Thursday, December 16, 2010

Labels ARE the Problem

RealClearPolitics - Labels Aren't the Problem

At least when we don't agree on what labels mean.

From the founding up until the 30's, "Left" meant "Control" -- Monarchy, socialism, dictatorship, communism ... "statism". Leviathan run amok.

"Right" meant "chaos" -- extreme liberty, anarchy, "Solitary, nasty, brutish and short".

America was founded as "center right" meaning to the traditional measure of "liberal" as being rooted in "liberty", purposely slightly more toward chaos than control, realizing the natural tendency of control (power) to continue to aggrandize itself and corrupt.

So ...
The No Labelers are also right to be repulsed by the replacement of real argument with a vicious brand of name-calling. When a president of the United States is attacked simultaneously as an "extreme liberal liar" and a "Nazi," there is a sick irrationality at work in our discourse.
It's only "sick and irrational" if one doesn't realize that the term "liberal" has been corrupted to mean "left", when it's real meaning is "right", and the Nazi's were "National Socialists" -- and socialism is part of the left. Given today's definition of liberal as left and socialism as being part of the left, it makes PERFECT sense to tie "liberal and Nazi together" -- all be it that it makes the corruption of the language relative to "liberal and liberty" very plain.
The basic difficulty arises from a false equivalence they make between our current "left" and our current "right." The truth is that the American right is much farther from anything that can fairly be described as "the center" than is the left.
This is proof that we have moved so far left after TR, Wilson, FDR, LBJ and W that our left can't really figure out how to go farther. The"right" is so far left of center that our founding fathers wouldn't even see it as "right" at all. It is "right" only compared to today's left -- compared to an objective view of left/right, both are parties are parties of the left.

He has also been mugged by reality -- EJ would like to see some lefties that don't believe in markets, but once the USSR fell and even China does it's best to support markets, it is as hard as finding a flat earther after spaceflight. Reagan, Thatcher, the fall of the USSR, the rise of India and China due to market based reforms -- now even SWEDEN following market reforms ought to be the economic equivalent of orbital spaceflight to a flat earther.

So EJ has a few problems. He doesn't understand what left and right is, the world has moved so far left he can't find anything to the left of it, and the obvious fact of markets (that could not even be stamped out by the USSR) has forced nearly everyone (EJ must be holding out) to realize that outlawing markets is like outlawing gravity -- it may sound nice to some ears, but "reality bites".

The problem of the left is that they have actually "achieved" more than is achievable -- and now it is clear that the bill for the unachievable of Social Security, Medicare, Health Care, etc can't be paid. We have run into the left wall and what EJ sees as "something missing" is merely the left bouncing off reality.

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