Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Catching up with the papers

This has been a very busy weekend, and I am still under the sedative influences of too much turkey and other yummy stuff.

However, I just came across a very interesting article in Saturday's Post- Statism isn't Liberalism. George Jonas talks about his belief that he is an actual "classical liberal", whereas he feels that "big L" Liberals are actually statists, or perhaps merely "socialists in slow motion", compared to the NDP.

What exactly is a statist? A person who doesn't think that walking on the grass should ever be simply permitted. Walking on the grass should either be forbidden or compulsory. Oh boy. Can someone be a charming statist, you ask? Yes, provided one is like the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

And on human rights:

Liberals tried to cook a dish by keeping the ingredients raw and separate: multiculturalism. They tried to balance one injustice with another: affirmative action. They abandoned the individual as the focal point of humanity's quest for liberty and justice, and focused instead on the group. Rather than equality for each person, they sought parity for every racial, sexual or ethnic aggregate.

Liberals lost sight of the fact that, while equality is a liberal idea, capable of fulfilment in a free society, parity is an illiberal notion that requires coercion to achieve. Guaranteeing opportunity is liberal; guaranteeing outcome is illiberal. It's as simple as that, but they didn't see it.

The article is a great analysis of the kind of renewal that is necessary for leaders and members of Liberal party to rediscover their roots.

Penny has a very thought-provoking post that is related to this subject (What's Right and What's Left?).

Perhaps trying to fit everyone into neat little catagories is the problem. It is a very human characteristic, but often leads to anger and discrimination. Maybe we should just try looking at each other as people.

And that's about as much as I can coax out of this sleepy head. Good night.

Update: Now is this Right or Left or just plain Left Behind? (H/T to Steve Janke).


PGP said...

Sure thing...how many people out there are willing to stand up and be counted as just that?
How many are willing to be judged and measured as their individual selves?

How many are willing to be held accountable and responsible for THEIR OWN wellbeing?

And how many politicians are willing to let that be?

Candace said...

Jo, you and Penny (with her post) make the point that (a) few, if any, of us truly fall under one label and (b) life would be much simpler without said labels.

Which confirms my belief when it comes to "labelling" yourself - find a party that meets 75-80% of your personal beliefs and you are in heaven. Find one in the 60-75% range and you are disgruntled, but you'll vote for "your" candidate.

Below that, it's a crapshoot.

Right now the CPC is somewhere between 60 & 85% for me, so they get my vote & my $ support. If that changes... they'll, at the very least, lose my cash. The vote? Well, that will depend on my choices (both locally & federally).

There is no one in the current Liberal leadership race that could pry my vote out of my cold, dead hands, let alone while I'm breathing and cognizant.

NDP? ROFLMAO not even in another lifetime.

Green? Hmmmmmm

C. LaRoche said...

Another problem with statist vs. liberal argument is that it fails to differentiate between economic views and social views. You can be "right" and "left" simultaneously. Trudeau was certainly a social democrat when it came to economics; socially, he was as classically liberal as it gets. Something like the Chater of Rights and Freedoms takes the "two-nation" group focus of the BNA and narrows it to an individual framework -- multiculturalism, individual rights, judisprudence based on common law -- and not 'socialist' or 'statist' ones.

Red Tory said...

LOL. If liberals were to return to their “classical” roots as you suggest, they’d be what’s now regarded as conservatives. And if that is the proposition, might I suggest that conservatives examine THEIR own roots and perhaps discover how far off the path of traditional philosophical conservatism they’ve veered. These labels are fairly meaningless and particularly so when an attempt is made to juxtapose them with their historical roots.

Anonymous said...

Let's set aside our differences and pray the M. Dion survives this extremely difficult surgery...

In a development that appeared to take his campaign staff totally by surprise, Stephane Dion, in stark contrast to the other Liberal Leadership hopefuls, was seen displaying disturbing vestiges of a moral compass.

Daristotle said...

Statism is a political theory that states the state is supreme. This has many examples in history, from absolute monarchies and dictatorships to communist an fascist regimes. The opposite political theory is anarchy, which has never survived for long. between these two lies the rest of the human attempts at creating a government. This is the true political spectrum.

Notice that communism and fascism are at the same end of the spectrum. In both the individual counts for nothing the state everything. This close relationship explains the co-opperation between the Nazi and the communist parties in overthrowing the Weimar Republic. It also explains the current evolution of Red China from communism to fascism.

C. LaRoche said...

Daristotle: You think "Red China" has become fascist? ....

Red Tory: Is that comment aimed at me, or the post? I used "classically liberal" in a loose sense -- not "classical liberalism."

Anonymous said...

What is a fascist state? An ideological based totalitarian regime with a capilitist economy. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it is a duck. My appologies to ducks everywhere.