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What Liberalism Is

Here’s a great essay by David Atkins on what “liberalism” really is. Like Atkins, I’ve always been puzzled by any attempt to even begin to equate liberalism with libertarianism. Pretty much everyone I have ever known who claimed to be a Libertarian was in fact an outright racist who was just looking for some type of philosophical cover for their racism. The number one “freedom” that most libertarians cherish is their freedom to hate. Everything else is just hogwash.

“Liberalism is and has always been about intervention. It is the opposite of libertarianism, and always has been. 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. If this were not the case, libertarianism would work as an ideology. It does not, and never has at any point in history.”

That sums it up perfectly. In any society you are going to have greedy, bigoted, selfish people who inevitably game the system to the detriment of 99% of the population. There’s no better example than what we now have in the U.S. A liberal is simply someone who believes that ain’t right, and so strives to intervene in the system to make sure that the 1% don’t make life miserable for the majority of people. Any one with any sense of human decency should be a liberal.