Often I get asked by people weather I am “left-wing” or “right-wing”. Often, also, people kind of assume after listening to me for a while that I belong to the “right”.
My answer to this is always the same:
I cannot put myself in any part of a spectrum which doesn’t hold my political and philosophical views in their entirety at any given point.
So, where does true liberalism lie? If we must use the obsolete framework of right and left, the best answer one can give, is to say that liberalism is the radical center, a term I encountered while reading a collection of essays from a wonderful book titled Why Liberty.
Why is it the radical center? Well, in a sense we could define freedom philosophy as taking the best from each side, right and left, and in its most extreme form; because freedom trumps all else.
Therefore, liberals will embrace forcefully the “right/conservative” view that markets should be free and unregulated, while also embracing just with as much conviction the “leftist” views on social freedom.
As I have explained in other articles, a true liberal doesn’t actually see things this way, but it’s a good way to paint a picture to those still stuck in this obsolete political framework.
The reason liberals are both on the right and left is because they are being consistent. The idea of economic and social freedoms is a false one. Freedom has to be understood as simply that, freedom to act; the form that the action takes, whether it be business or lifestyle related is irrelevant.
And yes, if liberals are the only ones being consistent, obviously that leaves almost everyone else being INCONSISTENT with their thoughts.
Why are so many people being inconsistent? It’s a good question, and obviously there is more than one answer, but a few that come to mind are the following:
-Lack of incentives to be informed (voter rationality)
-Strongly formed pre-conceptions (right, is the opposite from left and you must pick a side)
-Indoctrination (Because sadly, most of our young and influential minds are molded by the State apparatus)
And where does this leave us?
In a society that cares less about consistent ideals and more about belonging to a team, political party. A world where you are forced to choose between two options. A world where all political forces stand for the same thing, more State power, while no one stands for the opposite; freedom and societal power.
Whether you are on the conventional right or the left, you will be committing the same atrocity; imposing your own moral judgment or ideas on how things should work where you have no right to.
The solution is simple. Stop disrespecting others and join the fight for freedom!