Liberalism and Liberals

Words and their meanings

Disclaimer: Apologies for the rant, I happen to be excessively tired of hearing “liberals” thrown around like it’s supposed to be an insult, when it’s actually the train of thought that led to the society we are in. The Founding Fathers were liberals, the founders of the capitalist economy were liberals, everything that has made America’s Republic what it is FEEDS OFF liberal doctrine! 

Liberalism and the word “liberal” has changed meanings over the course of history. If my reading of Francis Dupuis-Déri’s “Démocratie: Histoire Politique d’un Mot” has taught me anything, it is that words can be used to mean things in order to harness political gain. If in the times of liberal emancipation, where “The Republic” was all the talk, there certainly was pejorative use of the word “democrat”, which basically had the same value as “anarchism” does in political discourse today. If one was considered as being for “democracy” one automatically and insidiously wished the destruction of society to the benefit of a tyrannical rule by the many. Incidentally, “democracy” was absent for much of the enlightenment, as being mostly a pipe-dream, something to be sneered at with scorn.

After the arrival of America on the international playground, that word started to become a bit more inclusive. The people, after their respective revolutions, suddenly wanted what they called “democracy”. How odd, the elites thought, why would the people demand to be able to rule themselves? It is quite evident that the Republic is there for the benefit of all. After all, we are at the helm, and we know what we’re doing. Every inch of the government is protected in some way by its antithesis, now that we have institutionalized the republican system. Why, for God’s sake, would the people want anything more than what we have already given them?

The answer was of course in times before the Republic, where people would assemble in communes and discuss matters of society at the behest of the aristocrats or the monarch. Only problem is these were eventually the setting stage for revolts and thus, it was deemed illegal for the people to gather in mass. This was shortly the norm at the time of revolution, where even women would gather to discuss what they could bring to their respective revolutions.

In France, the Republicans had of course ousted women from their gatherings, but the women had gone to Church to continue having political discourse amongst themselves. Assemblies were formed but not of the people, by the elites driving forth the revolutions themselves. It was ill-news to these new elites that the masses would seek to discuss laws themselves and seek to punish those who are unlawful themselves. Sheer bloodbath and terror, if you asked the Republicans.

No, democracy was out of the question, up until, as I said, the late 19th century. Where, all of a sudden, “democrats” started pullulating in American politics. Surely, these aristocrats were standards of virtue, looking out for the little man, right? Wrong. The Democratic Party was another play on word meant solely to polarize voting habits between democrats and republicans; collectivists vs individualists; socialists vs liberals; communists vs capitalists, etc. etc…

The story goes on, but in the end, most of the time, the Democratic Party had very little to do with democracy at all. In fact, had it the tenth of the pretension to be democratic, it would have demanded a cease and desist of the American republic. Indeed, why would a person considering themselves “democratic” wish to preserve the Republican system? A system which by the confession of those who put it in place (Adams, Jefferson, Franklin et al…) had nothing but the deepest of contempt for democracy? The answer is: Because they were NOT, in fact, democratic. They were simply more of the same; a play on words meant to gather votes of those progressives who wished to get more equality, yet of course, none of that ever really happened. If it did, change was slow.

Democracy and the American Republic have almost nothing to do with one another. One is to the other what acid is to human flesh: The more democratic the population becomes, the less attractive a republic gets. Yet, even to this day, people with little to no need for public assemblies where the people debate motions by the government or indeed public participation to the congressional assemblies, claim to be DEMOCRATIC.

Nonsense, I say. Absolute and invariable semantical rubbish.

What is a “Liberal”?

Liberals are apparently those who exercise tolerance of the other and wish to have public discourse rid of antagonistic speech that serves only to create division among the people. These people are also called “snowflakes”, “sjws”, “leftists”, “cultural marxists”, etc… While, if we take a look at history, not even two hundred years ago, the people who inspired the making of the American Constitution were: LIBERALS! Locke, Mill, Smith, Rousseau, Hobbes, etc… All people who were part of the enlightenment, which by all accounts, is the “liberal revolution”, which put in place aristocratic systems like the Republic itself.

So what’s the big deal with being a “liberal”? Oversensitivity, it appears. Do you see how mindblowingly ridiculous it is to use the term “liberal” in negative connotation, when literally the entirety of the system we live in is liberal itself? Economists will agree (See: P-J Lehmann, economist, with his book “Est-ce que le capitalisme est encore d’actualité?”) that what capitalism requires to subsist is a liberal system. It requires liberal democracies (a play on word for “republic” (America) or “constitutional monarchy” (Canada, England)) and a “liberal economy” to continue existing. Without those, capitalism ceases to exist or it becomes some other system which alien to itself.

Because liberalism is a doctrine that puts the individual at the center of all things political and economic. That means whatever happens, the legislation put into place must never impede upon the individual’s rights. In comes a perpetual tug’o’war between the various ends of the political spectrum, to try to gain some leverage against the other, even though liberalism, by default, is centrist. It does not give in to the left’s demand and neither to the right’s, it gives bits and pieces to each, like bread crumbs to a wild dog, in order to keep them salivating at the sight of the liberal state’s hand. That on its own is not subject to my criticism, as I believe it is possible for any system to work, so long as everybody cooperates.

It’s as if you were to go to  work as a postman, and you decided not to be called a postman, even though you ARE working as a postman. So, why do you insist on calling oversensitive snowflakes “liberals”? Unless you consider yourself a socialist or a communist or even an anarchist, you just identified yourself at the same time as you’ve done that person. If you are to say you are a libertarian, yet you ascribe the same value to the government body as liberals do, then you’ve done nothing but make semantics out of all of this.

I’m not saying don’t call people snowflakes or SJWs or even oversensitive, but if you’re going to call them “liberals” at least have the decency of understanding that being a liberal, in a liberal system, is exactly the right thing to do! You’re essentially giving the puck away to the opposition, to take hockey as a visual example, and acting like you just deeked your way around them, while the puck’s on its way to the back of your goalie’s net!

Conclusion

Stop using the word “liberal” like it’s an insult, please. Just stop. If you do intend to continue using it as a pejorative, then I have nothing more to say to you and I hope you eventually educate yourself with a real book on the matter or just… read Wikipedia’s page on liberalism, okay? Actually, let me just give you the whole package deal.

http://www.iep.utm.edu/locke/

http://www.iep.utm.edu/smith/

http://www.iep.utm.edu/milljs/

http://www.iep.utm.edu/hobmoral/

http://www.iep.utm.edu/polphil/#SH3a

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