Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Similarities Between Conservatism, Libertarianism, and Classical Liberalism

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Birthplace of Independent Conservatism
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

Eugène Delacroix - La liberté guidant le peuple (1830)

As a conservative/libertarian site Rational Nation USA has taken flak from conservative purists as well as progressive socialists. Being the introspective personality the Editor in Chief of Rational Nation is this required the interesting factor, IE: being reviled by both the left and right at the same time, be given serious introspection and research.

Following the research and several days reflecting on the values of freedom, liberty, self determination, individual rights as opposed to the assumed rights of the collective, limited and proper governmental authority over the people as opposed to total governmental control over all aspect of the life of the individual, and the reasons why this nation ultimately became a beacon and symbol of enlightened thought, freedom, liberty, and hope for the world lead to what, at least to this writer, are obvious conclusions.

Our politicians, elected officials, the MSM, academia, the business sector, and the general voting population has, over time, completely lost an objective understanding of our Constitution and the foundation on which our republic was built.

Our lack of understanding, as well as the nation's failure to adhere to Constitutional principles is directly related to our current economic and social difficulties.

Forgive the length of the following. It is necessary in order to get from from point A to point Z and ultimately arrive at a more thorough understanding of our past, present, and the direction we ought to be heading in the future.

Conservapedia - There are no coherent liberal standards; often a liberal is merely someone who craves attention, and who uses many words to say nothing. Liberalism began as a movement for individual liberties, but today is increasingly statist and, as in Europe, socialistic. Liberalism has changed over the years and degenerated into corruption.

For example, Franklin Delano Roosevelt firmly believed in private sector unions, but vehemently opposed and condemned public sector unions, stating that the idea of collective bargaining can't be transferred to the public sector, as that would result in the government being unable to carry out its duties. Yet today, decades later, Democrats and liberals are almost in cahoots with public sector unions, as they "donate" money to the re-election campaign in exchange for more taxpayer money in their wallets and fluffed up pensions.

Polling data over several decades has consistently shown more Americans identify themselves as conservative than liberal, by a ratio of 2-1. A  liberal , as do many conservatives and libertarians, (emphasis mine) generally supports many of the following political positions and practices:

  • Taxpayer-funded and/or legalized abortion
  • Censorship of teacher-lead prayer in classrooms and school sponsored events (This RN USA agrees with)
  • Support for gun control
  • Support of obscenity, pornography and violence in video games as a First Amendment right
  • Income redistribution, usually through progressive taxation
  • Government-rationed medical care, such as Universal Health Care
  • Taxpayer-funded and government-controlled public education
  • The denial of inherent gender differences (RN USA supports the rights of gay and lesbian couples to civil unions)
  • Insisting that men and women be placed in the same jobs in the military (RN USA agrees with this in so long as the individual is capable of fulfilling the requirements of the job)
  • Legalized same-sex marriage (RN USA supports civil unions)
  • Tax and spend
  • Trying to impede the freedoms of others
  • Implementation of affirmative action
  • Political correctness, the opposition of free speech
  • Support of labor unions (RN USA does not see this as problematic. Rather if viewed correctly, on a partnership basis of mutual respect  self interest can improve dramatically the dynamics of shared  management and labor success.
  • Teaching acceptance of promiscuity through sexual "education" rather than teaching abstinence from sex (RN USA sees this as vague and somewhat hyperbolic)
  • A "living Constitution" that is reinterpreted as liberals prefer, rather than how it was intended
  • Government programs to rehabilitate criminals (RN USA views this as a logical step... first and one time only)
  • Abolition of the death penalty

  • Serial killer John Wayne Gacy was a Democratic Party activist who had his picture taken with First Lady Rosalynn Carter in 1978. In an interview where he denied killing any of his victims, John Gacy said he was bisexual and "very liberal".(RN USA - Not sure of relevancy here... more hyperbole)

  • Environmentalism
  • Disarmament treaties
  • Globalism
  • Opposition to the Bible and God. (RN USA supports the individuals right to self choose religion over atheism and vice versa)
  • Opposition to full private property rights
  • Reinstating the Fairness Doctrine
  • In 2005, it was reported by CBS News that liberals were the most likely supporters of the theory of evolution. The theory of evolution is a key component of atheistic ideologies in the Western World. (Again, the theory of evolution is based on scientific evidence... atheism is the choice of the individual. Not all supporters of Darwin's scientific theory are atheists)
  • Opposition to domestic wire-tapping as authorized in the Patriot Act (RN USA finds this a tough one, on balance the arguments of liberals are based on sound classical liberal premises)
  • Calling anyone they agree with a "professor" regardless of whether he earned that distinction based on a real peer review of his work (see, e.g., Richard Dawkins and Barack Obama). (RN USA thinks this is more hyperbole... thus meaningless)
  • Opposition of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a major part of the War on Terrorism. (RN USA - Or perhaps the biggest foreign policy blunder in US history... after Vietnam)
  • Withholds support to our armed forces fighting overseas to protect their freedoms. (RN USA - Hyperbole without a doubt, just look at the record)
  • Promote arrogance through what they consider superior lifestyles.
  • Tolerance of wrongheaded ideas and lifestyles. (RN USA asks, who is the judge and on what criteria?)
  • Supports financially irresponsible policies.
  • Following policies which are proven to be incorrect.
  • Do not support a free-market economy and support regulation of business.
  • "The long romance of Western leftists with some of the bloodiest regimes and political movements in history is a story not told often enough ...." (RN USA - As are the stories of conservative support for corrupt regimes that denied basic human and individual right for their citizens... More hyperbole)
  • Support of leftist ideologies such as socialism and Nazism (RN USA - On this one liberals truly have a blind spot)
  • Encouragement of global warming alarmism.

The real point of this post is to highlight the truth that classical liberalism, rational self interest, libertarianism, and conservatism are closely aligned and can work together for the benefit of our nation.

It is the far lefts ideology, as well as the far rights ideology, that is in opposition to the principles our founding fathers built as a foundation and framework on which the nation was to stand and thrive.

So, it is up to each patriotic individual to stand up and take a stand for right. A stand based on objective reasoning, logical analysis, the long term view, and to do so without the clouded lens of emotionalism coupled with feelings of guilt for ones success.


  1. Conservapedia? Really?

    "There are no coherent liberal standards; often a liberal is merely someone who craves attention, and who uses many words to say nothing."

    That sounds like the ranting of a confused mentally-handicapped person. If one doesn't understand the meaning of words, that doesn't per se mean they don't make sense. It usually means the listener simply isn't very bright.

    As you point out in many caes, large portions of the list are blantantly spurrious oversimplifications, misrepresentations, and outright lies.

    No wonder we have such a rift in America today. The right is just stupid these days. If I were a libertarian today, as I was when I was young, I wouldn't have anything to do with that rabble.

    ONLY a moron would believe that stuff.

    I'm not sure what school of classical liberalism you're referring to here, but for the most part, most modern liberals agree with most classical liberalism. On the other hand, there are aspects of classical liberalism that many modern realists, regardless of further political philsophy, see as unteneble today. As do I. I do not believe a total adherance to a two-centuries-old philosophy would be wise or realistic - or even possible.

    There are also many aspects of modern neo-classical liberalism that would be anathema to classical liberalism.

    As for modern conservatism, I find it to be a selective buffet of classical liberal thought, mixed with a lot of reactionism, jingoism, religion, and other such tripe, that is not really classical liberalism when put together at all.

    Libertarians, yeah. They are pretty much classical liberals in their thought.


  2. Jersey had a chance to explain and defend modern-day liberalism and he blew it.

    The most doctrinaire, dogmatic group today is liberalism. You must not question global warming/climate change/whateverthehelltheyarecallingittoday, green energy (regardless how economically unfeasible, militant attacks on those who believe in God, Homosexuality shall not be questioned, and anyone who does will be shouted down and ostracized.

    Liberalism is a hodgepodge of incoherent beliefs, dogma and feel good autoerotica. When a liberal actually stands up for liberty, it is by pure accident or emotional reflexive reaction to rightwing Christianity.

  3. Silver,

    I can't and wouldn't bother "explain and defend modern-day liberalism." Neither would I be fool enough to call it "doctrinaire." It is, by definition, all over the place philosophically.

    Your arguments aginst this imaginary liberal doctrine are laughable, though.


    Are you pro-pollution?

    Did some friend of your's fall off a roof installing solar panels?

    Do you have some example of liberal anti-religious militancy that somehow threatens you and your faith?

    Do you have a personal problem with gays?

    What a steaming pile of inconsequential nonsense.

    It's like you're a wildebeest, too worried about what the gazelles are doing to notice the lions about to eat you!

    And then you just plain give away the fact that you have no argument here:

    "The most doctrinaire, dogmatic group today is liberalism."

    "Liberalism is a hodgepodge of incoherent beliefs"

    So which is it, Silver? Really. Which is it???



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