Saturday, 6 November 2021

"Conflicting ideas about freedom are a mainstay of politics today."

"Conflicting ideas about freedom are a mainstay of politics today. To name just a few:
    "In certain sectors of the right, COVID restrictions and mask mandates have become central animating issues. The right to own guns and the freedom to carry them have been key issues for decades of Republican politicians.
    "The political left, on the other hand, is passionate about a different set of freedom claims. 
Abortion rights, freedom for LGBT+ people, and civil rights have become foundations of Democratic politics.... 
    "When everything becomes a liberty claim, the term itself is at risk of losing its meaning and explanatory power. Meanwhile, the political debates grow ever more hostile and sometimes violent. Everyone seems to love liberty, yet they have come to literal riots fighting over its meaning....  
    "One salutary effect of the Trump era [however] has been the backlash against the new tribalism. Beginning with the 'NeverTrump' right, and joined by centre-left liberals who recognise the threat to liberty on their side of the aisle, a new group of intellectuals has begun to coalesce around, not an agenda, but an approach. There is some hope for genuinely fruitful political discussion—the kind of discussion John Stuart Mill himself fervently wished for, even as he planted the intellectual seeds of its destruction."
          ~ Robert Garmong on 'Where Did Liberalism Go Wrong?'


  1. Yes. If there any grounds for optimism in politics, his is it. Robert Tracinksi regularly writes about and promotes a similar theme - a rejection of tribalism by both the illiberal right and left, and a new coalition of ‘centrists’ - formed on the basis of more fundamental principles than the old tribalist spectrums of left and right. Throughout history, perhaps every 90 years or so, a shift has occurred that fundamentally alters the political landscape. The old dividing lines break down, and a realignment occurs (for better or for worse).. It usually happens at a time of crisis. Perhaps we’re on the edge of that now, and it will be a shift for the better.

  2. Liberty and freedom should not be in dispute. The NAP (non-aggression principle) is very easy to understand. All those issues mentioned are important regardless of being perceived as 'left' or 'right'.


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