Yes, I like my liberalism as I like my pornography... hardcore and with a Cadbury's cream egg. It is just so much better that way. Try it sometime. MMMmmm...
Originally Posted by Kiddo
I like liberalism as much as the next guy, since the respect of liberty is the difference between civility and barbarity. If society is to stray from the ideal of liberty, let us pray that it does not stray too far, eh? The policies advocated under the banner of communitarianism are fascist, a thinly veiled rehash of the ideas of Mussolini, and presented with many soothing words intended to seduce the socialist and conservative in us all, an appeal to the intolerant occupants of both ends of the political "spectrum".
Let us do a little experiment,
The Christian Right emerged in the 1980s as a response to the limits of liberal theory and practice. Its dominant themes are that individual rights need to be balanced with social responsibilities. The Christian Right argue that the one-sided emphasis on rights in liberalism is related to its conception of the individual as a "disembodied self," uprooted from cultural meanings, community attachments, and the life stories that constitute the full identities of real human beings. The Christian Right tend to favor policies designed to protect and promote ties to the family and family-like groups. This would include such measures as encouraging marriage and increasing the difficulty of legal marriage dissolution. The Christian Right also favor political legislation that can help to restructure education in such a way that peoples deepest needs in membership and participation in psychological communities are tapped at a young age.
It doesn't take a village *cough* Hillary Clinton *cough* to see the similarities. It seems that these days its hard to know where you'll find fascists lurking, on the right on the left, running for the Democrat nomination, currently occupying the White House, etc. Scary stuff. That said, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. The apparent conflict between socialism and fascism is not ideological, both advocate very similar policies and ideals, and for a long time socialists in the US would sing the praises of the likes of Mussolini, not unlike they did for Lenin and Stalin--only much later did 'fascism' become a dirty word. No, the conflict arises because socialism and fascism compete in the same marketplace, and appeal to people of the same mind and mentality. In other words, that McDonalds is most fiercely competitive with Burger King is not for their differences but because of their similarity.
On that note:
"To the great apostles of political freedom the word had meant freedom from coercion, freedom from the arbitrary power of other men, release from the ties which left the individual no choice but obedience to the orders of a superior to whom he was attached. The new freedom, however, was to be freedom from necessity, release from the compulsion of the circumstances which inevitably limit the range of choice of all of us, although for some very much more than for others. Before man could truly be free, the 'despotism of physical want' had to be broken, the 'restraints of the economic system' relaxed." - Friedrich August von Hayek, The Road to Serfdom