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Old Dec 30th 2013, 11:07 PM
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Michael Michael is offline
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Default Re: Adam Smith: The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Originally Posted by Tom Palven View Post
Michael, in post #6 above, you said "I've always described my own political and economic views as "hardcore individualist" and liberty of the individual as the highest goal." I guess I jumped to the wrong conclusion. And little did I realize that being an individualist means that I am in favor of screwing everyone else. But there it is, I must be just having more of those senior moments.
Yes, I figured that might be confusing.

I'm agreeing with your characterization that the focus of liberty ultimately ought to be upon the freedom of the individual. This is the most important political goal. For the contemporary US LP, this is not so.

I'm strongly disagreeing that this viewpoint requires a rejection of liberalism. I fundamentally believe that the liberty of individuals is best defended by the political policy of contemporary liberalism. Every other policy option appears to support a fascist agenda and the authoritarian rightwing, no matter what the stated agenda may be. Only political liberalism has any actual track record in supporting real liberalism and true personal liberty. Liberalism may fail in the face of the challenge of fascism, but it is our only realistic hope.

And liberalism specifically includes the idea that personal liberty must be balanced against 'collective' liberty. Indeed, it is ONLY liberalism that accepts this principle. Any other form of 'liberty' that rejects 'liberalism' essentially does so to escape liberalism's acceptance of this limitation. That's why I reject any term to represent 'pro-liberty' that isn't 'liberalism'. Liberalism has all that is required. Any other term is chosen because it precludes this recognition of the necessary balance against the 'many' or the 'collective'.

That's why I'm so critical of the 'populist' rightwing that you seem to support. That whole anti-Federal Reserve, pro-specie currency game is totally pro-capitalist, anti-people and anti-liberty. It doesn't support the interests of average working people, that's for sure. It is so pro-capitalist and so pro-corporatist that the rich and the corporations are almost too embarassed to openly support the LP. This isn't a problem for them since they pretty much 'own' the Republican party and thus get an even better deal (with government subsidy games and generous government contracting arrangements).

But the rich always want more, so they push for more. Getting rid of the Federal Reserve would be a big fat gift to America's billionaire class, no doubt about that (heck, having a FedReserve is also big gift to the billionaire class too!). But it would also screw the average working man, no doubt about that either. And all this is why I'm so surprised that you seem to support this, given your otherwise anti-elitist views.
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