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April 06, 2012, 06:15:41 AM
It's so hard to define because it's a mentality and not really a clear idea.

The crazed need for equality and false humility.

The "exception disproves the rule" insanity.

The desire for centralized control to defend the defective.

The weird thought that if all of us join hands and rush at the enemy, the problems will solve themselves.

I had a friend who was always talking about "sexism." If there was male-only language in a paragraph he would edit it out. Eventually I found myself withdrawing. I don't like acting like a conquered person whose goal is to be pleasing to everyone else at the expense of himself. I dont like egotists either or selfish people, but there is a middle ground. Liberalism is like tattooing "free blow jobs if you make less money than me" on your forehead and chaining yourself to a light pole.

Re: Liberalism
April 06, 2012, 07:49:11 AM

According to liberal autonomy theory, a fully human life is one that is self-determined. What matters therefore is that individuals have a life and a self which are variously described as self-created, self-defined, self-authored, self-chosen or self-directed.


Let’s say that you are a liberal who believes in this. What then becomes your political aim?

Your aim will be to remove impediments to individual autonomy. Whatever defines us in important ways that we do not choose for ourselves will be thought of negatively as something limiting and oppressive that we must be liberated from.

Everything else follows so neatly from this I don't think its so hard to define at all.

Re: Liberalism
April 06, 2012, 11:31:25 AM
You're young in the process. Most never complete it. Liberalism as a boogyman funnels you into "conservatism" which just reinforces liberalism.

The system is corrupt, not a specific element of it. It is not Nihilist to pick out an area of the system you don't like and just find somewhere else to fit in.

Look at the big picture.

Re: Liberalism
April 06, 2012, 12:18:48 PM
I'm not a nihilist, but you use the term almost like "kosher". I'm not referring to liberalism as a political system, that only follows. Nor am I a conservative in any political sense. You say look at the big picture, but what big picture are you referring to? What is being missed? Is it not possible for liberalism to actually be pernicious?

Re: Liberalism
April 06, 2012, 12:21:39 PM
I'm not a nihilist, but you use the term almost like "kosher". I'm not referring to liberalism as a political system, that only follows. Nor am I a conservative in any political sense. You say look at the big picture, but what big picture are you referring to? What is being missed? Is it not possible for liberalism to actually be pernicious?

I was speaking to the OP.

Liberalism is bunk. Conservatism is bunk.

Re: Liberalism
April 06, 2012, 01:09:14 PM
liberalism = experience above everything.

Re: Liberalism
April 06, 2012, 04:19:14 PM
According to liberal autonomy theory, a fully human life is one that is self-determined.

Liberal autonomy theory is pure fantasy. Liberalism is totally false. Our 'choices' are highly complex evolutionary adaptations utilized by our succession of distant ancestors and fitted into similar contexts of the present.

Re: Liberalism
April 06, 2012, 05:46:03 PM
Liberalism = self before world, which requires a manic egalitarianism, which then requires an absolutism/universalism. It is adopted for utilitarian reasons however.

Most conservatives are mostly liberal.

Re: Liberalism
April 06, 2012, 06:37:45 PM
Liberalism as a political philosophy is, as the earlier poster stated, the idea that the self preceedes human society. The whole basis of social contract theory which is the underpinning of ALL big liberal philosophies in the last 400 years is that autonomous, self-contained individuals with preferences and goals already intact come and 'agree' on what society they would like. Because they apparently have all their goals in some 'state of nature' preceeding socialisation, they simply agree for a state which does fuck all (in terms of promoting the good) apart from making sure no one steps on another's toes. Liberty becomes defined negatively in terms exclusively of 'lack of contraint' and positive conceptions of liberty, or 'the ability to REALISE certain goods' (which may require impediments of some 'freedoms' (like the freedom to go through red lights, pollute or listen to electro-pop) is seen as fascist.

If you're into political philosophy, communitiarianism is the only one that exists in acedemia that is worthwhile.

If you're more inclined to science, Jonathan Haidt has recently done good psychological research on the evolutionary basis of liberalism and conservativism. Liberals are motivated by sensitivity to 'suffering' and 'justice' (equality) while conservatives have been found to be sensitive to 'purity' and 'heirarchy'. No shit, check it out.

With that, it's off to buy sweet things to give to my friends and family to celebrate the resurrection of some guy called Jesus.

Re: Liberalism is a death sentence
July 15, 2012, 07:11:22 PM
IN 1998, John Shelby Spong, then the reliably controversial Episcopal bishop of Newark, published a book entitled “Why Christianity Must Change or Die.” Spong was a uniquely radical figure — during his career, he dismissed almost every element of traditional Christian faith as so much superstition — but most recent leaders of the Episcopal Church have shared his premise. Thus their church has spent the last several decades changing and then changing some more, from a sedate pillar of the WASP establishment into one of the most self-consciously progressive Christian bodies in the United States.


Yet instead of attracting a younger, more open-minded demographic with these changes, the Episcopal Church’s dying has proceeded apace. Last week, while the church’s House of Bishops was approving a rite to bless same-sex unions, Episcopalian church attendance figures for 2000-10 circulated in the religion blogosphere. They showed something between a decline and a collapse: In the last decade, average Sunday attendance dropped 23 percent, and not a single Episcopal diocese in the country saw churchgoing increase.


Re: Liberalism
August 18, 2012, 04:53:10 PM
But in the Never-Never Land of Apple, Facebook, Google, Hollywood, and the wine country, millions live in an idyllic paradise. Coastal Californians can afford to worry about trivia — and so their legislators seek to outlaw foie gras, shut down irrigation projects in order to save the three-inch-long Delta smelt, and allow children to have legally recognized multiple parents.


Re: Liberalism
August 19, 2012, 02:28:55 PM
On the coast, it’s politically incorrect to talk of illegal immigration. In the interior, residents see first-hand the bankrupting effects on schools, courts, and health care when millions arrive illegally without English-language fluency or a high-school diploma — and send back billions of dollars in remittances to Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Besides the illegals sending most of their paycheck back to Mexico, the sense of community in the small rural towns of this area has been lost, as Mexican immigrants have come to dominate here over the past few decades. 

The Mexicans argue that illegal workers are necessary because no white men will do the farm labor or wash the dishes. This is, of course, absurd. 

Re: Liberalism
August 19, 2012, 04:13:34 PM
There may have been some truth to that, but no longer, at least not for several years now.


The late 90s to early 2000s dot com Clinton bubble drew a lot of manual labor away from their rightful places in society and into technical fields where many of them did not belong. Businesses reacted by grabbing foreigners to fill the vacancies. The bubble busted, then the former tech workers wanted their old labor jobs back to avoid long term unemployment. The rest is more recent history.

Re: Liberalism
August 22, 2012, 10:11:05 PM
Is strength in efficiency different from strength in form? I hope to disconnect utilitarianism from liberalism, as this site seems to hold them both in union.

Kudzu is fully adapted to reality, and as such grows plentifully and strong, but species on an island can adapt to changing and uncommon influences, thus producing unique types.

It seems our modern western world allows more insulation from reality, thus we see more divergence, most of which is garbage, some of which is beautiful, all of which is "random".

All the while the Kudzu argues endurance, and does so successfully as the tropical species grow and perish.

Will we demand efficiency and strength from ourselves (or other divergent beings), or can we view the weaker with aesthetics or hope?

In all, what is most effective seems to be the least liberal. We pretend to the former while shooting towards the latter. Reality is harsh and they cannot honestly mingle.

Perhaps it is the attitude that the weaker can have as much political voice as the stronger, and in so neutralize to a sad grey.

The question then becomes: if we can agree that those with vision can and should lead, according to what standard shall we then judge? If we allow divergence of the human experience, this form will rarely succeed without struggle. If we disallow human divergence, shall we use Traditional virtue?

What then is this traditional virtue? Certainly a neoplatonic worldview is intuitively simple for those at or above an intellectual watermark. Shall the rest be dragged along? How can we judge abuse of power, and who can levy such a claim?

I do not extend these ideas Socratically because they will have to be overcome if this sort of thinking is to flourish.

Re: Liberalism
August 23, 2012, 07:28:20 AM
Given the primacy of the Harm Principle, I can't imagine any committed liberal decoupling from the utilitarian ideal.