I know that most with a modicum of an ego realize that they are worlds apart from classical liberals, but it strikes me that even the new social liberal agenda is less to do with the freedom to live ones life than it is to ensure others' lives are lived accordingly and that desire has manifest itself in the form of statism with a nod given to authoritarianism. Now leftists are advocating warfare... championing cronyism... engendering balkanization... albeit one fragmented along their view of right and wrong. What has become of liberals?
You asked for examples of how self professed liberals have engendered balkanization. You may see it as a 2nd amendment issue or a referendum on the stand your ground laws... the consensus on the left... at least from several leftist media outlets... has taken on a racial tone. I'm not being critical of social liberalism... as it has been employed in the past... eg... in an effort to effect populistic goals. I disagree with the premise that the state should ever/could ever be a tool for populistic goals... I tend to identify more with the classical liberals who for this reason sought to disempower a central authority. .. but I see the ideal as virtuous. Balkanization is a ploy of central authority... to play one side against the other. How is this in keeping with the liberal ethos? There is never a plurality of any political persuasion within a community... or even a household. To play into the balkanization of blue and red or left and right is a disservice to old order liberals like Oswald Garrison Villard who knew the games authoritarians played. All this talk of "both sides" misses the point... and all the talk of which administration was the biggest whatever it is they're supposedly at odds with illustrates my point that what we call one another... what we call ourselves nowadays... is mostly just show. Modern liberals aren't liberal... theyre the proles ushering us into an authoritarian future. There is very little difference from the other statists on the "right" save for those early Tea Partiers who at least called out the republicans for dumping their principles. Otherwise.. you are right... both are equally guilty of statism. It is past time we evaluate who we are... in the words of John T. Flynn: "Fascism will come at the hands of perfectly authentic Americans, as violently against Hitler and Mussolini as the next one, but who are convinced that the present economic system is washed up and that the present political system in America has outlived its usefulness and who wish to commit this country to the rule of the bureaucratic state; interfering in the affairs of the states and cities; taking part in the management of industry and finance and agriculture; assuming the role of great national banker and investor, borrowing millions every year and spending them on all sorts of projects through which such a government can paralyze opposition and command public support; marshaling great armies and navies at crushing costs to support the industry of war and preparation for war which will become our greatest industry; and adding to all this the most romantic adventures in global planning, regeneration, and domination all to be done under the authority of a powerfully centralized government in which the executive will hold in effect all the powers with Congress reduced to the role of a debating society. There is your fascist. And the sooner America realizes this dreadful fact the sooner it will arm itself to make an end of American fascism masquerading under the guise of the champion of democracy." Sounds eerily familiar to me. Sorry if I ramble... had fragmented bouts in which to write... my train of thought was somewhat derailed a few times.
The comments on race were mostly along the lines of what if the roles were reversed; if a black person stalked and shot an unarmed white person walking home from a convenience store would the police be ready to give him a pass? The police initially handled it so poorly that there was no way it couldn't become political. Even if their actions were not racist they had the appearance of racism. Any public offical with even a modicum of common sense would know to be very careful how their actions could be interpreted if nothinge else as CYA. There are many contradictions in both modern liberalism and modern conservativism. You seem bent on comparing practicing ideologies with its intellectual pure form. No practicing ideology can stand up to this level of scrutiny. The day after the revolution the revolutionaries become the establishment. America is not a democracy; never has been; never will be; and anyone would be crazy to want pure democracy. We are a constitutional republic with a system of checks and balances intended to keep any branch from usurping too much power. In the later 20th century the US has been far more committed to capitalism than to democracy. We have supported brutal anti-communist dictators over democratically elected leftist governments. When we have to make a choice we choose economic ideology over political ideology. I think we can agree that overall the country has moved greatly to the right since 1980. What passed for mainstream Republican positions in the 1970's would be Socialism today. Reagan made it cool to be conservative again. Rather than stick to its principals the Democratic party shifted with the electrate. By most measures Democrat president Bill Clinton was more conservative than Republican president Nixon. Now the Democratic line seems to be: we are conservative but not as doctrinaire or crazy as Republican conservatives. Republicans have become such a characature of themselves that this is an easy position to take.
The Trayvon Martin case hits many concerns beyond race. I see it more of a gun rights vs. gun control position. If Zimmerman prevails than he will have successfully defended himself from a violent assailant. If the prosecution prevails than it is an example of a privately owned firearm killing an innocent person rather than protecting one. My guess is that one's position on gun control would be a better predictor of who somone feels sympathy for than race or degree of liberalism vs conservativism. So it is liberals who divide the US into "red" and "blue" states? Seems to me that the politics of the states is what differentiated them rather than their color on a map. Both sides engage in class warfare. Conservatives demonize the poor, unemployed, food stamp and welfare recipients etc as not pulling their weight or doing there share. Liberals demonize the wealthy as not paying their share and building their wealth through influence rather than merit. I can't speak for the Obama supporters you cite but I don't think there is anything wrong with a little protectionism. The way I would do it is different than usual but our current system results in a "race to the bottom" of pay, benefits, and working conditions. Both parties are statist. Consider that President Clinton cut the size of the federal government to the smallest it had been since JFK was in office. President Bush 43 increased the size of the federal government more than FDR's New Deal did. One of my predictions is that both the Republican and Democratic parties will be replaced in my lifetime. Conservatives deserve a better party than the Republican Party and liberals deserve a better party than the Democratic party.
The squeeze on Americans is not due to oppressive taxes. Taxes are lower than they have been any time since WWII. The squeeze is wages. The American worker has continuously improved their productivity over the last several decades but wages have been stagnant or declining for every demographic except the top few percent of earners. Before 1980 most families got by on one breadwinner but since 1980 most needed both parents to work to get by. We have had a largely jobless recovery because corporations continue to run on fewer employees so scared of pink slips they work longer, harder, and for less compensation. While laws vary by state welfare reform in the 1990's made it much harder to abuse the system. The majority of welfare recipients are on it less than two years and many of those who are on it longer are the working poor who work but make so little they still qualify for assistance. Walmart has even included instructions for applying for assistance in employee hire packets as if being poor enough to qualify for assistance was one of the perks of working for Walmart. The American dream of upward socioeconomic mobility is getting to be a sad joke. Now Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Austria, Spain and Germany are more of a land of opportunity than the US. At least we aren't last. Italy and UK have even less socioeconomic mobility than we do. Yea! we aren;t last. Being an entrepreneur has always been hard. The vast majority of startup businesses fail. If it was easy everyone would do it. It is even tougher now due to the economy weakened by deregulation and corporate greed.
An example of balkanization is the racialization of the Trayvon Martin case along with the race baiting from the congressional black caucus petitioning tea party protesters at the behest of democratic party leaders. These are divisive devices. Partitioning Americans into Red and Blue states... culling populations between the haves... the have nots and the have to's. I definitely see an agenda to stratify the population and play one side off against the other. I agree that modern conservatives play the same gaime... but I am addressing not so liberal people gallivanting as liberals. I brought up cronyism because yesterday... when I was reading about the offshoring of GM plants after their bailout... in the comments sections of the articles... people who described themselves as liberals and Obama supporters were defending the move... lauding the need for global markets. Im not opposed to a company doing what it desires... but that a company would use taxpayer money to right itself and then set sail for richer waters... is cronyism at its finest... read worst. I do understand the sentiment behind social liberalism... but my question is whether or not that sentiment is actually still the case. I see more and more the collective good is that idyllic landscape someone envisions for themselves... in disregard to another's free volition. Is this with keeping with the idea of liberalism... or is it better stated as statism... only with a smiley face atop the [i]?
I believe that there was an ulterior motive with the infusion of race into the Trayvon Martin case... similar to the current meme "The War on Women" that we're hearing so much of. It's an effort to maintain the support of the specific demographic being pandered to. This type of divisiveness comes across as disingenuous... to me... and not in keeping with liberal tenets. I disagree with the assertion that post revolution... the rebels became the establishment. To a degree it can be argued that there were certain prominent figures who had held a place in the European establishment... eg. Alexander Hamilton... but for the most part... the founding fathers eschewed the European sovereigns and took the path of the Roman republican form of governance in an effort to prevent any establishment coming to power here. A republic is a government based on laws... whereas a democracy is based on the will of a majority. The founders knew what they were doing. I agree that a democracy is not an idyllic form of government... for the same reason the founders did. All the more reason for modern liberals to re-evaluate their positions regarding the safeguarding of civil liberties. I don't feel that this position of mine is overzealous. I believe that as we see the disparity befalling the country in the wake of the establishment gaining a greater foothold in the once republic... it is paramount we take stock of who we are and how we are facillitating our downfall.
I don't know what's become of liberals but you're quite right - the average person in America (and Canada, and the UK, and probably Australia and NZ as well) is becoming squeezed and suffocated till they have nothing left. At the top of society is a layer of filthy-rich, those who run the banks, those who run big business and whose weekly laundry bill would actually feed a large family for a month... Then you have a bottom layer of those who don't want to work, but who expect tax payers to allow them free housing, free health care, free schooling, free everything...
And in the middle are the rest of us, paying intolerable taxes, getting late on our water bills and seeing them double and then double up again as they're piled into the unpaid taxes then casually listed for us as we see our homes going into foreclosure in cities with already massively high rates of abandoned homes (how does 19% sound?) Then we try to go into business for ourselves and we're zapped by more taxes, more by-laws, more and more bureaucracy until we basically just give up. How can there be this much control over every individual? Where is the liberal part of liberalism? I don't know.
So maybe the desire for equality has led to an overzealous bureaucratic dystopia, where all are equal but some are more equal than others
Modern liberals and conservatives are both statist; they just have different priorities about which liberties are sacrosanct and what the state should regulate. Liberals do not have a drive to regulate just for the sake of domination; they want to regulate that which affects the collective good. e.g. making sure that Banks, S&L's, investment firms, and mortgage companies are solvent is good for everyone so liberals would want more regulation while conservatives would tend to argue for less regulation and for the market to take care of inefficient institutions. I haven't heard either side championing cronyism; they both decry cronyism though both sides are guilty of it. I'd argue that recent conservative administrations had more cronyism than liberal ones. Examples of liberals causing further balkanization?
Personally I'm tired of politician period. I don't care if they are liberal, conservative, or in between - democrat or republican, none of them will give a straight answer, or carry through with their promises. They all seem to get bought off by big businesses and do whats best for a very small percentage instead of the over all populous.
It means lust. The political philosopher Eric Voegelin used the term to define those with a lust to control or dominate others... in his parlance... it was a description for those seeking political power. I use it to characterize those who would seek political persuasion to control others.
Where is the liberal part of liberalism? I would say the only liberal part of liberalism... is the use of the label.
I'd add that prior to Freud popularizing the term that it would not be commonly used to describe sexual urges.
Libido is a Latin word that means urge or drive. Libido dominandi means a desire to dominate others.
Doesn't libido mean sex drive...
modern liberalism that is...