Sunday, April 1, 2007

Liberal Premise

Townhall was an article entitled "Why liberals get it wrong (on nearly everything!)".


"Given the chance to do what is right, liberals will consistently choose otherwise.

"They do so because they adopt a worldview that is based on "what feels good." They follow impulses instead of moral standards. And they seem to cheer for our enemies instead of our allies. Which when you think of it seems to be a defining characteristic of someone who has lost their mind."

The bulk of the rest of the article is basically an impressive outline of various episodes of hypocrisy and/or other shenanigans, which I would rather not address since I'm sure someone could draw up a similar list for people in camps other than the liberal one.

What caught my eye in the article was the assertion that there is a core reason why liberals come down on the wrong side of so many issues (a premise with which I agree since, as Aristotle says, a small mistake at the beginning leads to large problems at the end) and that that reason (or, more philosophically speaking, their premise on which their conclusions are based) is that they follow impulses of what feels good.

I think I would enlarge that to include what seems good superficially and the fact that it seems good is precisely why it feels good. I think a good example of this would be minimum wage legislation - on the surface, it seems like a good thing for lower income people (and it probably feels good as a result).

Anyway! The key thing in which I was interested was the suggestion of a/the core premise of a certain socio-economic camp that explains most if not all of its positions. Thoughts on this premise applying to the liberal camp? Thoughts on other premises for the liberal camp? Thoughts on premises for other camps?

1 Comment:

Maarek said...

With some camps it is easy to identify a core principle. Libertarians, for instance, work from the core principle "Freedom should be maximized to the greatest extent reasonably possible." I don't know if what is called in the US "liberalism" can be defined so easily. Doing what seems right is a fairly universal motive, or it should be. In an eerie coincidence, this very question was the starting point for my undergrad thesis. The best answer I could come up with is egalitarianism. Modern liberals do not work from a position of "Do Justice," but from a position of "Do Fairly." I think Do Justice might, however, be a fair account of the core principle of mainstream conservatism.

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