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  • What went wrong with liberalism?

    This is something I've been thinking about recently. Over the past several years it feels as though liberalism and progressivism have kind of nose dived into the toilet.

    When I was in high school my first exposure to progressive values was a diversity camp called Anytown. The principles of this youth retreat were that all people should be respected as human beings regardless of race, religion (or lack thereof), sexual orientation, or social status. Going to this camp was a good experience for me and I bought into a lot of what they were saying. Their creed was "I'm okay, your okay". Now, you could say that this ideology was sappy. You could even say it was naïve. But there was nothing sinister or vile about it. It was just a kumbaya feel good friendship exercise and my experience regarding liberalism in general at that stage in my life seemed to mirror that ideology.

    But sometime in the 2000s it felt like things started to change. Where the 90s were "I'm okay, you're okay", the 2000s were "I'm okay, you're okay - as long as you're a Democrat". This was where unconditional acceptance morphed into conditional approval. You had to check certain boxes. And as the level of intolerance started to climb I and other moderates started defecting to conservatism. And the downward spiral continued. At first the growing intolerance of liberalism was expressed through social disapproval. There were protests and cases of workplace tension but it hadn't gotten as out of control as it is now. But liberalism just kept sinking further and further. By the 2010's the ideology of tolerance had gone from "I'm okay, you're okay" to "I'm okay, you're okay - unless you're a Republican or white. If you are white you are allowed to be provisionally okay as long as you repent for being white and "check your privilege."" At this point liberalism was really starting to turn into something nasty and the descent into the toilet kept going and moving faster and faster. Now in 2017 "I'm okay, you're okay" has pretty much been tossed out the window. In liberalism if you are a white male you might as well be a second class citizen. And they have gone from peaceful protests to riots, violent assaults - even upon children, hate filled rallies, and have generally become a stain to society.

    Looking back at the liberalism I was exposed to in the 90s, it has me asking "What in the ever loving Sam Hill happened? Did they put something in the water over there?"

    What caused liberalism to go off the cliff the way it has?
    A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

  • #2
    Your post examples explained what happened to Liberalism. It morphed into Progressive Communism.
    “Breaking News,”

    “Something irrelevant in your life just happened and now we are going to blow it all out of proportion for days to keep you distracted from what's really going on.”

    Comment


    • #3
      Bill Maher is a liberal who knows what a bunch of pansies liberals and lefties have become today.
      It'll get worse before it gets better but with Trump elected and not putting up with PC horset it's a start.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
        This is something I've been thinking about recently. Over the past several years it feels as though liberalism and progressivism have kind of nose dived into the toilet.

        When I was in high school my first exposure to progressive values was a diversity camp called Anytown. The principles of this youth retreat were that all people should be respected as human beings regardless of race, religion (or lack thereof), sexual orientation, or social status. Going to this camp was a good experience for me and I bought into a lot of what they were saying. Their creed was "I'm okay, your okay". Now, you could say that this ideology was sappy. You could even say it was naïve. But there was nothing sinister or vile about it. It was just a kumbaya feel good friendship exercise and my experience regarding liberalism in general at that stage in my life seemed to mirror that ideology.

        But sometime in the 2000s it felt like things started to change. Where the 90s were "I'm okay, you're okay", the 2000s were "I'm okay, you're okay - as long as you're a Democrat". This was where unconditional acceptance morphed into conditional approval. You had to check certain boxes. And as the level of intolerance started to climb I and other moderates started defecting to conservatism. And the downward spiral continued. At first the growing intolerance of liberalism was expressed through social disapproval. There were protests and cases of workplace tension but it hadn't gotten as out of control as it is now. But liberalism just kept sinking further and further. By the 2010's the ideology of tolerance had gone from "I'm okay, you're okay" to "I'm okay, you're okay - unless you're a Republican or white. If you are white you are allowed to be provisionally okay as long as you repent for being white and "check your privilege."" At this point liberalism was really starting to turn into something nasty and the descent into the toilet kept going and moving faster and faster. Now in 2017 "I'm okay, you're okay" has pretty much been tossed out the window. In liberalism if you are a white male you might as well be a second class citizen. And they have gone from peaceful protests to riots, violent assaults - even upon children, hate filled rallies, and have generally become a stain to society.

        Looking back at the liberalism I was exposed to in the 90s, it has me asking "What in the ever loving Sam Hill happened? Did they put something in the water over there?"

        What caused liberalism to go off the cliff the way it has?
        They started taking themselves seriously, to the exclusion of all other possibilities.

        Once any group believes the have all of the answers, they become a liability.
        Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
          This is something I've been thinking about recently. Over the past several years it feels as though liberalism and progressivism have kind of nose dived into the toilet.
          Part of the problem is the label, which twists and morphs as time moves on to mean newer things as the relative positions of American politics shift. One usually has to clarify when one brings up a political doctrine because even the same label can hide wildly different contents.

          Why that label is an issue is because they have become so generic and encompass so many different beliefs that to consider them all one thing is almost ludicrous, yet we persist because it is convenient.

          Both the unionized blue-collar lumberjack and the Berkeley-educated environmental extremist may be Democrats and thus labelled as "liberal" or "progressive" - often by their opponents - but they could possess some very profound disagreements within their own individual ideologies. This often leads to people picking and choosing what elements they actually mean when discussing said labels - and normally they like to select the worse examples to better suit their own beliefs.

          What such a large, broad and generic label also encourages is the Loudest Voice Syndrome. That is, when you have a large enough group united under a thin veneer of commonality, our concept of that group is unduly influenced by its loudest, most attention grabbing (and usually the most extreme) of its self-identified members.

          Consider feminism. Plenty here have probably heard the term "feminazi" and hold cautious, if deliberately negative views on what feminism means. This caution is doubled whenever dealing with a self-described feminist. Yet feminism is such a broad scope of concepts and ideas, it seems shocking that we would let YouTube videos of women screeching about absurd topics to represent the body entire of feminism. Yet these people, because they are the loudest, the most extreme, and often the most interesting, attract the most attention and come to become a stand-in for the whole edifice.

          Such large political ideologies should always be used with the knowledge that they are terribly generic. While liberalism and progressivism does include your Marxist throwing trash-cans through bank windows, it also includes your status-quo housewife who supports gay marriage and believes that the minimum wage could be a bit higher - yet you can be sure the two of them would feel they have little in common with one another.

          For instance, consider your line when you said:
          In liberalism if you are a white male you might as well be a second class citizen.
          That is very much a product of the Loudest Voice Syndrome. Most Democratic supporters - aka liberals - are themselves white. The idea that liberalism is tied into racist government policies meant to suppress white people is absolutely absurd when examined in any sort of depth.

          However, there are loud talking heads on the left who do espouse such nonsense, or say things that people on the right take to mean as much. This is, again, part of why such broad labels fail when trying to examine the core beliefs of such a disparate group.

          The instant-media world we live in also feeds into this, because you can quickly find thousands and thousands of videos on YouTube, Facebook, or your news outlet of choice where someone claiming to be part of or speak for said groups rants just along those lines. We have our views on the majority unduly shaped by the loudest, most visible parts of the minority. It is simple human nature, but one we always have to be aware of.

          I mean, imagine if you were an alien and you came to Earth, and decided to quickly summarize the population. It wouldn't make much sense to our eyes if they were to just lump all the Abrahamic faiths together and stereotype them as all being a vaguely Catholic Christian, despite the numbers making such a decision not irrational.

          When one wants to discuss an ideology in depth, one has to be specific. If one is going to be broad and encompass a wide-range of beliefs that can contradict each other profoundly, one has to be fully aware that about the only thing linking those people together is that label, and the label alone.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SRV Ron View Post
            Your post examples explained what happened to Liberalism. It morphed into Progressive Communism.
            This is actually one such example of what I mean: the cherry picking of the most negative traits from a wide-body of people to fit an established narrative. It doesn't matter that communism is not supported by a majority of Americans, a majority of Democrats, or even a majority of progressives - the wide body of the American people are tarred with a brush created with fantasy.

            It's a universal trait, sadly. Conservatives are labelled as racists and neo-Fascists before a video of a small group of white-supremacists supporting Trump is posted as "evidence" of what conservatives and the right think. Using them as a baseline for such a broad topic as conservatism is ludicrous, yet it still is used.

            Comment


            • #7
              Because it was based on flawed premises.

              The example of I'm OK-you're OK is perfect: it is an ideal, and a good one. People meeting on the most basic of levels: a shared respect as Human beings.

              However, as a political mantra is doesn't work, because not everyone is willing to operate on that level, and a binary OK/Not OK value set swiftly mutated into shades of political correctness.

              It has led to an intolerance that cannot adjust, cannot compromise, cannot tolerate facts which do not jibe with expectations.

              Look at the shrill reactions to to the election on the streets, the media, the entertainment sector, even on this board. You have people outraged because Trump has dared to suggest that US products be purchased instead of Chinese so that American workers can benefit.

              It has become a self-flagellant creed of 'if I unconditionally respect your culture, deny my own, and give you money, maybe you you will acknowledge that I am OK'.

              Personally, I prefer a creed of 'I'm OK, and if you don't like that you can go yourself', but that is a topic for another thread.
              Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

              Comment


              • #8
                The same thing that always goes wrong with it.

                The Left's view of the world when you get right down to it is that people can be made altruistic in their behavior if only shown the error of their ways. Everything in Progressivism, Socialism, Communism, or whatever philosophy you want to choose from the Left derives from that basic idea.

                "It takes a village..." That is, everyone will automatically help everyone else achieve the villages goals.

                "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or one..." Even Star Trek tried pushing this dreck on us.

                "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need..." Communal property and society over the individual.

                It's all a form of altruism.

                al·tru·ism
                [ˈaltro͞oˌizəm]

                NOUN
                the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others:
                "some may choose to work with vulnerable elderly people out of altruism"
                zoology
                behavior of an animal that benefits another at its own expense.
                So, when the Left gains power the first thing they do is try to enact laws forcing... note that word forcing because this is the beginning of their constant and uninterrupted failure... people to act in altruistic ways.

                The whole social welfare state is built on this concept. The government takes from the rich and gives to the needy and poor. A Progressive would rail about how the Rich deserve to have high taxes imposed on them for the good of others. The same thinking applies to "greedy" businesses and corporations.

                Abortion: It is a good thing because it limits population to those necessary and wanted by society.

                Gun control: The government / society should decide whether or not you need a gun.

                Public transit: Mobility for the masses. It's a shared system, not one based on the individual.

                Of course, that's just the beginning. Then comes the social engineering, social justice, economic justice, and the rest of Progressive thinking all intended to bring about an altruistic society where everyone shares equally and toils to their best effort.

                What happens instead, is that this crappola ends up being an onerous and dictatorial set of laws imposed on society by government. The people in that society quickly adapt to find ways around the "system" and avoid doing more than they have to to get whatever government is handing out.
                Black markets abound. The vast majority of people see no personal gain in trying harder so they stop trying, often at all. Corruption abounds among those in positions of power as they too evade the system for personal gain.
                Instead of people changing their nature and becoming altruistic, they change their nature and become essentially criminals evading an oppressive government of virtue.

                It's that simple. You can't change humanity's innate nature.

                Surprisingly, religion does a better job than Leftist ideas on getting people to be altruistic. That's a different subject however...

                Comment


                • #9
                  At the core of liberalism are some solid concepts and ones that have knocked the hard edges of humanity, probably saved us all from destruction over the centuries.

                  What has happened in the last few decades is the bundling together of liberalism with multiculturalism, political correctness and globalisation. This meant populations experienced an extreme pace of social change, very disconcerting to social conservatives. The genius of this movement was to claim the moral high ground and make it socially unacceptable to make any criticism. It had alsmot become like a religion, beyond reproach.

                  What is now driving rejection of liberalism is the failure of globalisation, off the back of the financial crisis, and the liberal's embrace of Islam coming home to roost and killing enough citizens to make people sit up and take notice. White citizens begin to feel the threat of the shift in numbers and see the implicit danger in liberal dogma. Now the tide has turned, the question is how far it has to run.
                  Ne Obliviscaris, Sans Peur

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by VinceW View Post
                    Bill Maher is a liberal who knows what a bunch of pansies liberals and lefties have become today.
                    It'll get worse before it gets better but with Trump elected and not putting up with PC horset it's a start.

                    We need to away with that idiot before anyone catches on!

                    I don't like him, I loathe his politics, but he has nailed a large portion of the liberal problem: they fight all the wrong battles.
                    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                      We need to away with that idiot before anyone catches on!

                      I don't like him, I loathe his politics, but he has nailed a large portion of the liberal problem: they fight all the wrong battles.
                      You think he's bad? Try Samantha Bee. She's a hard Left loon like no other on television...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Of course, one other problem with the Left is their ferocity in pushing their ideas on the rest of us. They'd beat a unicorn to death with a bag of rainbows to get their way. With the Left it's:

                        What's ours is ours, what's yours is negotiable.

                        Look at how violently and often absurdly, the Left clings to power once they have it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                          You think he's bad? Try Samantha Bee. She's a hard Left loon like no other on television...
                          I've seen the ads; but I like her because she represents the thinking that cost the liberals 2016. People life her learned nothing, and will learn nothing.

                          People like her are annoying but an asset.

                          Maher is too smart. He understands what happened in 2016, and why. That is dangerous.
                          Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                            I've seen the ads; but I like her because she represents the thinking that cost the liberals 2016. People life her learned nothing, and will learn nothing.

                            People like her are annoying but an asset.

                            Maher is too smart. He understands what happened in 2016, and why. That is dangerous.
                            She's the sort of Progressive that will cost the Left and Progressives every election they run in. She has no ability to compromise. Sarcasm, vitriol, and a weird sense of humor only the Left gets is how she rolls. Most people don't ascribe to that.
                            You don't get far ridiculing your opposition continuously. At some point you have to rationally engage people and the Left simply can't do it beyond rhetoric and slogans. The second they have to explain their ideas in detail is the second they lose. They innately know that, so they don't. That's why they get mad and tell you to shut the F%@$ up when you try and engage them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                              We need to away with that idiot before anyone catches on!

                              I don't like him, I loathe his politics, but he has nailed a large portion of the liberal problem: they fight all the wrong battles.
                              Fortunately he won't ever be listened to by enough liberals it's easier for them to keep doing what most of them are already doing.

                              Comment

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