April 07, 2009

Left/Right Liberal/Conservative Democrat/Republican What does this mean?

Left/Right Liberal/Conservative Democrat/Republican ...it all depends on perspective.

This post is a bit of a recycled post. This was the last half of one of my first posts, and I may post the other half again, since I have some new people reading the blog who may not have read all the old posts. I wish everyone would, the old posts are really more thought out because I spent much more time early on before there was a blog writing and reading and writing more so that I could understand why the thing I was so angry about were happening.

Here is the link to the old post Click Here


This will get confusing but I will do my best to explain first things first all the words mean different things and have meant different things throughout history. Left and Right change depending on what thing you are basing left and right from. Liberal and conservative mean different thngs at different times. “Progressive” in the United States has almost always meant what the rest of the world would call “Socialist” at the least and probably “Fascist” at most. During the French revolution the people who sat on the left side of the legislative chamber were classical liberals they believed in small governmentt, power to the people, etc. basically everything we think of as Conservative now. During this time Conservative meant keeping things mostly as they were in France back then (Monarchy). Therefore the American Revolution was a classical liberal revolution but was not violent like the french revolution which used more or less socialist fear politics to achieve its’ goals. Unlike the old Eurpoean nations the United States did not/does not have “class based” political parties. There was not the Labor Party and the Conservative Party. We do not have a house of Lords and House of Commons (although I think everyone in our Governemnt thinks they are Lords). The US had the Federalists, Whig, and Republican party which liked the rule by the British and were therefore conservative or for the staus quo of the United States at that time. For the most part prior to the Revolution our country was classically liberal when it cams to the economy (free market) but socially conservative. This would have been considered Liberal back then because for the most part Conservatives back then sided with the Crown (British Rule). Thomas Jefferson was part of a political party called the Democratic Republican and so in this sense both current parties go back to Jefferson . Then this party split and the Republican part renamed itself the Whig party to evoke feelings of the american revolution which would have been considered a Conservative position by this time but was still for classically liberal in the sense it favored small government and a free economy. The Whigs believed in preservation of the union and strict interpretation of the constitution. This is the first party that appealed to ordinary voters and others as well. This party sort of dissolved over the issue of slavery and the anti slavery crowd moved to the new Republican party also called the Grand Old Party or GOP. The pro slave folks moved to the Democrat party. At this time the Democrat party was more socially conservative which at that time meant conserving slavery and was more or less the party of rich white men. In the 1890s both parties realigned and Republicans became fiscally conservative, pro big business and for strong foreign policy. During the early twentieth century Republicans became more like Progressives (meaning they were enamored of the Bolshevik Revolution and or Italian Fascism). Meaning that both parties in the U.S. at the time favored some sort of Socialism. The Democratic Party liked Communism and the Republicans seemed to favor Fascism. But neither party at that time was in favor of Capitalism.Progressive is basically then and now the american brand of european socialism. actually it sought a "Third Way" (a huge buzzword of Italian fascism) between being liberal (in the classical sense) and conservative (in the tradition of the old right) . Heard of this lately? "we need to put behind us the politics of the past, no more Democrat or Republican. Into a new era of Bipartisanship" That would be our new President. That is another problem, if you do not know the playbook he is reading from you do not know what that statement means. It is almost like he talks in code. Many in the early 1900s were enamored with the idea of Progessivism and Woodrow Wilson was more Liberal in the 21st century definition than anyone with the exception of Barack Obama. Wilson was actually inspirational to Mussolini. Read that again. Benito Mussolini looked up and admired Woodrow Wilson. The communist revolution in 1917 scared both parties (Republicans and Democrats) but neither really ran toward classical liberalism, laissez faire free market ideas. BOTH moved Left but the Democrats moved further left and so the label "Left" was describing who was nearly Communist or and "Right" described and who was merely almost Fascist. TADA! this is where we have got the misinformed view that Fascism is a Rightwing philosophy! During the 1920s the Republicans were: pro big business, for government regulation, and the Democrats were more for labor and farming but neither party was laissez faire or classical Liberal economically. Meaning anyone who identifies themselves as conservative today would have thought there were no differences between Democrats and Republicans back then. Really the parties were split more on a North-South basis, or maybe a split along class lines. Herbert Hoover freely called himself a "Progessive" (the US brand of Socialism) Republican. But becasue the country was in a depression the public opinion turned against him and a Democrat candidate (FDR) was elected. FDR did not like the term "Progrssive" because he thought "Liberal" had a more historically palatable ring to it among US citizens but he was at least as Progressive or more so than Hoover. So in the 30s-40s the choice voters had was between Northern Big Government Leftists (Republicans) or Southern working Man Leftists (Democrats). In the south there were still Democrats who were anti New Deal and anti FDR and they joined with the Libertarians and the old Fiscally and Socially Conservative Right to create the Conservative Coalition. Meanwhile Northern Republicans who liked New Deal Politics joined the Democrats. So the liberals became what we NOW call the Left or Liberals today which are increasingly calling themselves Progressives again. And, what became the Neo-Conservative movement which is Classical Liberal with regard to government and Fiscally Conservative and Socially Conservative or even Libertarian leaning when it comes to Social Issues and EVENTUALLY turned into what Reagan, and Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh and I came to love. Confusing ain't it? I have been trying to classify where we are and where all these other policitical ideas and way of government fall into some sort of graphical representation. In the US we use Left and Right, but there are a lot of other variables. Reagan said there is no left or right only an Up and a Down That is a useful analogy. But total freedom and complete lack of government is Anarchy. Likewise if a government squeezes people too hard that leads to Anarchy as well. Cases in point. Mexico is a constitutional republic very similar in nature to the US, but the government is so corrupt they are teetering on Anarchy due to crime and corruption. The opposite of that is the old USSR or The Nationalist Socialist Republic of Germany (1939-1945) they squeezed their people and their economy until it failed and went into anarchy. So there are several different factors There is Economic Freedom, Moral Freedom (or control of morality), Social Freedom (or Political Freedom), And Religious Freedom. I have seen a lot of charts or graphs of how other people label the variousl political ideology. I do not see it in left, right, up, or down in a straight line, but on a curve or a circle. So let me try to explain what I came up with, it may only make sense to me. But, to me this makes more sense than anything else. You have to take several different looks at this picture to see it the way I do. First lets look at stability. The absolute most stable position on this graph is dead middle. Centrist. Now that may appeal to some people, but a true middle of the road position is always a compromise and where it really leads almost all the time it towards Progressivism and towards totalitarianism of the state (Communism or Fascism). The farther you get from the middle the less Stable you are. Straight UP is NO Government control of Economic or Social Freedom. Straight down is complete strangulation of life by Government. Note both roads lead to Anarchy and revolution. As you move from the top to the right and downward it gradually becomes more fiscally and socially conservative, so straight right would be the maximum amount of conservativism while still maintaining stability. Likewise, straight left is the theoretical maximum amount of social and fiscal liberalism(big government) possible while still maintaining stability. I think for most of our history we have been just outside of the center bubble in the upper right quadrant of the stable government box. I would like to see us firmly in the Reagan conservative zone. Right at the edge of where Libertarians would like to be. Which would represent a small government, rule of law, belief in the constitution and yet still have as much Personal and Social Freedom as possible. Where I think we are heading in a rapid way is down and to the left. I would say we are teetering between the innermost box outside of center and full blown Progressivism. Right next door to totalitarian government.
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