View Poll Results: Is Liberalism itself Illiberal?

Voters
14. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes

    4 28.57%
  • No

    10 71.43%
Page 7 of 7 FirstFirst ... 567
Results 61 to 68 of 68

Thread: Is Liberalism Illiberal?

  1. #61
    Light△Bender

    grip's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    ☚ ☛
    Last Seen
    12-13-17 @ 02:42 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Moderate
    Posts
    17,224
    Blog Entries
    2

    Re: Is Liberalism Illiberal?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    My conclusion is that because of it's inability to accommodate values that contradict liberalism, liberalism itself is illiberal. It's actually a result of the rather flawed notion that humans can be free to do as they desire. Everyone has to operate within constraints. The challenge is in determining what those constraints should be and who should decide what those constraints should be. Actually, that's basically what government does.


    Liberals do not accommodate values that contradict their ideology any worse than Conservatives, they both suck. Liberalism used to be about working with less restraints, now it's in favor of governmental control more than conservatism ever has been.

    I think this argument should be framed, idealism vs realism. Both sides are far too idealistic in their ability to accommodate other values, or make any room for compromising solutions. It's why Congress is becoming so ineffective and the partisan divide and rancor increasing. Emotionalism can blind anyone to reason, because it gets too personal and about "my side" and "winning".

    Idealism is not a wrong concept, it's where we get some of our nobler thoughts, it's just not always applicable. Whereas realism is more about what's readily achievable and pragmatic, though it can often be at a lower level of success than what's possible.

    The trick is finding the balancing factor between the two, common sense, and not allowing competitive- emotional factors to control the rational thought processes.
    Einstein, "science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

  2. #62
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Last Seen
    08-18-15 @ 09:36 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    4,974

    Re: Is Liberalism Illiberal?

    Quote Originally Posted by tacomancer View Post
    The people who think critically are the ones who will. One cannot make a horse drink. And you are probably right that such a dogma could be enforced, to a point though and only for a limited time. Just as communism failed, even the noncritical thinkers are not a blank slate to which society can write their values on (this idea is something that western culture and belief about human nature got very wrong and has lead to millions of deaths). People are predisposed since birth towards certain preferences. for example, the koala is born knowing what to eat or else you would see koala's trying rocks, platypus, tree bark, etc. People are the same way, we tend to want love in our life, we tend to abhor murder, etc.

    I firmly believe that because of that predisposition, society is always going to regress to the mean. This is why all OECD countries essentially have become social democracies and why other countries, as they develop economically seem to be headed in that direction as well.

    But I closely agree with your assessment. Liberalism (as in 1700s liberalism) got a lot wrong about human nature. But it also got a lot right and lead to innovations in society that have increased the standard of living many times over. We must always remember, we are the same species that just a few thousands of years ago were in small tribes constantly warring with each other over resources and much of our instinctual social behavior is based on those values with a veneer of society on top. Instead of tribes, we now have soccer hooligans, motorcycle gangs, and even nation states (at a very abstracted level). We can only go a certain number of degrees of abstraction away from associations we were evolved to have before things break down. Liberalism can't be liberal in its own ideals because people will identify with their version of morality and shut out competing ideas, unless they are very unusual individuals as this is a basic human emotional need.
    This was a good post and I agree with what you have put forward here. I especially like your observation that

    Liberalism can't be liberal in its own ideals because people will identify with their version of morality and shut out competing ideas, unless they are very unusual individuals as this is a basic human emotional need.
    That was essentially my point and it's nice to see that someone else shares that point of view.

    I also agree that you can't force a value system on people that forces behavior on them that is against their nature. If however the system is tailored so that it can accommodate the various inclinations that people might have, and makes them feel that what they naturally feel inclined to do is valuable, then I think they would naturally take to it from birth. Everyone has something of value that they can do, even if it's no more than sweeping the floor. I think part of the problem is that in the name of facilitating progress, we have made things so adversarial that people have the tendency to want to put others down so that they can get some sort of advantage. The leaders of society need to make it a priority to inculcate the value of humanity into people from birth. That's why I have said over and over again, it's very important that we focus on creating, maintaining, and exalting an excellent class of teachers.

  3. #63
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Last Seen
    08-18-15 @ 09:36 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    4,974

    Re: Is Liberalism Illiberal?

    Quote Originally Posted by grip View Post
    Liberals do not accommodate values that contradict their ideology any worse than Conservatives, they both suck. Liberalism used to be about working with less restraints, now it's in favor of governmental control more than conservatism ever has been.

    I think this argument should be framed, idealism vs realism. Both sides are far too idealistic in their ability to accommodate other values, or make any room for compromising solutions. It's why Congress is becoming so ineffective and the partisan divide and rancor increasing. Emotionalism can blind anyone to reason, because it gets too personal and about "my side" and "winning".

    Idealism is not a wrong concept, it's where we get some of our nobler thoughts, it's just not always applicable. Whereas realism is more about what's readily achievable and pragmatic, though it can often be at a lower level of success than what's possible.

    The trick is finding the balancing factor between the two, common sense, and not allowing competitive- emotional factors to control the rational thought processes.
    First of all I would like to make it clear that I think that the brand of conservatism that is practiced in the US is also a form of liberalism. For the most part the people that we call conservatives here more or less practice some form of classical liberalism. Whereas the people we label liberals practice more or less some form of social liberalism. But basically, they are both liberals, and my observations apply to both. But if you are referring to American liberals when you say they favor more government control, I think that is a correct observation and it is certainly contrary to the principles of classical liberalism as they were originally conceived.
    Last edited by MildSteel; 04-04-14 at 08:20 PM.

  4. #64
    Doesn't go below juicy
    tacomancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cleveland
    Last Seen
    05-20-16 @ 02:42 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    31,781

    Re: Is Liberalism Illiberal?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    This was a good post and I agree with what you have put forward here. I especially like your observation that



    That was essentially my point and it's nice to see that someone else shares that point of view.

    I also agree that you can't force a value system on people that forces behavior on them that is against their nature. If however the system is tailored so that it can accommodate the various inclinations that people might have, and makes them feel that what they naturally feel inclined to do is valuable, then I think they would naturally take to it from birth. Everyone has something of value that they can do, even if it's no more than sweeping the floor. I think part of the problem is that in the name of facilitating progress, we have made things so adversarial that people have the tendency to want to put others down so that they can get some sort of advantage. The leaders of society need to make it a priority to inculcate the value of humanity into people from birth. That's why I have said over and over again, it's very important that we focus on creating, maintaining, and exalting an excellent class of teachers.
    This is a possibility, but the trade off is stagnation. I am not sure its worth it.

  5. #65
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Last Seen
    08-18-15 @ 09:36 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    4,974

    Re: Is Liberalism Illiberal?

    Quote Originally Posted by tacomancer View Post
    This is a possibility, but the trade off is stagnation. I am not sure its worth it.
    I think highly adversarial societies are destructive and encourage the development of highly intrusive and repressive regimes to sustain them. Because they focus on winner take all contests to promote progress, a highly frustrated underclass develops which must be repressed with police brutality, imprisonment, and highly intrusive surveillance.

    On the other hand, when people are able to useful work that they naturally feel inclined to do and feel there is value to that work, they have a natural motivation. Take for instance a mathematician like Guass. He wasn't motivated out of fear of competition. He had no equal. He was motivated because he loved what he was doing and knew that it was very valuable.

  6. #66
    Doesn't go below juicy
    tacomancer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cleveland
    Last Seen
    05-20-16 @ 02:42 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    31,781

    Re: Is Liberalism Illiberal?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post
    I think highly adversarial societies are destructive and encourage the development of highly intrusive and repressive regimes to sustain them. Because they focus on winner take all contests to promote progress, a highly frustrated underclass develops which must be repressed with police brutality, imprisonment, and highly intrusive surveillance.

    On the other hand, when people are able to useful work that they naturally feel inclined to do and feel there is value to that work, they have a natural motivation. Take for instance a mathematician like Guass. He wasn't motivated out of fear of competition. He had no equal. He was motivated because he loved what he was doing and knew that it was very valuable.
    you might want to learn more about this old philosophical concept Eudaimonia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  7. #67
    Sage
    rabbitcaebannog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Last Seen
    12-09-17 @ 08:35 PM
    Gender
    Lean
    Other
    Posts
    10,918

    Re: Is Liberalism Illiberal?

    Quote Originally Posted by MildSteel View Post

    What do you think? Is liberalism itself illiberal?
    Lol, sounds like doublespeak to me.

  8. #68
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Last Seen
    08-18-15 @ 09:36 AM
    Gender
    Lean
    Undisclosed
    Posts
    4,974

    Re: Is Liberalism Illiberal?

    Quote Originally Posted by tacomancer View Post
    you might want to learn more about this old philosophical concept Eudaimonia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Thanks for sharing that. We can see that the question of the relationship between virtuous moral conduct and happiness has exercised the human intellect for thousands of years. The following words of Socrates are pertinent to the modern dilemma

    Good Sir, you are an Athenian, a citizen of the greatest city with the greatest reputation for both wisdom and power; are you not ashamed of your eagerness to possess as much wealth, reputation, and honors as possible, while you do not care for nor give thought to wisdom or truth or the best possible state of your soul
    Indeed the pursuit of profit at the expense of wisdom and truth is the greatest stumbling block on the path of human progress today. Indeed, if truth and wisdom are sacrificed, there can be no happiness, because human society will mistake what is illusory to be happiness. And just like the thirst of a man in the desert can not be satisfied by a mirage, human society that has thus sacrificed wisdom and truth will be frustrated in the pursuit of happiness.

    I also thought that it was interesting how the antithesis was framed

    Plato’s great work of the middle period, the Republic, is devoted to answering a challenge made by a sophist Thrasymachus, that conventional morality, particularly the ‘virtue’ of justice, actually prevents the strong man from achieving eudaimonia. Thrasymachus’s views are restatements of a position which Plato discusses earlier on in his writings, in the Gorgias, through the mouthpiece of Callicles. The basic argument presented by Thrasymachus and Callicles is that justice (being just) hinders or prevents the achievement of eudaimonia because conventional morality requires that we control ourselves and hence live with un-satiated desires. This idea is vividly illustrated in book 2 of the Republic when Glaucon, taking up Thrasymachus’ challenge, recounts a myth of the magical ring of Gyges. According to the myth, Gyges becomes king of Lydia when he stumbles upon a magical ring, which, when he turns it a particular way, makes him invisible, so that he can satisfy any desire he wishes without fear of punishment. When he discovers the power of the ring he kills the king, marries his wife and takes over the throne. The thrust of Glaucon’s challenge is that no one would be just if he could escape the retribution he would normally encounter for fulfilling his desires at whim. But if eudaimonia is to be achieved through the satisfaction of desire, whereas being just or acting justly requires suppression of desire, then it is not in the interests of the strong man to act according to the dictates of conventional morality.
    By framing the antithesis around the notion that virtue is the result of the desire to avoid retribution, rather than the pursuit of pleasure, the antagonist appears to have a strong case. If however we note that the happiness that is associated with sensory pleasure is momentary at best, and that to have such temporary pleasure one has to undergo much suffering, then the argument is easily refuted. For example, a man who wants to have the pleasure of enjoying sex with beautiful women must, in general, work very hard to be able to create the conditions that will support such activity. He must also be willing to tolerate things like the undesirable effects that are associated with abrupt mood swings, etc. So we can see that although there is some temporary pleasure, it is also accompanied by substantial suffering. On the other hand, we can observe that people obtain a more substantive type of happiness when they regularly practice the virtue of self control. And in fact, typically when a frustrated person is burnt out due to overindulgence and has to enter rehab, they are put into a regimen that attempts to establish a regular behavioral pattern of self control so that the person can again feel some self satisfaction.

    The Greek notion of virtue was also noteworthy. Just some thoughts. It was interesting reading.
    Last edited by MildSteel; 04-05-14 at 06:15 PM.

Page 7 of 7 FirstFirst ... 567

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •