidence, and sound philosophical premises. The portion of the public that supports these movements does so because it has been convinced by data that liberal policies have the best impact on the greatest number of people. Consequently, liberals argue those points when advancing their agenda. Conservatism is only observably beneficial to a small but powerful fraction of a society; this has been so since the term’s conception when it stood for the preservation of monarchical institutions. Thus, their ends must be achieved through misinformation and the manufacturing of fear to motivate an uneducated group to support them despite it being opposed to their best interests. This is why the destruction of education, social benefits, and labor regulation is so essential to the conservative agenda. Those things allow a greater portion of the population to be educated and informed and therefore less susceptible to their manipulation. The only strategy conservative movements have is to discredit and silence thinkers (like Wil) who express the sound logic of liberalism to large audiences because they have no evidence to justify the merits of their own policies.

In short, I do not think Wil holds a polarized view built on false dichotomies, but the Idiotosphere DOES and their ideas are, therefore, unworthy of anyone’s time to debate.

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