Communication and connection across value systems

More recently, I have understood something about myself and about current discourse that I really want to discuss. Group dynamics and how people communicate are important ideas to me, not just for myself, but for the world at large. The more ways to communicate we have, the less we seem to understand one another. It is quite remarkable how, in my lifetime, I have seen both pre internet and the internet era and how different that is. But this isn’t about digital communication for me. This is about reaching people and actually communicating. Communicating doesn’t just involve being able to listen to someone. Listening isn’t simply remembering what people say. It may seem tedious but I think understanding the different value systems and thought processes of different groups is a great first step to communicating. This is why I think discourse is so awful at the moment. I think that the establishment and those who are more well off, do not understand the mindset of the right wing in the country. I think the right wing radicals understand both the liberal establishment and in general, what appeals to Americans intrinsically. They however, don’t really understand the left wing. The establishment doesn’t understand either the left or the right wing. The left might have some idea about how the right wing argues and how disingenuous they are, but I think too often, we forget that they actually do have a world view and principles guiding them. Despite the chaos, there is some foundation behind the ways in which each of these groups communicate but also what lens they see the world through. First of all, let me summarize what I think the three different lenses are:

Left Wing: The current systems are not meeting human needs and are destroying people’s lives. Because we have taken time to understand and learn we understand solutions that are possible. The problem is that everyone else who isn’t in the left will always fight back. If people understood what actual socialism is and not believe buzzwords they would be socialists. The systems of power are intrisically unfair and immoral. All people should be given an equal opportunity to thrive. However, while we believe in personal responsibility, we also understand that sometimes, there are outside forces that are outside of our control that may limit our ability to reach our potential and sometimes even our basic human needs. War is usually a racket as it is never fought for the right reasons. Treating all people with dignity is very important and racism and discrimination are stupid and irrational. If the government is here, it should help mitigate societal inequities. We would prefer there not to be, because we think hierarchies that cannot be justified are wrong. We value diversity of people and diversity of thought. This however, means that we are not all exactly the same and therefore the left is a varied group of different ideologies and thoughts. We might not all agree on the strategies to get where we want to be but we all want a more equitable and healthy society. We value education.

The right wing: Objective morality is very important to the right. Our sense of right and wrong are dictated to us from tradition and from our respect for family and authority. The sense of certainty and stability are very important to us. Religion and hierarchy are important because it helps us live our lives as best as we can. Our morality is very important and is not to be taken lightly. Responsibility is always personal and we believe that the value of hard work can overcome societal oppression. We reject the idea that the environment can be a major hindrance to personal growth and gain. The value of liberty is central to us, because it allows all individuals to achieve whatever they set their mind to. We dislike intellectuals because they cannot be trusted. Intellectuals can very easily be corrupted and having money and power means you can change the arc of history. Respect for authority and the family unit are paramount to a healthy society. Diversity is not acceptable because it challenges our judeo-christian ethical system. Change for change’s sake is no good. The challenge to order is unacceptable and whatever we can do to resolve it is acceptable. Our moral system is just and because of that, the men and women we deem moral leaders, are all that is required for me to trust them with using whatever tactics we deem necessary to win. The left wing are an existential threat to morality and to our country. They are enemies and cannot be trusted to argue in good faith. Because of this there is no reason for us to treat them as equals. Winning is the morally right thing for us.

Establishment: My life was very good until recently when nobody could seem to get along. I am able to be courteous with my friends who are very diverse in their thought processes. Order and good government are important and because of this, I am uncomfortable with the rising tide of leftist radicals and their opposites the alt-right. What are they complaining about? Things are great right now. They seem to be going off for no reasons. However, the attempts by the left to change the government completely are unacceptable. Why can’t we just take it slow? It isn’t as serious as they think it is. They are clearly just listening to too much fake news or are getting objectively false information. I cannot believe that anyone’s lives are that awful. And why are both sides attacking us? We are trying to help them too can’t they see? It’s like they are children gaaaaaaaaah. Also why is the media so hated? That is so rude!! Can’t they understand nobody will listen if they feel attacked? Both sides are such children and so awful. At least the right isn’t trying to tax me though. Order and liberal values are very important. Responsible government and responsible intellectual and open debate are the most important things. Use your words guys. You can’t win through violence or mean rhetoric.

Part 1 end

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