Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sublation of Liberalism

Modern political terms are absurd. Conservatives claim to defend the tradition of liberty while liberals adore an increasingly oppressive totalitarian state. How did this happen?

It appears that the muddling of terms happened during the reaction to the American Revolution in the early 1800s.

The US Founders had a liberal arts education. The applied traditional logic to the question of liberty which they saw as self-rule. The founders fought a war to liberate themselves from the monarchy and created a constitutionally limited government to preserve liberty.

The US Founders were LIBERALS. They simply had a different definition of "liberty."

The US Founders fought a middle class revolution for freedom. They were seeking liberation from a corrupt ruling class. They were not seeking to impose social justice on their enemies. The founders had a deep distrust of the rabble and mob rule.

The Founders saw liberty as self-rule. They saw the failure of free societies in the past and realized that to stay, people needed to be of strong character. The founders promoted a set of virtues and values that they saw as necessary to maintain freedom. This set of values is similar to what Modern Conservatives claim to be "Conservative Values."

While a strong value set is necessary to maintain freedom, Conservative Values do not, in and of themselves, bring freedom.

The serfs in feudalism had "conservative values" and lived in abject poverty. Radical Islam has "conservative values."

Nazism and Fascism were socialist states which promoted strong "conservative values." The guards at the death camps did not have liberal values. If they had liberal values, they would have opened the gates to liberate people. I imagine it required great moral fiber to guard a death camp. I couldn't do it.

The founders were liberals who had a value set similar to "conservative values." This does not make them "conservatives."

The Conservatives of 1776 were called Tories. The Tories were royalists who supported the crown during the War. The Tories lost the war and had to cope and adapt.

Yes, I know. How could the royalist philosophy be written in German? It is not as if the English Kings came from Hanover and were jointly kings of England and a large section of Germany (Hanover). It is not as if English Kings were the primary patrons of German Universities such as Gottingen.

Wait a second. It says here Hanover is in German. How did that happen? Holy cow, the Kings of England were fundamental in setting up the German University system. If this is the case, then Hegel and friends were deeply and directly influenced by royalist thought. Go figure?
The royalist adaptation to the US Revolution was encapsulated in the works of Hegel.

A primary interest of Hegel was change. He advocated a dialectical view of history with the world spirit evolving through conflict (like Fox News). Hegel also studied the way words changed (sublation) with a specific interest in the master/slave relation. Hegel had a large number of examples of how freedom becomes slavery and slavery freedom.

The Conservative/Royalist view of the 1800s was encapsulated in the works of Hegel.

In philosophy, the term "modern" applies to the branches of philosophy that appeared post Kant (1724-1804).

The US Founders despised the factionalization they saw in Europe. Modern conservatives thrive on partisanship.

The US Founders saw "Machiavelli" as an evil word. Modern Conservatives bow in worship of Machiavelli.

A case in point is the way that Conservatives have deluded themselves into believing that ObamaCare is communism and RomneyCare is free market ... when they are essentially the same program!

Speaking of Communism, Karl Marx was a young Hegelian. Marx took the ideas of the arch conservative Hegel and reframed them as revolutionary and progressive.

Communism is simply the monarchy reframed. There is a direct chain between the conservative royalist view to the communist view. Socialism is a top-heavy statist philosophy that has been framed in a manner appealing to people with liberal leanings.

Now, I don't hate "conservatives." For that matter, I've been a big supporter of the Goldwater and Buckley branch of the conservative movement. However, my support for the freedom coalition in the conservative movement has not closed my eyes to the troubling fact every bad thing that exists on the left also exists, to some extent, on the right.

As the Conservative movement drives its freedom coalition underground, we will see all of the negative aspects of conservatism emerge.

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