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The Trouble With Liberalism
June 12, 2008, 12:51 pm
Filed under: Culture, Politics | Tags:

By ‘liberalism’ I don’t mean the political left-wing.  The political left-wing is now predominately socialist, I’d say.

A liberal, in the older sense, is someone who very highly values individual freedom and who believes that coercive intrusion into the private lives of individual citizens should be avoided as much as possible.  Such an intrusion has to be justified and the intruder has the burden of proof.  They must prove that such an intrusion is justified, otherwise the maxim ‘live and let live’ must prevail.  Usually liberals advocate ‘the harm principle’: so long as an individual doesn’t harm anyone else, we ought to leave them alone to do as they please.

The trouble with liberalism is that it only survives in societies that value truth, justice, reason, fairness and such.  These values can’t be up for debate.  The are the very values which make debate possible in a liberal society.   If there aren’t enough people in a society who firmly believe in them, liberal democracy will sputter out.  

But there are many folks (so-called subversives) who want to subvert these values.  Given that these values are necessary for the success of liberal democracy, subversion of them cannot be tolerated.  The so-called subversives inevitably appeal to liberal sensibilities in order to justify their subversion of the very values which undergird liberal democracy.  

This is why the most liberal nation is at once the most religious.  American is liberal precisely because it has a strong conservative principle which hold its liberalism in place.  

This explains why contemporary liberals in America are now considered conservatives.

 

Wouldn’t JFK be considered a conservative if he ran for office today?

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