Skip to comments.America Without “Liberal” or “Conservative” Representation
Posted on 08/17/2009 3:28:57 AM PDT by RogerFGay
Nothing more immediately spoils the honesty of political debate in America today than the common use of the terms liberal and conservative. They are too often used anachronistically, in a way maintained in the public mind through narrow relative thinking and probably more often without thinking at all.
It is common for these terms to be used as synonyms for left and right and for those terms to be automatically associated with the Democratic and Republican parties. No matter how far the two parties shift along the political spectrum together, or where they go, this common semantic error leaves the impression that our current politics are still rooted in the Constitutional definition of our republic. Politicians and their mainstream media constantly conjure the illusion that moderate politics results from compromise between the two parties.
If you can control the language, you can control the people. And the people, too often, accept the use of language offered to them without considering whether it lies. If you think it doesn't matter, consider the young voters; who go to the polls without the benefit of a decent civics education, historical perspective, or instructive life experience. Have you called Hillary and Barack liberals and voiced your disdain for liberalism? According to The Random House Dictionary, you have said that you oppose individual freedom and that Hillary and Barack support it. No wonder so many of our naïve youth call conservatives Nazis and fervently support the far left!
What terms do fit our modern Political Class has been the subject of some discussion, while the public is at least beginning to make its own informal search. Are they illiberal statists as Mike S. Adams (Townhall.com) suggests? Marxists? Communists? Socialists? Nazis? One-world Government Dictators? Or will history give them a new name, and we should be content for the moment to refer to them more generically, as the Political Class and simply continue discussion of their deeds and intentions?
Where is the modern American Political Class on the political spectrum? One question being raised in political discussion is whether or not we are too late to save the nation. The fact that the question is being raised corresponds to the sudden awakening to huge and rapid changes that many never before thought could happen in the USA. The current state of affairs is not the result of a single election or of one or more crises forcing, or perhaps seeming to force, extreme measures. To believe so, we would have to ignore Al Gore and the outpouring of international support and prestige given in honor of his global warming hoax. We would have to ignore the fact that the United States has had the mechanisms for universal health insurance for more than a half century.
Our current predicament involves a history of changes largely ignored. Next: How America was Destroyed The Rise of Big Lie Politics
Nice to see people waking up to the fact that the Republicans and Democrats are part of the same political class.
Political elites is the term I prefer since they have entrenched themselves in the Congress and their minions in the various Cabinet departments and agencies. It’s time to clean out the rat’s nest called government. Get rid of all incumbents, even the ones you think are the good guys (bet they are a lawyer) and only vote for principle (term limits, elimination of many Cabinet Departments, no budget total greater than revenue collected the previous year, no money to NGO or GSE) and people who have either owned a business or worked at a business. NO MORE LAWYERS!
A lot of the problem, for US political discussion, comes from the US having adopted European terms.
Europers tend to limit their concepts on governance/politics to various totalitarianisms. Therefore, they decided on a “left” and “right” division among their favored totalitarian filthosophies. Those divisions are meaningless outside of the culture that only sees such issues in valuations between one brand of oppression and the other.
We have, long, needed to develop US specific terms and definitions.
But, as it now stands, the “left” in the US is that branch of our political class that worships all things Europer Abomination in political thought, and are, therefore, anti-American to the bone.
Which plays nicely into Sarah Palin's popularity. Sarah is outside the political class and is attacked by those on the left and right of the political class. The stars are lining up for Sarah.
It’s a simple scale.
“Conservatives” are just about in the center, between the far / extreme left (communists), a little to the right of far / extreme left (fascists, American “liberals” / “progressives”) and far / extreme right (anarchists, nihilists).
Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians of all stripes fill the degrees somewhere on this scale, most densely somewhere left of center.
I traced the idea of the political spectrum with Nazis on the right and Commies on the left to just before WWII and during it - as a representation of Europe taking sides at that time. It has nothing to do with any sort of political theory - or general model that should be thrown around for the rest of time. I’ve recently seen a good video on YouTube describing a more rational general model, with absolute government power on the extreme left and no government on the extreme right. The type of limited government defined by the US Constitution (in fact, not the dead “living document” thingy) is in the middle.
That’s what they want you to think. You should read the follow-up article linked to the bottom of this one.
Liberal = Marxist / Communist
Conservative = Constitutionalist
Here’s another way of sorting politicians:
The Criminals vs. the Unindicted Co-Conspirators.
They are men of conviction, although many are launching appeals.
Actually, I pretty much described in the scale what you saw on that YouTube video in post #8.
And you are right about origins of placing Nazis on the “right” just before WWII, it came in response to them persecuting “leftist” German Communists, partly as means of reaching to the same populist power base / class and because many of them were Jews and Internationalists, as opposed to National Socialists. Hence, “right” and “left” while, at the core, they had similar goals and similar appeal (NSDAP started as DAP - German Workers Party).
I had just made this post, which describes it in more detail, on another thread:
There’s also been some writing on American Political Traditions that might be interesting.
both come to mind, there’s also one to cover the issues of foreign trade and industrial/economic power but can’t remember the name.
Forgot to say:
You are correct. The “left wing” “right wing” that is commonly used now, was actually defined by the Uncle Joe Stalin fan club during the ‘30s so that the feeble minded intellectual inbred sacks of cult of personality worshiping filth could keep themselves separated.
We have the Government Party with two branches; Liberal and Ultra-Liberal.
They will soon have enough people sucking on the Government Party teat so that it will be impossible for anyone to vote the big government statists out of office.
You’re still using that word - “liberal”?
Do you have a reference?
There seems to be something to what you say. The article however, hopes to press upon the importance of using terms that can be taken literally - without the need for translation. So, use arrows instead of equality symbols, to mean say what you mean instead of using the terms “Liberal” and “Conservative.”
The real fight is between
individualists (ie, classical liberals)
elitists (inherently collectivists)
Individualists are NOT populatists - they are liberals, in the real, classical sense of desiring maximal individual liberty. (is it time to take away the “liberal” label?)
ElitISTS are not the same set of people as elites. You can be elite without being elitist. You can be elitist without being anything near elite.
(my brain is now in monosyllable mode)
Or, the (sometimes) good guys vs. the (mostly) bad guys...
Although our modern socialists' promise of greater freedom is genuine and sincere, in recent years observer after observer has been impressed by the unforeseen consequences of socialism, the extraordinary similarity in many respects of the conditions under "communism" and "fascism." As the writer Peter Drucker expressed it in 1939, "the complete collapse of the belief in the attainability of freedom and equality through Marxism has forced Russia to travel the same road toward a totalitarian society of un-freedom and inequality which Germany has been following. Not that communism and fascism are essentially the same. Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion, and it has proved as much an illusion in Russia as in pre-Hitler Germany."
No less significant is the intellectual outlook of the rank and file in the communist and fascist movements in Germany before 1933. The relative ease with which a young communist could be converted into a Nazi or vice versa was well known, best of all to the propagandists of the two parties. The communists and Nazis clashed more frequently with each other than with other parties simply because they competed for the same type of mind and reserved for each other the hatred of the heretic. Their practice showed how closely they are related. To both, the real enemy, the man with whom they had nothing in common, was the liberal of the old type. While to the Nazi the communist and to the communist the Nazi, and to both the socialist, are potential recruits made of the right timber, they both know that there can be no compromise between them and those who really believe in individual freedom.
-- F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom
It is worth noting that "liberals of the old type", "those who really believe in individual freedom", are what we would today call conservatives.
You may be interested in the Hayek quote I posted just above, which speaks to the Fascist/Communist issue. Nice post in the other thread, BTW.
Add GSEs (Fannie / Freddie and the like) and various NGOs feeding at the public trough, to the “public-private partnership” / Third Way, i.e. privatizing profits while socializing liabilities ... and we get a pretty good idea how it will eventually play out.
I can agree with all of that.
Huckabee is a great example of that sort of “social conservative” who is quite the socialistic statist.
And it all sounded so nice when people voted to put those in office who wanted to do it - using private companies to get the efficiencies of the private sector and all that. Well - how about this? Get government out of all the businesses that it doesn’t belong in and whatever emerges in the private sector will actually have private sector efficiencies.
"Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion, and it has proved as much an illusion in Russia as in pre-Hitler Germany."
That's exactly the point I was making re today's China and Russia. China's transformation / conversion from communist into fascist economy was almost seemless.
He’s one of the poster-boy Republicans these days. I especially couldn’t stand Romney running as a “conservative.” His thing was classic - and of course people wondered what I was talking about. He claimed a conservative record as Governor of Mass., while in fact he operated the state as an administrative unit of the federal government - pushed every destructive federal program and enlargement he could and then milked the system at the expense of civil rights (i.e. more federal government power for more money) and anything else that happened to be in the way. Somebody just needed to say: Hey Mitt - if you become president, there will be nobody else to hide behind and mooch off of! I suppose though, that’s partly what the One World Government thing is all about. Pin-heads like Romney can then blame the UN.
By the time Romney had his influence on Mass., it’s no wonder the state supreme court said bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. He was part of that whole political movement to have the federal government take-over family law that caused its shift into “social policy” where the definition of marriage became an arbitrary political decision.
Many a story of woe start like that ... :-)
At the start of the Twentieth Century the term "liberal" meant the same in America as it still does in the rest of the world - essentially, what is called "conservatism" in American Newspeak. Of course we "American Conservatives" are not the ones who oppose development and liberty, so in that sense we are not conservative at all. We actually are liberals.
But in America, "liberalism" was given its American Newspeak - essentially inverted - meaning in the 1920s (source: Safire's New Political Dictionary). The fact that the American socialists have acquired a word to exploit is bad enough; the real disaster is that we do not now have a word which truly descriptive of our own political perspective. We only have the smear words which the socialists have assigned to us. And make no mistake, in America "conservative" is inherently a negative connotation just as surely as marketers love to boldly proclaim that the product which they are flogging is NEW!
If you had to look for a fundamentally Jeffersonian institution, look no further than the ACLU. For a Jeffersonian, an organization like that stands on the front lines of the battle to protect American democracy. There really aren't any Jeffersonian presidents in the 20th century. The Libertarian Party, however, is a fundamentally Jeffersonian organization.
I didn’t say it was exactly accurate, but it’s something to start with.
Imo, the ACLU is a euro abomination masked as a Wilsonian thing.
I think the current bunch is Mafiasonian.
LOL, can’t disagree with you there.