It’s disillusionment about human nature that makes me progressive. HEB, the original “grumpy old liberal,”:http://theenlightenmentproject.blogspot.com/2005/01/trust-academic-integrity-workshop-day.html puts this very well.
bq. Currently the received wisdom seems to be that Liberals believe that people are inherently good so that Trust is warranted while Conservatives believe that people are fundamentally bad so that it takes soldiers, cops and coercion to keep a lid on things. I’d with the Conservatives when it comes to their pessimistic view of human nature and views about the importance of coercion. What I don’t understand is how this supports their views on domestic policy. If people are fundamentally bad, as I believe, employers will certainly exploit their employees because they can, men will beat their wives because they’re bigger and stronger and none of us will contribute substantially to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves. We’re bigots and selfish jerks because our nature is fallen but our rational nature, imago dei, isn’t wholly corrupted, so we can see what we are and establish schemes to circumvent our sinfulness–coercive taxation and the welfare state.
(Actually she wrote “soldiers, copes and coercion”, but only _Opus Dei_ operates like that. _Reform_ doesn’t believe in vestments.)