Liberals have far more in common with Conservatives than they realize, it is time to welcome them to the freedom side of the political spectrum.
The classic liberal used to be the man who believed the individual was, and should be forever, the master of his destiny. That is now the conservative position. The liberal used to believe in freedom under law. He now takes the ancient feudal position that power is everything. He believes in a stronger and stronger central government, in the philosophy that control is better than freedom. The conservative now quotes Thomas Paine, a long-time refuge of the liberals: “Government is a necessary evil; let us have as little of it as possible.” Ronald Reagan
YouTube has a very curious series of videos that feature people who are leaving the Left. It should be noted that the nations’ left has always been deceptive in the false front it portrays to the general public. Most political movements have internal squabbles over policy and priorities and the political Right is no exception. For example, we don’t all agree on distinguishing Leftists or ‘progressives’ from Liberals… ahem.
The Left is splintering
But the Left is quite different in this respect. While it endeavours to display an external appearance of unity it’s many factions are at odds with each other. Dennis Prager has made the point a number of times, and unfortunately has yet to produce a ‘PragerU’ video on the subject…. Hint..Hint..
Many recent articles have highlighted the fact of the nation’s Left is fracturing and splitting apart:
On a basic level the difference between Right and Left is one of an Individual versus collectivist philosophy. Granting that human nature is a very complicated subject and there are exceptions and contradictions to this rule, this does work as a ‘Litmus test’ in distinguishing both sides of the political spectrum. It also helps explain why those who consider themselves to be Liberal throw their lot in with the Left.
It is high time that those who like to think of themselves as Liberal realize the stark differences between them and those who have the collectivist philosophy of the Left. Definitionally speaking, these two types of people are quite different from each other [Don’t even get me started on the virtually meaningless term ‘Progressive’].
The Oxford English dictionary defines the term Left in part as follows:
left periodicals such as Marxism Today(often the Left) [treated as singular or plural] A group or party favouring radical, reforming, or socialist views.
Origin Old English lyft, left ‘weak’ (the left-hand side being regarded as the weaker side of the body), of West Germanic origin.[Our emphasis]
The definition does mention the terms ‘radical’ and ‘reforming’ but these fail to refer to any political philosophy and refer back to other words, etc. Thus it should be clear that the Left is synonymous with Socialism and the reason for the use of the term Socialist-Left. One could say that is repetitive and redundant, but it is a good reminder of the Left’s base ideology.
The Left’s dirty secret
It should also be clear that the dirty little secret of the Socialist-Left is that their collectivist philosophy requires coercion in order to function. One cannot take “From each according to his abilities” without the threat of force against those with better abilities. This is hardly amenable to those who value individual rights and freedoms, in other words – Liberals.
The Oxford English dictionary defines the term Liberal in part as follows:
Favourable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms
(In a political context) favouring individual liberty, free trade, and moderate political and social reform:
person of liberal views
Middle English: via Old French from Latin liberalis, from liber ‘free (man)’. The original sense was ‘suitable for a free man’, hence ‘suitable for a gentleman’ (one not tied to a trade), surviving in liberal arts. Another early sense ‘generous’ (compare with sense 4 of the adjective) gave rise to an obsolete meaning ‘free from restraint’, leading to sense 1 of the adjective (late 18th century).
“Favourable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms”
“favouring individual liberty, free trade”
Doesn’t part of that sound very much like the definition of a Conservative? Yes, there are other parts that could be at odds with Conservatives e.g.“moderate political and social reform” which could mean just about anything. But consider the commonalities before dismissing those who could be potential allies.
Why do Leftists and Liberals coexist?
So what explains the grouping of Leftists and Liberals together given their stark definitional divide?
This could at least be partially explained by cultural and educational indoctrination that most children and young adults are inundated with on a daily basis. It could also be explained by collectivist thinking that obscures the underlying the application of force required for it’s implementation.
On a very superficial level it’s easy to go along with Leftist attempts at making everyone ‘equal’ while being generous with other people’s money. The Socialist-Left’s visions of Utopia are very seductive with everyone being ‘equal’, living ‘Harmony’ with free healthcare, housing and other wonders all paid for by someone else.
As previously stated, the distribution of all that wondrous largess comes at a high cost – that of society having to extract the hard earned property of some to buy the votes of many. The immoral requirement of stealing other people’s money is rationalized by some because it was stolen or they have too much or something.
The problem soon becomes one of disincentivised behaviour and they quickly run out of other people’s money. Consequently, the flowery promises cannot be fulfilled and the heavy hand of society has to come down hard on those who become restless with a police state. It’s at that point the powers that be have become entrenched and keep a death grip on power as the whole system falls apart. It’s at this auspicious point that Leftist will suddenly discover that it wasn’t really socialism after all.
For reference, take a look at the current situation in Venezuela with it’s people starving enough to be eating garbage and horrible developments that cannot even be mentioned.
This is why Liberals should part company from the Left. While they may agree with the Utopian BS spouted by their Leftist comrades, they should know that history has repeatedly shown this is but a fantasy that can never be realized. That soon enough events will transpire that are completely at odds with the word they use to describe themselves. They need to understand these fundamental realities and come over to the side that is far more amenable with what they believe and want for their posterity – the Right side of the political spectrum.
We may not agree 100 % on every aspect of life in a free-society, but at least they can be honest disagreements. Let the Socialists, Progressives and Leftist pursue their chimera on their own as a small political minority, the rest of us can ‘move-on’ from the false promise of socialism and live our lives with the vestiges of economic liberty.