It’s Time To Reclaim Classic Liberalism From The Hard Left

liberalism

You see the most interesting things on Twitter. While I was busy the other night mining the Internet for post-feminist/transqueer/anti-settler tweets  to RT out of context (yes, I found several that met all three criteria), I came across this little nugget of actual wisdom from a random person I do not know and have never even heard of:

That’s not an acknowledgment you see every day. It opens up an interesting line of thought. What does it mean when “liberals” no longer identify with the label? Perhaps it’s an opportunity for conservatives to reclaim it.

Digging into this person’s other writings, I realized very quickly that I would agree with almost nothing else that she wrote. She is apparently one of those internet atheists, the sort who actually campaign against religion instead of blithely ignoring it like a decent, polite heathen. Anyone who campaigns to end “Hereditary Religion” isn’t a person I’ll find much common ground with, ever, at all.

Yet it’s possible that it was her regrettable taste for anti-religion that led her to this interesting political observation. Atheists possess, if nothing else, a supreme talent for questioning the orthodox assumptions of society (and then sharing their opinions in YouTube comments).

Modern liberalism is, as many on the right have observed, increasingly illiberal and more rigidly dogmatic than even the most fevered popular conception of medieval Catholicism. Liberals even have their own self-appointed Inquisitors, who prowl about the Internet seeking the ruin of careers for the slightest impolitic comment.

It’s depressingly easy to run afoul of the High Inquisitors of the Left. In many cases, an insufficient zeal on the part of the offender for their pet issue is enough for them to launch a hostile social media “campaign” from their parent’s basement.

Not convinced climate change is appreciably impacted by man? Heretic.

Question whether government spending on schools correlates with success? Reprobate.

Think boys and girls are, biologically or otherwise, different and distinct? Blasphemer.

Fail to show adequate sympathy and uncritical acceptance of a victim group? Oppressor.

Insufficiently account for all the various permutations of queer when discussing social policy? Malefactor.

Believe America is a better country than most? Sinner.

Better than all? Colonizer.

The scoldings are severe, and sustained. While most are ultimately inconsequential, every so often you’ll see a celebrity or other public figure cowed into submission by the thought police. Liberals seem very keen on freedom of speech, including offensive speech, until that speech offends them. Then they bring terrible social or legal pressure to bear upon the hapless stooge who failed to demonstrate properly formed revolutionary ideals, or who dared to question the arbiters of socio-scientific wisdom. It may be funny when they turn on each other, but we shouldn’t forget their favorite snack is a conservative.

Witness the ongoing trial of Mark Steyn for skewering Michael “The Hockey Stick” Mann, noted climate change boob. The intent of any such action (beyond obtaining money) is to get those who are willing and able to oppose the leftist program to shut up, and by their example discourage further insubordination. Hardly seems right for a free society, does it?

The truth of the matter is that “liberalism” in this country has been infected and hollowed out by leftist rot.

To be a “liberal” used to mean being a classical liberal who, broadly speaking, believed that freedom for the individual is best achieved by limiting the power of government. Contrast that with modern leftist-liberalism, which has a boundless conception of the State’s duty to (and therefore, power over) the people. While political division has always existed in this country, the gulf between classical liberals and the Statists on the left has never been broader and never felt more toxic.

This relentless leftist mania (with its rabbit holes of gender, victim hierarchies, and contempt for social norms) would, if left unchecked, overwhelm and paralyze the sensible, rational (though still quite obviously wrong!) elements in the Democratic Party. We are currently at the mercy of one of the most leftward Democratic administrations in history, yet you can still find leftists who are bitterly disappointed in their compromises with reality.

Interestingly, one doesn’t hear many stories of hard leftists declaring they will stay home rather than vote for an imperfect candidate – as some of our friends on the right have done. The Democrats seem to have their zealots under control, for now. Or perhaps the leftists correctly intuited that they would have more impact within a party structure than outside of it.

Where does liberalism stand, these days? It’s tempting to look at the corrupted ruin of the left and say that liberalism is dead, but that’s not at all correct. We are all of us liberals, in the United States. That is our inherited system of governance. Liberalism, properly understood, still exists on the right. It still exists somewhere in the Democratic Party. We should reclaim “liberalism” from the hard left, and contrast it with their deceitful anti-freedom agenda.

It’s important to note that beyond the United States, there are few other bastions of liberal democratic governance in the world. Freedom isn’t magically self-sustaining. It can be snuffed out under the weight of Leviathan.

Forestalling that is our responsibility.

Neal Dewing

Neal is a Senior Editor at Pocket Full of Liberty. His writing can also be found at The Federalist. He lives and works in Portsmouth, Virginia.

10 Comments

  1. Pablo said:

    There is nothing liberal whatsoever about these “liberals.” They’re progressives and their hijacking of the term liberal is just another example of their century-plus of reality distortion. The only liberties they give a damn about are sodomy and abortion. In every other facet of life, you can damn well toe the line, or else.

  2. Geraldine Ferraro said:

    That’s why I always use the proper noun, Liberal, to describe leftists instead of the lower-case el liberal, as there is absolutely nothing liberal about Liberals. Liberals (big el) are what we would once have called fascists, or authoritarians. Conservatives ARE classical liberals and I love reminding the left about that.

  3. NativeNH said:

    Interesting read. Note to self check this blog more often. I linked through from AOSHQ. Well done Neal

  4. Neal said:

    Thanks for reading! I think it’s also interesting to see how the left is turning on liberals right now, with this #CancelColbert business. It’s madness.

  5. jobardu said:

    Neal Dewing is absolutely correct. Modern self-designated liberals are intolerant, Racist (anti-White), anti-Christian (especially anti-Catholic), anti-Semitic. They are also Sexist: anti Male, anti Boy (they are the cause of under performance of boys academically). Among their other faults they are Anti-National: they blame America first, support Islamist genocide of Israelis and Christians, anti-military, and anti business. That is a lot of anti’s for so called liberals. But the list goes on: they are intolerant of other arguments, people who disagree with them, and equal rights for the politically incorrect. They also don’t respect the spirit of the law, demanding once sided laws and viewing the laws as recommendations they can twist whenever it suits their needs.

    In point of fact these aren’t liberals at all. If you look at behavior patterns and the context of the latest Diagnostic and Statistical manual, what one finds is that the best model for their behavior is narcissistic sociopathy. Look it up for yourself. Outwardly charming, twisting and selectively using facts, never admitting they are wrong, blaming others for their problems, never taking responsibility for their actions, making up rules as they go along, manipulative, hypocritical, two faced, disrespectful of others, apply principles selectively, etc. They haven’t been liberal in over 30 years, so they in fact are stealing the liberal identity and using it to divert attention to all the harm they inflict on others by debating theoretical liberalism instead of what they have done. They also use liberalism to beat up on others. Their mode of debate is to call anyone who disagrees names so they can slime the person and therefore not have to address their arguments. Check it out, the first response to anyone they disagree with is an ad-hominem slime attack. I’ve seen this repeated endlessly over the past decades. If you ask them to support their arguments they repeat what they just said louder.

    A better appellation for these people is “lefties”, since they are more Stalinist or Maoist than Abraham Lincoln or JFK. Their philosophy, political correctness, was coined by Chairman Mao and discredited even by the Chinese Communists. I prefer to call them SNITS for sociopathic, narcissistic, identity thieves. The next coming elections are crucial for the SNITS. They want to hang on to power and control of the media, academia and the bureaucracy (DC is around 80% leftist). They will fall on their swords to slander Republicans and exaggerate stories and make stuff up to keep power and elect Hillary since she is their meal ticket into controlling the country into the future.

    A key technique to watch for, and which I saw in New York many times, is the late October surprise. That is when lefties unleash a tsunami of slanderous abuse on the their opponents, abetted by their 90% control of the media, academia and the entertainment industries. After the election the stories either fade away or some “mistakes were made, but they deserved it anyway” excuses are served up to the victims. People who are traditionally liberal and who support the enlightenment values on which Western Civilization was formed need to step up and make themselves visible and active or there could be nothing left.

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  10. theyenguy said:

    Economics is defined as the life experience between a person and another, a corporation, and the state, that is government; either it be ethical or pathological; economics is the trust and flow that comes from sovereignty, and the model that best presents economics is the Dispensation Economics Manifest.

    An economy is defined as the life experience that comes from the administration of the credit and trade that comes from a household or stronghold. An economy exists for life and death experience, and is determined by the prevailing interest rate of the monetary regime and its monetary policies and schemes.

    All be economists, as the field of economics is not restricted to NYT pundit Paul Krugman, or to ivory tower academicians, such as Oxford’s Simon Wren-Lewis, or Free Market proponet Robert P. Murphy.

    Liberalism means freedom from the state.

    There has been a paradigm shift. Casino Capitalism, also known as money manger capitalism, is over, through, finished and done; the banker regime of democratic nation states is being replaced with the beast regime of regional governance and totalitarian collectivism, seen in Revelation 13:1-4, as on October 23, 2013, Jesus Christ opened the first seal of the scroll of end time events, seen in Revelation 6:1-2, releasing the Rider on the White Horse, who has the Bow of Economic Sovereignty, to effect global coup d’etat, to replace fiat money with diktat money, as the bond vigilantes began calling the Interest Rate on the US Ten Year Note, ^TNX, from 2.48%, and thus pivoted the world from the paradigm of liberalism, meaning freedom from the state, into that of authoritarianism. Diktat money is defined as the mandates of regional fascist leaders ,which establish debt servitude for the purpose of regional security, stability and sustainability.

    Liberalism featured the sovereignty of democratic nation states which provided policies of investment choice and schemes of credit, producing seigniorage in equity investments and credit investments. But now with the failure of credit, seen in China, Russia, and the US Small Caps trading lower, and commodities trading lower being the tipping point, authoritarianism is the new normal, and features the sovereignty of regional governance which provides policies of diktat and schemes of debt servitude in regional fascism, where the debt serf is the centerpiece of economic activity, as the investor is going extinct.

    The age of credit no more. With the failure of credit, seen in China, YAO, ECNS, CHIX, Russia, RSX, ERUS, Emerging Europe, ESR, the US Small Caps, IWM, IWC, Credit Providers, MA, V, DFS, AXP, and Commodities, DBC, trading lower, authoritarianism is the new paradigm, which features the age of debt servitude.

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