The left says that every year the world gets better, the right says every year it gets worse—how can they disagree so fundamentally? It is a matter of perspective. Imagine a man, John Falconer, who is sixty-seven and owns a pleasant suburban house—he is wealthy enough to afford two golfing holidays a year and owns a Tesla (previously a BMW); every year his house increases in value. Does Falconer “progress”? In material terms, yes—however, every year his joints ache a little more and every year he becomes more narrowly cynical.
Imagine that Falconer is a civilisation. For the left, Falconer’s condition has never been better—never has there been more wealth and opportunity; no need to be clench-fisted anymore, thanks to science and technology. Based on the increase in house prices, it can only get better—so why not lighten up and indulge the grandchildren with some goodies? The left thinks this way because it is philosophically materialist and ethically materialistic (greedy). “We’ve got more goodies than ever before, what do you mean things are going backwards? Nonsense.”
The right thinks biologically and metaphysically, it looks at Falconer and says: “His joints are worn out, his old body can’t move like it used to. He’s got lots of prosperity, but he’s got no initiative and drive anymore. He’s worn out. He’s got cynical and petty, he worries about his neighbour’s hedge boundary and grumbles about young people.” Put simply: would you want to be John Falconer, or would you want to be Simon Falconer—his eighteen-year-old grand-nephew whose possessions amount to a student loan and an old guitar with which he hopes to be a famous singer one day? Everyone chooses Simon Falconer every time: youth > senility. The left, being materialistic, looks at the sweetness and prosperity found in a clapped out civilisation and thinks it is vitality—the right sees a worn out man; actually, perhaps he is already dead and the local youths are stripping his house…