Suppose there are two points of view, Opposite each other. You can take your pick. More government intervention in the economy, Less government intervention in the economy. More personal freedom, Less personal freedom. More consumption less consumption. etc. etc.
When the discussion is framed under a one dimensional basis, and the only thing that is being considered is less or more of something, A strange thing happens.
Two groups, one asking for more and one for less (or more of the opposite) forget the reason behind why they want any of it at all. The extent to which the scale is pushed toward each end, becomes a winning score. At that point, the two groups no longer think or care about the underlying effect, all that matters is to get the upper hand.
Suppose one group wins and an equilibrium emerges, in which for the time being each group is satisfied with its share. Suppose the ideal situation for one is 100, and that's the worst situation for the opposite group say, being 0. Suppose a status of equilibrium has been achieved in which one group has settled on 70% of what he wants, and the other group is happy with 30%.
The plot now thickens !!!
The group that already has the upper hand, after a while forgets the struggle through which it achieved the 70% ration, and says to itself, now that we are only 30% away from complete victory why not go further.
The mere fact that they have gotten the higher hand, re-enforces their belief in their righteousness and they become more rigid and more entrenched. It then becomes harder to convince them that they have to accept the status quo or even give up a little bit.
This dynamic is at work in the US now and in many other places. In the US, the right managed to push the scale in its own favor, having abolished high marginal taxes on the upper bracket and bringing the high earner tax to its lowest level since WWII, they are re-strengthened in their belief and want to shift more of the tax burden to low income groups.
In Iran, after the conservative groups pushed through a major victory in 1979, imposing a massive conservative agenda, they have now gone back to the drawing board, pushing for more of the same. The minute amount of freedom observable in the society has become even less intolerable than the high level of freedom, they were content to live with before.
what was acceptable in the 1960s, and 1970s, has impossible, and what's available now, has become intolerable.
It must be understood, that at this point, it does not matter if higher taxes is good for the economy or not, or if more rigidity is good for the country or not. It does not matter how many women are allowed to participate, or how many women are allowed to show what fraction of their hairs. Any number bigger than zero is considered a loss, a give away to your competitors, a surrender to the enemy. Thus a minuscule amount of move to left, on the count of Obama, makes him Hitler. A tiny amount of smile and a tad bit of make up on TV, turns the entire TV into a whorehouse of lust and intolerable sin.
The bloodhounds are barking and they want total victory for themselves and total defeat for their enemies. NO the rich should never be bothered with taxes or any regulation whatsoever. NO the women should live in rooms with no window all day long. NO, they should never come in any proximity of another man, old or young.
This is not about an ideology, it's not about an economic or social doctrine. This is not about the future of country, or the society, this is not about God, or heaven or hell.
This is about winning and loosing. One group wants to win and have every thing and force complete and utter defeat on its opponents.
Any thing less than that, is unacceptable and any cost to achieve this victory is worth it.