They are Liberal — Not!
Progressives love to consider themselves to be Liberals. But in their favored policies, they call for more and more government regulation and restrictions on freedom. True liberalism calls for minimizing the state and maximizing individual freedom.
They are Liberal — Not!
A quick sample of recent news headlines suffices to prove my point. Names have been changed to protect the not so innocent.
The Liberals plan to push their agenda on gun control, with suggestions ranging from registration to confiscation. The Liberal agenda as outlined by the President will include more funds to support “Green Energy” and other selected firms. Liberals are protesting the University for allowing the conservative Mr. X to speak on the campus last week. The Liberals of the ABC Group have strongly condemned the lack of a Diversity policy in the hiring process for the XYZ Corporation. Liberals made plain in a speech directed at the University President that Affirmative Action is a Liberal value and must be protected. Liberals are protesting the austerity measures of Congressman D’s proposals to cut spending. The Liberal Caucus protested that millionaires and billionaires were not paying their fair share in taxes. The Liberals surrounded the site and protested as the property owner attempted to begin building. The Liberal group sat in on the grounds of the business owner’s home and refused to leave. The Liberal Group declares birth control and abortion is more than a right. It goes beyond that, they insist, and should be paid for by taxpayers. The Liberals insisted more federal funds needed to be allocated for education, green energy, housing and health care. Liberals argued an expansion of the food stamp program is necessary, along with cell phones. Liberals said the minimum wage must be raised. Liberals want an expansion of Health Care to include single payer. The Liberal Web site condemned the philosophy of libertarianism as racist and akin to Hitler for its emphasis on individualism.
Examples such as this could fill several pages but an objective person can easily see a pattern in all the actual positions so-called “liberal” people and groups have taken. They have one common quality: they are decidedly Un-Liberal. Most liberals would disagree with this statement, but their concept of liberal is that definition slid into the American lexicon by stealth many years ago. It is time those people who are truly liberal protest!
Stealing from some people to pay for other people’s desires and even their needs, is simple theft. Taking away people’s right to self-defense is tyranny. Subsidizing one business over another is a statist, corporatist or more accurately, a Fascist hallmark. Forcing business to hire people based on their race or ethnicity is simply another form of statist control over private ownership. Using the State to dictate to others one group’s agenda is simply using force against others, no matter their stated good intentions.
So called liberals usually can be found advocating spending larger and larger amounts of tax monies on social programs that destroy initiative, self-responsibility, accountability and families. The problem is not just that the money is ill spent; rather it is the use of the State to extract the money from others.
Liberals claim they want equality. The illiberal fallacy is that equality of life cannot be guaranteed by any government. Only equality before the law is the purview of government, though no government through the ages has a passable track record even on this. Equality of income is an illusion promised but never able to be achieved by redistribution.
Redistribution is a most illiberal notion based on ignoring and violating self-ownership. It was the recognition of the slave’s right to self-ownership and thus logically the ownership of his own labor that the wisest of the abolitionists grasped. Few Neo-liberals (or pseudo liberals) exhibit any understanding that earnings are the most fundamental of human liberties; the earnings from one’s labor of the mind and body. As an aside, horrific injustices by the State, a liberal issue if ever there was one, is an issue neither major political party has addressed.
But no matter. They continue to be called “Liberal” as a badge of honor by some who think of themselves as “liberal” or “Progressive (more akin to Luddites). But worse, Republicans and Conservatives use the term “liberal” as a pejorative. I must give the libertarians and Austrians a kudo here as they usually refrain from the use of the word, since they understand its root and still claim its original meaning. To be liberal meant a lover of liberty; a person who stood for the individual against the tyranny of the State. Libertarians make an effort to use terms such as collectivist, statist, communitarian or one of the other “isms” that are more accurate when talking about these people and their illiberal ideas.
Let us take a quick look at a generally agreed upon definition and history of the idea of what a “Liberal” stands for from Wikipedia.
Liberalism (from the Latin liberalis) is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas such as free and fair elections, civil rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free trade, and private property.
Liberalism first became a distinct political movement during the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among philosophers and economists in the Western world. Liberalism rejected the notions, common at the time, of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings. The early liberal thinker John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition. Locke argued that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property and according to the social contract governments must not violate these rights. Liberals opposed traditional conservatism and sought to replace absolutism in government with democracy and the rule of law.
The revolutionaries in the American Revolution, the French Revolution and other liberal revolutions from that time used liberal philosophy to justify the armed overthrow of what they saw as tyrannical rule.
It is painfully obvious that most modern day liberals do not exemplify this common idea of the principles of liberalism. Now they insist upon an all-powerful State with control over every miniscule aspect of each individual’s life, choices and property. It is obviously the opposite of what a Liberal really is or should be. Many who agree the term has been misused nevertheless think changing the usage of this term is a hopeless cause. Perhaps. Yet certainly, in the interest of accuracy of terms and highlighting the obvious intent of their dictats, what if we refused to allow them the right to slide by on such an insidious misuse of the term liberal. True lovers of liberty, call their bluff!