Quite a few of us like to think of ourselves as Liberals. However, in that context do we have the right understanding of liberal? Some people would suggest, that identifying yourself as a liberal is a cover to hide your true political allegiance. Usually, they think that you’re someway between the left and right and you have no idea where you are going. But you are more than likely a very nice reasonable person who won’t harm anyone.
Teenagers and young adults like the concept of Liberty. The thought and idea that you are free to come, go, and do as you wish is part of their desired lifestyle. In fact, I too thought like that many years ago. The thought of been unshackled from the state and authority allows us to be free to do what we please. We can pursue a chosen lifestyle based on personal liberty. That could mean any of the following:
- drinking excessively
- taking drugs and engaging in activities society finds unacceptable
- becoming an international jewel thief
- becoming a hippy and living off the land
- joining a commune
- sit and watch TV all day rising only to sign on for welfare
- becoming a communist and refuse to work or participate in any social activities until the revolution becomes a reality
If we were a genuinely liberal country that means you are free to pursue your hedonistic lifestyle of sex, drugs, drink and Rock and Roll to your ends be it. However, when you are in your pit and find there is no help to cure you of your lifestyle where do you go when you don’t have the finance to fund your rehab? If you wish to pursue a lifestyle based on liberal ideals, then you should expect a Liberal society to treat you as such. Therefore, no one interferes with your lifestyle and no one is responsible when your lifestyle failures catch up with you.
Therefore, liberalism affirms the superior value of individual freedom. Why should liberal society pick up the tab for your drinking and drug taking sheer stupidity – whoops sorry, your liberal preserve?
Liberalism identifies with anti-social behaviour, where crime is committed against people, economic institutions and the state. While the vast majority live life with virtue and consideration, there remains the assertion that there is a very liberal section abusing what a socially responsible progressive society has to offer. Therefore, Liberalism falls short of the standards it seeks to pursue in an organised liberal state.
Since the sixties we have seen the introduction of more and more laws, which prohibit our freedom. We are liberal in mind but not liberal in our governance. The British concept of freedom of speech has given way to the mindless bestowing of political correctness by the liberal left. Careful what you say so as not to offend. Hence, our ideals of Liberalism are under constant abuse.
There are those in society who choose to live here escaping regimes and religious intolerance. Once here they abuse our liberal freedoms to attack our liberal freedoms. Therefore, the newcomer uses our tolerant society against us, and slowly but surely they attempt to erode our liberties. Due to their actions, we replace out liberal privileges with harsher and stricter laws that erode our freedoms.
Tony Blair and Gordon Brown did much to erode our values. Every time an incident occurred, there was a knee-jerk reaction to bring into law another statute. Did they never consider using existing legislation to combat the problem? Government contains too many lawyers who for some reason need more law as a means to justify their existence.
Such are the times with constant threats that stifles our liberalism. Our Liberal Democrats are anything but liberal. I’d be surprised if any member of the Lib Dems understood the concept of liberalism. Neo-liberals don’t believe in big government. Small government is allowing people to manage their own lives free from big interfering government. Neo-liberalism seeks to dismantle the institutions of the state
As I said, we are liberal in thought just not enough to allow Liberalism in Government. Liberalism by its very existence would be seen to give too much of our selves away. The British with all their history could be declining Liberal policy to protect ourselves from the prospect of even more critical European Union government. In the EU, we have ego driven politicians seeking to impose their many values on broader European society.
Liberalism might need something smaller to work. Its theories and aspirations might not have much to offer at an individual level. Therefore, Liberalism might need to find a new direction.
We’re all liberals; it’s just a case of mind and matter. You won’t matter as long as I don’t mind. Go live your life only don’t disturb mine.