Liberals and the Common Man
This discussion will follow from the conclusions and definitions offered in the preceding discussion.
There, I defined conservatism as holding values that are so basic to human nature you don’t need to be especially sophisticated to understand and feel them. I identified liberality as one of those values, but noted that it requires a degree of character-perfection to truly acquire it.
I defined liberalism as an attempt to acquire the perfection (liberality) while rebelling against and dis-attaching from, the foundation (basic and conservative values.)
Without that foundation, liberalism floats free, formless and irrational. It loses even the concept of perfection, which depends upon reaching for a completeness that is impossible without a “given” human nature that naturally and enduringly functions well with some values and not with others. This is why liberals abhor a continuity of values, and seek instead to keep up with the revolving fashions of cultural and political positioning that are given to them by authorities.
In the United States, this puts us in a curious position. Here, the liberals are Democrats and identify with the values of democracy, which ostensibly place value on the common man and his right to rule himself.
At the same time, as I discussed previously, it requires a lot of sophistication and argumentation to separate people from human nature, so that American liberals are more highly educated than American conservatives are, en masse.
This puts American liberals into an odd position. As democrats, they are supposed to value and defend the common man and his rights. As liberals, they are highly educated and sophisticated people – in other words, they are not, themselves, the common man.
It gets funnier.
Because conservatism is the collection of values which human nature is permanently related to, the common man is, in a sense, the source of conservative values. This puts liberals at odd with the common man.
So here’s the funny. To be a liberal in America, you have be
a sophisticate, set apart from the common man,
while defending the common man and his rights,
and simultaneously hating everything the common man values and trying your hardest to separate him from those values.
Oh, wait. That’s not funny at all.