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Reply #19: Asses the crassery [View All]

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Ignoramus Donating Member (610 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-22-03 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #12
19. Asses the crassery
If my use of the word liberal doesn't describe you, then I'm not attacking you. Actually, I'm not trying to start a flame war at all. It's something that I've been waiting for the opportunity to comment on though...

I'm arguing about a label. But, more importantly it's an argument against being "centrist".

Actually, if someone wants to explain how my measure of common usage is off I will find that very interesting. In fact, I'm kind of hoping someone will give me a history lesson indicating the appropriatness of the label liberal in describing people persuing freedom from tyranny.

Ideally, a "conservative" would be a person who is sceptical of propositions. In common usage though, as far as I can tell, people who say they are "a conservative" are people who advocate ignorance of propositions which challenge social norms.

Ideally, "liberal" would mean paying special attention to propositions which challenge social norms.

Both of these describe tendencies only. You could be both liberal and conservative by being both sceptical and curious.

However when labeling people rather than tendencies, they both imply an acceptance of the status-quo, by leaving out the notion of radicalism.

Both conservatives and liberals accept the status-quo. The conservative is resistant to exploring new things, the liberal is curious.

Another way to put it is that liberals and conservatives would start with the idea that common notions are true and than whether they are conservative or liberal depends on their willingness to persue new ideas. Or simpler, conservatives and liberals accept the status quo. Conservatives are unwilling to look at new ideas, and liberals are willing.

A pragmatist instead would start with rejecting (not accepting) the status quo. And then view all the ideas new and old with scepticism. With no firm ground to stand on, the pragmatist then operates based on informed choices.

Now, where I get my sense of common usage is from the media, from reading activist literature and from talking to people.

I'm going to vote for a democrat, because it's practical. But, I'm not "a democrat". Democrats do not seem to be opposed to the idea of a system in which one group of people supports themselves by living off the suffering of another group of people. They want some fixes to such a system, but they do not want to replace the system. In my experience the people who promote a system of exploitation, just one that is less extreme than the current system, instead of maintaining a goal of liberty, distinguish themselves by calling themselves liberal. I describe that as wish-washy.

That probably makes me sound like a ____ist. But, honestly I haven't figured out what a solution is. Meanwhile I just know various things that I'm not. I think I'm not a liberal.
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