I am a grandfather. But when I think of the world into which small children enter, it fills my heart with pain. But I’m also perplexed. Don’t politicians and financiers and industrial tycoons have grandchildren? And if they do, how can they not care about perpetual war and massive incarceration and torture and environmental degradation and climate change? How can they not care about poisoning the water and the earth and the air? How can they have such disregard for the precarious state of the climate and the atmosphere, that minuscule bit of blue that separates us from the unimaginably cold and darkness of space?
Yes, I know that politicians better their chances of being elected by supporting torture and war, and prisons. America is a land of toxic masculinity. And I understand that oil and gas and factory farming profit from polluting the environment and expediting disastrous climate change. But don’t any of these people have grandchildren? And if they do, why don’t they care about them?
2 thoughts on “Do Politicians Have Grandchildren?”
Modern liberalism is the result of short circuiting Haidt’s “care” axis of moral psychology. There’s more to ethics than caring, and certainly more than signaling that you care.
Many political ideas, like communism, are based on showing that you care about the working man. But they result in horrible outcomes. Conservatives are worried about outcomes, even if they look cold and shallow in the process. They don’t care how sweet and nurturing they look. They’re not trying to score points with the audience of Lifetime Television.
Trust me, the kids of rich politicians, hedge fund managers, and business tycoons will do just fine. If anything brings them down, it will be leftist policies that slowly turn this nation into a second or third world country.
Imagine a political system in which the great amount of all wealth generated is concentrated at the top and that almost all the growth in wealth is reaped each year by those same people. Imagine also that there is a fairly limited social mobility, resulting in a static social structure. According to Kip, nothing can threaten them, they’ll do “just fine”. Moreover if anything does happen which threatens that class will turn the country into a third world country.
Alternatively, a small portion of that class ends up facing the guillotine and 10 years later the country is larger and more powerful than ever. It exports new constitutionals and modern legal codes to its neighbors and spells the end of autocratic regimes. It turned out they were largely rent extractors from the labor of society at large and once removed large working capital was available. Welcome to Europe circa 1789. Who, oh who could have imagined that power through vast inherited wealth didn’t equate to being indispensable!