January 01, 2003

Why I am not a conservative

Because I am a liberal.

(Via Aaron's Rantblog.)

Update: I just wanted to add that I don't agree slavishly with every single thing that is said in the article (for one thing, it is not at all clear that our intentions re Iraq et al can be descrived as "imperialistic"). But I concur with this portion:

There are almost no European-style conservatives in the United States, people who want to defend a status quo based on hierarchy, tradition and a pessimistic view of human nature. Those we label "conservatives" in this country are called "liberals" in Europe, because they are in favor of free markets, individual initiative and a democratic polity based on individual, not collective, rights.
It goes on to say that the anti-globalist, anti-progress, anti-everything contingent are actually the conservative ones, though ostensibly of the left. I want to add further that I think we should really try to bury those old designations of "left," "right," and "center" for once and for all; they are meaningless. Better labels might be to call peoples' political positions "dynamic," "static," or a combination of the two. I am sure someone else somewhere has already come up with this concept, because it seems familiar to me.

Also, I have changed the category to the one I have set aside for whatever non-war political posts I come up with. There, Spoons!

Posted by Andrea Harris at January 1, 2003 11:50 PM

I think that the labels/categories you are describing are similar to Virginia Postrel's "dynamism" as she wrote in "The Future & It's Enemies."

Posted by: DavidMSC at January 2, 2003 at 12:46 AM

Hm! That must be it.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 2, 2003 at 02:20 AM

I ALWAYS refer to leftists as reactionaries.

Because they are.

Imperial Falconer

Posted by: MonkeyPants at January 2, 2003 at 10:14 AM

the writer is exactly write (heh heh heh)....in europe the so called "liberals" are so far left that if the earth were flat, they would not only fall off the edge but they would sue god for not putting a warning label on the planet....

Posted by: mr. helpful at January 2, 2003 at 11:18 AM

Extremists on the far right have a lot in common with the anti-globalist, anti-war crowd. Ralph Nader often agrees with Pat Buchanan. White supremacist groups like the Northern Alliance are as pro-Palestinian and anti-Bush as the European left.

I haven’t read Virginia Postrel’s book yet, but it would be nice for moderate liberal, dynamic types to get rid of the extremists by lumping them together and giving them a new name. Instead of ‘the far right’ and ‘the far left, they could be the ‘statics’ or ‘the Silly Party’ or something like that.

Posted by: mary at January 2, 2003 at 05:01 PM