On Liberalism: Third article in a series
ShrinkWrapped asks, Who are they?, where he explores the meaning of liberalism.
Contemporary liberalism fails to recognize that people like Fausta and myself, and all the other neo-cons, haven’t particularly changed our politics. We still believe in equality of opportunity (which is why so many now support charter schools against the perpetuation of creaky, bureaucratic school systems which fail to educate so many children); we still believe in free speech (which is why so many now oppose ill-defined “hate speech” legislation and campus speech codes); we still oppose racism and anti-Semitism (which is why so many oppose the intolerance of so many spokespeople for the left and for so-called mainstream Islam); we still support freedom of choice but have questions and doubts about the absolutist mentality of the pro-abortion on demand groups; and perhaps in our greatest break with modern liberalism, we believe that Islamic fascism represents a genuine existential threat to our way of life and our freedoms.
ShrinkWrapped’s post is insightful and well thought out, making it a must-read. Don’t miss the comments section: Commenter One Cosmos points out,
The classical liberalism of the founding fathers, of Tocqueville, and of philosophers such as Adam Smith and Edmund Burke was rooted in the promise of the individual citizen. It is rooted in his capacity for self-government, and his ability to realize his destiny by making his own way through a free society. It recognizes that a culture of individualism, institutions of limited government, free market economies, and the rule of law have been responsible for unleashing human creativity, producing unimaginable wealth and lifting more people out of poverty than any other historical factors. It treats people as adults rather than children, and therefore holds out much higher expections of adult and civilized behavior.
. . .
Classical liberalism recognizes that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, and that we are made in the image of the divine. Therefore, our rights PRECEDE government, and the purpose of those rights is to make the divine blueprint we are born with–the “image”–more of a “likeness” of God. Leftism is wholly secular, and believes what I just said is not only nonsense, but an “opiate for the masses,” made up by humans to fool the proletariat.
American Liberalism is what has built the most affluent, well-educated, and prosperous society in the world. I will continue to explore this subject throughout the year.
Related posts at F’sB
January 6: The Liberal Concept
January 2: I used to be a liberal. Mary at Exit Zero posted on Mahablog‘s reaction to my January 2 post, with Good for the goose, not for the gander and More on “Good for the goose, not for the gander” ….