Sunday, 30 July 2017

How Modern Liberalism Works

Over the history of Liberalism the form which it has taken has changed, but the objective has never changed. There have been disagreement about the correct strategy or tactics that should be deployed, even over morality. Over time it has changed from what we now call Classical Liberalism into a more fractured Liberalism. But that more fractured nature has meant that each side has concentrated it's power upon a much smaller area.

Before 1900 Liberalism had many enemies to fight and once it defeated one another grew to replace it. For example it believed in personal morality not in public morality so it fought the Christian Churches over the idea and it won. But Unions and Socialism rose up to challenge it.

In the Twentieth Century it was challenged by Fascism and Communism, but the great crises of that century, the two World Wars, the Depression and the long Cold War gave it great strength and confidence. It also consolidated it's power within Government all over the Western World. And at the end of the Cold War it was unchallenged, it had beaten every contender for power.  Liberalism controlled everything.

But it's greatest victory had been over Liberalism itself, because each faction of Liberalism had become the ally of every other faction. That had never happened before, before they had been bitter enemies, jealous of each others success. So what changed?

The death of Classical Liberalism is what changed, in the 1950's the internal contradictions that had built up within Classical Liberalism finally split the movement apart. Right-Liberals rejected Socialism and became obsessed with free market economics. Left Liberalism rejected all economics and absorbed the Communist idea of Class Warfare which became Identity Politics. And in the background was Feminism, nearly as old as Classical Liberalism and now embraced by both Left and Right Liberalism. All three major factions had stepped out of each others way and all other major opposition had been defeated. Instead of fighting each other they were now mutually supporting, each looking after it's own area of interest and not interfering in the others.

Right-Liberalism started by rejecting Socialism, by finding the free market principles that had once defined Classical Liberalism. But it also rejected everything outside of economics. That made it the darling of big business and that changed how Right-Liberalism looked at things. In theory they wanted a free market laissez faire economic system, but big business doesn't want a dog eat dog world of real competition, it wants to eat not be eaten. It had a very cosy relationship with Government and they wanted that reinforced and over time Right-Liberalism came to agree. So in public it talks about it's love of the free market but in private it supports what we have come to call Crony Capitalism.

You would think that Left-Liberals would be hard against this idea, that they would attack and destroy such a system. But they have their own hypocrisy, in public they talk about how much they hate Capitalism, but behind the scenes it's a different matter. They love Crony Capitalism and the reason they love it is because it is a form of Socialism, which ironically is why big business loves it because it means that Government is their protector. Big business protects the Government and in return the Government protects big business,

Here we have a system whereby both sides of Liberalism support big business and in return big business supports Liberalism. Big business follows a Right-Liberal economic policy and a Left-Liberal social policy. That is why all of these big Capitalistic companies love homosexual marriage, refugees and the like. It also means that policies that the Left should hate like Mass Immigration they now love. The Old Left was 100% against Mass Immigration, but the New Left love it, so does Right-Liberalism, why?

Because for the Right it supports their free trade, free market ideals. For the Left it is all about Identity politics. For big business it's all about driving down wages in high wage countries. All mutually supporting and all trying to get out of each others way. So you will see far Left groups like Antifa and the like supporting Immigration and by default supporting big business while at the same time blaming them for everything. There is a wide gulf between theory and reality.

And that is why things are becoming so insane, Liberalism's only remaining enemy is reality.

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1 comment:

  1. Over time once the current problems in technological applications are sorted out I think we will see an accelerated reduction in labor across all work categories as automation and robotics reduces human input necessary. So the idea of liberalism as in the supremacy or autonomy of the individual start to break down also on economic grounds.
    What is already evident in the low participation rate reflective of displaced low skilled workers wanting to be re-engaged in the work force but deciding in frustration to opt out of the system. This trend already masks a growing underemployment. Add to these numbers a swathe of part timers wanting more work and already the real unemployment rate is much higher than the official statistics suggest and can only get worse as automation gathers momentum.
    So I think in summary we need to start debating how we will respond to these changes in the way we govern as automation and robotic applications gathers pace.
    Quite radical ideas such as paying everyone a living wage (non means tested) with additional benefits to those who are employed might not be as silly as they appeared in the past. Such ideas were rejected because it was argued they would remove incentive and were nothing more than an extension of the idea of socialism which hasn’t worked well in the past.
    But such ideas might increasingly become more feasible if we could devise a way to more equitably share the benefits as they materialize. There may be no need to regulate wages or incentives between individuals given an underlying safety net in the form of a living wage which in itself might have some inbuilt flexibility dependent upon individual inputs into community infrastructure and so forth.
    Ostensibly that would entail a change in the tax mix to rely predominantly on a tax on all services and consumption. This would have as its aim the elimination of the massively complex web of inter transfer tax receipts redistributed in tax breaks and subsidies that bedevil all developed economies systems today.
    Nothing is going to change overnight but a new way of viewing ourselves and our way of life might offer much needed food for thought. The idea of education, work and then retirement may be just one option amongst many in tomorrow’s world if we want it to be a better place.