Monday, June 11, 2007

(Part of the Reason) I am a Liberal

NO apologies either, to the hateful, never mind mindless, folk who think liberalism is a mental disease or a threat to the American Way of Life. SHIT! The core ideas concerning the philosophy of liberalism, which will follow these opening remarks, are actually among the Core Ideals upon which our Nation was founded. If you disagree with me on that, shut your damn yap, lay off the demogogery, stop calling me and other liberals traitors, but instead, take it up with T. Jefferson, J. Madison, T. Paine, and the rest of them Real and Original Patriots.

Yes, I am sick to death of self-righteous douchebags* getting on my case, either personally or by category, because I share the same ideals, and I value Liberty in the same way as the Founding Fathers!

Anyway, here is a classic definition of liberalism:

1. Liberalism as a Political Theory

Liberty‘By definition’, Maurice Cranston rightly pointed out, ‘a liberal is a man who believes in liberty’ (Cranston, 459). In two different ways, liberals accord liberty primacy as a political value. First, liberals have typically maintained that humans are naturally in ‘a State of perfect Freedom to order their Actions…as they think fit…without asking leave, or depending on the Will of any other Man’ (Locke, 1960 [1689]: 287). Mill too argued that ‘[T]he burden of proof is supposed to ith those who are against liberty; who contend for any restriction or prohibition…. The a priori assumption is in favour of freedom…’(Mill, 1991 [1859]: 472). This might be called the Fundamental Liberal Principle (Gaus, 1996: 162-166): freedom is normatively basic, and so the onus of justification is on those who would limit freedom. It follows from this that political authority and law must be justified, as they limit the liberty of citizens. Consequently, a central question of liberal political theory is whether political authority can be justified, and if so, how. It is for this reason that social contract theory, as developed by Thomas Hobbes (1948 [1651]), John Locke (1960 [1689]), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1973 [1762]) and Immanuel Kant (1965 [1797]), is usually viewed as liberal even though the actual political prescriptions of, say, Hobbes and Rousseau, have distinctly illiberal features. Insofar as they take as their starting point a state of nature in which humans are free and equal, and so argue that any limitation of this freedom and equality stands in need of justification (i.e., by the social contract), the contractual tradition expresses the Fundamental Liberal Principle.

I am not going to go long on analysis here, but to say that it was LIBERALS who fought and won the American Revolutionary War (with help from the French.) So if you are a liberal leaning person, and you have to deal with one of those douchebags -- the really grotesque ones who insist that liberals are dangers to security, or traitors, or unamerican, remind them of that fact. Then, just shut up and let them spew. And fume. And overreact. And go psycho. Remember; you can not change their minds. Regarding some of these people? If you took away their hate, and their demogogery, and their bigotry, and their ignorant mindless soundbites and slogans? They (likely) would have nothing at all to say but for:

(a) I'm hungy, and

(b) I messed myself.

Yes, that was a none too subtle way of saying that so many of the truly offensive liberal haters, the Cranks, those who behave like tiresome blustering blowhards, are acting like big babies!

Ok. I have got all that off my chest. Right. As if it is going to make any difference?

Screw it. I am going on vacation.

* Re my use of the word douchebag? My discussion of that went long, so I will save it for another day.


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