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BS: Origins of Liberal Thought

Amos 01 Aug 08 - 10:58 AM
Amos 09 Mar 07 - 07:12 PM
Dickey 09 Mar 07 - 06:20 PM
Amos 09 Mar 07 - 04:39 AM
Dickey 09 Mar 07 - 01:09 AM
Amos 08 Mar 07 - 10:22 PM
Dickey 08 Mar 07 - 09:11 PM
Stringsinger 08 Mar 07 - 07:23 PM
Don Firth 08 Mar 07 - 06:57 PM
Amos 08 Mar 07 - 11:45 AM
Amos 29 Aug 06 - 10:39 AM
Ebbie 15 May 06 - 12:44 PM
Amos 15 May 06 - 10:33 AM
Bobert 22 Feb 05 - 10:43 PM
Bobert 22 Feb 05 - 10:40 PM
Amos 22 Feb 05 - 10:35 PM
Bobert 22 Feb 05 - 10:09 PM
Susu's Hubby 22 Feb 05 - 09:51 PM
Bobert 22 Feb 05 - 07:18 PM
Susu's Hubby 22 Feb 05 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,Frank 22 Feb 05 - 06:40 PM
robomatic 22 Feb 05 - 02:24 PM
Jim Tailor 22 Feb 05 - 09:45 AM
Amos 22 Feb 05 - 09:26 AM
harvey andrews 07 Nov 04 - 07:10 PM
harvey andrews 07 Nov 04 - 07:08 PM
GUEST,Frank 07 Nov 04 - 04:33 PM
Ellenpoly 07 Nov 04 - 12:35 AM
GUEST 06 Nov 04 - 08:00 PM
Peter T. 09 Aug 04 - 10:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Aug 04 - 12:48 PM
Amos 08 Aug 04 - 12:39 PM
Peter T. 08 Aug 04 - 11:16 AM
kendall 08 Aug 04 - 04:37 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Aug 04 - 06:36 PM
Amos 07 Aug 04 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Frank 07 Aug 04 - 01:39 PM
GUEST 07 Aug 04 - 12:11 PM
Amos 06 Aug 04 - 09:58 PM
Peace 06 Aug 04 - 09:30 PM
Amos 06 Aug 04 - 08:04 PM
SueB 14 May 04 - 03:31 AM
Deda 13 May 04 - 11:46 PM
GUEST 13 May 04 - 10:14 PM
Bobert 13 May 04 - 10:07 PM
dianavan 13 May 04 - 09:57 PM
Amos 13 May 04 - 04:22 PM
Amos 13 May 04 - 04:20 PM
Deda 13 May 04 - 03:25 PM
freda underhill 16 Apr 04 - 08:35 AM
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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 01 Aug 08 - 10:58 AM

LInk to a later thread entitled Why We're Liberals, of possible interest.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 07:12 PM

DIckey, stop this idle baiting. It clarifies nothing, brings no merit tot he discussion, and simply redoubles animosity about the kind of stupidity that has already done so much harm in the last eight years. You can graduate from your Cheney apprenticeship and assume the title of Master in your own right at it.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Dickey
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 06:20 PM

You sure are a creative thinker Amos.

Who attacked America in WW1?


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 04:39 AM

Oh, bull. You were responding to a clear reference to the W maladmin.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Dickey
Date: 09 Mar 07 - 01:09 AM

Who said anything about Iraq? I was referring to what happened during the Civil War, WW1 and WW2,


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 10:22 PM

Dickey:

When you compare apples with oranges, all you get is horsefruit.

Bush attacked a nation unilaterally who was not attacking the United States, and he failed to effectively campaign against the NON-nation network and its leader that WAS attacking the United States.

Given that the things he resorted to did not accomplish the goals he intended to accomplish, it strikes me you cannot use his ends to justify his means. And least of all, use some other Presidents' means.

The differences between the Iraq war and the CIvil War or the Second World War are huge, substantive differences.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Dickey
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 09:11 PM

"New restrictions employing wire-tapping and unlawful surveillance are being instituted to furthur erode our "Liberal" system of government."

During WWII FDR gave the FBI complete authority to lntercept all transAtlantic cables and a virtual free hand when it came to domestic surveillance, wiretapping and opening mail.

A woman got a commendation and a special medal from the government for finding a bit of microfilm under the stamp of an inocuous domestic letter that sent six German spies to the gallows."

"Unfortunately, all of these principles are being trashed such as "Habeas Corpus",

President Lincoln interfered with freedom of speech and of the press and ordered that suspected political criminals be tried before military tribunals. Probably Lincoln's most controversial act was suspending the writ of habeas corpus.


Soon after declaring war on Germany and its allies in 1917, Congress ruled that the U.S. mail could not be used for sending any material urging "treason, insurrection or forcible resistance to any law." It punished offenders with a fine of up to $5,000 and a five-year prison term. The government soon banned magazines including THE MASSES and THE NATION from the mails for expressing anti-war sentiment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Stringsinger
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 07:23 PM

When the terms "Liberal" and "Conservative" are used without the user defining what they mean for the sake of conversation, the dialogue orbits around like a bat in a aviary.

The origins of liberal thought in America can be found in the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights by Jefferson, Madison, Franklyn and others. There it is, it's easy to see. Roots are in the Magna Carta and the above influences cited.

Liberalism is a distinct American ideology and defines what originally set this country apart from foreign dictatorships.

Unfortunately, all of these principles are being trashed such as "Habeas Corpus", "Posse Commitatus", protection against "illegal search and seizure", the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and the justification is the villification of the term "liberal" by an Orwellian religious, corporate and military hierarchy. New restrictions employing wire-tapping and unlawful surveillance are being instituted to furthur erode our "Liberal" system of government.

As to the conformity of the American public, this may be overrated and in time prove to be false. If not, and people remain asleep, what we know of the great American experiment in Democracy may become obsolete and we once again enter the dark ages of Feudalism, Fascism and Corporatism.

The antidote seems to be the proliferation of small activist groups of people working in their community to protect the real American values.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 06:57 PM

I've often had conservatives recommend that I read The Conscience of a Conservative, by Barry Goldwater (which I have read, back when Goldwater was running for president). As I recall, Goldwater himself was a bit fuzzy around the edges regarding the self-contradictory position of minimum government and authoritarianism. A strange mixture of "That government is best which governs least" and "Do as you are told. The government knows best."

It's ironic that so many folks who call themselves, and presumably think of themselves as "conservatives" object so strenuously when people question some of the more dubious actions of the Federal government. If one is dedicated, as conservatives claim is the very core of their position, to preserving the principles upon which the United States of America was founded, then how can one not question the Federal government when it indulges in problematic activities, such as invading another country that the United States has no reasonable quarrel with? It would seem unpatriotic not to do so.

The "Founding Fathers," whom American "conservatives" seem to hold in holy reverence, were certainly not conservative themselves. In fact, they were wild-assed radical liberals. They did not believe that King George III knew best and just shut up and did what they were told. Otherwise, the United States and Canada would now probably be all one country and part of the British Commonwealth. American conservatives suffer from a weird kind of schizophrenia:   holding up the Founding Fathers as ideals while at the same time reviling the very of people who currently espouse the principles that motivated the Founding Fathers.

It isn't rational.

The explanation for this disconnect may very well have been enunciated in linguist and cognitive scientist George Lakoff's book,Moral Politics : How Liberals and Conservatives Think. The following is a fairly succinct account of Lakoff's suggestion:
The "Strict Father" model of family morality that conservatives subscribe to is based on the hierarchical authority of the father who sets and enforces rules of behavior. Children are expected to learn self-discipline, self-reliance, and respect for legitimate authority. Obedience is emphasized; questioning of authority is little tolerated. Governmental social programs are seen by conservatives as rewarding a lack of self-discipline, of failing to becoming self-reliant. However, spending for the preservation of the moral order, for protection of the "nation as family," whether it is for defense or for building more prisons, is morally required.

Liberals, on the other hand, subscribe to a "Nurturant Parent" model. Children become responsible, self-disciplined, and self-reliant through being cared for, respected, and, in turn, caring for others. Open communications is emphasized; even the questioning of authority by children is seen as positive. Desired behavior is not obtained through punishment. Empathy and a regard for fair treatment are priorities in this model. Social programs are seen by liberals as helping both individuals and the greater society. The maintenance of fairness is a priority for government.
Thus, according to Lakoff, the different viewpoints held by American liberals and conservatives are not so much a matter of rational thinking as it is of upbringing and world-view.

It's always interesting to note that I whenever bring up this theory and speak of Lakoff's book, my conservative acquaintances insist that both Lakoff and I should be taken out to the woodshed and thoroughly spanked until we start to see sense. . . .

People like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Ann Coulter, who spew their verbal vitriol at those who are critical of the government and call them "traitors" (not to mention a few self-avowed "conservatives" here on Mudcat) are about as far from the ideals and principles of true conservatism as it's possible for people to get.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 08 Mar 07 - 11:45 AM

The bizarre invective of people like Limbaugh and Coulter who have tried to invert and deform a perfectly good word -- Liberal -- into some kind of political epithet roughly equivalent to "pinko faggot commie bastard wuss" is a curious form of hate speech. As such, it violates the tradition of liberal thought, which is by definition slanted toward tolerance.

But it seems to me that when reactionary and rabid hatred is aimed at those of liberal persuasion, what we are seeing is a strange perversion. The paradox is that the freedoms these angry voices inist they are defending include the freedom to hate, the freedom to deny freedom, the freedom to slander, and the freedom to oppress. They also seem to invoke the freedom to rationalize slaughter of others physically or, more slowly, economically, on the basis that self-defense real or imaginary justifies everything.

A liberal who seeks to go and find out, for example, what it is that makes Muslim fanatics so certain they should blow themselves up in order to take a few Shiites or Sunni or Englishmen or Americans with them, is considered to be treacherous in the extreme -- even though long experience often teaches us that people who are understood can change more readily than people who are shut out or pigenoholed withouut communication.


A liberal who seeks a path to end war is defined as a traitor to those who seek only to pursue war to its bloody end of conquest. This despite the many lessons of the high cost of enmity and the painful sequelae to conquest.

The opposite of Liberal, by the way, is not "Conservative" in the English language, however distorted this may become in political theater. It is "illiberal".

"narrow-minded about cherished opinions "
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Ironically enough, Wikipedia redirects "illiberal" to "Authoritarianism" and remarks:

"Authoritarianism describes a form of social control characterized by strict obedience to the authority of a state or organization, often maintaining and enforcing control through the use of oppressive measures. Authoritarian regimes are strongly hierarchical.

In an authoritarian form of government, citizens are subject to state authority in many aspects of their lives, including many matters that other political philosophies would see as erosion of civil liberties and freedom. There are various degrees of authoritarianism; even very democratic and liberal states will show authoritarianism to some extent, for example in areas of national security.

At least one author, John Duckitt, suggests a specific link exists between authoritarianism and collectivism.[1] In both cases individual rights and goals are subjugated to group goals, expectations and conformities.[2]"

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 29 Aug 06 - 10:39 AM

Refresh for current consideration.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Ebbie
Date: 15 May 06 - 12:44 PM

I didn't see this thread in its first go 'round but I'm glad it came back. Lots of food for thought.

I'm also grateful that Hubby detailed his thinking- for the first time I got a good idea of the conservative's thesis. I apologize for not grasping it before.

If I understand it correctly: The conservative (And I am NOT referring to the neo-conservative) sincerely would like to have almost all taxes collected from the people to go to the state/county/city in which s/he lives. The s/c/c then would allocate the monies to serve the over-all community.

The federal government, on the other hand, would receive only enough money from the people to finesse diplomacy among the nations and in the event to make war.

Sounds simple enough, and I can see its appeal. But surely it is a limited view of what can work. Among the limitations, I should think, is that the states are not equal geographically, climaticly, and therefore not financially equal. We already have 'poor' states, which I think is a disgrace. Would we want to institute and legitimize those variances for all?

Even aside from the obvious, would it not detract from the whole idea of union?

It just occurred to me: This is what the European Union is attempting. If I understand it, their thesis is that each signatory will keep its unique character within itself but assign the greater needs to the ruling body which will then work for the greatest good for all.

Am I on the right track?


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 15 May 06 - 10:33 AM

Bobert:

Jefferson, in the one quote being focused on, did not say anything like that. He emphasizes that if each person, and town, and township and county and state are taking on as much responsibility as they can successfully manage, and pass to higher orders of organization only those things which are outside that domain, then things will work.

Thus an individual may be responsible for his own well, if he lives with one, but he can't organize the city water system. The city can organize a local water system, but can't authorize distirbution of water across the region, but that is somethign to have a state gummint handle. Civil order of the magnitude of states should be left to States to organize.

Declaring war -- which should be illegal -- if it is to be done is something only the national government can reasonably manage.

I think Hubby would agree that while individual responsibility is the core answer to all social problems, it is not the only piece necessary, and it is obvious Jefferson says this as well. We are far too complex a society to resort to frontier-age solutions.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 10:43 PM

Hmmmmmm, Amos? If you take hubby's interprtation then, what then heck, Jefferson County, WV, could declare war on Russia??? Somethin' seriously wrong with some thinkin' 'round this joint....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 10:40 PM

Make that "2000 years"....


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 10:35 PM

Hubby:

I was making Tom Jefferson's point. If you happen top agree with him, well and good, but I had no idea you were even in the discussion to make a point, let alone knowledge of what it was when I posted this. This means, as well, that the states should have the right to define those spheres of public interest that the public cannot, and the Federal Government only those spheres that the states cannot. Good idea, yes?

So why do you suppose the lame-brain in the White house thinks he should adulterate the United States Constitution with a narrow-minded version of some Christian doctrine?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 10:09 PM

What Tom Jefferson said is that if our democracy is to survive then iyt would need a good kick in the pants every 20 years...

Well, we now have almost 30 years of right wing conservative rule so accordin' to my Wes Ginny Slide Rule, if out democracy is gonna survive, we nedd the pendulum to swing back in the other direction. If don't happen soon then you can put a fork in Tom Jefferson's ideas for America. The same folks who have brought down every empire going back 200 years will, because of their greed, take this one down as well.

Don't think so? Unless the US starts acting like a benevolent super power and soon, China will be the next super power and we will all be making junk for them...

You think I'm joking? Follow the level of the dollar and who it is that is financing Bush's little bankruptcy of America plan...

I mean, lets get friggin' real here...

America is on a slippery slope...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 09:51 PM

Let's break down and analyze this paragraph very carefully and we shall see what Mr. Jefferson truly had in mind……


"No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to."

1.        Let's not have all government in the hands of a few in the Capitol.
2.        We need to make the individual more responsible for himself and then the culmination of all of these people together will form the type of government that is needed.
3.        It says to divide the responsibility and work with people's strengths and not place upon them responsibilities over which they have no control.


" Let the national government be entrusted with the defence of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself."

1.        The national government should in no way be responsible for anything other than listed. The defense of the United States and all foreign and federal relations. It does not require the federal government to be responsible for any social programs, entitlement programs or equality programs.
2.        Each state should be responsible for the people's rights as a whole. It totally maps out what every form of government should be responsible for on each and every level. The part of the sentence that says "each ward direct the interests within itself" means to me that if the people in that particular "ward" needs help, then it would fall upon the other members of that "ward" to help them. Not someone across the country.



"It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best."

1.        It is this form of government that ultimately comes down to each person being responsible for him and his. If this and the above were done, then I promise that no one would go hungry. Everyone has something to offer. Everybody knows how to do something. There is no reason why nobody has to be without work. This pretty much proves that taking personal responsibility is the only tried and true way to make it work. Do it yourself. Don't demand that others do it for you. If this were to happen, then when somebody needs help, people will be more apt to help because let's face it…..everybody's going to need help every once in a while. This truly puts us in the frame of mind of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Thanks for posting his letter, Amos. You made my point beautifully.

God Bless America

Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 07:18 PM

Funny how two folks can read a paragraph and come away with different *modern* interpretations...

Hubby sees it as meaning that the government should cut taxes and perhaps they should. Maybe we should privatize *everything*... Tolls to get out of yer driveway. Wants breathe the air today? 50 cents 'er you can by SmartBreathe for only $14.95 a day... Want flush yer toilet? Sorry, that will cost ya' 25 cents a flush but we will give you unlimited flushes fir just $19.95 a month. Just call 1-800-BMBGONE!!! And water? Private schools. Private water. Private, private, private... No public cops... No public roads... No public anything... Just private, private, private... This is hubby's *Dream America*... And since we're privatizing, hey why not privatize defense of the country... Heck, we've allready privatized elctions, which Tom Jefferson would be very disturbed over, but why stop here. Privatize governemnt itself... Well, we're certainly moving toward that with "shadow goverements" that the neocon radical have set up...

I'm not too sure, hubby, that Tom Jefferson would be too happy with the current crooks who have hyjacked the US governemnt...

Bobertr


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Susu's Hubby
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 06:53 PM

"Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to to Joseph C. Cabell
2 Feb. 1816W

No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to. Let the national government be entrusted with the defence of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best."

Man....if we could only get back to this way of government....then we could truly all be successful. Even Jefferson saw the need of less government in our lives. This statement wants to make me fight even harder for lower taxes and more power to the people to let them take the personal responsibility that's needed to make a true success story in today's world.

God Bless America,

Hubby


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 06:40 PM

The Founding Fathers of the US Constitution were liberals. They were "Deists" who had trouble with the "Trinitarian" views of religion and the rigidity of the doctrine of Calvin. This is why they wrote that "Congress shall make no law with respect to the establishment of religion." They were afraid of the Religious Theocrats that existed in their time as well and saw them as inimical to the incipient Nation. They knew what the Puritans were like.

Thomas Jefferson was quite "liberal" with his interpretation of the Bible in which he excised much of the violence and left only the quotes he could live with. He passed his Bible version on to his friends.

In short, the Founding Fathers were Liberals in their politics and religion.
They believed in a natural form of a Supreme Being. It is referred to once in the Constitution of the US as a Creator. Otherwise, Jesus and God are not mentiioned once for good reason. No Trinity for them. They like all true Liberals cherished "diversity" in worship, something that was not found in the history of religion in Europe at that time.

Many of them such as Franklyn appeased the religous by acknowledging the "civilizing" effect of such beliefs but in private may have held either different views or not thought it important to think about much at all.

They would have been horrified to hear the noise that Fallwell and his ilk make that "the United States is a Christian nation". It is not and never was and hopefully never will become.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: robomatic
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 02:24 PM

Amos:

I love "Democracy In America" by de Tocqueville. I think it is one of the most perceptive observations of this country, only equalled in our day by "The Simpsons" ;-).

I would add my opinion that one can think as de Tocqueville describes and come up with liberal or conservative views. His point was that Americans are not bound in their freedom of thought by considerations of class (As mack said: would that were (still) true).

There has been plenty of time for thoughts to get ossified (sp?) in all camps. We've recently seen a spate of outrage over a Colorado professor with tenure who had objectionable comments prepared on victims of the World Trade Center on 9/11, and here in Boston there are those who want to deprive the President of Harvard University of his position based on forum comments he made regarding the number of women in the sciences.

I think the terms of liberal 'versus' conservative has changed, both from what Gilbert and Sullivan meant in that wonderful song in Iolanthe:

"I often think it comical, fa la la fa la la
How nature always doth contrive
That every boy and every girl that's born into the world alive
Is either a little Liberal, or else a little Conservative."

and the more generic terms in use in the United States where there was room for liberal thought in the Democratic Republicans, the Whigs, (probably not in the Know Nothings), and more recently in the Dems and Reps of the almost current era. I thing things have got a little more ossified with both Democratic Great Society programs which have outlived their usefulness, and Republican embracing of old tyme religion right out of "Inherit The Wind".

My point is that there is still a great majority of folk out there who resist stratification and are open to critical thought, color them how you may. Both are inheritors of the type of thinking described by Alexis de Tocqueville.


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Jim Tailor
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 09:45 AM

It has been my experience that contrary to this quote of de Tocqueville (And I believe he says something akin to my remarks elsewhere) Americans are by far the most conformist people I have ever met. I have very, very rarely met anyone in America who I would consider an individual -- a person who has his or her own opinions, is self-sufficient in many ways, and has a decent regard for other human beings. I have met more such people in parts of Africa. Americans are saturated in massive propaganda, which pervades their mythologies. This extends to their versions of individualism, which are extraordinarily narrow-minded, and borrowed, as far as I can tell, from propaganda about how "The West Was Won" (virtually all of which is a total lie), and Ayn Rand.

yours,

Peter T.


wow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 05 - 09:26 AM

Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to to Joseph C. Cabell
2 Feb. 1816W

No, my friend, the way to have good and safe government, is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent to. Let the national government be entrusted with the defence of the nation, and its foreign and federal relations; the State governments with the civil rights, laws, police, and administration of what concerns the State generally; the counties with the local concerns of the counties, and each ward direct the interests within itself. It is by dividing and subdividing these republics from the great national one down through all its subordinations, until it ends in the administration of every man's farm by himself; by placing under every one what his own eye may superintend, that all will be done for the best.

What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and power into one body, no matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or of the aristocrats of a Venetian senate. And I do believe that if the Almighty has not decreed that man shall never be free, (and it is a blasphemy to believe it,) that the secret will be found to be in the making himself the depository of the powers respecting himself, so far as he is competent to them, and delegating only what is beyond his competence by a synthetical process, to higher and higher orders of functionaries, so as to trust fewer and fewer powers in proportion as the trustees become more and more oligarchical.

The elementary republics of the wards, the county republics, the State republics, and the republic of the Union, would form a gradation of authorities, standing each on the basis of law, holding every one its delegated share of powers, and constituting truly a system of fundamental balances and checks for the government. Where every man is a sharer in the direction of his ward-republic, or of some of the higher ones, and feels that he is a participator in the government of affairs, not merely at an election one day in the year, but every day; when there shall not be a man in the State who will not be a member of some one of its councils, great or small, he will let the heart be torn out of his body sooner than his power be wrested from him by a Caesar or a Bonaparte.

...


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: harvey andrews
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 07:10 PM

My point is that I believe that Democrats should pull the term Liberal out of the mire and hold up Liberalism as a banner for freedom. I am proud to be a Liberal. I am proud that I value the possibilities of all humankind. I am proud that I am not threatened by another's political, spiritual or sexual orientation. I am proud that I believe education is the cornerstone to advancing a society. I am proud of the contributions of science and technology. I am proud to be awed by a painting or a song. I am proud to be a small part of a grand ecosystem.

Well, as neocons would say..Amen to that.
How soon before such a statement becomes punishable by the West's Taliban?


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: harvey andrews
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 07:08 PM

I am proud to be a Liberal. I am proud that I value the possibilities of all humankind. I am proud that I am not threatened by another's political, spiritual or sexual orientation. I am proud that I believe education is the cornerstone to advancing a society. I am proud of the contributions of science and technology. I am proud to be awed by a painting or a song. I am proud to be a small part of a grand ecosystem.

Well, as neocons would say...Amen to that!
How soon before such opinions become punishable by the West's Taliban?


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 04:33 PM

i am impressed by the historical information here and the evolution and change of Liberalism over the years. I am proud to be a Liberal and remind those detractors of the dictionary definition.

"generousl noble-minded;broad minded; not bound by authority or traditional orthodoxy".
"largeness or nobleness of mind; freedom from prejudice,candor, enlightened"

Conservatism....dictionary definition

"the opinions and principles of a Conservative; dislike of innovations;
one averse to change"

Then there's Reactionary............

"against revolution or reform, one who attempts to revert to past political conditions"

Radical......................

""favoring thoroughgoing but constitutional and political reform"

I would say that we don't have a Conservative in the White House but more of a Radical and a Reactionary. A Radical apocalyptic religionist who views Empire hegenomy as a Crusade and a Reactionary who makes an attempt to revert to past political conditions of the 1920's, the age of the robber baron and the 1950's,   the age of the rise of the Military Industrial Complex.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Ellenpoly
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 12:35 AM

Thank you Guest...I needed to re-read a really thoughtful thread.

..xx..e


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Nov 04 - 08:00 PM

Refresh for a new generation...

G


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Peter T.
Date: 09 Aug 04 - 10:09 AM

Happily, some of the few individualists I have met are folkies, and some lurk here.

To say that Ayn Rand does not reflect reality is one of the great understatements of our time.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:48 PM

Actually when you read De Tocqueville in context, his views aren't that far removed from what Peter T said there - his point was that the freedom and openness operated within fairly strict limits, and that there was a very real danger of a fairly oppressive tyranny of the majority.


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 12:39 PM

Peter,

Certainly something that needed to be said. But I submit that you may be generalizing inaccurately (is there any other way?).

I enjoyed Ayn Rand when I was in high school but I don't think she reflects the real world well. As for "How the West Was Won" I haven't seen it so I can't comment. But most of my friends don't qualify for your slurs, except for someo f the Republicans!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Peter T.
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 11:16 AM

It has been my experience that contrary to this quote of de Tocqueville (And I believe he says something akin to my remarks elsewhere) Americans are by far the most conformist people I have ever met. I have very, very rarely met anyone in America who I would consider an individual -- a person who has his or her own opinions, is self-sufficient in many ways, and has a decent regard for other human beings. I have met more such people in parts of Africa. Americans are saturated in massive propaganda, which pervades their mythologies. This extends to their versions of individualism, which are extraordinarily narrow-minded, and borrowed, as far as I can tell, from propaganda about how "The West Was Won" (virtually all of which is a total lie), and Ayn Rand.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: kendall
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 04:37 AM

"Liberal" is pretty well summed up by Jimmy Durante with his personal phylosophy; "Leave everyone else the hell alone."


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 06:36 PM

Somehow I never seem to see the word "illiberal" in these discussions. It's quite a powerful word to throw at people.

From what I've read and seen it's a much more accurate word to describe those people than "conservative".


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 01:44 PM

Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Thomas Paine
Common Snese

Recommended reading!q


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 01:39 PM

Tom Paine


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 04 - 12:11 PM

Right wing Conservative types need to be told what to think(Rush Linbaugh, Michael Savage). Liberals can listen to both sides of an issue and decide for themselve!


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 06 Aug 04 - 09:58 PM

I'll tell her, Brucie!!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Peace
Date: 06 Aug 04 - 09:30 PM

Wow, Amos, that is one heckuva letter. Please congratulate your friend, and ask him to consider running for office.


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 06 Aug 04 - 08:04 PM

Recently sent to Kerry by a local liberal who is highly intelligent and experienced in successful business operations:

Dear Senator Kerry,

I'm certain that you have noted the current mantra of many of the conservative talk show hosts – "we are proud to call ourselves conservatives so why are liberals afraid to call themselves liberals". Indeed, the word liberal has been vilified by the Republican Party for the past 20 years, but in a broader sense, Liberalism, is the very basis of our democracy and the unparalleled freedom that we, as Americans recognize to be our right as members of the republic. The founding fathers imbued the Constitution with liberal ideas of freedom and the Declaration of Independence is itself, a declaration of Liberalism:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I believe that we all conform to the liberal idea of freedom – that by reason of our inclusion in the union, by our very humanness, we have the right to order our lives as to what we see as good for us and that this right is universal to all. The legitimacy of our government rests on the premise that we consent to it and if we subsequently believe that the government is errant in protecting the truths that we hold to be universal, we have the right to remove it.

And that's just what we intend to do on November 2nd.

My point is that I believe that Democrats should pull the term Liberal out of the mire and hold up Liberalism as a banner for freedom. I am proud to be a Liberal. I am proud that I value the possibilities of all humankind. I am proud that I am not threatened by another's political, spiritual or sexual orientation. I am proud that I believe education is the cornerstone to advancing a society. I am proud of the contributions of science and technology. I am proud to be awed by a painting or a song. I am proud to be a small part of a grand ecosystem. And, I am proud to be an American. I hold these truths to be self-evident.

Humbly Yours,

H. K.


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: SueB
Date: 14 May 04 - 03:31 AM

Maybe we could equate "right wing conservative" with the term "knee-jerk reactionary." Sorry, thread creep. Who was it who referred to the NRA as "jackbooted thugs"? I can never see the letters NRA anymore without thinking "jackbooted thugs".


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Deda
Date: 13 May 04 - 11:46 PM

I think the right wing conservatives are doing a great job of that on their own.


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: GUEST
Date: 13 May 04 - 10:14 PM

LW, how do we go about making right wing conservatism a dirty word??


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Bobert
Date: 13 May 04 - 10:07 PM

Ahhhh, hate to sound too low brow here but liberal = thought.

Ain't much thinkin' on the other side. Someone has to do it...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: dianavan
Date: 13 May 04 - 09:57 PM

freda underhill - sounds like the Liberal party of Australia and Canada are pretty much the same. Here in B.C. they have ripped apart union contracts through legislation and made massive cuts to health and education in an attempt to force privatization. They've cut programs for women and children, as well as benefits for the physically and mentally disabled. They did this at the same time they gave a tax cut to the highest income earners. Perhaps the worst thing of all is the new child labour laws which puts B.C. in a category with countries that depend on child labour.


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 13 May 04 - 04:22 PM

More on Marcus Tullius Cicero.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Amos
Date: 13 May 04 - 04:20 PM

Aristotle's Athenian Constitution provides some interesting insight into how democracy was formed in its earliest known successful application. It dates from the era around 350 BC.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: Deda
Date: 13 May 04 - 03:25 PM

If you want to get to the earliest influences on Jefferson and the other founding fathers, you need to read Cicero. They tended to refer to him as Tully, or Tullius -- his full name was Marcus Tullius Cicero. He wrote brilliantly on political theory, drawing on various Greek political philosophers, and also on his own rich experience. Here's a small taste of how shockingly modern he sounds:
"The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and ontrolled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced. If the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt, people must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance."
-- Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC
Here is a partial summary of his life and works. I have had the great good fortune to read a fraction of his total output in the original Latin, and he is simply an astonishingly good writer. He's also an egotistical blowhard, but his writing is so moving and beautiful, and he is so innocent compared to many of his bloody-handed contemporaries, that I forgive the self-aggrandizement totally. By innocent I mean that he didn't resort to bloodshed as his first line of defense, he was not fond of military action and avoided it when he could, he didn't travel with a gang of thugs as his personal bodyguard. He loved the law and lived within it.

I went off a bit overmuch there - just wanted to add him to the influences on our own form of government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Origins of Liberal Thought
From: freda underhill
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 08:35 AM

This party was formed in 1944, by uniting various small parties to gain power back from the Labour party. It was essentially anti- socialist, and while using the word Liberal was always a conservative party. however even then it was much more progressive than the current version, which has specialised in attacking individual freedoms, limiting the power of the courts, playing the race card, ruling through fear and has a record number of corruption cover ups.


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