First it was Kling: here and here
Then there was my response
Then Kling upped the ante
Now Cowen is in.
Further, private conversations with unnamed liberals on my part have indeed confirmed that they think that Kling's position is so absurd as to constitute trolling, and so won't comment (feed the trolls). They can't actually believe that someone can mis-paint the core of progressivism so badly, and remain honest.
I disagree, and think that there's a fundamental misunderstanding going on...which my posts are trying to elucidate.
Trying again, with a slight shift. How do various political breakdowns view EVIL.
Libertarianism fundamentally cares about preserving the choices of the individual. The gut reaction from a libertarian is that EVIL is defined by actively hurting other people or actively forcing them to do things against their will (even to the point of motorcycle helmets...it's a violent visceral: "this is evil controlling bastards" response). Over time, libertarianism has also become actively concerned with the moderate to far future...and may ( I do ) feel strongly about negative impacts on future generations.
Conservativism fundamentally cares about preserving the goodness in our current societal structure. The gut reaction from a conservative is that EVIL is defined by trying to tear down the structures that are (while maybe imperfect) fundamentally good. Witness a conservative response to the constitution or the American Flag, or such. Over time, this has leaked into a general skepticism and active distrust of change in general.
Progressivism fundamentally cares about fairness and human dignity. The gut reaction from a liberal is that EVIL is defined by situations wherin a discoloration on Oprah's toe is addressed with expensive laser surgery, while a poor child in India quietly dies of malnutrition. Over time, this has leaked into a tendency to distrust market and traditional solutions.
All are real, reasonable ethics. I'd rather work to understand the other positions than fight. Anyhow...I'm public choice in politics, and think that part is inevitably corrupt.