I was recently in a discussion with a member of this forum who presented a study from Stanford that supposedly represented a psychological profile of conservatives. Aside from the fact that no conservatives were spoken to as a part of this “study”, some of the prime examples the “study” held up as examples of conservative thought were among the most notorious leftist tyrants of the 20th century. Joseph Stalin, Lenin, chairman Mao, and Pol Pot were apparently studies in conservativism. When I challenged this member on the leftist authoritarians the study held up as examples of conservativism, he replied “ "Authoritarian" views are certainly not liberal views, they are a trait of conservative ideology.” I challenged the member to a philosophical discussion on the merits of that statement but apparently he wasn’t up to it. With, or without him, however, I believe that it is an important topic. Far too few modern liberals (and modern conservatives) expend any appreciable intellectual wattage considering their respective philosophies and what life would be like if they were allowed to proceed to their logical end. I am going to discuss the totalitarian nature of modern liberalism but if any of you “liberal philosophers” cares to offer up a thoughtful discussion of conservativism, by all means, do so. Consider modern liberalism. It is a political philosophy that claims equality and equal freedom as its ultimate goal. Ask any liberal to describe their philosophy and without fail, you will get some variation of “live and let live. In an effort to achieve this goal, however, liberalism requires supervision of everything. Its multicultural ideal excludes and stigmatizes regular people and in order to enforce its equality, it uses quotas, speech codes, and mandatory sensitivity training in politically correct attitudes and opinions. Clearly, there is little connection between those things and “live and let live”. Liberals prize tolerance, but what they call tolerance is not tolerance at all. Correct me if I am wrong, but tolerance means letting people do what they want. Modern liberals, however have redefined tolerance (redefinition – a nasty habit of modern liberals) to mean a requirement of equal respect across the social spectrum. True tolerance requires live and let live, but the tolerance of the modern liberal requires an ever more invasive bureaucratic control of every aspect of our social lives. An ideology that “requires” equal respect across the social spectrum must, by definition be intolerant because it must try to control the attitudes that people have towards one another and any real attempt to that end will require means that are both inflexible and tyrannical. Lets compare two states. One is the conservative ideal and the other is the modern liberal ideal. In the conservative state, you can say and do pretty much whatever you like so long as you do not violate certain established rights. The conservative state doesn’t care whether you are tolerant or intolerant so long as you don’t physically attack others or damage their property. The conservative state, as a result may be very critical of certain social failures, as it would have a very limited social welfare system. In the conservative sate, you would be free to succeed or fail with interference from the state being limited to enforcing those clearly defined rights that were spoken of earlier. In the homogenous welfare state that modern liberals favor, however, things would be quite different. In its effort to promote equal respect and tolerance across the social spectrum, the modern liberal state will find that it must necessarily be very intolerant of ways of life that it defines as sexist, racist, homophobic, etc. By establishing quotas, the state will force people to associate with others against their will, literally denying them the right to choose what sorts of people they will live near and work with. The liberal state will necessarily be uable to accept that ethnic loyalties, and religious and sexual distinctions form the structures by which all people organize their lives and as a result will find that it must, in fact, be intolerant of all real ways of life and must, by force of law, reconstruct them. This new tolerance as found in the modern liberal state means that no one, with the exception of a few elite ideologues gets to carry out his or her life by their own design. The ideology of modern liberalism with regard to tolerance seems to be based on the idea that each person is as good as every other person and whatever a person likes is good for him. In order to believe this, however, one must accept that one way of living is as good as all other ways of living because to suggest that one way was better or worse than another would by definition be an act of intolerance. This is a very peculiar, and very specific moral theory. One must view each person impartially as valuable, but everything else as valuable only as defined by the individual. A society that holds such a moral theory must therefore define anyone who holds a moral code that recognizes any sort of absolute good or bad as intolerant. Since modern liberalism holds such a narrow and dubious moral theory that very few people indeed actually hold, how then, is it any different from old “theocratic” systems that it labels as intolerant? Is it better, somehow, to be indoctrinated in the dogma and delusion of all inclusiveness than that of one church or another? A panel of civil rights lawyers, after all, is certainly no more forgiving than a panel of robed priests and in all likelihood, less forgiving. Upon close examination it is evident that modern liberalism does indeed hold all of the elements necessary to become authoritarian and totalitarian and in practice has already exhibited a streak of tyranny ranging from mandatory sensitivity training to the “thought police” mentality of actually punishing criminals more harshly based on what they may have been thinking when they committed their particular crime. In the name of equal freedom and equality for all, modern liberalism is willing to empower government bureaucracy to make us all, by force if necessary, into its image. I don't believe it is possible to defend the member's statement that "authoritarian views are certainly not liberal views" It may be true that liberals don't see themselves and their philosophy as authoritarian but that, in and of itself, is sad in that it is evidence that they have not invested much thought into thier philosophy and carried it to its logical end. The great leftist tyrants of the 20th century weren't expressing conservative ideals, they were simply men who were able to carry liberal theory to its logical end.