Well, that’s us told then

How many liberals and progressives have heard this? It’s ridiculously common. Hell, even David Koch of the Koch Brothers has said, “I’m a conservative on economic matters and I’m a social liberal.”

And it’s wrong. W-R-O-N-G Wrong.

You can’t separate fiscal issues from social issues. They’re deeply intertwined. They affect each other. Economic issues often are social issues. And conservative fiscal policies do enormous social harm. That’s true even for the mildest, most generous version of “fiscal conservatism” — low taxes, small government, reduced regulation, a free market. These policies perpetuate human rights abuses. They make life harder for people who already have hard lives. Even if the people supporting these policies don’t intend this, the policies are racist, sexist, classist (obviously), ableist, homophobic, transphobic, and otherwise socially retrograde.

Apparently, my support for markets as a method of allocation over government means that I hate you because you had your dick cut off (or built, if that’s the way the trans went).

Hmm, we’ll file that under “ideas people give up by the time they leave Mother’s basement” shall we?

25 comments on “Well, that’s us told then

  1. “…low taxes, small government, reduced regulation, a free market. These policies perpetuate human rights abuses. “

    *nonplussed face*

  2. It’s this American misuse of ‘liberal’. Low taxes, small government, reduced regulation, free markets and free trade are liberal economic ideas. Koch is more likely to be economically liberal too, unless he agrees with protectionism and price supports for producers.

    And as episodes like the NCCL and PIE show, the left isn’t socially liberal, they’re just convinced of their own moral superiority and mission to fight the bigotry of the masses about whatever it is the masses think is bad today, even if that includes child rape.

    If language is used properly, people usually turn out to be either liberal, or conservative, or socialist.

  3. Ah, the wonderful confusion that can occur now the US have decided that ‘liberal’ actually means ‘illiberal’

  4. “low taxes, small government, reduced regulation, a free market. These policies perpetuate human rights abuses. ”

    I guessed this was Salon already! Not even the Guardian is that dumb.

    Small governments may have less power to make human rights abuses perpetual than (I dunno) socialist tyrannies, religious terrorists…

  5. Well, the conclusion is wrong, but the basic point is right. There is no distinction. It’s why the idea of conservatives supporting free markets makes no sense; the free market is socially disruptive and inherently radical. This is why in general I would say that economic liberalism must be also socially liberal; but that is liberal in the sense of people being free to do what they like rather than the neo-puritan social authoritarianism that Americans call “liberal”.

    In other words, there is only one way to be liberal, and trying to be just economically liberal, as if there is some dividing line that can be drawn, is inconsistent and doomed to failure, which is one of the ways Thatcherism went wrong. If you want social authoritarianism, you’ll have to control that portion of social behaviour involving trade and production, too.

    In that sense, the “liberals” who are actually ultra-authoritarians are at least consistent. They don’t want any sort of freedom for anybody.

    Kind of thing.

  6. In that sense, the “liberals” who are actually ultra-authoritarians are at least consistent. They don’t want any sort of freedom for anybody.

    And they always seem to imagine that they’ll be the ones in charge too.

  7. People who think that big government is a good thing obviously have never dealt with government departments, just as people who think the police are wonderful have never come into contact with the Old Bill.

  8. IanB: You can be economically liberal (classical) and socially conservative so long as your social conservatism is enforced only on yourself by yourself. If you approve of your standards being enforced on others that is a different matter. The non-aggression principal applies of course. I don’t give a monkeys what the scum who endorse Salon do –so long as they are doing it with volunteers and no one is having their cash forcibly removed to pay for it.

  9. God how I hate the word “liberal”
    Think how many synonyms and antonyms it has, most of them contradictory.
    The word has become useless if divining what it means requires a two step process: context of discussion + prejudice / opinion of commentator.

  10. low taxes, small government, reduced regulation, a free market. These policies perpetuate human rights abuses. They make life harder for people who already have hard lives. Even if the people supporting these policies don’t intend this, the policies are racist, sexist, classist (obviously), ableist, homophobic, transphobic, and otherwise socially retrograde

    What this means is that the Alphabet Soup tendency is simply parasitic on White heterosexual males. They can’t survive without taking money from us to continue their absurd and destructive lifestyles. Which is obvious really. But nice of them to admit it.

  11. If only Hitler and his chums had called each other liberal and progressive they would have won. Schoolboy error.

  12. Rob – “If only Hitler and his chums had called each other liberal and progressive they would have won. Schoolboy error.”

    He did try the “I don’t hate Jews, I am just pro-Zionist” line. He should have gone for the “anti-Zionist” case instead. Then the Guardian would love him. What is not to like? Anti-American, vegetarian, pro-animal-rights, anti-Christian, lots of Gay friends, you know, he would really fit in well.

  13. Matthew L – “I see SMFS needs his dose reviewed again.”

    One of the tragic burdens of being me is not that this happens all the time, but that it is often hard to tell to what you are getting so pissy about.

    If it is the claim that low tax is homophobic, how is that not an admission that the Vibrant communities depend on the rest of us? If we don’t pay taxes, they don’t get the money?

    If it is the anti-Zionist thing, it is amazing how quick the Left went from being theoretically opposed to Hitler to being fine with anti-Semitism. The Algerians drove the Jews out of their country at independence. The Left supported that. The Palestinians separated Jewish passengers from non-Jewish ones at Entebbe. The Left took part in that. All the new anti-Semites have to do is claim to be anti-Zionist.

  14. If you care about marginalized people — if you care about the oppression of women, LGBT people, disabled people, African Americans and Hispanics and other people of color — you need to do more than go to same-sex weddings and listen to hip-hop. You need to support economic policies that make marginalized people’s lives better. You need to oppose economic policies that perpetuate human rights abuses and make marginalized people’s lives suck.

    I guess Social justice warrior syndrome kicks in early with a certain type, that, you either have to be an Ivy league alumni or, wear a dress. Hells belles, Hillary coming soon and very much in your face, this time can no one save America?…………………….

  15. DM

    “What Ian B said…..freedom is freedom.”

    Like IanB, you fail to understand the implications of freedom not being an absolute but admitting of degree.

    Ecksy
    I’d class you as anarcho-fascist. You prattle about liberty but your impulses are deeply authoritarian – eg your stated view that some agents of the state should be executed.

  16. SMFS: None of that. Your racism is frothing up more than usual and you appear to have bought into the pink swastika bollocks that everyone else on the planet laughed out of the room ages ago.

    On the subject of the original post, it’s complete bollocks of course but there is some truth in this:

    You can’t separate fiscal issues from social issues. They’re deeply intertwined. They affect each other.

    This is true, but not in the way the author thinks. Social liberty is largely meaningless if you don’t have economic liberty, because economic freedom gives the masses the resources to enjoy their social freedoms. That’s why even though I might disagree with the right-wing parties on social issues, I’ll support them as long as their economic stance is sensible.

  17. Matthew L – “None of that. Your racism is frothing up more than usual and you appear to have bought into the pink swastika bollocks that everyone else on the planet laughed out of the room ages ago.”

    So you have nothing to say about anything I said, you just want to throw some insults? Fine.

    “This is true, but not in the way the author thinks. Social liberty is largely meaningless if you don’t have economic liberty, because economic freedom gives the masses the resources to enjoy their social freedoms.”

    I know some poor people. And guess what? They like not being beaten by policemen. They like being able to have their say. They would like the idea the government does not encourage their children to denounce them if it ever occurred to them that the government might. As it happens social liberty is important to the poor. Ask them.

    Social liberties usually lead to economic liberties too. Free countries usually become rich countries. Whereas a lack of social liberties rarely leads anywhere but to poverty. Ask the Russians.

  18. Theo, Theo–your soon-to-be-empty cash vault could not echo more hollowly than the inside of your skull.

    I want to see the wicked receive not merely punishment but codiegin (sic) punishment. Revenge is a better word than punishment. The world is full of tin gods who need the Libido Dominanda –the urge to lord it over others–beaten out of them. And death if that doesn’t do the job. I am not short of rage–that is true. But is a just rage–rage created by a world that rewards the wicked and produces legions of go-along-to-get-along crawlers. Now anyone can realise that the odds are against them and hope to keep their powder dry for a better day or a well chosen battle. But there are legions-like you Theo–who are quite happy with all the shite going on so long as they are alright Jack.

    “Like IanB, you fail to understand the implications of freedom not being an absolute but admitting of degree”

    The degree being whatever keeps Theo and his investments nice and comfy. Of the two of us you are the one pissing on freedom. I bet you are right on message with Fish-Face and the rest of the Dolly Blue Die Works in their plans for censorship and worse.

    Matthew L–Thank God for you support. Where would freedom be without the help of fairweather SJWs who managed to stay awake during the economics courses.

  19. The problem with social liberal “Conservatives” is that the rest of society ends up having to pay financially for the consequences of that social liberalism e.g. the ever-expanding welfare bill for prolific baby-producers.

  20. That economic liberalism is hard on the poor is such a black-is-white argument that it merits little entertaining. It is precisely the policies of smaller government, lower regulation, free trade and lower taxation that have led to the number of people worldwide in absolute poverty dropping from one in four to one in fourteen within the lifetimes of most people commenting here. So if this dipshit says otherwise, her nonsense can be rejected out of hand without the need for more detailed exegesis. It’s quite a handy shortcut, really, just as if someone starts banging on about Young Earth Creationism you can be pretty sure their contributions to a discussion on orogenesis are likely to be less than illuminating.

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