Notes on Liberal and Conservative

from my comments to a friend’s LiveJournal blog:

I find that “liberal” and “conservative” just don’t work for me… Even “progressive” is becoming meaningless. If the Democratic Party were still the party of FDR, I’d feel more comfortable calling myself Progressive because I think that the New Deal was one of the better things that have happened to the US. But it’s not—it’s become a “stand-for-nothing/fall-for-anything” sort of party, in my view.

I stopped wanting to identify as “Liberal” a long time ago, for a lot of the reasons Phil Ochs highlighted in “Love Me, I’m a Liberal.” It seems to me that a lot of Liberals—many more than I feel comfortable identifying with—seem to be a kind of conservative Leftist, so that the conservative part becomes the operative word, trumping the notion that “New occasions teach new duties/Time makes ancient good uncouth/They must upward still and onward/Who would keep abreast of truth,” which I think sums up well the spirit of Progressivism. I am becoming more comfortable, these days, with labels like Socialist. I don’t trust human nature enough to be comfortable with Anarchism: I think most people are basically stupid, or, worse yet, willfully ignorant. A part of me that’s not hippie-dippie leans heavily toward Social Darwinism. How messed up is that???

"Artists are here to disturb the peace." —James Baldwin. Please lesave a comment!

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