Ayn Rand/Objectivism Sightings
Free Radical Updates
Local Club Meeting Plans
News & Interesting Links
Machan's Musings - Another "Liberal" Ruse
Second, the mainstream media, such as The New York Times, is playing along by claiming that modern liberals support individual rights. Baloney. Sure, on a few social issues modern liberals do defend individual rights but very few. They defend the right to choose an abortion but this itself is a confusion because whether a woman has such a right depends on whether she is carrying a human being or merely a potential one. If the former, there is no right to abortion and no legal system should recognize such a "right." If the latter, then, yes, the woman has that right--but it is very strange that this is one of the very few areas of life in which modern liberals are interested in choice. They aren't interested in the right to choose when it comes to dozens of other matters, such as the right to hire only those one chooses to hire; the right to sell only to those one chooses to sell to; the right to pay people what one chooses to pay them (just think of the minimum wage laws they all support), etc., etc. So even where they do favor some choices, modern liberals favor only
Why then does the New York Time characterize liberals and their favored justices as supporting individual rights? Well, in part because on some issues, such as gay rights and the right to choose whether to have an abortion they do favor individual rights. But in practically all other areas, especially economic ones, they oppose the right to choose. So why is this not signaled emphatically by the mainstream media?
The reasons appears to be rather simple: They want to link modern liberalism to the earlier idea of liberalism, which is to say, they want to have it both ways. They want ordinary Americans to think conservatives are against individual liberty in general but "liberals" are for individual liberty in general. Both are mistaken notions.
Conservatives tend to support individual liberty in economic matters, although by no means consistently. And "liberals" support individual liberty in some personal matters but by no means consistently, either. Consider hate crimes laws, which "liberals" support. These punish people for having thoughts on their minds when they commit crimes that "liberals" strongly disapprove of. Many "liberals" favor speech codes at universities. They believe in political correctness and oppose freedom of association when someone rejects another for a job for racists or sexist reasons.
One can approve of many of the things "liberals" champion but to favor individual rights means accepting that others who do not approve of those same things have the right to do so. So, basically, these so called "liberals" do not by any stretch of the imagination favor individual rights.
Americans, however, tend, in the main, to look with some favor upon those who do champion individual rights. It is ingrained in most of us, this "live and let live" attitude, even more so than some of our prejudices. So many of us hold to the ideal that I may disapprove of you but I will fight for your rights, nevertheless.
The the "liberals" know this better than the conservatives, so they use it to make friends on false pretenses. They need to be shown off for the hypocrites they are, for how much they distort the situation.
Between the two main factions in American politics, conservatives and "liberals," it is the latter who are less forthright. Conservatives do not pretend to favor liberty all the time--they support order, moral coercion, sacrificing individual liberty for family values and the like. "Liberals" are similarly eager to promote such moral ideals as fairness, (coercive) generosity, and equality--but they want to pretend that they are for individual rights while doing all this. They should not be allowed by us to get away with such duplicity.
Discuss this Article (8 messages)