Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Rubin Report: Thaddeus Russell- 'Socialism, Authoritarianism & Liberalism'

Source:The Rubin Report- Thaddeus Russell on The Rubin Report.
“Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report talks to Thaddeus Russell (Author, Professor) about growing up in a socialist family in Berkeley, the evolution of politics, authoritarianism vs libertarianism, political labels and the meaning of the word liberal, the debate around using the N-word to discuss racism, and much more. This is part of our collaboration with Learn Liberty featuring interviews with classical liberals….

I disagree with Dave Rubin at least one point here and it gets to my main beef ( for lack of a better word ) with Libertarians today who are not Classical Liberals, but hardcore Libertarians and even Anarcho-Libertarians. Who believe they're the only defenders of freedom and everyone else right or left are big government statists and fascists.

But if you're familiar with American politics you know it's not as simple as ordering a meal when you're a patient at a hospital. And you're essentially choosing between two things you don't want to eat because they'll both taste bad, but you're smart enough to know that you don't want to die from starvation in a hospital and you order the least bad tasting of the two choices. You decide that if you're going to die in a hospital, it will be on the operating table, not from starvation on your hospital bed.

When it comes to people who believe in personal autonomy, personal choice, personal responsibility, free speech, it's not Libertarians versus everyone else. With Libertarians being the only believers in freedom in America, versus the statists. That everyone else including Liberals and Progressives on the center-left and Conservatives and even Conservative-Libertarians on the center-right, are really just big government statists. And are no better than the Christian-Nationalists on the far-right and Socialists and Communists on the far-left.

This libertarian fascism ( which might sound like an Oxymoron ) where there Libertarians even who believe they have all the intelligence and all the bright ideas and the only believers in freedom, is the main reason why I can't be a Libertarian and will always be a Liberal, even if you prefer to call me a Classical Liberal. Because as a Liberal I can't look at politics as good versus evil with one side having all the morality and the other side being evil.

There good Liberals, there good Progressives, there good Conservatives, there good Conservative-Libertarians, there even some good Socialists. Democratic generally, but there are good Socialists. There good Christian-Conservatives who by enlarge are good Christians even, who I just tend to disagree with on social issues, but who aren't racists and people who do care about others and always looking to help people in need live better lives. American politics to me is not about good versus evil, but debating what's the best approach and what are the best ideas and leaving it to the voters to figure this out and who they select to lead them to govern. Not about the good conquering the evil.

Now, where I agree with Dave Rubin is that political labels are losing their meaning. If you were just getting into American politics yesterday, you might think liberal is just another way of saying socialist or communist. And are people who are simply involved in politics to eliminate all forms of individuality and individualism and put women in charge of everything. And believe Caucasians are basically bad people, especially Anglo-Saxons and men, are bad people.

And that if you were just getting into American politics yesterday, you might believe that conservative is another way of saying Christian-Nationalist militarist fascist, who hates all non-Europeans and even hates some Europeans as well who aren't of English or British background. Like Jews, Italians, Slavs, and other Southern Europeans. Who want to force their religious and moral values on the rest of the country and want to eliminate our liberal democratic federal republic and replace it with an fundamentalist Evangelical Christian theocracy.

But if you're actually familiar with American politics, you know that both liberalism and conservatism, are not about authoritarianism and they are similar, but not because they're both about authoritarianism, but because they both believe in a high degree of individualism and personal autonomy. Both believe in capitalism and private enterprise, property rights, civil liberties, strong national defense, that America has an important role in the world to promote and defend human rights  and freedom, but differ when it comes to the role of government especially as it relates to the economy. Liberals tend to be more in favor of a public safety net for people who truly need it and regulations to protect consumers and workers. And Conservatives tend to be more in favor of privatization when it comes to the economy.

Of course there are people who believe that individualism and personal autonomy, are horrible things and that European-Americans tend to be bad people and everything else that comes from the Far-Left. And there are people who basically believe that non-Europeans are bad people and that there are even Europeans who are bad people. Who want to enforce their moral and religious values on the rest of everyone else in America. But you have Socialists and Communists on the far-left, who believe in these far-left anti-individualist, anti-male, anti-European-American values. And you have have Christian-Nationalists on the far-right who believe their religious and moral values are superior to everyone else and therefor should be forced on everyone else in America. But these people aren't Liberals or Conservatives. There authoritarians, but from different factions ranging from the far-left to the far-right.

But I go back to my point about ordering a meal in a hospital ( that I would only wish on my worst enemies to have to do ) that American politics is not a choice between a bad chicken dinner and a bad spaghetti dinner. That the American political spectrum is more like what you would see at a good diner or restaurant and it might take you five minutes to read the whole thing, maybe ten if you haven't been to that diner or restaurant before or because you have so many good choices. That it's not about liberal and liberal representing the entire left-wing in America and that conservative represents the entire right-wing in America. Liberals represent the center pro-freedom left in America. Conservatives represent the center pro-freedom  right in America. And you have you all these fringe factions on both wings that make the Liberals and Conservatives look like they're something that they're not, which are authoritarians.  

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  1. You can also see this post on WordPress:

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John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960