The Two Kinds of Moderate 两种不同的温和派 分享发现

https://paulgraham.com/mod.html

December 2019

There are two distinct ways to be politically moderate: on purpose and by accident. Intentional moderates are trimmers, deliberately choosing a position mid-way between the extremes of right and left. Accidental moderates end up in the middle, on average, because they make up their own minds about each question, and the far right and far left are roughly equally wrong.

You can distinguish intentional from accidental moderates by the distribution of their opinions. If the far left opinion on some matter is 0 and the far right opinion 100, an intentional moderate's opinion on every question will be near 50. Whereas an accidental moderate's opinions will be scattered over a broad range, but will, like those of the intentional moderate, average to about 50.

Intentional moderates are similar to those on the far left and the far right in that their opinions are, in a sense, not their own. The defining quality of an ideologue, whether on the left or the right, is to acquire one's opinions in bulk. You don't get to pick and choose. Your opinions about taxation can be predicted from your opinions about same-sex marriage. And although intentional moderates might seem to be the opposite of ideologues, their beliefs (though in their case the word "positions" might be more accurate) are also acquired in bulk. If the median opinion shifts to the right or left, the intentional moderate must shift with it. Otherwise they stop being moderate.

Accidental moderates, on the other hand, not only choose their own answers, but choose their own questions. They may not care at all about questions that the left and right both think are terribly important. So you can only even measure the politics of an accidental moderate from the intersection of the questions they care about and those the left and right care about, and this can sometimes be vanishingly small.

It is not merely a manipulative rhetorical trick to say "if you're not with us, you're against us," but often simply false.

Moderates are sometimes derided as cowards, particularly by the extreme left. But while it may be accurate to call intentional moderates cowards, openly being an accidental moderate requires the most courage of all, because you get attacked from both right and left, and you don't have the comfort of being an orthodox member of a large group to sustain you.

Nearly all the most impressive people I know are accidental moderates. If I knew a lot of professional athletes, or people in the entertainment business, that might be different. Being on the far left or far right doesn't affect how fast you run or how well you sing. But someone who works with ideas has to be independent-minded to do it well.

Or more precisely, you have to be independent-minded about the ideas you work with. You could be mindlessly doctrinaire in your politics and still be a good mathematician. In the 20th century, a lot of very smart people were Marxists — just no one who was smart about the subjects Marxism involves. But if the ideas you use in your work intersect with the politics of your time, you have two choices: be an accidental moderate, or be mediocre.











Notes

[1] It's possible in theory for one side to be entirely right and the other to be entirely wrong. Indeed, ideologues must always believe this is the case. But historically it rarely has been.

[2] For some reason the far right tend to ignore moderates rather than despise them as backsliders. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it means that the far right is less ideological than the far left. Or perhaps that they are more confident, or more resigned, or simply more disorganized. I just don't know.

[3] Having heretical opinions doesn't mean you have to express them openly. It may be easier to have them if you don't.

Thanks to Austen Allred, Trevor Blackwell, Patrick Collison, Jessica Livingston, Amjad Masad, Ryan Petersen, and Harj Taggar for reading drafts of this.

( 由 作者 12月21日 编辑 )
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12月21日 310 次浏览
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rebecca 我不是品葱的神,但是后来发生了一些事情

Chinese Translation

在政治上做一个温和派有两种截然不同的方式:有意的,和偶然的。有意的温和派是修饰者,故意在左右两极之间选择一个中间的立场。而偶然的温和派,通常来说,因为他们对每个问题都有自己的看法,极右和极左的错误大致相等,最终就落在了中间的位置上。

你可以通过意见的分布来区分有意温和派和偶然温和派。如果对某件事,极左的意见是0,极右的意见是100,那么一个有意的温和派对每个问题的意见就会接近50。而一个偶然温和派的意见会分散在一个很宽的范围内,但最终会跟有意温和派一样,平均到50左右。

有意温和派与极左和极右的人类似,他们的意见在某种意义上,并不是他们自己的意见。无论是左派还是右派,一个意识形态主义者的决定性特点,就是他的意见是批量采购的(编者注:高度可预测的)。他不会挑三拣四;他对税收的意见可以从他对同性婚姻的意见中预测出来。虽然有意的温和派看上去与意识形态主义者相反,但他们的信念(虽然对他们这种情况,"立场 "这个词可能更准确)同样是批量采购的。如果所谓的中间意见向右或向左转变,有意的温和派也必须随之转变。否则他们就不再是温和派了。

另一方面,偶然温和派不仅选择自己的答案,同时也选择自己的问题。他们可能根本不关心左派和右派都认为非常重要的问题。所以,你甚至只能从他们关心的问题和左派、右派关心的问题的交集来衡量一个偶然的温和派的政治立场,而这个交集有时可能是微乎其微的。

"如果你不跟我们站一边,你就是跟我们作对",这不仅仅是一种操纵性的修辞伎俩,而且往往根本就是错的。

温和派有时被嘲笑为懦夫,尤其是被极左派嘲笑。但把有意的温和派称为懦夫可能是准确的,但公开做一个偶然的温和派却需要最大的勇气,因为你会受到来自左右两边的攻击,同时你又没有作为一个大集团的正统成员的安慰来支撑你。

我认识的所有最令人印象深刻的人几乎都是偶然温和派。如果我认识的是一堆职业运动员,或者娱乐圈的人,可能就不会有这种情况。身处极左或极右并不影响你跑得多快,也不影响你唱得多好。但一个靠思想谋生的人(编者注:科学家、工程师等)必须要有独立的思想才能把工作做好。

或者更准确的说,你必须对你赖以谋生的思想,作独立的思考。你可以在政治上盲目地做一个教条主义者,同时仍然是一个好的数学家。在20世纪,很多很聪明的人都是马克思主义者--这些人只是对马克思主义的真正后果比较糊涂。但如果你赖以谋生的思想与当下的政治思潮有交集,那么你只有两个选择:要么做一个偶然的温和派,要么平庸一世。

( 由 作者 12月21日 编辑 )
图书馆革命
libgen 天堂应该是图书馆的模样。一个阅读诗歌的人要比不读诗歌的人更难被战胜。创造是一种拯救。创造拯救了创造者本身。

《黑客与画家》应该出第二部啊!

@libgen #118265 @阮一峰

thphd 2047站长

以后2047就是【偶然温和派】大本营,各路【有意温和派】哪里来回哪里去。

消极 (男)消极自由需要积极的个人主义来维护

我是极端温和派,请问会被活摘吗? @thphd

一致通过
一只雞兒 坚持贯彻主体思想一亿年不动摇

@消极 #118380 确定不是消极温和派?

@一只雞兒 #118384 消极的极端主义者

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