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Old 10-09-2013, 03:45 PM   #1
Rohirrim
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Default Liberalism: Boogeyman to the Right

If you're going to attack a boogeyman, you should at least know what you're talking about. Here's a good write up:
http://www.princeton.edu/~starr/arti...alismWorks.pdf

Liberalism is notoriously difficult to define. the term
has been used to describe a sprawling profusion of ideas, practices,
movements, and parties in different societies and historical
periods. Often emerging as a philosophy of opposition,
whether to feudal privilege, absolute monarchy, colonialism,
theocracy, communism, or fascism, liberalism has served, as
the word suggests, as a force for liberation, or at least liberalization—
for the opening up of channels of free initiative.


-----------------------------------------------------------------

Modern democratic liberalism developed out of the more
egalitarian aspects of the tradition and serves as the basis of
contemporary liberal politics. The relationship between liberalism
in these two phases has been predominantly cumulative: While rejecting laissez-faire economic policy, modern liberalism
continues to take the broader tradition of constitutional
liberalism as its foundation. That is why it is possible to speak
not only of the two separately but also of an overarching set of
ideas that unites them.


-------------------------------------------------------------

In describing these changes, I do not mean to suggest that
liberals from the start had a clearly developed theory guiding
reforms, much less all the right answers. Rather than formulating
policy from speculative axioms, reformers beginning in
the mid-19th century increasingly devoted themselves to the
gathering and analysis of socioeconomic data. In America, the measures adopted during the Progressive era, New Deal, and
Great Society were often ad hoc and experimental, and many
failed. But partly through better knowledge, partly by trial and
error, liberal governments discovered that certain forms of limited
state intervention could help bring the promise of a free
and just society closer to fulfillment while reducing the waste
of human and physical resources and improving economic
performance. Modern liberalism has never been ruled by a
theory in the way that free-market conservatism and Marxian
socialism have been. A pragmatic emphasis on experience and
evidence—on how things work in practice—has been critical in
making liberalism work.


-------------------------------------------------------------------

Conservatives and liberals have also responded differently
to a phenomenon that did not exist in the 18th century when
constitutional liberalism took shape: the modern corporation.
While conservatives have treated private corporations as
analogous to individuals and deserving of the same liberties,
liberals have regarded corporations as a phenomenon of power,
needing control like government itself.
The discipline of power that constitutional
liberalism imposes upon the state modern
liberalism attempts to impose on the corporation,
albeit not in the same way.


-----------------------------------------------------------------


Against all these reasons for redistribution, the liberal project
has to weigh other values. Liberalism is egalitarian in the sense
that it seeks to achieve a more equal distribution of income and
well-being than would otherwise be generated in the marketplace.
But it is not committed to achieving a perfect equality in the distribution
of goods. Equity requires that those who work harder,
take greater risks, or develop their talents to a higher degree be
able to recoup a return from their efforts. This incentive is critical
to innovation and prosperity, which redound to wider benefit.
Liberalism regards the well-being of the least well-off as a central
criterion for a just society, and it seeks to provide individuals with
some degree of protection against risks beyond their control; but
it accepts inequalities insofar as they are to everyone’s long-run
advantage, and therefore aims for sustainable growth with widely
shared gains. The pragmatic disposition of liberalism also implies
that policies cannot be derived from moral principles alone, without
regard to empirical realities. Experience shows that governments
can bring about some results more readily than others.


--------------------------------------------------------------

Shrewd as they were in achieving political power, the
Republicans of the Bush era have shown little of that genius
in using it. A conservatism that does not want to hear about
inequality or the sinking fortunes of the middle class, or about
dangers to the global environment, or about unsustainable
fiscal policies, or about gaping flaws in plans for war, may prevail
in the short run, but the realities will sooner or later make
themselves felt, as they did in 2006. A great nation cannot long
be governed by wishful and simplistic thinking, denial, obfuscation,
and deceit. Costs mount, grievances accumulate, and
there comes a reckoning.


And so on...



We've had thirty years of conservatism. Look around. See the smoking ruin?
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:49 PM   #2
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Really you guys should abandon the word "Liberal" so it can have its good name back.

Maybe something more apt like "Fairitans" or something.
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by BBII View Post
Really you guys should abandon the word "Liberal" so it can have its good name back.

Maybe something more apt like "Fairitans" or something.
In other words, "Didn't read. Will post anyway."
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Old 10-09-2013, 03:54 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Rohirrim View Post
In other words, "Didn't read. Will post anyway."
I read it. Pretty consistent with wishful stuff I've read before.

In reality, the only thing today's "liberals" have in common with the classical liberals of the nation's founding is the use of that word.

But they stood for individual liberty in the face of royal privilege.

The modern liberal stands for ethereal equality and fairness even if at the expense of individual liberty. Which is why they should relinquish the word. They defy it.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:40 PM   #5
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I read it. Pretty consistent with wishful stuff I've read before.

In reality, the only thing today's "liberals" have in common with the classical liberals of the nation's founding is the use of that word.

But they stood for individual liberty in the face of royal privilege.

The modern liberal stands for ethereal equality and fairness even if at the expense of individual liberty. Which is why they should relinquish the word. They defy it.
You didn't read it all, or as usual, read it but didn't understand any of it. As the writer pointed out, classical liberalism didn't concern itself with inequality. For modern liberalism, that became a fundamental principle. And certainly not "...at the expense of individual liberty" which is just another Right Wing lie.
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:13 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rohirrim View Post
You didn't read it all, or as usual, read it but didn't understand any of it. As the writer pointed out, classical liberalism didn't concern itself with inequality. For modern liberalism, that became a fundamental principle. And certainly not "...at the expense of individual liberty" which is just another Right Wing lie.
You're failing to connect the dots here.

Equality is not Liberty. At times they align. But at times they conflict. This can't be denied.

If you choose equality over liberty, you are not a liberal in the classical sense at all. And for that reason you can draw no line from today's liberals back to those.

The resemblance boils down to name alone. And only because common definitions tend to change over time.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:42 PM   #7
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BBIIFTL.
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:44 AM   #8
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Funny thing is liberals like to believe they are for equality, but even their own are sellouts to the big corporations they demean, but then turn around and do their bidding and make deals with them. Government is good, well only when democrats are in charge of course. War is bad, unless a democrat signs off on it of course. Today's liberals are more fascists than anything else.
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:06 AM   #9
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Conservatism is mainly about rationalizing privilege, accepting Original Sin, and enforcing tradition because it's tradition. Nothing Beavis wrote contradicts those statements.
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Old 10-12-2013, 08:11 AM   #10
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Conservatism is mainly about rationalizing privilege, accepting Original Sin, and enforcing tradition because it's tradition. Nothing Beavis wrote contradicts those statements.
That's what I was thinking. Sounds downright OT.
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:17 PM   #11
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Conservatism is mainly about rationalizing privilege, accepting Original Sin, and enforcing tradition because it's tradition. Nothing Beavis wrote contradicts those statements.
Modern Liberalism is about unrelenting envy, blind naivety to the infinitely proven weakness of man, and popping a squat on tradition because it's tradition.

See how easy that is.

I didn't really want another one of your pissing matches, Wagsy. I'm just trying to point out that there's a fundamentally different perspective to have on the nature of the world. One that seems just as 'right' to the people who believe it as you believe yourself to be.

Which you of all people should know.

Anyway, there is a reasoning behind it more than just 'rationalizing privilege' Just as there's a reasoning behind liberalism beyond covetousness. We just believe different things. But there's no reason to hate people over it.

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Old 10-12-2013, 01:44 PM   #12
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Modern Liberalism is about unrelenting envy, blind naivety to the infinitely proven weakness of man, and popping a squat on tradition because it's tradition.

See how easy that is.

I didn't really want another one of your pissing matches, Wagsy. I'm just trying to point out that there's a fundamentally different perspective to have on the nature of the world. One that seems just as 'right' to the people who believe it as you believe yourself to be.

Which you of all people should know.

Anyway, there is a reasoning behind it more than just 'rationalizing privilege' Just as there's a reasoning behind liberalism beyond covetousness. We just believe different things. But there's no reason to hate people over it.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not to their own facts.

Opinions without factual backing are worthless. Opinions substantiated by facts are worth considering.

One of the problems with conservatives is that they're too accepting of certain views and dismissive of others because the views they like happen to be old, and the ones they don't like happen to be new, or, alter the old views. I far too often hear conservatives excuse something that's wrong because it's always been done that way - as if that means anything.

Conservatives, oddly proudly, insist that they're the ones who say "Stop!" or "No!" when things change. Given the truism that change is the only constant, refusing to accept or accommodate change, just because it is change, is a flawed position to take. Now, I do not mean that change is always for the good. That's obvious. But to resist change merely because is it change is pointless. One has to look at the change and examine it to see if it's good or bad, before accepting or resisting it. Conservatives too often mindlessly resist change.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:23 PM   #13
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Labels are usually a bad thing in politics.

I would vote either republican, democrat or independent.


We need policies to help everyone.

CEOs shouldn't make 400 times an employee.

Rich people don't need more tax breaks especially when we tried that over and

over and we have people starving.


In other words vote for whats right and moral and good for everyone.


I don't care for the religious right quoting the Bible and then voting

and lobbying to screw over the poor over and over.

That isn't moral or religious.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:15 AM   #14
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Yeah. John Locke and Mao. A couple of liberals.

The sad thing is that the ignorant troglodytes in the Tea Party really believe this kind of ****.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:16 AM   #15
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Yeah. John Locke and Mao. A couple of liberals.

The sad thing is that the ignorant troglodytes in the Tea Party really believe this kind of ****.
Oh, hey, you're back.

And I think you just underlined my point. Thanks.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:24 AM   #16
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Ever wonder why the sanctity of private property is the rallying cry of the New, Reactionary Right? It's because the billionaires backing the movement own most of it.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:28 AM   #17
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Ever wonder why the sanctity of private property is the rallying cry of the New, Reactionary Right? It's because the billionaires backing the movement own most of it.
Oh, and that little triviality of it being maybe the most significant distinction about this nation's founding and probably the largest contributor to the progress of Western Civilization over the last few centuries.

Concentration of wealth is just a symptom, not the disease. Centrally-commanded political crony-capitalism is at the heart of the matter.
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Old 10-14-2013, 09:30 AM   #18
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Ever wonder why the sanctity of private property is the rallying cry of the New, Reactionary Right? It's because the billionaires backing the movement own most of it.
I'm tellin ya man, every conservative fancies themselves a millionaire who just missed out because of... (you can fill in the blank with whatever the bullet point du jour is: "socialism", Obama/Clinton/Carter, "entitlements", "the gays"...)
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:05 AM   #19
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I'm comfortable. I don't need to be a millionaire. I just think a fiscally conservative policy (something we've never had in my lifetime) would be good for the country. Wasteful spending hurts everybody. High taxes hurt the middle class. More and more of the lower middle class are becoming part of the dependent class.
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:20 AM   #20
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I'm comfortable. I don't need to be a millionaire. I just think a fiscally conservative policy (something we've never had in my lifetime) would be good for the country. Wasteful spending hurts everybody. High taxes hurt the middle class. More and more of the lower middle class are becoming part of the dependent class.
And you think that's because of liberal fiscal policies?
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:40 AM   #21
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And you think that's because of liberal fiscal policies?
It's bad fiscal policy by the Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans were worse over the last 30 years, and nobody else of real importance has stood for a true conservative fiscal policy of a balanced budget.
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:00 AM   #22
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It's bad fiscal policy by the Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans were worse over the last 30 years, and nobody else of real importance has stood for a true conservative fiscal policy of a balanced budget.
I don't think a balanced budget deserves the near sanctity that many on the Right give it. Economics is situational. If your economy is going full barrel, you're approaching full employment, your GDP keeps rising and your tax policy is sound (i.e., progressive) then a balanced budget and saving for a rainy day is smart policy.

If you have high unemployment, stumbling GDP and slow growth you do what is best for the greatest number of your people until the economy rebounds. If that includes higher debt, so be it.

IMO, the purpose of government is to serve the interests, in other words, the general welfare of your people. Not to fulfill the requirements of an ideology.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #23
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:01 PM   #24
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What's the question at hand that needs answering, Beavis?

I'll hit a grand slam on ya.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:08 PM   #25
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What's the question at hand that needs answering, Beavis?

I'll hit a grand slam on ya.
What are the world-changing (or at least West-Changing) contributions of the Free French Republic(s) and/or how significant were those compared to British/American contributions of the same era.

Go!
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