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Thread: Why Do You Think Liberalism Fails?

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    Why Do You Think Liberalism Fails?

    Why do you think liberalism fails ? But as for me liberalism is an ideology that often contest others and question every ideas that one could think of.
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    Senior Member MockTurtle's Avatar
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    Liberalism has various meanings; and, its relative degree of success also depends on the circumstances, IMO. I consider the Classical Liberals (the tradition of many of America's Founding Father's) to be far less 'cooky' than modern liberals in contemporary society, mainly because the conditions that our Founders dealt with were so completely dissimilar from our own. In a basically homogeneous society (racially, culturally, spiritually, etc.), I can understand why certain people might believe that 'liberalism' would make sense, because the individuals within the society are so naturally similar that there isn't much need for 'group consciousness' and 'on the surface' strategies for group success. Things tend to function smoothly by themselves, especially if the natural culture of said people is kept intact. This, to me, is what liberalism represented in its early stages (i.e. pronounced individualism, emphasis on liberties, laissez faire economics, lack of group consciousness or ethnocentrism, etc.).

    The problem though, is that this is totally irrelevant today given that our objective conditions are so different. Today, it doesn't make sense to favor a lack of ethnocentrism and group consciousness and a completely 'open' attitudes towards everyone and everything, because intergroup competition is fierce and society isn't homogenous any longer. It doesn't make sense to avoid explicit cultural strategies and maintain a loose attitude on cultural preservation, because now we have a chaotic mixture of 'cultures' all competing against each other. Simply put, it 'fails' because it is from a different era.

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    Senior Member Loddfafner's Avatar
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    What do you mean by liberalism? There is the European meaning of supporting free trade; there is the American meaning of blunting the predatory edge of capitalism so as to prevent Marx's predictions; there is the bogeyman of American talk radio; there is the live-and-let-live philosophy of life. I see liberalism as one of those words that is too ambiguous to be useful for communication.

    The practice of questioning everything is, in my opinion, one that strengthens a people and has raised European civilization above all others. American liberalism fails because it is a climate that holds people back from questioning things.

    Another weakness of liberalism that is actually neither unique nor a necessary feature is an impoverished and naive view of human nature. According to this view, humans are nothing more than dependent variables that social policy can manipulate until society reaches a state of perfect balance. That this view is not unique to liberalism is evident in the thread on pornography.
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    I will define liberalism as any kind of political ideology that is founded on individual rights as opposed to individual and collective duties. This is not entirely unreasonable since individuals can be trusted to pursue their rights whereas they must be compelled to do their duties. In my view, Thomas Hobbes formulated liberalism when he advanced the idea that the power of the state is legitimized by a social contract where individuals cede some of their rights to the state in order to receive protection of the same. The functionality of the state is thus ensured by self-interest.

    My main problem with this lies in the fact that the concept of individual rights or even individual existence is entirely fictional. Our original state of existence is not solitary, it is the tribe as a polity of common descent and common spirituality, an organism derived from kinship where the whole is always more important than its parts. Liberalism is based on a one-sided focus on man's anti-social tendencies, completely neglecting his other nature, which is rooted in the community.

    To sum it up: I think liberalism fails, because it fails to accommodate the nature of man.

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    Senior Member Loddfafner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hauke Haien View Post
    I will define liberalism as any kind of political ideology that is founded on individual rights as opposed to individual and collective duties.
    As far as the liberal state is concerned, we are abstract bundles of rights with no agency beyond our choices in the market and the voting booth. American liberalism, however, does encourage responsibility for community and environment even though its vision of that community leaves out and erodes the bonds of a common ethnic heritage. Liberalism is a richer tradition than one might expect of the caricature that so many conservatives love to hate.

    A month or so ago, a man whose fears were nourished by conservative talk radio blamed liberals for his own problems and for those of the nation. He invaded the Unitarian Church ( a liberal bastion) in Knoxville, Tennessee and opened fire. He was surprised to find the liberals fighting back. One of them stood in front of his gun and sacrificed himself so that the children could escape. Ironically, it was the loss of his welfare check that set him off, and one of his complaints was that liberals were soft on terrorism.
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    The kin of the new-comer:
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    The worst is not without worth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loddfafner View Post
    American liberalism, however, does encourage responsibility for community and environment even though its vision of that community leaves out and erodes the bonds of a common ethnic heritage. Liberalism is a richer tradition than one might expect of the caricature that so many conservatives love to hate.
    American 'liberalism' is social liberalism. Social is the modifier, liberalism remains the base. It expands on the notion that the state guarantees freedom by limiting it and creates a positive freedom (entitlement) along with negative freedom (to be left alone). Its priorities remain wrong with universal liberty preceding social bonds. Thus, all of humanity is eligible to be part of such a state and to enjoy the freedom it forcibly spreads.

    Economic liberals, many of whom identify as 'conservatives', are willing to permit social destruction as long as it contributes positively to the free market, e.g. strong pressure on women to participate in the economy under all circumstances, even if the birth rates drop to a level that ensures extinction (ENTER: mass immigration). Personal freedom is often a secondary consequence of such processes that increase mobility by destroying social obligations.

    There are of course many more varieties with similar defects.

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    The problem with liberalism is that it is contrary to human nature, and it views the world as it thinks it should be, rather than how it actually is.

    This is present in their economic policies which remove the incentives towards creative and productive behavior and the disincentives towards risky or unproductive activity. Their educational policy operates as an extension of this.

    This is present in their policy to restrict personal gun ownership because they think it will reduce crime. Even though statistics show this to be untrue, that is just makes law abiding citizens more vulnerable to crime, they still persist in this.

    This is present in their view towards the criminal justice system. They can't comprehend that criminals are evil, they think they can rehab them and send them back out into society, and think that if we just had better schools and more welfare then people wouldn't commit crimes.

    This is present in their attempts to force integration. They can't comprehend that people want to live, and socialize with others like them. They even insist that race only is skin color.

    This is present in their views on gender and family. They refuse to comprehend that there are natural differences between men and women, and don't think it is necessary that children should be raised with a mother and a father. They remove the things that used to bring and keep families together, then puzzle over why there are more broken families.



    Also the phrase 'society is judged by how it treats its lowest members' is the mantra of liberals. This attitude is ever present in their policies, which aim to benefit the lowest members of society. What kind of dumb standard is that to judge society by? Society should be judged by what is best for the people as a whole. Do we judge ancient Greece, ancient Rome, ancient Egypt as 'great' because they reduced levels of homelessness, had a more equal distribution of wealth, and treated their criminals with kindness?

    "We are the wealthiest country in the world, it is unacceptable that people are homeless"

    "Even criminals have rights"

    They spend an enormous amount of money on trying to teach retarded kids to tie their shoes, and get people with no interest in education to pass basic levels, and give little resources to those who actually are highly capable and interested in learning.
    Contact Congress on immigration
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    Senior Member MockTurtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwordOfTheVistula View Post
    This is present in their attempts to force integration. They can't comprehend that people want to live, and socialize with others like them. They even insist that race only is skin color.
    This, I think, is probably one of the most important points, and deserves to be emphasized. Put another way, they refuse to accept the idea that human beings are innately tribal; they only see human beings as interchangeable units that can be molded and shaped purely by environement. They neglect the complex interplay between the genetic and the environmental, and therefore create a heap of confusion as a result.

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    Senior Member stormlord's Avatar
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    The American (and other newer) conceptions of liberalism completes destroys any rational discussion of this topic, it's like two people talking about completely different things that have the same name, a conversation is impossible. Hearing things like "gun control" ascribed as being liberal when it is anything but, is highly confusing. Classical liberalism (real liberalism) can work perfectly well, as said before, when it operates within a group. Most of the criticism about liberalism not allowing for human nature aren't valid assuming the originators intended it to be applied, as it was for centuries, as an in-group social system. Britain and America were some of the most liberal cultures in the world in the 19th century, they never allowed unchecked non-European immigration etc.

    Classical liberalism also by definition acts less as society, and more as a metaphorical container for society. In no way does it preclude against the political views/actions generally advocated by preservationists. In a true classical liberal society things like private businesses operating race based hiring practices, and other preservationist ideas would be prefectly legal.

    Personally I'd say a closed society (no mass immigration etc) organised along classical liberal lines would be an ideal one, giving people the space to develop a healthy culture without being indoctrinated.

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    If a society is based on individuals, any boundary is purely arbitrary and usually defined by those participating in it. Import masses of Mexicans? Why not, it generates profit and those new citizens are as good as any American as long as they worship a set of symbols. America used Europeans in the past and when that source dried up, anyone became eligible.

    Britain on the other hand was a mercantile nation that used her colonies in order to strengthen her domestic industry and remained so until the repeal of the Corn Laws, since it had become more lucrative to use free trade as a means to push goods on foreign nations.

    Then came decolonization and the adoption of the American model.

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