There are a few things that I can’t stand. I get annoyed when I am playing an intense game of basketball and that one guy decides to quit midway through the game, knowing that we need him to play. Moreover, I am also bothered by people that interrupt me with dumb remarks while I am having an interesting conversation.
However, the one thing that I dislike most is modern (or contemporary) liberalism. I do not harbor much disdain for the people that follow the belief. In fact, there are some incredibly pleasant people that would classify themselves as modern liberals. But that doesn’t shield it from being a nuisance to me.
Now, I want to quickly note why I am calling it “modern liberalism,” as opposed to just “liberalism.” Liberalism can be separated into two forms: modern liberalism and classical liberalism.
A modern liberal, in a rough sense, supports an expansive welfare state to help those who are poor and displaced. They usually favor protectionist policies to help workers that are competing on a global scale. Moreover, they are typically in favor of progressive taxes (on the upper class) and generally vote for the Democratic Party.
Some prominent thinkers on modern liberalism include Lujo Brentano, Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse, Thomas Hill Green, John Maynard Keynes, Bertil Ohlin and John Dewey. However, classical liberalism is a philosophical theory that favors the liberty and rationality of human beings. Immanuel Kant, in “The Critique of Pure Reason,” writes the following:
“No one can compel me (in accordance with his belief about the welfare of others) to be happy after his fashion; instead, every person may seek happiness in the way that seems best to him, if only he does not violate the freedom of others to strive toward similar ends as are compatible with everyone’s freedom under a possible universal law.”
In essence, classical liberals stress the importance of allowing people to use their rational faculties to promote their happiness. Some prominent classical liberals include John Stuart Mill, Ludwig Von Mises and Milton Friedman. With that said, I would certainly classify myself as a classical liberal. People usually know what is best for them and should be granted the liberty to act in accordance with their interest.
Yet, as I mentioned before, I am not a fan of modern liberalism. Here’s why: I am only concerned about my interests. In short, I do not care about the welfare of other people. This may seem a little harsh, but it is the truth. Is it fair to compel a person to pay for something he may not necessarily use? Would it be fair for me to force a person to pay for a Playstation 3, only for me to use it?
The answer to this is no, and I think it suffices as an answer for people who pay for welfare programs that they do not use. Why should every American citizen be burdened with funding Medicaid and Social Security, when only a few people benefit from it?
To be fair, modern liberals are not only concerned with raising taxes. But, I’m not too concerned about the other good tenants of modern liberalism. As a true complainer, I just want to focus on the bad things.
Now, I have a great proposal which would allow me to cease my hatred for modern liberalism: Modern liberals should pay for all welfare programs. When I pay taxes, I want it to go to a few things like highways, law enforcement, corrupt politicians and disastrous wars in Iraq. If modern liberals want welfare programs, then they should foot the bill.
As George Costanza once noted, “Feminists are always complaining about equal rights, but when the checks come…” I really don’t know how the quote relates to the general theme of my article, but you can’t go wrong when you quote George Costanza.