Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fish or cut bait, progressives.

Reason quotes liberal Columbia University historian Eric Foner as admitting to a fundamental contradiction in progressivism:
As I see it, the core tenets are somewhat at odds with each other. On the one hand you have the belief in governmental assistance to the less fortunate, governmental regulation of economic activity and very modest governmental efforts to redistribute wealth to assist those further down the social scale. So it’s active government, in the pursuit of social goals, when it comes to the economy. On the other hand, modern liberalism emphasises privacy, individual rights and civil liberties – keeping government out of your life when it comes to things like abortion rights. In other words, in the private realm liberalism is for autonomy and lack of government intervention.
Yes, those core tenets are somewhat at odds with each other, as surely as the Pacific Ocean is a somewhat moist spot on the earth's surface. If modern progressives are serious about privacy and individual rights, and that's a pretty big "if," those queer lefties who assert that all LGBT people should agree with them on everything have the burden of resolving that contradiction.

Obviously, conservatism often presents its own fundamental contradiction, which is a photographic negative of the one noted above. The difference is that I do not have to listen to hordes of people telling me that just because I like men, I must unquestioningly accept the tenets of social conservatism.

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