Last edited by iguanaman; 04-02-14 at 02:12 PM.
Before I answer your question, I have to establish the nature of liberalism.
The "classical liberalism" that emerged from the writings of Enlightenment thinkers has to be understood as a reaction to the lingering political and economic privileges of the landowning aristocracy (in England, France, and elsewhere). It was a system of rule that allowed a network of well connected families to monopolize the best political offices and appointments which they could use to form strategic partnerships with emerging capitalist forces in order to maintain their wealth despite the depreciating value of land in favor of manufacturing and the service economy that succeeded over the Dark Ages.
The basic theory is to dissolve this power structure and the unequal power relationships it creates by having "capitalism-only" with the remaining feudal laws purged from the books and a government that is responsive to the will of the people -- that is, a democracy. This is the sort of notion that informed the Founding Fathers' feelings about leaving behind England.
The flaw is that both industrial capitalism and democracy are as vulnerable to the systematized abuses of well connected individuals (plutocracy) as much as the inherited privilege of aristocracy.
Modern liberalism is essentially classical liberalism evolved to cope with plutocracy, rather than monarchical-aristocratic systems.
No. The idea of liberalism is to destroy power structures that prohibit people from exercising free agency at a individual or family level, whether corporate plutocracies or aristocratic monarchies. "Defend the common man and he will defend you" sort of approach to government.What do you think? Is liberalism itself illiberal?
People rejecting liberalism in favor of abusive power structures is equivalent to a slave rejecting to have his chains broken because freedom sounds weird, uncomfortable, and dangerous.
Last edited by Morality Games; 04-02-14 at 02:13 PM.
If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.
Classical liberals defend the natural rights of people and believe the state is to serve the purpose of protecting those rights, while modern liberals defend the idea that government is the entity behind all authority and that the people only have a right to what the state says they do. The only thing modern liberals truly care for is power.
Last edited by Henrin; 04-02-14 at 02:16 PM.
200 years ago liberals owned slaves and conservatives believed in monarchs. The terms are arbitrary political labels that are entirely based on the time and place you are in. They don't really mean anything.
We are in a transitory strage where we just released the printing press 2.0 and look at what that thing did to existing political systems five nearly six hundred years ago. For example anabaptists and they chaos they unleashed.
Right now due to technological disruption and the lack of common assumptions that all members of society can share (because that died in the late 80s) we will stay in this tribal phase perhaps for a couple of generations. Eventually new assumptions will be made but probably not be anything we can currently predict
Many western assumptions about the do no harm principal (which later gave birth to the idea of natural rights) as being the basis for morality (which is unusual given how most societies develop) is being fundamentally questioned even though it is the catalyst for so much progress (as seen by western eyes, most of the world thinks OECD countries are insane hedonists) but will probably survive in altered forms as many of those assumptions about how human free will (and thus many of our philosophical foundations) works is not standing up to scientific scrutiny. But that's the reason the country deviated from its initial ideals anyway, they weren't realistic societal goals.
So yes we are illiberal and yet very liberal, just not in any pure ideological or philosophical sense.
Last edited by tacomancer; 04-02-14 at 02:29 PM.
Though trying to manipulate a peoples thought processes, with excess rules and social control is utterly stupid.
Einstein, "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."