Arnold Kling, “Three Languages of Politics”

Political PartiesIt looks like most political commentators are just talking past one another. Why?

Arnold Kling hazards a guess, arguing that people don’t understand one another because they have fundamentally different visions of how the world works. According to Kling, conservatives see the world as a conflict between civilization and barbarism, liberals see it as a conflict between oppressors and the oppressed, and libertarians see it as a conflict between liberty and power.

Kling is clear that he is offering a hypothesis rather than an exhaustive empirical study. It is a short and easy read, and it is one that (I expect) will help us make sense of political history and the political present.

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