Friday, September 30, 2005

Beyond Good and Evil...Yeah, right!

One of my favorite neologisms coined by Fr. Neuhaus is "beyondism". This is a type of self-deluding moral triangulation that...well, just read this:

"On the left and on the right, we hear people claiming to be "beyond" the old categories of left and right, liberal and conservative. These are the beyondists. They are usually liberals running away from the sour smell of liberalism far beyond its sell-by date. And beyondists are sometimes conservatives wanting to distance themselves from the
stereotypes of conservatism. In either case, they typically represent only more of what they say they are beyond. The language of beyondism has to do not with substance but with salesmanship. Beyondism keeps returning us to where the arguments began. ... If someone proposes to you a position that is beyond left and right, you can be almost certain he's peddling a gussied-up liberalism or conservatism. Beyondism is a shell game."


  1. I've recently reached the conclusion that political labels - conservative, liberal, etc - shift in definition. Today's unabashed *conservative* bears little resemblance to conservatives of only a few years ago, much less the founders of the movement. Thus, I've decided its imperative to resist the temptation to label one another as such.

    Take for instance my stance on random matters. What label applies here;
    I'm a registered republican, although I did not vote for Bush and do not support our foreign/domestic escapades.
    I'm fiscally conservative, preferring small government and flat taxation (including a VAT tax).
    I'm socially liberal, supporting rainbow marriages of all possible description, barring the extreme (human/animal, etc.)

  2. Some might say you're a Big Tent Republican. Others might call you a RINO.

    Of course the complexity of individuals becomes more apparent--and meaningful--as we deal with political matters on smaller scales. But in the aggregate, I doubt we'll ever be able to dispense with the pigeonholes.

    What I think Fr. Neuhas objects most to is people saying that they are already beyond all the old categories, not to people merely wishing the categories would just go away.

    I salute you for your independent spirit, though.


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