Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Conservative and Liberal ...

... two terms that I don't use anymore. They've become meaningless. They are now used by lazy journalists to describe camps of opinion that are neither. What passes for "conservative" these days is in fact radical right wing supremacist politics, and what in a former time would have been described as "liberal" (the laissez-faire schools of capitalist thought from the 19th century, or even the Social Darwinism of thinkers like Herbert Spencer).

The only thing "liberal" about what gets described as liberal these days is a tenuous connection to a 19th century philosophy that advocated universal education as well as laissez-faire capitalism. Most of today's "liberals" would be social democrats of varying degree from center left to democratic socialist. The big distinction from their 19th century ancestors would be the strong belief in universal franchise, a belief that does not always agree with the old Herbert Spencer view of capitalism. Contrary to right wing propaganda, this camp of opinion also advocates definite limits on state power, especially over private family and domestic matters, and on the powers of the state to make war and advance imperial interests.

I will continue to stick to the basic terms "right" and "left."

2 comments:

MarkBrunson said...

I use the basic terms "right" and "wrong," but I'm an absolutist, relatively speaking.

:D

I feel, like you, that these terms are meaningless, now. Liberals tend to be anything but - a more absolutist group I've rarely seen - and conservatives conserve nothing, but seek to tear down and burn.

Ciss B said...

I agree with the guy above!! LOL! The one thing I hate though is the fact that though they tear each other down, unlike politicians in the past they do NOT know how to compromise behind closed doors - now that was government! No HOLY and always right, they seemed to really understand their limitations.