Sunday 7 July 2013

Liberalism, why we are not Liberals

Liberalism, why we are not Liberals

Conservatives are not Liberals although you will find many Liberals who call themselves Conservatives. What they really mean, even if they do not know it, is that they are more conservative than other Liberals. As a definition it is not very good, Liberalism has ideals and it is whether you believe in those ideals that define whether you are a Liberal or not. Not whether you are slightly less Liberal than the fellow sitting next to you.

So what are Liberalisms ideals? Well first I must point out that modern Liberalism is divided into two broad camps. Right or Economic Liberalism and Left or Social Liberalism, what divides them can make them seem as if they have nothing in common, but this an illusion. What divides them is that Liberalism is both a political and an economic idea. They share much in common, but not everything. They disagree on the importance of business and how much control the Government should have over the economy. They disagree on how much speech should be allowed (normally termed political correctness) and they disagree on other issues which seem much larger in speeches than they are in reality.

What they agree about is the idea that Human nature is primarily good and rational, therefore they support a world without consequences (light sentencing, an end to corporal and capital punishment, abortion on demand, no fault divorce) because consequences are not needed in their opinion. They believe in equality and tolerance, that two random people are equal and that nearly any behaviour should be tolerated as long as it doesn’t offend Liberalism. They believe that the individual is the basis upon which society is built and that the individual must have as much freedom as possible. Freedom from their family, from their religion, from their Government, in fact freedom from any commitment. Only the commitments they themselves make mean anything. They believe in a world without borders, no tariffs, free-trade, no population barriers, no national ties. They have moved from the modern to the post-modern and while they might make unprincipled exceptions, that doesn’t change what they believe.

Nearly every political party in the Western world is a party of Liberalism. We hear that such and such is a conservative party. All that means is they are more conservative than the other parties, it does not in any way make them conservative.

So what do Conservatives have a problem with here? 

Conservatives do not believe that Human nature is primarily good, we believe in people being a mixture of good and evil. That we are capable of both great good and great evil as we are complex creatures. Therefore we believe strongly in a world of consequences, even if we do not all agree on exactly how much consequences every action should have. We know that two random people will rarely if ever be equal, that they will have different temperaments and abilities, that equality is a fine thing in a court of law but in the rest of life it is chimera, an unreal or fanciful idea. Just as tolerance is not absolute because we all have limits to how much we can tolerate. We do not believe that the individual is the basis upon which society is built but that the family is the basic building block of society. We are not born alone but from a Mother and a Father, we are born into a family. We further believe that while freedom is good it is not the only social good, it is not even the only individual good. Commitment is very important to Conservatives, to family, to marriage, to our Nation, to our religious beliefs. Without commitment we are adrift without any hope of landfall. We believe in ideals but we also accept that if something is practical it can out way an ideal, so if tariffs or free trade are good we may support them, but if they are not we might not support them.We  have no commitment to either because the practical is what we regard as important. Lastly but very importantly, we do not believe in open borders or in the International being more important than the National, we are patriots and we believe in our Nation and our people and that other Conservatives in other Nations should do the same.

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