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Modern Liberalism =- Authoritarianism

Discussion in 'House of Debates' started by palerider, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    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.
  2. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    The "member of this forum" you are speaking of, correct me if I'm wrong, was Reliant. To attack someone who can no longer defend himself is a bit underhanded, don't you think? Typically Republican though, attacking the defenseless, both literally and figuratively. By the way, in your rant, you forgot to mention Gen. Pinochet, a right-wing paragon of virtue, put into power by the U.S. so that he could slaughter millions of his own people.
  3. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    I didn't name the poster, you did. I was content to leave the person out of it and explore the idea. If a breech of any sort of decency has been perpetrated here, it is by you for bringing reliant's name into the issue.

    By the way "smart guy" pinochet killed 3,000. Terrible as it is, he isn't qualified to even tie the shoes of the major leage leftist tyrants who have killed hundreds of millions between them.

    Now, do you have any intellectual argument against any of the points I put forward, or is this all you have?
  4. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    You are correct, I looked up Pinochet in Wikipedia and it says he killed only 3,000, he was just guilty of torturing thousands more. However, I don't see how this somehow justifies the U.S. helping to overthrow Allende and inserting Pinochet in his place.
  5. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    That is not what this thread is about. This thread is about the inherenty authoritarian nature of modern liberalism. If you want to talk about pinochet, feel free to start a thread.
  6. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Well thank you Mr. Moderator, I didn't know you had become one. I guess congratulations are in order. Meanwhile, it's quite a stretch to equate someone like Pol Pot with modern day liberalism within the U.S., I guess, it's the old liberals are commies approach. Maybe you haven't heard, it no longer works, as the results of the last election will attest.
  7. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Is it? Modern liberalism has actually crossed the boundry into the realm of the thought police. How much more authoritarian can you get? Communism and soviet style socialism are nothing more and nothing less than modern liberalism taken to its logical end.
  8. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Hit me with your best shot.

    I suppose that's fair.

    I wouldn't propose over-supervision as a means towards freedom. You make us sound like we want an Orwellian "Big Brother" state and that's not the case.

    Actually, we don't recognize this concept of "regular people." All people are unique, whether they're white, black, gay, straight, Christian, or Muslim. Perhaps "pancultural" would be a better term than "multicultural," which you've taken to mean "xenocultural," which isn't the case.

    Quotas to help bring balance to an unbalanced system. I don't like it much but if we didn't do anything now to help fix the imbalance it'd still be there twenty, fifty, one hundred years down the road.

    By "speech codes" you're probably referring to "PC." In most cases these speech codes - like laws against hate speech, for instance - are in place to prevent people from getting all riled up into hate crimes. Think of it as "Inciting a Riot" or "Inciting Violence," only against minorities.

    And as for "mandatory sensitivity training in politically correct attitudes and opinions," I have no idea what you're talking about. There's plenty of "training" in PC out there, but if any of it is "mandatory" I'd like to know about it.

    Ask the black man who didn't get into a decent college because the quotas were gone about "live and let live."

    Ask the Muslim shopkeeper whose never hurt a person in his life but just got beaten up by an angry mob driven by some lunatic hatemonger about "live and let live."

    Perhaps, as "multiculturalism" is a liberal ideal (as you've stated above), their opinions won't matter as much to you as your vaunted "normal people."

    Liberals are just as in favor of allowing Fred Phelps say what he wants. He says awful things, sure - but so long as he's not telling people to hurt others, he's covered under freedom of speech. I don't like it, but I'll let it go.

    Yes, we believe in "equal respect across the social spectrum." Perhaps we come across as intolerant towards those who are intolerant towards minorities, and I'd bet that a lot of us like that we do. However, if you wish to be intolerant towards a minority and you're not hurting anyone, I won't stop you. I'll dislike you for it. But I won't stop you.

    Still, if you handed me a choice between "respect a man who is just trying to practice his religion" and "respect a man who hates people simply for trying to practice their religion," it wouldn't be much of a choice.

    You're mixing the social and economic sides of things. But whatever, you want it this way, you can have it.

    In your blanket conservative state, I'm assuming that the government adheres to the three main schools of conservative thought: cultural/social, religious, and fiscal. If any of these is not the case, don't blame me for your failure to specify.

    In the conservative state, you can say and do pretty much whatever you want...and you'll probably have someone jump down your throat immediately if what you are saying doesn't adhere to the rigorous social norms the state adheres to. After all, God says homosexuality is a sin. The state doesn't care if you're tolerant or intolerant so long as you don't physically attack anyone or damage their property. It's perfectly fine to stand outside their Mosque and shout ethnic slurs at them; in fact, it's preferable, because these heathens do not adhere to the state-sanctioned religion. 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 - but don't expect to get hired if you're black, because here in the conservative state being black isn't the norm, and encouraging propagation is the only way to do business. In fact, all the black people can just sit around in squalor while we stick our noses up at them and blame them for not getting a job when we're the ones who refuse to hire them. Good thing we do, too - here in the conservative state, we adhere to traditional norms, and the idea of black people getting decent jobs, owning decent things, and living in decent homes would be anti-traditional.
  9. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    Part 2

    In the liberal state, we will not allow sexism, racism, or homophobia to keep minorities from being included in society. We can do this a number of ways - by passing laws that keep people from inciting the masses to violence against minorities, by offering tax incentives to companies with fair hiring practices, and by sponsoring public awareness campaigns on how and why it is wrong to mistreat minorities. Note that all these measures our temporary; as society begins to change and become more accepting, these measures will gradually be phased out as they become less useful.

    Wow. I see what you mean.

    As for my rebuttal, put it this way: we plan to take things one step at a time. First, we want to get everyone on an equal footing. Encouraging integration can come later - if it's even necessary. As economic distinctions become less and less pronounced between social groups, who really knows how social integration will change? As we begin to educate people on how the differences between them make them no more or less human than people who are different than they are...who knows how, over the course of a few generations, things will change?

    We don't believe in moral absolutes.

    What would the conservative version of "every person is as good as every other person and whatever a person likes is good for him" be?

    The way we look at it is, "every person is as good as every other person and people should be allowed to be what they are unimpeded."

    It appears to me as though we have similar ideas here. It boils down to, "every person ought to be able to do what they like unimpeded." Our major difference lies in whose likes and dislikes we favor. We favor protecting minorities, by allowing them to be what they are without having to deal with hatred and bigotry, which naturally disfavors the opinions of the bigots; you favor protecting the bigots, who are admittedly human beings who deserve to have an opinion, which naturally disfavors the minorities because suddenly they have to deal with totally unrestrained hate.

    Just don't pretend that the conservative way is the one hundred percent egalitarian way. I prefer our way and you prefer yours and so long as we're both honest about that, we can move forward towards reaching an understanding.


    Once again, I'd like to know more about this "mandatory" sensitivity training.

    Punishing criminals more harshly for hate crimes is akin to punishing criminals more harshly for premeditating the murder rather than just sticking some poor bastard in the throat with a knife on a whim. It has to do with motivation. It is easy to be afraid of people who are different, and that fear can translate into violence; as a result, there is a motivation for violence that would not exist otherwise. This motivation could, if left unchecked, be much more prevalent than, say, crimes of passion, as people are much more likely to be fearful of someone they don't understand than they are to get into a committed relationship and then be dramatically betrayed or whatever. The point isn't that a hate crime is worse; the point is that we need to discourage hate crimes more because they're an easier reason for crime.

    You're entitled to your opinion. I don't believe that "carrying liberal theory to its logical end" holds much merit. We have a goal, certainly, but the means towards that goal - and the repercussions of those means that you fear so much - change as society changes. If we locked ourselves into one set of means and stayed that way until the goal is met, then yes, all of this would be perfectly justified. However, that is not the case.
  10. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    In some ways, you are correct. I think political correctness has gone way, way too far. However, both sides are guilty of it. The right takes patriotism to the extreme, so that it is politically incorrect to criticize the military or any foreign mission it undertakes, look at the uproar over the moveOn ad. As to your other point, from my point of view, fascism is "nothing more and nothing less" than modern conservatism "taken to its logical end". It all depends upon your point of view.
  11. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Clearly, you don't know anything about fascism. I keep challenging you to draw accurate parallels between conservativism and fascism. I do this, knowing that you simply won't be able to do it. I have spent a large amount of my life learning political philosophies in both theory and practice. Fascism bears no resemblence to conservativism.

    The essence of fascism is government control of the means of production. Fascism was, and is, no more and no less than a nationalistic socialism. Fascists believe that by socializing the means of production, and therefore the way people earn a living, the people will socialize themselves. There are no valid parallels to be drawn between conservative philosophy in theory or practice and fascism in theory or practice.

    Do a bit of research into hitler's or musollini's fascist governments. You will find socialism. Massive public works projects, government subsidized vacations lasting 3 to 5 weeks at government owned resorts for even the poorest citizens. Government funded pensions, unions, government funded higher education and on and on. The only drawback was that you couldn't be a jew. The modern left views Christians in very much the same way as hitler viewed jews. There are restraints that modern liberals in the US must deal with that hidler didn't, but I have heard liberals on this very board suggest that they would happily see religion banned from public life. One can't help but wonder, how far those liberals would go, legislatively speaking, to see religion removed from the public sphere.
  12. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Read it and weep:http://www.oldamericancentury.org/14pts.htm
  13. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    I don't believe that most liberals want a "big brother" state, but it is already present and becoming more pervasive all the time. Perhaps it isn't what you want, but it is what is necessary in order to achieve the stated goal.

    Speech codes exist, and are enforced most vigorously in the most liberal institutions. Universities. It has nothing to do with inciting riots, but instead, everything to do with squashing public debate. It is easy to dismiss an idea as racist, homophobic, etc., without ever having to actually defeat the idea intellectually.

    http://www.sptimes.com/News/022700/Perspective/Sensitivity_training_.shtml

    http://www.citybelt.org/citybelt/2007/05/we_need_mandato.html

    http://www.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/len/2003/02.14/

    I can provide much more if you like, but this shoud get the point across.

    I believe the above quotes all accurately fall under the heading of what justification shall be given to principles already settled in advance, and how those principles shall be realized without regard to whether or not they are pie in the sky idealism that will require an iron fist on the part of government to achieve.

    Perhaps you won't, but the state will. Totalitarianism doesn't exist with the individual, it is a product of the state.


    Interesting. That statement cut to the very heart of the totalitarian nature of modern liberalism. The light came on and you saw clearly what I was getting and and then by force of will, you turned the light off and set off on your multi step plan to totalitarianism. Exactly how do you justify that internally?
  14. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that you are unable to look at those 14 points and see that the great leftist tyrants carried them out across the board in the most brutal ways imaginable while great mental gyrations have been made and reason has been streched to the breaking point in an effort to unsuccessfully draw parallels between the US and fascism.

    Point one for example, any nationalism on the part of bush or the US in general is the faintest possible reflection of the military parades of lenin, stalin, and mao or hitler. Mile after mile of military hardware and high stepping soldiers punctuated by military marching bands. When a comparison is made of the two, any suggestion of attempted nationalism on the part of the US must logically be dismissed.

    Point two. Confusing the treatment of illegal combattants with the general treatment of all citizens of the leftist regimes is a standard liberal tactic and simply doesn't wash. You are not in danger of having soldiers break down your door and cart you away in the night if you speak out publicly against your government.

    Point three. Isn't it interesting how the left in this country is constantly attempting to make scapegoats out of the right? For every concievable thing.

    Point four. Refer to point 1.

    I will finish tearing down the rest of that drivel which, by the way is as much the result of democrat legislation as republican tomorrow. I get up early and go to bed early.
  15. Popeye

    Popeye Active Member

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    Excellent, I look forward to it, I started a thread on it in U.S. Politics.

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