Why different kinds of liberals think each other are Nazis
August 13, 2018 § 6 Comments
Commitment to political freedom is commitment to rights, that is, to the empowerment of certain people or claims; empowerment always and necessarily achieved via authoritative discrimination against other people or claims. I’ve used the metaphor of a coin with a pretty side and an ugly side as an image of how liberalism approaches the question of authority: both sides of the authority coin are always present, but liberals see only the pretty side – the empowerment side that they personally like – of their own coins. Liberalism is thus ultimately a mechanism for people to beg the question in favor of their own preferred exercise of authoritative discrimination.
Picture liberal society, then – the whole society as opposed to individual liberals – as composed of liberals carrying around their coins held high, gazing raptly at (what they personally believe to be) the pretty side. Other people walking along with them in the same direction holding similar coins (where the coins represent each person’s understanding of the just exercise of authoritative discrimination) also see the pretty, empowering side.
When groups of liberals come across other liberals walking a different direction, though, they see the ugly, authoritative side of each others’ coins and accuse each other of being tyrants: of being the Low Man. Each sees the other as inauthentically liberal, as selfish, sick, insane power hungry tyrants who mouth the words of freedom and equal rights but don’t really mean it.
Note: this was originally a comment, but I’ve had to search for it and reference it enough times now that I thought it deserved promotion to its own post.