Collins: You are a self-described libertarian, and your latest book is robust defence of freedom. Do you believe that Enlightenment values such as liberty are enough to stand up to the strong, often tribal, cultural forces at work today? Can they serve as a counter to those divisive forces?
Murray: A year ago, I would have given you a much more optimistic answer than I’d give you today. The thing about the Trump campaign that has been most disheartening has been the realisation that the electorate on the right, voting for Republicans, has many more people in it than I ever realised who don’t give a damn about freedom. They are motivated by the kinds of tribal instincts that you describe, and they are also populist in an authoritarian sense, in that they don’t want to limit government, they just want to use the powers of government for their own ends. In the short-term, then, I’m very pessimistic. I am very undecided about what will happen, but I suspect the Republican Party is going to go into serious decline. And, insofar as it does not go into decline, it is not going to represent policies that foster limited government and freedom. It will be a party that fosters a different kind of authoritarianism than the left does. The only difference will be in the type, not the authoritarian nature of the policies.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Charles Murray Worries about the Future of Conservatism
In an interview with Spiked, conservative crank Charles Murray worries about what support for Trump means:
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"It will be a party that fosters a different kind of authoritarianism than the left does."
I'm curious what sort of authoritarianism Mr. Murray believes liberals to be attempting to foster.
There are four key aspects to authoritarianism: 1) rejection of political pluralism, 2) legitimacy through emotion, 3) rejection of social mobilization, and 4) poorly defined executive power.
Liberalism is, by definition, against all of these traits.
Liberals want to increase political pluralism, supporting diverse peoples and interests in peaceful coexistance; they reject emotionality and want government to be based in rationality and empiricism; they promote social mobilization, seeking to involve as many people in our collective politics as possible; and they want the powers of government to be very strictly defined, and adhere to the letter of the law and of the constitution.
Is this just another case of lazy rhetoric and ignorance twisting language into nonsense? Like how "terrorism" has gone from referring to openly politically motivated violence against civilians (for example, the IRA carrying out bombings with the openly stated intent of forcing the British government to concede to various demands) to simply referring to nearly any sort of violence or fear causing behavior, regardless of whether it targets civilians or is used to produce political leverage?
"The thing about the Trump campaign that has been most disheartening has been the realisation that the electorate on the right, voting for Republicans, has many more people in it than I ever realised who don’t give a damn about freedom."
-I already understood that in 2008, when the Republican base rejected Ron Paul and embraced champion of al-Qaeda Juan McSame. Trump was more libertarian than virtually every other Republican who ran. Suck it, Murray.
Verloren, your comment is delusional and completely detached from the real world, as most of your commentary is. Liberals always and everywhere support legislating from the bench, which is the opposite of "they want the powers of government to be very strictly defined".
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