The Transition From Left To Right

I used to be a bit of a left wing idealist. But these days I’m a bit of a right wing conservative.

It’s a common transition. And I’ve been wondering whether it’s something that is inherent in the passage of a life.

A life might be represented as a succession of events that take place within the frame of a single lifetime, with a length of some 70 or 75 years:

lifeYou start out at the red arrow on the left, and you end up at the blue arrow on the right.

At the start of life, you have no history, but you have a whole unknown lifetime in front of you, to make of as you will. You look to the future. So you tend to dream about what the future might bring. You become an idealist and a dreamer. You make plans. And you are largely indifferent to the past.

Midway through life you have built up a stock of experience, but you still have half a lifetime in front of you.

And at the end of life, you have the unalterable history of your life behind you, the totality of your experience – but you have no future at all. And so you can only look back on what happened. Instead of looking to the future, you gaze back at the past. You become a conservator, the curator of a museum. You seek to preserve the past. And you tend to stick with what is tried and tested, and do things the way they were done in the past.

And while you learn your own history as you age, you also learn the history of the society in which you live, the world in which you live. The conservative takes an interest not just in his own past history, but in all History.

While you are trying to build the future, you belong to the Left. And when you are seeking to conserve the past, you belong to the Right.

For the Left, the future is everything. And it’s always a golden future. For the Right, the past is everything, and it was always a golden past.

I became a right wing Conservative with the imposition of the smoking ban 10 years ago: the convivial smoky past was so much better than the heartless “smoke-free” present. It was a veritable golden age – which I hope to help restore.

There are variations. If you believe that you will live for ever, if you just eat the right diet, and do the right exercises, then you may imagine a limitless future before you, and you will dream appropriately limitless Leftist dreams of the future.

Equally, if you expect to die at any moment – from plague or famine or war -, you will see no future before you, and you will try to cling on to the past.

This is just a sketch outline of an idea of how political orientations change with age, and perhaps must change with age. As in:

If you’re not a leftist or socialist before you’re 25, you have no heart; if you are one after 25 you have no head.

I hope it made a tiny bit of sense.

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About Frank Davis

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36 Responses to The Transition From Left To Right

  1. garyk30 says:

    With old age comes the understanding that there is a reality that you must live with.

    Dream worlds and half baked visions are known to not fit into the reality of the World as it is.

  2. castello2 says:

    You want to go back to the Thatcher/reagan years :( You’ve lost your heart to the backards looking right. It is kind of different here in the states but our conservatives are crooks, liars and think their sky god will save them the hell they usually deserve.

    • waltc says:

      Wow. Nothing like an objective report, not to mention one as well documented as that. But before you cast stones…Obama knowingly and repeatedly lied to the public about Obamacare ( you can keep your plan and doctors: you’ll save $2500 a year): he lied about the terrible clauses in the Iran deal –to cite just two quickies. And your Hillary’s lied about–everything all her life. The cause of the raid on Benghazi, twenty serial lies about the emails as confirmed by the FBI , and going back,, the windfall from cattle futures, the Rose Law Firm files, the Whitewater deal, (both of which were crooked and for which others went to jail) the landing-under-fire; these come easily to mind, and the crookedness of the Clinton Foundation and its pay for play is still under investgation. Oh, and Lyndon Johnson lied about Tonkin Bay and took us into a pointless war based on the lie –before you try the “Bush lied, people died.” And even as an Agnostic, I can take umbrage at the “sky god” crack. Are you saying there are no religious Progressives ?

      • castello2 says:

        The corruption of your GOP is even apparent to the hillbillies that are helping destroy the party by voting trumph in. The reason Obama has had to “break the laws” is because of your corrupt, racist, congress buddies. Clinton is a mess but only because she has to keep up with the righties corruption to get anywhere.
        Keep saying bengazi if it helps you sleep at night. Cheney is on fox news right now if you want to watch him and ham head.
        We are fucked either way and even the lefties sky god can’t save us. At least obama said let us look forward and not backards. bush/cheney should be on trial right now. ooopsie wrong country :( while flying the saudis out of the country

  3. John Mallon says:

    Oddly Frank, I used to be right wing but in later life, as my eyes were opened to many things, I tended to more left wing opinions.

    • nisakiman says:

      You must be getting younger, John! Let us in on your secret. :)

      • John Mallon says:

        You just keep away from my painting in the attic!

        • nisakiman says:

          Aha! So ‘John Mallon’ is just a nom de plume, is it? We were wondering what happened to that Dorian bloke. Now we know!

      • garyk30 says:

        Large amounts of red wine help to keep my mind young; but, I fear there is no help for my body.

        • nisakiman says:

          Yes, I’ve been on the red wine diet for some years now, and it certainly does keep the old grey cells active. I think my tobacco consumption adds something to the regime, too. :)

          But the body continues to age, unfortunately. I’ve had to turn down jobs like putting a new roof on a house because it’s just too much for me now. All that running up and down ladders carrying heavy timbers and heavy tiles is a young man’s job. I have to stick to building and fitting kitchens and similar these days.

          I often say to people when they ask my age that I am a 35 year old trapped in a 67 year old body. I still really haven’t got the hang of this ‘growing old gracefully’ thing. If my wife left me (heaven forbid), I know I’d be straight down to the fleshpots of Bangkok attempting to give myself a Viagra fuelled heart-attack.

          To quote ‘The Who’: “I hope I die before I get old”.

        • garyk30 says:

          I totally agree

  4. garyk30 says:

    There are many old leftists that have never lost their vision of making the World a ‘Perfect World’.

    Unfortunately, they are incapable of being satisfied with being as good as they can be and insist the rest of us be as perfect as they think that they are.

    Old Conservatives know that ‘Reality’, as proven by history and experience, puts severe limits on what can and can not be done.
    The best that we can do is to make ‘trade-offs’ with what the World and Life provide and enable us to do.

    You can not pass a law and make everyone ‘equal’ in intelligence, skills, or capabilities.

    As long as some choose not to provide for themselves, there will always be poverty.
    Those that are infirm are not the same.

    Free this or that makes for catchy political slogans; as one grows older, one realizes that everything must be paid for and you are probably going to be doing the paying for others free stuff.

    One of the virtues of old age is realizing that the World and Life are not perfect and never will be perfect.

    It is difficult enough to manage my affairs, I am not so vain as to feel that I can make other people perfect in thought, word, or deed.

    Leftists are not bothered by such restraints.

    • Rose says:

      Gary

      We are all familiar with this –

      “one in two will die because of smoking.” Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh – Campaign for a Smoke Free North East

      “Smoking kills one in two of its users. 1”
      http://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/3-28-health-benefits-of-smoking-

      Apparently it comes from the British Doctors study.

      1. Doll R, Peto R, Boreham J and Sutherland I. Mortality in relation to smoking: 50 years’ observations on male British doctors

      Conclusion
      “Among the men born around 1920, prolonged cigarette smoking from early adult life tripled age specific mortality rates, but cessation at age 50 halved the hazard.”
      http://www.bmj.com/content/328/7455/1519.abstract

      But I don’t think it means what they think it means.

      • garyk30 says:

        Rose,
        I suspect that 1/2 thing comes from their data that the death rates from the smoking caused diseases is 16.2/1,000 per year for non-smokers and 30.21 for current smokers.
        16 is 54% of 30.

        Thus, 1/2th of smokers deaths from the diseases caused by smoking will be from smoking and the other 1/2 would be expected.

        This leads to the obvious conclusion that:
        If 2 smokers die from lung cancer, only 1 of the deaths was caused by smoking.

        However, when they say “one in two will die because of smoking”, they are talking about total deaths, not just the deaths from the smoking caused diseases.

        Total death rates were 19.35/1,000 for nonsmokers and 35.4/1,000 for current smokers.

        Again, we get the 54%(1/2) of smokers deaths were to be expected; but, this incledes all sorts of deaths that are not smoking related.

        When we combine the numbers:
        We see that 16.2 per 19.35 nonsmokers deaths were from the diseases caused by smoking and that is 84%.
        84% of nonsmokers deaths were from the diseases caused by smoking.

        For smokers the numbers are 30.21 deaths from the smoking caused deaths out of 35.4 total deaths per 1,000 and that is 85%
        85% of the smokers deaths were from the diseases caused by smoking.

        What they seem to be saying is:
        Since 4 is twice as large as 2, 4/8ths is twice as large as 1/2th.

        Nonsense the total lot.

        ;

  5. Marvin says:

    “If you’re not a leftist or socialist before you’re 25, you have no heart; if you are one after 25 you have no head.”

    This is like saying if you voted for Brexit, you are thick and uneducated. It’s utter bollocks of course. I am nearly 70 and have been a “lefty” all my life. What the retarded right cannot seem to grasp, with their clinging to an outdated “free market” ideology is that it does not fit the reality, they would like it to, but it won’t. They are doomed. The reality is we live in an age of giant, international corporations, each of which requires a home state, in other words, state monopoly capitalism and all that that entails. But the retarded rights brains would explode if they ever tried to understand it, much better to blame the “left”, “progressives”,”socialism”,”communism”,etc,etc ad nauseum.

    As for becoming a “far right nazi” because they banned smoking…….jeez man that is pathetic.

    • waltc says:

      I’ve long wondered why it is that the left instantly resorts to nasty vitriolic epithets (retarded, liars, racists, crooks, nazis) instead of reasonably arguing issues. And why it instantly attributes venality, stupidity and inhumanity to people who simply approach the same problems from a different point of view.

      • Prog says:

        Things ain’t going too well for the lefties at the moment. Anywhere.

      • Rose says:

        I thought it was to shock people into silence.

      • garyk30 says:

        Their egos are totally tied to their political beliefs and visions.
        Thus, anyone that disagrees with them is a threat to their egos and must be destroyed in any manner possible.
        The viler, the better.

      • Marvin says:

        Different points of view are fine, providing they are based on facts and not “ideology”…

        My POV is based on the organisation of state monopoly capitalism. For example, I see the reason for the smoking ban as the result of a clash between two giant industries. Big Pharma and Big Tobacco. Big Pharma uses the state to get laws passed in order to eliminate its “medicinal” rival and thus increase its market share, for its products and profits. This also applies to Big P’s attack on alternative medicine for the same reasons. The commentor Klaus K has provided numerous examples of this behaviour, but you probably ignored it all because it doesn’t fit with your so-called “free market” ideology. And Big Pharma are by no means the only corporations up to these shenanigans. What I object to is blaming all of this on the so-called “left”,”progressives”,”socialism”,”communism”, etc, when in reality the driving force behind it all are corporate capitalists, they call the tune.

    • garyk30 says:

      Many Socialist countries, like Russia and China, have switched to Capitalism and seem to be doing quite well.
      Socialism is not doing great elsewhere also.

      State monopoly capitalism is not capitalism, it is a form of socialism.

      Multi-national corporations just utilize the economy of scale to benefit consumers to the greatest extent possible.

      • Marvin says:

        “State monopoly capitalism is not capitalism, it is a form of socialism.”

        Bollocks

        “Multi-national corporations just utilize the economy of scale to benefit consumers to the greatest extent possible.”

        Double Bollocks

        Multi-national corporations are ONLY interested in maximising sales and profits.
        And don’t tell me they provide employment either (another bourgeois delusion).
        If it was more cost-effective to use robots, they would sack the people and use the robots.

        • Frank Davis says:

          What’s wrong with maximising sales and profits?

        • Frank Davis says:

          Why is profit such a dirty word for the left?

        • garyk30 says:

          “maximizing sales and profits.”

          This is what all companies do, large and small.

          This can only be done by getting people to buy your product.

          If your product does not sell, you go out of business.

          Those that offer the best products at the best prices do make a lot of money/profit; but, the consumer is the winner.

          If they do not provide jobs, who is employing all those untold millions of people worldwide?

  6. Roobeedoo2 says:

    ‘As for becoming a “far right nazi” because they banned smoking…….jeez man that is pathetic.’

    Who are you quoting, Marvin? Who’s become a “far right nazi” because of the smoking ban? Agreed, that would be pathetic.

    I don’t think of the political spectrum is linear, more circular – theoretically, ‘Far Right’ and ‘Far Left’ are different things. In reality, it’s difficult to tell them apart.

  7. Prog says:

    I don’t think it’s so much about hearts, rather about how long young adults take to grow out of the ‘it’s not fair’ phase.

  8. Marvin says:

    “What’s wrong with maximising sales and profits?”

    Well, unless there are PROFITABLE investment opportunites, the billions (tax free) made by big corporations will not be returned into circulation.
    Governments make up this massive hole by borrowing, or printing money thus devaluing the currency and adding to price inflation, itself caused by the lust for profit.
    I take it you wont be complaining when your gas bill goes up and British Gas announces they have just made X billions in profit in the first quarter.

    ——

    “This is what all companies do, large and small.
    This can only be done by getting people to buy your product.”

    Easy if you have a price fixing monopoly.

    ——

    “If they do not provide jobs, who is employing all those untold millions of people worldwide?”

    The socialist state will – after the revolution of course!!!
    With machines doing most of the work, this will result in a much shorter working week for everyone, with full employment, instead of at present either being over-worked or you have none at all.

    • Frank Davis says:

      unless there are PROFITABLE investment opportunites, the billions (tax free) made by big corporations will not be returned into circulation.

      That makes it sound like the billions in profits made by big corporations just vanishes into a black hole. It doesn’t. A lot of it is distributed to small shareholders, who will spend it (i.e. return it into circulation).

      Governments make up this massive hole by borrowing, or printing money thus devaluing the currency

      Well, I don’t agree that there’s a ‘massive hole’, so I don’t agree that the government needs to fill it. I think what happens is that governments (particularly left wing ones) tend to spend more than they earn in taxes, printing the money to make up the difference – and that’s what’s inflationary.

      caused by the lust for profit

      Again, that makes profit sound rather nasty. But as far as I’m concerned the profit made on any product is the difference in the value of something to the buyer and the cost to the seller. In Idle Theory, both value and cost is measured in time. The value of some product to the buyer is that it saves him some period of time. The cost to the seller is the time it takes to make the product. Profits are maximised when high value goods can be made at low cost. Everyone benefits, both buyer and seller. Profit is a wonderful thing!

      • Harleyrider1978 says:

        The money is still in circulation the money is just on deposit or in stocks or some other form of negotiation!

        It’s only when government created more money than is needed to be in circulation you get devaluations, that’s what happened to the world after 1929 they kept printing non stop in real cash! Then devaluation came then they played currency wars then they played precious metals backing then they yanked back the cash they had out and caused the Great Depression!

  9. garyk30 says:

    “The socialist state will – after the revolution of course!!”

    Welllll, that explains all of your posts.

    The breakup of the USSR must have caused you immense pain.

  10. Roobeedoo2 says:

    ‘In fact, we are witnessing the least tolerant generation in recent memory. April Kelly-Woessner, a political scientist at Elizabethtown College who has researched the opinions of the millennials, has come up with some revealing findings. If we base how tolerant a person is on how he treats those he disagrees with — an obviously reasonable standard — the millennials fare very poorly.

    ‘Yes, the millennials have great sympathy for the official victim groups whose causes are paraded before them in school and at the movies. That’s no accomplishment since millennials agree with these people. But how do they treat and think about those with whom they disagree? A casual glance at social media, or at leftist outbursts on college campuses, reveals the answer.’

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-07-21/unique-evil-left

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