Maria: I'm just making shit up. :)
But as to the question of changing "innate" behavior: Yes. Not so much change but to prevent unintended consequences. In other words, people are bad and you can't just give them money. If you do that, you will foster their natural tendencies and that will be horrible, just horrible. We get it from Christianity, you know? It doesn't have to make sense.... lol
for the neoliberal, you have to redistribute wealth because, if you don't, the mobs will rise up and take your shit away. But we can never let them think, via policy, that they can be self-governing cooperative people. It's important, via policy, to constantly remind people that they suck. Policies that assume people are good always have the unintended consequence of tyranny - for both the con and the neolib. thus, policies must assume people are bad. The con thinks you can't social engineer anything at all. The neo-lib still thinks you can.
This is so freakin' Christian: we are all sinners man! Does this mean that we should run around and sin like crazy because it's our nature. Hellno! Instead, we should run around and act AS IF it's possible not to be sinners and, if it's not, then do everything we can to punish ourselves and other for such sinnining.
> And if
>you're going to punish cheaters, slackers and brutes, are you excluding
>the "successful" ones who make lots of money? Do we start getting into
>underlying Abrahamic religious beliefs about good people vs bad and
>punishment when you pursue this? I think what these folks really believe
>is, "*Most* people are bad, but *not me*, or my friends, because we are
>*better* than *most people*, (we are smarter, we work harder), and because
>we are *better*, (possibly innately, like others are innately *bad*), *we*
>are entitled to take whatever we can out of a society, and most other
>people are not; in fact, most other people are only fit to lick our
>boots. And that's the way it should be.
exactly. The conservative is at home with the idea that she has escaped the ravages of being human. Or, rather, is born to a better class of human. This is *why* they are conservative: they didn't like the Enlightenment and want to go the hell back to the 14th c!
the neo-liberal is at home with that idea as well and will say so among his or her kind - other neo-liberals - but they believe it is bad policy to be open about it. (this is the connection between neocon and neolib: btw, I'm making this last bit up. sounds good though, don't it?)
Now, naturally the neo-liberal actually thinks she, herself, is a bad person. In fact, I'd say that the neo-liberal, the rabid one, is probably one of the more nasty, brutish, selfish, lazy pieces of shit on the planet.
That is why they believe everyone else is! (again, I'm making this shit up)
Anyway, amongst themselves neo-liberals do love to chuckle and snort about their superiority - to conservatives and to the poor. For the same reason that *some* Christians thinks we're all god's children but god loves some of us more than others.
>You sure as hell can't believe that human nature is inherently bad and in
>the value of democracy at the same time. The US Founders were afraid of
>"the mob", and designed their republic accordingly, but I don't think they
>really believed human nature was at it's heart corrupt.
They thought human nature could be social engineered through knowledge. In other words, without knowledge, people were lazy mean brutes.
"The generation which commences a revolution rarely complete it. Habituated from their infancy to passive submission of body and mind to their kings and priests, they are not qualified when called on to think and provide for themselves; and their inexperience, their ignorance and bigotry make them instruments often in the hands of the Bonapartes and Iturbides to defeat their own rights and purposes." -- Thomas Jefferson
In this Jefferson is a classic Liberal who thinks humans are corrigible. The neoliberal totally gives up on this idea.