Monday, 5 December 2016

Where has Liberalism gone?



Those of you who have known me for a while, know that I like to start many of my articles with a definition. That way, the readers and myself have some kind of an objective tool, a common denominator to  start a dialogue, a debate and an exchange.

I therefore decided to look up the term “Liberal” And “Liberalism.”
The Oxford dictionaries define the term “Liberal” as someone who is “willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different” to their own…”
The Free Dictionary defines “Liberalism” as “A political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties,

Both definitions, randomly selected, instill in their readers, at least in me, a sense of elation. They infuse a feeling that the practice of this theory is a panacea to all that is wrong in this world, one that we should all embrace and espouse.

The opposite of Liberalism is Conservatism. According to the Oxford Dictinary, it is "Commitment to traditional values and ideas with opposition to change or innovation:". This , of course, implies intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and a host of other not so complimentary terms. I regard myself as conservative which based on the above encompasses nearly all the evil in the world.

And that is indeed what those who call themselves, liberals, the enlightened ones, would accuse us, “conservatives,” of being -  the compilations of all that is iniquitous in this world. They are the bleeding hearts, they are the inclusive ones. They are the all-encompassing ones, the broad-minded ones. In short, the sole holders of right solution.

Until you dare to differ from them.

The recent election season is a perfect example of that. Granted, both sides displayed some lack of mannerism when emotions took over. The ugly utterances by both sides, the hatred, the profanity and the ugly metaphors brought to the surface some unbearable behavioral patterns which in normal times would remain hidden in the dark creases of the human soul.

I guess as a Conservative, a member of the group of human kind that represents that which is all bad, I am ready and willing to take responsibility. After all, how can you expect the “root of all evil” to act against that which is innate to it?

But what about the “Liberals,” those who per the above definitions, are the epitome of all that is positive, noble, decent and principled? Where is their practice of the brotherhood of men, the practice of many basic liberties of all those who were born equal, including the freedom to choose?

I have been wondering, is it possible that there are as many forms of “liberalism” as there are declared liberals? Where has this noble concept that has guided mankind through some dark eras gone astray? Where have the genuine liberals, the guardians of some of the most noble ideas in our history gone?
Bring them back!