Tuesday, June 2, 2020

AMERICA IN CRISIS...

It is probably safe to assume a majority of people who use the internet are tired and perhaps sick of the level of vitriol and down right unmitigated nastiness we see on a daily basis over politics and government. We all likely have our own perceptions as to which ideology is most guilty and which is the most egregiously so. We leave that judgement to each individual to decide for themselves.

As the great state of Massachusetts, led by a competent, capable, effective, thoughtful, respected and admired republican governor and his team of mostly democrats (yes national republican office holders and their constituency it is possible) work through the graduated reopening process which begins May 18, 2020 this writer's thoughts have turned to considering the libertarianism/conservativism/liberalism/progressivism dynamics. For this we offer the following definitions of terms.

Libertarianism - Libertarianism is a political philosophy that focuses on the rights of individuals. It is the core belief in libertarianism that individuals have the right to do whatever they want with their person or possessions, as long as they do not infringe upon the same rights of others.

Conservatism - As a general ideology, Conservatism is opposed to the ideals of Liberalism and Socialism. Conservatism generally refers to right-wing politics which advocate the preservation of personal wealth and private ownership (Capitalism) and emphasize self-reliance and Individualism.

Liberalism - A political doctrine that takes protecting and enhancing the freedom of the individual to be the central problem of politics. Liberals typically believe that government is necessary to protect individuals from being harmed by others, but they also recognize that government itself can pose a threat to liberty. As the revolutionary American pamphleteer Thomas Paine expressed it in Common Sense (1776), government is at best “a necessary evil.” Laws, judges, and police are needed to secure the individual’s life and liberty, but their coercive power may also be turned against him. The problem, then, is to devise a system that gives government the power necessary to protect individual liberty but also prevents those who govern from abusing that power.

Progressivism -  A political philosophy in support of social reform. It is based on the idea of progress in which advancements in science, technology, economic development and social organization are vital to the improvement of the human condition.

Socialism, a most over used and IMO misunderstood concept will no be part of this discussion. We'll save that for possibly another day.

Note that Liberalism and Libertarianism have commonality in that they both hold the rights of the individual are paramount and that one of the primary purposes of government is to protect the rights of the individual. Liberalism recognizes the dangers inherent in government and all governments tendency to abuse its powers in use against the very people it is supposed to represent. Hence the founders recognition of the importance of, and their focus on developing a system of  rule of law.  As opposed to the more common practice of rule by divine right or simple dictatorship.

Modern progressivism is essentially liberalism with a greater faith and focus on the benevolent powers of the federal government  and its potential for furthering social progress and social and economic equity and justice through harnessing advancements in science and technologies to further the greater good of society. Progressivism like liberalism believes in majority rule of law. 

It is apparent that our founders intended that the law would be determined by the  majority. It is also apparent from the Bill of Rights that our founders and forefathers intended that there not ever exist a government whereby the majority could and would create a governmental  tyranny by the majority.

Back to libertarianism. Liberty is the root word of both libertarianism and liberalism. For liberty is the life blood of a truly free society. While liberalism recognizes that governments must exit to create and maintain an effective social order and protect the liberties of all libertarianism in its full realization would ultimately lead to anarchy. Most libertarians believe in very limited government and that as long as one doesn't hurt anther or take another's property they are free to do whatever they like. As one can readily see the missing and therefore problematic issue is the lack of concern for the collective health of the society itself in which they live and work. Liberalism on the other hand recognizes the need for structure as well as the need for some governmental controls.

Conservatism is a political philosophy that believes preservation of wealth and private property (Capitalism) is a paramount function of government. Conservatism is adamantly opposed to the political philosophies f liberalism and socialism. Essentially conservatism is a political philosophy that supports and encourages selfishness in the worst sense of the concept. It is often said that conservatism says I got mine to hell with yours. Certainly not all conservatives really feel that way however many do,

As this writer sat and contemplated all the ramifications of each  were they operating at full potential it became easier to see that the only true American political ideology is liberalism. A philosophy that recognizes the importance of individual rights, individualism,  freedom of choice, and yet holds that government must protect the people from potential abuses of power by their government. 

Today in America we are, whether one wishes to believe so or not, facing a crises of conscience unlike anything this nation has seen since the close of The Civil War and its aftermath. Regardless of what folks may wish to believe the presidency of Donald J. Trump has brought this nation to a point where it must confront the very real danger of losing our democratic republic. If that happens it will be because we have lost our soul.


2 comments:

  1. If that's all you have to be seething about today, you obviously have emotional problems

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Speak for yourself trumproid. Speak for yourself as your projections tell us a lot about YOU

      Delete

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