The essence of right-wing conservatism is an opportunistic social Darwinism. All righties believe, to quote an old barstool homily, that “the world is for the few.” It follows in their philosophy that capitalism — God’s chosen economic system — is hallowed and sacrosanct because it allows for society’s hungriest go-getters (i.e., the brightest entrepeneurs and most aggressive ladder-climbers) to live rich and abundant lives — to profit handsomely from the fruit of their talent, vision, inititative and opportunism.

This, many righties believe, is the natural order of things, which is why many of them (certainly the political righties) profess an affinity with God and Christianity. They see the Christian faith as a kind of moral/philosophical support system for free-market determinism, objectivism, laissez-faire capitalism, and constitutionally-limited government. For them it’s all about the goodies that God in His wisdom wants them to have — about their right to live flush and get richer and to help like-minded homies do the same. This is the view that binds Ayn Rand and Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin and all the other buccaneers out there who believe in “me first and applications of socially progressive and compassionate policies second.”

And if anything gets in the way of this God-sanctified entitlement — anything, say, like the need to deal with global warming or develop green or non-polluting energy sources — conservatives will always stall, dispute, denounce, block, argue against, and generally do everything in their power to deny the communal reality of life on this planet. Because they don’t care about the communal reality of life on this planet. Because dealing with same tends to bring about regulations which, they believe, tend to mess with their freedom to romp around and profit handsomely and live lavishly.

Conservatives care about their own world and their own opportunities. They believe in their right to mine, exploit and profit from the backyard minerals that have always been and always will be “for the few.” That is who and what they are.