I think part of it is that the law is interpreted by judges after it is written by legislators. Thus conservative judges are likely to respect the existing law. On the other hand "progressive" judges are like to consider the written law "old-fashioned", "obsolete", or "unacceptable in this day and age" by virtue of the fact that it was written in the past.
It also works if you have a totalitarian "punish the class enemies" mindset.
I would have expected someone from a former Soviet satellite to be aware of this.
comment by [deleted]
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Yes, a but a lot of laws are already pretty liberal! Such as this anti-discrimination thing. Why doesn't a conservative judge interpret it a way that it allows more discrimination than the liberal lawmakers wanted?
IIt also works if you have a totalitarian "punish the class enemies" mindset.I would have expected someone from a former Soviet satellite to be aware of this.
I think the Old Bolsheviks and The New Left (post-1968 "hippies") are/were entirely different people. Consider how being gay in the Soviet Union meant 5 years GULAG. They wanted nothing of the hedonistic, permissive, autonomous, individualistic approaches of the New Left. In fact their criticism of the West sounded often similar to a religious conservative criticism, dressed up in Marxist lingo. For example I remember terms like "drugs are a symptom of the decadence of bourgeois soceties". Translation: virtues Commie proletarians should not experiment with their brains, nor try to have exstatic fun, just worky work work and marry and have kids roughly like a good Puritan Protestant. Another slogan I remember "let's leave pornography as the opium of the decadent West, we don't need this". Same logic. The root reason is that this ideology worked a lot like a pseudo-religion, see Voegelin. Of course there are aspects of a quasi-religious mindset in the New Left as well - as well as on the Right, because it is a human universal, the brain evolved so that it needs, likes, something like a religion. Sanity waterline and all that.
Irving Kristol said an interesting thing. Building on Voegelin's idea that it all is a form of secularized Gnosticism, he said let's look at how old Gnostics had approached sexuality: basically it was one of the two extremes: either complete chastity all life long, or orgias. The common ground is they did not care about its biological function: making kids. He said conservative orthodoxies tend towards the biological function, and thus endorse married reproductive sex as it is generally the best environment for raising children. This is a way to deal with reality while the other two extremes are to deny or change it.
But Kristol's important idea is that a Gnostic drive can go both ways, it can be either incredibly stiff and strict or incredibly permissive. And of course Gnostics of these two types will not like each other much and are really different people! The strict Gnostic, the Cromwell-Calvin-Lenin type, will love being in a position of authority, the permissive Foucault-Marcuse-Lennon type not.
Thus back then in Soviet times the Lenin types really disliked the Lennon types and tried to keep them and their habits and ideas outside the border or inside the GULAG. This worked similar the other way around too, I remember an older British guy telling me that they had back in the 1980's a big demonstration against Thatcherism in Cambridge. Cambridge being Cambridge, it was full of young radicals, anarchists to Trotskytes. And a girl showed up with a Soviet flag. And then a guy just walked up to her and quite simply spit on her blouse. And this shockingly rude behavior did not surprise anyone. That was how the Lennonites in the West felt about the Leninite flag.
comment by VoiceOfRa
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I think the Old Bolsheviks and The New Left (post-1968 "hippies") are/were entirely different people. Consider how being gay in the Soviet Union meant 5 years GULAG.
On the other hand their attitude towards divorce and abortion (especially in the early days after the revolution) was very similar to that of the new left. Furthermore, their reasoning was that women were the oppressed proletariat of the family, which sounds remarkably like modern social justice rhetoric.
They wanted nothing of the hedonistic, permissive, autonomous, individualistic approaches of the New Left.
On the other hand, they were perfectly willing to work with the politically. And to this day the more readical elements of the new left believe the "good guys" won Vietnam. In fact members of the new left love supporting any strict Gnostics as long as they themselves aren't currently being subject to them. Heck these days they tend to support Islamic conservative quasi-Gnostics for lack of any actual strict Gnostics to support.