The political tensions evident in our time between “progressive” and “conservative” moods and orientations basically resolve into the issue of the desirable versus the necessary. Generally, conservatives tend to dismiss the desirable (progressive) as utopian fantasising, etc. Progressives, on the other hand, tend to represent conservatives as historically regressive, or even repressive and reactionary.
But once you wade through all the ideological posturing and verbiage, the real root of political and cultural controversies and tensions in our time is the social conflict between the desirable and the necessary as the factors that orient us towards the future and the past, respectively.
Two weeks ago, one of the fellows I commute with into the city told a strange story. He had ocassionally mentioned that a certain man he worked with as a heavy mechanic was very morose as well as being a chronic alcoholic. On this particular day, though, the police had come to his shop and had arrested the man for a murder committed a full 25 years earlier in Ontario.