(The following comment was left on the original post and I present it here, unedited – Keevil)
It would be worth asking a conservative if your most ravenous, militant revolutionary anti-capitalist is evil – they will say yes, certainly and probably cite a similar argument to the one in your former Tory Councillor’s blog post that you referenced. These political differences are a conflict of social and economic interests – ‘lefties’ aim to do away with the excessive economic privileges of the minority of successful capitalists and share this wealth amongst all people to raise their living standards, what act is more evil than this to a businessman or the elected representative that swears to protect his interests? By their standards, they have earned this privilege through hard work – it would be very evil in their eyes for this to be taken away. On the other hand, the ‘leftie’ sees this privilege as something built by the masses of labourers who are the physical power behind all of these economic gains, therefore not one individual’s efforts can be attributed to these gains and they should be shared out for the benefit of the common good – for a small group to enjoy these gains is an evil act in this regard, or at the very least a horribly greedy and immoral act.
In reply to the Tory’s argument that you posted, I would say to him or her that wonderful capitalism causes more deaths, either directly or indirectly, every year than any kind of alternative ever has had the chance of causing and if pushed I would ask all of my leftie friends to help me dig out numbers to highlight this fair point.
Is a Tory evil? The Tory is just a person and his/her politics represent a certain set of interests that they may well find totally morally correct. With the definition you posted in mind, I will take one word: immoral – this will be the word for the basis of my determination of whether the Tory’s political and economic outlook on life is evil in relation to the interests I find morally correct.
Here’s one of the latest Tory policies that has made me feel sick to my stomach – is that immoral? Based on the false election pretenses alone, such as the ‘big society’, it is nothing short of immoral (unless we consider our homeless citizens outside of this ‘big society’).
Take your pick of other Tory policies implemented post-election – for me, it would be incredibly difficult to find a Con-Dem cut that could be morally justified. Perhaps we can justify these policies from an economic standing-point, from the perspective of business interests, but I would not accept the notion that the economic interests of those with a lot of money is a moral interest that has the majority of people in mind, from the single-mother who’s benefits are being cut, to the homeless man on the streets of London who’s soup kitchen has been closed down – what do these people care about what’s good for business? What’s good for business is almost always bad for these people.
So what can we say? Can the individual Tory, who really believes that what (s)he’s doing is morally correct, be called ‘evil’? I would say that they represent a political force which has a whole political and economic outlook that is immoral in a broad social sense, and I would argue that the policies they defend have met a majority of the population with significant misery and poverty – morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked are words I think are perfectly adequate in this regard. With my perspective on the table, we assume that the individual Tory is either politically evil or politically naive and therefore evil by proxy of his or her ignorance.
The same goes for all mainstream politicians with my perspective in mind, or rather, all of those who are conscious in maintaining a system that is inherently immoral, as it serves a minority’s interests over the majority’s and is responsible for war, famine, poverty and conflict all over the world (including at home). These people, whether Tory, Labour or Lib-Dem all have lied or will hide behind nice, morally correct terms like ‘the big society’ whilst continuing wars, taking away people’s services, selling off their healthcare to private interest, evicting them from their homes and taking away their soup kitchens. It is not the individual that matters entirely, but the system they represent which is fundamentally immoral and perhaps evil by the definition provided.
Individually, these politicians might be the nicest, most loving people you could ever meet, but we separate their politics and their person and judge them accordingly. People aren’t inherently evil I wouldn’t say, but their actions can be, and Tory politics are inherently immoral by my ‘leftie’ standards, so perhaps Tories are evil by proxy of ignorance or they are evil because they actually like making people’s lives a misery in order – who knows?
I was talking to an ultra-conservative the other day and we had great a great conversation when politics was aside – I still find his views fundamentally morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked though.
Olie Martin / June 4, 2011