Sat Jul 21, 2007 at 06:00:42 PM PDT
In which I insult libertarians and libertarianism for no good reason...
I know many among us -- among Democrats, that is -- are attempting to woo small-L libertarians into our big tent, primarily because they are so disaffected with the Republican party that they are finally willing to contemplate living with such horrors as modest environmental protections, a drive for energy efficiency, and seat belts. But let me come clean on something from a personal standpoint, and if it results in a one-thread piefight then it can be on my conscience and mine alone. Consider this my public confessional.
There are many political -isms that I am distinctly not a fan of, and I am wary of all of them; in general, any word that ends in -ism tends to have a long and boisterous tail -- the kind of tail that, on the rear end of a dog, scatters papers and knocks over lamps, and on the rear end of a government, sometimes scatters rights and knocks over nations. I have chosen to adopt two socially moderate -isms as my own, progressivism and liberalism, and rejected outright most others on both sides of the right-left divide. I believe Marxism, for example, to have been based on almost comically poor reading of actual human nature -- Marx rivals Freud for brilliant, insightful, and truly ingenious misdiagnoses of the collective psyche -- and I consider conservatism to be a thin veneer of morality overlaid on top of a deep-seated and primal bigotry against the onknown other. Conservativism as a unified movement can only exist in the presence of a perceived and very human enemy, in the form of some ethic group, or religious premise, or "threatening" social tribe.