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Make Liberalism Great Again

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posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 05:29 PM
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The perpetual tug of war between progressives and conservatives has made it apparent that neither side know the direction they wish to pull us.

On the one hand the progressives, motivated by the dogma of 'to progress', aim to drag us to some unspecified and unknowable end, and will use whatever means necessary to get there. On the other hand the conservatives, motivated by the dogma 'to conserve', offer nothing more than a counterweight to the incessant haul, and thus, like an old dog, are eventually dragged in a direction of the progressive’s choosing.

There is a far better ideal. Liberty, the liberalization of the individual from collective tyranny, remains that elusive and unfulfilled goal of the Enlightenment. Perhaps it is unattainable altogether. But the very process of seeking its attainment would further unshackle the individual from the litany of tyrannies he still faces, and faces daily.

This is liberalism.

I know, I know: “liberalism is a mental disease”. So barks the Right.

But you’re wrong. Those you speak of do not deserve such a moniker. The people protesting and drowning out speakers at universities—those censors and ideological puritans getting upset over jokes, twitter comments, and banalities such as halloween costumes or dreadlocks, using race, class or gender as a unit of measure, getting outraged over what amounts to their own thoughts whenever they clash with reality, calling for more government intervention, more government regulation, more laws, more programs, more taxes, more state etc. etc. etc.—are not “liberals”. They are, in fact, illiberal.

Of course much has been written about the redefinition of liberalism in the United States, for instance in Hayek or Schlesinger or Dewey. Still when speaking of liberalism today we always have to remind ourselves about how the word 'liberal' no longer means liberal, but means different things in different countries, refers to different principles on one hand and different principles in the other, is libertarianism abroad but progressivism or welfarism or statism in America, has its classical and modern sense, and so on. Perhaps worse, it has become a pejorative in the mouths of the American right, while the American left do their best to discredit its good name. The word is essentially meaningless in these contexts. To the extent it has little to do with liberty or anything “befitting a free man”, it is therefor no longer liberal, but some unprincipled mishmash, some middle way between nonsense and egomania and tribalism.

The word “liberalism” is pretty straight forward if and when it is used accurately, that is, when it describes a belief in freedom. The latin root of both ‘liberty’ and ‘liberal’ is liber, free. The word ‘liberal’ appended with the suffix ‘ism’ is simply the belief in freedom. Before the statists expropriated the word ‘liberalism’ until it was unrecognizable, until it meant “liberal with other people’s money”, this is what it had always meant.

It is a travesty when liberals no longer represent the party of liberty. That’s why Liberals should stand up and rescue what has been stolen from them: their namesake, their very ideology, from the swamp of disrepute it has hitherto been dragged through. Without that—without liberalism—there is no better ideal we might progress towards, nor conserve once we get there.

- LesMis


edit on 11-12-2017 by LesMisanthrope because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 05:45 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Sounds wonderful and really, it's very well written, there's just one thing.

The meaning of Liberal, much like Socialist or Conspiracy Theorist, has been so watered down by the media in general that any attempt to re-establish it's credibility will be fruitless.




edit on 11-12-2017 by Thorneblood because: (no reason given)


+7 more 
posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 05:45 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I think the clasic liberal you speak of are the libertarians of today. Ron Paul would be a good example.

Liberty being the root of libertarian.

I don't think liberal will ever mean what it used to again.



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 05:48 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

Thank you for so eloquently defining what true liberalism is!!

Perspectives like yours is how we can bring everyone back to the table and find our common ground and save humanity in its darkest hour.

I feel like every ATS member should read this!

S&F



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 05:49 PM
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I think you're on to something. We need to define what a liberal and a conservative is. What are ten things you stand for if your conservative or a liberal. What is important?

Not stereotypical. like all Liberals want to take all guns away, raise taxes, protect the environment, offer free college and all conservatives want to shrink government, lower taxes, allow guns to everyone, increase military spending and put the ten commandments in every court house and ban abortion.

Is that all we're about anymore? That's why I'm an independent. It allows you to want to protect the environment and own a gun and want lower taxes...all at the same time, while allowing gay marriage and wanting term limits on congressmen. LOL



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 05:53 PM
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Hear hear, although "belief in freedom" is such a nebulous concept that it becomes a bit meaningless. I doubt one person can advocate for all sorts of freedom without contradicting herself. If statism is the antithesis then maybe the only true liberals are anarchists, who want freedom any kind of government. And if not, then everyone will just have to keep bitching and arguing about the right amount of state.



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 05:58 PM
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a reply to: amazing

I think you're confusing liberalism with the American democratic party. Same goes for conservatism and the American Republican party.

Neoliberalism is a danger to liberty and freedom, but that's mainly in the United States and Canada. Nowhere else is as bad as it is in those countries. Why? Well, it's pretty obvious, isn't? It's been hijacked by extreme radicals, who are bringing that Marxist ideology into liberalism and creating a mess.

A lot of the people need to go back to textbooks, and see what liberalism used to be, and what it stands for in it's original form.



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 06:01 PM
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If liberalism can attain it's true goal, there will be no need for such labels. We could finally just be humans.

What would we argue about then? How would power be exerted over the masses? Wouldn't it be grand?



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 06:06 PM
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a reply to: amazing

Why shoehorn people into one category or the other? Someone can be liberal when it comes to marriage laws, conservative when it comes to abortion, then liberal again about death penalty, then conservative about economy. The worst part is that the definitions can change depending on where you are, and sometimes it's not even applicable at all, if you think about it.

Being pro gay marriage I guess is unequivocally liberal. But why is it conservative to want low taxes? Why is that not liberal? If you take the word liberal literally then no taxes would give you most freedom (actually, in practice, it might not, but that's not my point here). And why is it liberal to be against death penalty? (EDIT: Well I guess this one kind of makes sense too)

I mean, there's no definitive definition to liberal or conservative, seems to me.o reason given)

edit on 11-12-2017 by Cutepants because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 06:06 PM
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a reply to: Admitted

But, did you know that there're different types of liberalism? For example, one type of liberalism wants the government to regulate what choices people make, the other type wants for the individual to have the right to do, let's say coc aine, as much as he likes, if that's his choice. How much freedom should an individual have? Too many questions

Which liberalism do we pick? Which one is the best?
edit on 108k2017Mondaypm014 by Nikola014 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 06:27 PM
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originally posted by: FauxMulder
a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I think the clasic liberal you speak of are the libertarians of today. Ron Paul would be a good example.

Liberty being the root of libertarian.

I don't think liberal will ever mean what it used to again.


It sounds too forced, unnatural, and ugly. I do not like the words "libertarian or "libertarianism". I think stealing the word 'liberal' back from the 'illiberals' is necessary, because not only does it describe better the party of liberty, but will help clarify who the party of restraint is.



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 06:30 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

I'm fairly sure I had a conversation about something similar with you around a year ago.

I held the view that as a left-leaning and liberally-minded person, neo liberalism does not represent me.

But some people think that left is libtard and libtards are the same worldwide, all wanting some weird communist revival.

So I agree with what you've wrote, I've always thought along these lines. Idiots, extremists and disingenuous people obviously exist in all angles of the political spectrum. None of them have ever spoke for me, whether that be at home or abroad.

You're not going to get a Liberal revival whilst pushing the 2 party system, on that end you're very guilty of strengthening the divide.



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: LesMisanthrope

It's too late. The word is tainted, soiled, and has become distorted and lost in the miasma of rhetoric.

We need a new word....one that won't make us sick...one that won't hurt our head....one that won't make our mouths too dry or eyes too red.



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 06:37 PM
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a reply to: amazing




I think you're on to something. We need to define what a liberal and a conservative is. What are ten things you stand for if your conservative or a liberal. What is important?

Not stereotypical. like all Liberals want to take all guns away, raise taxes, protect the environment, offer free college and all conservatives want to shrink government, lower taxes, allow guns to everyone, increase military spending and put the ten commandments in every court house and ban abortion.

Is that all we're about anymore? That's why I'm an independent. It allows you to want to protect the environment and own a gun and want lower taxes...all at the same time, while allowing gay marriage and wanting term limits on congressmen. LOL


Throughout the rest of the world and history, "liberal" and "liberalism" have different meanings. Things such as freedom of speech, separation of church and state, free markets, free inquiry, individualism, and so on, are markedly liberal ideals.



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 06:39 PM
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a reply to: RAY1990




You're not going to get a Liberal revival whilst pushing the 2 party system, on that end you're very guilty of strengthening the divide.


I live in a country with a multi-party system. My principles are liberal. The divide is in your head.



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 06:40 PM
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a reply to: Nikola014

I was using the literal definition of liberalism as belief in freedom. There are no degrees of freedom in the word itself. These various definitions are born of our political and spiritual divides.

If I'm forced into a "type" of liberalism - it's no longer liberalism, it's something else.



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 06:40 PM
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a reply to: queenofswords




It's too late. The word is tainted, soiled, and has become distorted and lost in the miasma of rhetoric.

We need a new word....one that won't make us sick...one that won't hurt our head....one that won't make our mouths too dry or eyes too red.


Like I said: conservatives tend to get pulled in the direction of the progressive's choosing. That would be par for the course if you never took it back.
edit on 11-12-2017 by LesMisanthrope because: punctuation.



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 07:21 PM
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originally posted by: Nikola014
a reply to: amazing

I think you're confusing liberalism with the American democratic party. Same goes for conservatism and the American Republican party.

Neoliberalism is a danger to liberty and freedom, but that's mainly in the United States and Canada. Nowhere else is as bad as it is in those countries. Why? Well, it's pretty obvious, isn't? It's been hijacked by extreme radicals, who are bringing that Marxist ideology into liberalism and creating a mess.

A lot of the people need to go back to textbooks, and see what liberalism used to be, and what it stands for in it's original form.


Well, there are certainly some extreme views who have taken to sides, and I do think uncaring government only exacerbates extreme viewpoints.
On top of that there are the wealthly white supremicists hedonistic activists who have carefully cultivated Neo Nazi types, Skinheads, elements in certain sports, many of them very violent, over many decades, in pursuit of a white man's domain, and I go on to say it's not limited to the Americas either, it is there in Europe..a tad more subtle, but not by much in some places, while the Liberal aspect..which does have extremists in the US, is more benign in Europe and is not driven by a quest for power..that being the difference in European Liberal ideas, and what takes place in the US...which is all about power, both Liberal extreme and and right wing extreme.
Everyone needs to talk to each other, instead of being stick-in-the-muds, and search out the peacemakers, those who want a community for all, with proper justice, not just gun law.
It takes a long time for people to realise that 'power' is the pits, while it is also good to realise that there are many who will only want power, and to hell with everybody else.
Those who do, can be isolated by overwhelming good will....that will take while, and it won't be tomorrow either.



posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 07:24 PM
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Plot Twist: I am actually a Liberal.

But it's far too difficult for me to relate to the so-called "liberals" of today on any kind of level other than the fact that we are both human beings. The more I see liberals in action, the stronger my resolve is to NOT become whatever they are. The incessant smugness and holier-than-thou attitude, which more often than not is just a reflection of their own lack of self awareness, accompanied by their inability to see beyond their emotions, which is usually just a projection of their own insecurities -- can get pretty overwhelming to deal with sometimes..

That's why I don't take things too seriously anymore and just try to have a bit of fun along the way.




posted on Dec, 11 2017 @ 07:24 PM
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The word “liberalism” is pretty straight forward if and when it is used accurately, that is, when it describes a belief in freedom.


And this means if your :

Pushing Gun control.

Pushing forcing people to accept there are more than two natural sexes.

Pushing banks should be regulated out of existence.

Pushing the rich have too much. They didn't earn it.

And the long list of other made up political issues.

Your not liberal.

Your the antithesis of what the word means.
edit on 11-12-2017 by neo96 because: (no reason given)



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