Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What are liberals like?

A long, laudatory list of what liberals are like is here in the Chicago Tribune today, courtesy of law Professor Geoffrey R. Stone. I and other Protein Wisdom regulars chew it over here.

One thing I would add is that this list seems to be more like a list of ideals, than of attributes, as the author himself states:

Undoubtedly, not all liberals embrace all of these propositions, and many conservatives embrace at least some of them.

This seems like it would sort well with those conservatives who insist that they are the "real" "classical" liberals, while the modern liberals are all a bunch of flag-burning, pot-smoking, mother-cursing, trust fund-supported, etc., etc. It would also give an out to magnaminous liberals, willing to grant that not all conservatives have to pick gravel out of their knuckles.

Apart from that, his weaselly disclaimers do not mask several holes in his list. For instance:

Liberals believe courts have a special responsibility to protect individual liberties. It is principally liberal judges and justices who have preserved and continue to preserve freedom of expression, individual privacy, freedom of religion and due process of law. (Conservative judges and justices more often wield judicial authority to protect property rights and the interests of corporations, commercial advertisers and the wealthy.)

Since when are property rights not a liberty? This is the voice of someone who views a citizen's wealth and property as merely a funding source for liberals' vote-buying government handout programs. (Remember the Supreme Court's Kelo decision? How all the liberals on the bench voted for it?) If people are secure in their homes and possessions against the depredations of government, they are free to take care of themselves and go about their lives as they see fit. If they can be and are expropriated at any time, then they need high-level patronage--which vote-hungry politicians are always ready to provide, in exchange for dependence on government. So once again we can see the truth in the adage, that liberalism is a disease masquerading as its own cure.

And since when are judges suppose to stick up for the little guy against the big guy? They are supposed to uphold the law. The little guy is as likely to be in the wrong as anyone else.

Have a quote:

It seems doubtful that an effective modern economy can be created without adopting capitalism, as was demonstrated by the failure of the command economies of the Soviet Union and China. The Soviets could get rockets into orbit, but they couldn't reliably get onions to Moscow. As for China, millions had to die to prove that collectivized agriculture is unproductive. Today, with capitalism thriving in many nations recently freed from Soviet oppression, and with the Chinese having taken to heart that they have long been outproduced by Taiwan, both China and Russia now seek to build capitalist societies. It remains to be seen whether either nation can provide freedom, without which effective capitalism is impossible. Indeed, for want of both
freedom and capitalism, Islamic nations remain in semifeudalism, incapable of producing most of the items they use in daily life. Their standard of living require massive imports paid for with oil money, just as Spain enjoyed the fruits of other nations' industry so long as it was kept afloat by gold and silver from the New World. Without secure property rights and substantial individual freedom, modern
societies cannot emerge.
-- Rodney Stark, _The Victory of Reason_, 2005

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