My Stupid Capitalist Idea
In Ayn's world, a man could accomplish anything with nothing but will alone. It was a beautiful world full of success, ambition, trials, more success, and an almost pre-determined Darwinian failure of the weaker. And those that tried to impede that success with rules and controls were mere mortals quaking in fear at the very feet of the Atlas I would become.
Ah, the world that Ayn opened up for me. A world where charity meant promoting weakness and was to be shunned. A stratified world divided by caste into those that could and those that couldn't.
Of course, I snapped out of it. First, I realized that any sensible person could pull better prose out of his ass. But more importantly, I knew what most thinking people know, though modern conservatives are loathe to say out loud - life is not fair. Life is not fair from the very beginning, from that point on we are provided for differently and this "nurture" guides our innate "nature" down one of many well-trodden paths.
They won't say it, but they know it. They know it in the very core of their being, however you won't hear them say "Can't afford your goddamn MRI? Deal with it!", but the subtext is there. They know it in the way that they define themselves. What indeed does a conservative conserve? Why, the status quo, of course; things are the way they like them to be and dammit, why change? "Why should I give a rat's ass about someone who doesn't have the wherewithal, the gumption, to take the chances that I took to get where I am; to have what I have?"
Economic and social conservatism are in principle the same; they share a Protestant "fend for yourself" worldview. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong with some elements of this - it promotes hard work and innovation, it tends toward a social and economic Darwinism in which those that outcompete win. The problem with this goes back to my "life isn't fair" statement above - those that start out with advantage tend to outcompete those without except in extraordinary circumstances.
I don't question the following of conservative philosophy among the world's wealthy - it only makes sense. But surely 36% of our country isn't that wealthy?