Friday, January 13, 2012

 

Quotable: What Liberalism Is (or Why I'm Not a Liberal)

Liberalism is and has always been about intervention. ... Liberals understand that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Left to their own devices, people with weapons and money will always try to exploit and dominate people without weapons and money unless they are stopped from doing so. It is not because we are taught to do so. It's just innate human nature. ...

When the government steps in to stop a corporation from dumping noxious chemicals into a stream, that is intervention at the point of a gun, by a superior force against a lesser force attempting to exploit the weak and powerless. When the government steps in to enforce desegregation in schools, that is intervention at the point of a gun, by a superior force against a lesser force attempting to exploit the weak and powerless.

When Abraham Lincoln and the North decided not to allow the nation of the Confederacy--and make no mistake, it was a separate nation with separate laws and an entirely separate culture--to secede from the Union, in large part because the North had an interest in ending slavery in the South and in striking down a competing agrarian economic system, that too was intervention by a superior force against a lesser force attempting to exploit the weak and powerless. To this day, many Southerners feel that their land is being occupied by an illegitimate and invading power, and theirs a Lost Cause that will rise again.

This is what liberalism is. It is unavoidably, inescapably paternalistic in nature. It is so because it understands the inevitable tendency of human beings to be truly awful to one another unless social and legal rules are put in place--yes, by force--to prevent them from doing otherwise.

Source: David Atkins. "No, Stoller and Sullivan: there is no liberal conflict over Ron Paul." January 03, 2012.

See also: "Quotable: The Man to Fear"

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