Thursday, December 31, 2009

The History of Liberalism

This might be a longer than usual post. Michael McBride's latest article purports to give a history of liberalism, leading up to it's natural conclusion, which is public nudity. Yep. Liberalisms end game is public nudity. Bet you didn't see that coming.

But let's not neglect the journey.
American liberalism initially manifested itself with the emergence of suffrage drives, with Wilson’s pandering for the League of Nations, and with the relaxing of mores during the twenties. Morals were plied with the consumption of prohibited beverages and further trod upon by the liberating sense of rebellion that came with doing so.
Hmmmmm. Well he's partially right - the late 1800s early 1900s did contain the progressives, and Wilson did try to create the League of Nations (which Congress then neutered). On the other hand it's hilarious for McBride to imply the Jazz age was some kind of liberal period - rather the government was thoroughly conservative in policy and program. And liberals of that period were more likely to be pro-Prohibition rather than avid drinkers. I suppose he's trying to make a connection to the sixties, but it's rather tenuous. Still it's not as ahistorical as the next bit.
Such exuberance was quickly snuffed out by the harsh realities of the Great Depression, Nazism, the bleak existence most families found themselves in, and the eventual national commitment to a two front war. There was scant time available for dalliances with anything that wasn’t practical and immediate. Concepts and ideas outside of the very real and necessary were left to those in the colleges of America and Europe or to professional philosophers and theorists.
I find myself wondering if McBride has ever heard of the New Deal, which kind of sprung up out of the harsh realities of the Great Depression. Or FDR, Liberal Icon, who ran the country during this period. Or the dozens of progressive programs that got there start in the 1930s. I guess not.
Then, after a relatively brief period of peace, America elected a young Senator from the uber-liberal state of Massachusetts, and liberalism was once again uncorked. Fermented by years of being bottled up by the necessities imposed by the outside world, liberalism was unleashed full tilt into a generation excited by the charisma of a core of liberal politicos who enthralled them. Eager to escape their depression educated parents and their parents’ puritanical concepts in child rearing; this generation accelerated past the standard bearers and never looked back. Chicago 1968.

Based on the reasonable concepts of equal civil rights (although it took Republicans to actually get civil rights legislation passed in the sixties; over objections of many Democrats), women’s rights, taking care of the poor and protecting the weak, liberal thought was embraceable by many who felt blessed in those heady times.
I particularly like the one line reference to Chicago 1968. Charitably I'll assume he intended to expand on the idea, and put that in there to remind himself, but forgot. I'll also note that while Republicans did support Civil Rights Legislation, Conservatives did not. And those Conservatives who fought against Civil Rights legislation soon found a new home in the Republican Party where they have been to this day.

And then we get to McBride's denouement - the goal of Liberalism.
Soon liberal thought pushed well past the novel concepts of civil rights, sexual equality, and governmental support of the poor, to free love, sexual freedom, feminism, abortion rights, and exaggerated forms of freedom of expression, including; burning the flag, urinating and defecating on religious symbols, vulgarity in art and music, tolerance of all manner and combination of sexual encounters, right to self-euthanize, and the consumption of all manner of mind bending drugs, among others.
Fascinating. But I suppose this puts his earlier nonsensical comments about prohibition in context. And the argument that Public Nudity is Liberalisms endgame. Although I think urinating and defecating on religious symbols might be worse than public nudity. He gets around to a very liberal town with a very liberal public nudity policy in which some of the residents are upset at the amount of public nudity. So some liberals think there should be more public nudity while others think there should be less public nudity. This exposes the fault lines of modern liberalism between the crazy extremist liberals and the moderate liberals. He cheerfully predicts that these differences will destroy the liberal movement shortly, and hopes that conservatives are ready to take over.

I don't know - I am anti-public-nudity (particularly my own (there are individuals for whom my anti-public-nudity stance is weaker, but it's chilly and rainy here today and it just seems cruel to expect them to walk around naked)), and yet I am still willing to vote for and support Democrats and Liberals. Perhaps I'm an outlier.

Where does President Obama stand on Public Nudity?

1 comment:

Mustang Bobby said...

This person has serious issues with other peoples' naughty bits.

Is he twelve?