On the difference between conservatives and liberals

A Reading Note

Or, why conservatives lie through their teeth while liberals expect the truth to surface:

It is a typically conservative estimate of human beings to see them as sunk in irrational prejudice, incapable of reasoning coherently; and it is a more radical attitude to hold that while we may indeed be afflicted by all sorts of mystifications, some of which might even be endemic to the mind itself, we nevertheless have some capacity for making sense of our world in a moderately cogent way. If human beings really were gullible and benighted enough to place their faith in great numbers in ideas which were utterly devoid of meaning, then we might reasonably ask whether such people were worth politically supporting at all. If they are that credulous, how could they ever hope to emancipate themselves?

Eagleton, Ideology, page 12

This could less charitably be referred to as the difference between authoritarianism and democracy.

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