Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Emperor's new argument, or: Oh, so that's why we should all be lefties

In this article on John Edwards, the author explains why we must accept liberalism as a whole:
Because one reason I was eager to back Edwards was there was no conflict in his campaign between the three tiers of modern liberalism, which often do fight each other. I see the three as:

1) Economic justice. This is labor movements, anti-poverty initiatives, fair taxation, health care reform, social services, government that is functional, etc. Anything that helps secure the middle class, bolsters the economy, and lifts people out of poverty.

2) Social justice. Feminism, anti-racism, gay rights, anti-colonialism, things like that---anything that divides people against each other on the basis of identity hierarchies.

3) Environmentalism and rationalism. Preserving the planet, promoting science, basically using the now to work towards a better tomorrow.

Obviously, a smart person sees how these are interrelated and that you really fail at anti-racism if you don't think about poverty and that you're not a good environmentalist if economic justice isn't part of your worldview, and you're not an effective feminist if you treat science like it's a lark.
In addition to the many proofs by assertion, the author throws in the "Emperor's New Clothes" argument (technically an appeal to personal interest), "Obviously, a smart person sees" that she's right. Try again.

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