Fear & Loathing in Las Americas

October 8, 2008 | By Paul Mackenzie Ross | Filed in: politics.

I’m getting quite tired of the bullshit that’s coming out of America on this campaign trail and in the midsts of this global financial crisis. In particular I am particularly concerned with the skewed ideology that seems to be so pervasive amongst certain sections of the American populace.

The two big fears that seem to persist in some American minds are these:

LIBERALS. There is so much hate aimed at people who are liberal or perceived as being liberal. Being liberal is almost regarded as a crime in some quarters. I find that a concern seeing as the broad term “liberal” means open-minded in one part of its definition. So those who dismiss liberals are are of closed-mind? That sounds fair. Being liberal means being tolerant? That’s also fair. Liberals look for change and reform? I can’t argue with or against that.

Just for the record I consider myself a moderate so I like to think that I have a balanced view including liberal values and whatever the other values are. Let’s just say non-liberal, conservative maybe.

I could talk about this subject for hours so I’ll keep this short then. To those that critique Liberals and liberalism I say this:

On Liberty Island stands the Statue of Liberty. Liberal. Liberty. Is it so strange that both those words are so similar? If Americans value their freedom so much then they need to face up to the fact that they owe that to their liberty. Or is that too close a term to liberal?

SOCIALISM. Again there are so many accusations levelled against “socialism”. This is, again, a broad term, often taken as being the transitional stage between communism and capitalism. But socialism includes the word social. Are you social? No? Don’t like socialism, are you anti-socialism? Then you are antisocial.

In America there seems to be a hell of a lot of individualism. So many individuals are clamouring against socialism. Isn’t collective individualism effectively socialism?

I’m no psychologist but I feel that if any of these people who condemn liberalism and socialism out-of-hand are very mixed up people. It’s almost like an inbred terror of the unknown, like they’ve been conditioned to react negatively to certain terms and phrases without actually knowing their real meanings.

Granted, it’s a complicated ball game; the relaxing of rules on fiscal regulation is a form of financial liberalism whilst tightening the controls on finance may appear to be the opposite. And it seems that those that slate liberals want less governance, which is liberal in itself, whilst liberals support greater controls on runaway finances.

It’s a funny old world we live in.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *