Sunday, 15 August 2021

"But It Wasn't Real Liberalism!'

 If your as old as me you remember the end of the Cold War and you remember how it seemed that everyone agreed that Communism had been tried and found wanting. A phrase thrown around at the time was that 'it had been consigned to the dustbin of history'. 

Then in the 1990's you might remember a new phrase started appearing about the demise of the Soviet Union and it's satellites. That what had happened there 'wasn't real Communism!' or even better 'real Communism has never been tried before!'. It was always presented as a definitive statement, the only reasonable, instead of the most insane, idea.

When Democracy fails the exact same thing will happen. 'But it wasn't real Democracy'. I have in fact already heard this about Ancient Athens because women, foreigners and slaves couldn't vote! 

You can hear the same thing said about South Africa before the end of Apartheid. 

When Capitalism fails we will also hear, ' but it wasn't real Capitalism!'. 

And When Liberalism fails we will hear it once again, we will even hear, ' but real Liberalism has never been tried before'.

The reason that these things can be said is because there is a grain of truth in these statement. All philosophies, including political ones, have general meanings, but once you begin to study them you find that there are many points of disagreement, even contradiction. That doesn't mean that the philosophy doesn't exist, it merely means that life is more complex then it is often portrayed. 

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