Twisted Trees and Poor Worldviews

Who is at fault for our crumbling society? Progressives blame conservatives. Conservatives blame progressives. Both sides are completely, utterly wrong. Not because of where their prospective viewpoints would lead, but because of where they come from.

People don’t care enough about origins. The way a thought, idea, or worldview comes into being is very important. They are like trees. Trees grown from noble seeds grow taller and stronger than those grown from wicked ones. Where do conservatism and progressiveness come from? Did these trees of thought grow from noble or wicked seeds?

Many say conservatism comes from a desire to protect what we already have. In the ecological sense, this is true. People who practice conservation are trying to protect the environment. In the political sense it is not so clear cut. I would be inclined to believe political conservatives are just trying to protect our society if I had never actually talked to any of them. If you push someone who is religiously espousing conservative ideals you might realize that while they talk about protecting what they have, they are really just afraid of what they might lose.

Fear is a powerful force, to be sure, but a noble seed it is not. And so conservatism has grown gnarled and twisted, barely even recognizable as a tree anymore.

metal tree

“Yeah, that looks like a tree alright. But it seems funny somehow.”

Fear is one of the worst reasons to do anything. In fact, there is only one seed I can think of that is potentially more wicked than fear.

Political progressives often talk about how they want to make the world a better place. They want everyone to be fulfilled and happy, they say. They use words like hope and unity to present their worldview. If you push these people, you might find that while they talk about hope and unity, these things are not really their primary motivation. They don’t want to make the world better just for the sake of it. They want to make the world better because they are discontented with the way it is.

Contemporary progressivism has grown from the seed of discontent. Thus, it too is just as gnarled and twisted as its political counterpart. One twisted tree is a curiosity. Two twisted trees is the beginning of a bizarro forest.

sinister forest

That looks like a nice glade of trees where nothing bad ever happens…

So both conservatism and progessivism are wrong because of the seeds from which they sprout. One group is constantly afraid, while the other is always unhappy. Why must it be this way? Isn’t there a way to revere and protect the past without being afraid of the future? Isn’t there a way to make the world better without being a huge crybaby about it?

Alas, in a forest of twisted trees, the few that are grown from noble seeds – the strong and the mighty- are the first to be turned into lumber.

Meanwhile, the bristle-cone pine lingers on for centuries because it is stunted and bad and nobody really wants it.

bristlecone pine

Why be strong when you can be scrappy?