Saturday, January 22, 2005

A Liberal's Idea of Freedom

Via Villainous Company, we get the NYT attack on the President's inaugural address by Orlando Patterson. I won't deal with the whole piece; see VC for the complete analysis. What I will deal with is "Modern Liberal Freedom."

The "modern liberal freedom" Mr. Patterson extols encompasses "social justice" (his phrase) and includes a lot of things I see as antithetical to personal liberty.

When a liberal says "social justice" he usually means that government is going to put a gun to my head, take my money, (pay up or go to jail) and give it to someone else. Thus making me a wage-slave to the government for many months of every year I work. (How much does Kennedy want to spend on education, and where will the money come from?) This isn't freedom, in the Conservative mind. Fix the student loan program. If someone wants an education, loans would be available. A graduate degree is not a "right," even if Mr. Kennedy thinks so.

"Social Justice" doesn't include the freedom to defend myself, or if they admit I have the right to defend myself if attacked, they want to refuse me any adequate means of defense. Gun Control and Knife Control in the UK are not about reducing crime; crime is out of control in the UK, and has gotten worse as more government controls on civilians have been enacted.

They don't want me to be free to smoke - they would love to outlaw it, and probably will try someday. Today it is motorcycle helmets, next it will be the motorcycles themselves that are controlled. [ed. note: I don't smoke and I don't ride motorcycles]

They don't want me to be free to expound unpopular views. "Hate speech" we all can agree is unpleasant and in many cases it is stupid, but controlling "hate speech" is controlling speech. What happened to Freedom of Speech? (Can they declare it "hate speech" to say something negative about Socialism or Communism? Who decides?) Can't let freedom get in the way of Social Justice!

Liberals really are not in favor of Liberty. They are in favor of government control of
  • my work (taxes keep me working, regulations control how and where I work),
  • my retirement (can't possibly let me have control of my retirement - they would lose control over me),
  • my education (can't teach history, or geography, just watered-down Civics, and must teach sex - regardless of what parents want),
  • my thoughts (can't allow "hate speech," I might start thinking thoughts not OK'd by the government.)
I (and most conservatives) am generally in favor of smaller government, and fewer government controls on my life. And yes, that means I will make mistakes, and I will be responsible for those mistakes. Why should you be responsible for my bad judgment? Learning from our mistakes is how we grow.

No comments: