We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Saturday, February 2. 2008
How come liberals never talk about liberty?
This is a re-posting from April, 2007:
We posted a QQQ last week from the fiery Mark Levin: "When was the last time you heard a Liberal talking about liberty?"
They never do. The term "liberal" is a misnomer, as classical liberalism was about freedom and firm limits to state power. The "new liberalism" is about expanding state power and parentalism over the citizens. And, as I always say, power, unlike wealth, is a zero sum game.
The New Liberalism is Authoritarian Populism, more or less, with a socialist reflex, and has a very high tolerance for state involvement in, and control over, our lives. Hence the Left's past idealization of Stalin, and current idealization of Castro and Chavez. And, of course, FDR.
On Maggie's Farm, we are classical liberals of the "Live free or die" variety. We feel that is what America is all about, and why we are the shining city on a hill - not because of our government, but because of free people. The government is not America.
This fundamental subject comes up because our editor emailed me a piece in Salon cited by a reader in response to Mark Levin's rhetorical question.
It is an essay by Walter Shapiro in favor of repealing the Second Amendment. (The fact that legislation has effectively already repealed the Second Amendment for criminals and madmen carries no water for him. He doesn't want me to have guns.)
So it is a good example of New Liberalism. Here is the key quote:
How revealing. "Concern" about freedom and liberty is now obsolete, and replaced by...what? Let me share something: I know the "elites," and I am down with them, socially. And they have no more common sense than the fingernail of my pinkie.
Thank God that the New York delegation to the Constitutional Convention, and a few other delegations, insisted on the Bill of Rights. Most delegations thought it was unnecessary, and that such freedoms were implicit in the battles they had fought.
Perhaps Mr. Shapiro would be happier if he also could advocate a movement to repeal Amendments 9 and 10 also.
Or why not just repeal the whole darn thing? We could replace it with this, and have a nice Bloomberg-style, Hillary-style dictatorship of the elite who are way smarter, of course, than us folks, and know what is best for us. After all, we are too stupid, and liberty is so scary.
Image: Constitution Hall, Philadelphia
Posted by The Barrister in Our Essays, Politics at 13:42 | Comments (17) | Trackbacks (2)
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Your absolutly right about names and classifications of political ideology. I call myself a conservative,but I feel like what I profess is just common sense. People don't fully examine the restrictions that government puts on them. They think that government is just looking out for their welfare, but they are just taking away our freedom to decide what is best for ourselves. The Constitution is a " classically liberal " document that should be interpreted in a conservative manner.
Liberty AND handsome old Windsors- an unbeatable combo. Am all for liberty, pursuing it in fact, but the only Windsor left in my family after someone donated the other 23 perfectly matched set chairs to Salvation Army in the 60s is a bowback side with bamboo turnings and 7 spindles (9 are better) from the late 1700s, Virginia homestead.
Should we start calling liberals illiberals and stifling statists and some conservatives classic liberals and others classic reactionaries, all progressives retarded and most traditionalists foresighted? Shall we call people who don’t value family tradition and furniture history little chairmen maos and chairity cases?
I believe that HC is smarter than ...... oh say a potted plant!
But has less sense.
i knew there would be some knee jerk reactions to the shooting but calling for a repeal of the second amendment is flat out nuts! think about it: if they did that the only ones could legally carry guns would be the government. now THAT'S scary!
you may like this:
I hope the acmm Supreme court (for business) upholds what I beleive to be the right to keep and bear arms. We have carry conceal in Texas,wich is nice because most felt (and still do) that carry was just part of life. I beleive this suit was brought about by washington DC and their draconian beleifs about gun ownership. Thanks, nice site, Lou.
Liberals are concerned about freedom rather than liberty. Freedom,to the liberal, is to be free from hunger, free from want, free from fear, and of course free from offensive language by others. Liberals have been at war with liberty for decades, battling to impose their freedoms.
I would say think libertarian and vote Republican. The Libertarians are getting there but in the BIG November vote if you vote Libertarian you're throwing your vote away and getting further from your objective by giving the Democrats a free ride on your tossed away vote ..... use it locally, but nationally I'd think twice about the one vote you have.
“Power, unless justified, is inherently illegitimate. The burden of proof is on those in authority to demonstrate why their elevated position is justified. If this burden can't be met, the authority in question should be dismantled.”
What’s it called when both Noam Chomsky AND Ronald Reagan agreed with that quote? (Besides a coincidence, that is.)
and also free from responsibility. The new age progressive with-it-now type of liberal is scared to death of liberty, it's so much easier to put your future in the hands of the State.
The group that founded our Constitution was perhaps the greatest collection of minds ever assembled. Therefore, who are we to question their logic and wisdom, even in respect to the right to bear arms? I personally have no desire to own weapons. But I don't have a problem with those who do.
Because he’s really just a closet ‘benevolent dictator’? Howz this:
You have R.J Rummel, 'the democracies don't go to war with each other guy'.
You have Chomsky, Mr. "Power, unless justified, is inherently illegitimate".
You'd think these two self-proclaimed academic wizards would be able to hold an informative debate over that libertarian grey zone I'll call “illegitimate power vs. personal freedom” or “covert coercive force” you know, the power by proxy thing... but from what I’ve seen, they wind up namecalling each other like a couple little kids.
Is that as good as it gets?
afraid so -- because as they say, power is zero-sum. If it's either mine or yours, it's easy for us to get into name-calling -- ''labeling''.
The biggest problem I have with "classical liberals" is they seem to have been taken over by the objectivist crowd. You know, Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, Lew Rockwell, Justin Raimondo. Guys like that. A small but very vocal bunch - are usually a driving force behind countering US military defensive actions - from Ayn Rand's being against WWII and Reagan, all the way up til the others I mentioned who're against going into Iraq or even Afghanistan. (Modern liberals, as you know, being pro-government initated force, are usually pro-war as long as it's their war.)
These objectivist libertarians seem to be the least inclined to use military might to defend their freedom and liberty, which begs the question: So what do you do instead??
Robert Ringer is another one: Improve thyself, but if somebody screws with you.. uh.. whine about it.
Were they the greatest minds ever assembled, or a group with the greatest goal ever sought (freedom and liberty)? And did this drive them to study men like Lycurgus, Solon, and the founders of the early Roman Republic to come up with the greatest document ever written?
We posted a QQQ last week from the fiery Mark Levin: “When was the last time you heard a Liberal talking about liberty?” They never do. The term “liberal” is a misnomer, as classical liberalism was about freedom and firm limits...
Tracked: Apr 25, 00:37
“There is an inverse relationship between reliance on the state and self-reliance.” - William F. Buckley Jr.I have read a number of comments and reviews of Dr. Lyle Rossiter's book The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. I suppose
Tracked: Feb 26, 06:53