Liberals, Conservatives, and Freedom
August 15, 2008

by pegleghippie

When conservatives talk about ‘freedom,’ it’s very different from when I talk about ‘freedom.’ I think, fundamentally, conservatives are talking about the freedom to subjugate, while I mean freedom from subjegation.

I think this is also why the term ‘liberal’ is used in the modern sense (at least in America) to denote the left, while originally, it designated capitalist opposition to a monarch. Conservatives, originally, protected the idea of a monarch.

With regards to monarchy, the usage of the two terms, along with the idea of freedom, start to make more sense. A conservative idea of freedom is the freedom of the monarch: freedom to be as authoritative as that monarch desires, because hierarchy and authority are necessary for order and morality.

Naturally, equality conflicts with this type of freedom; without the opportunity to force others to bend to your will, you can’t institute order onto this scary, chaotic, competitive world. Only the king, or the aristocracy, or the CEO, or the capitalists elite can be free in their actions–the masses must be subjects of that authority.

‘Liberal’ pretty much means freedom, and I’m using it here to differentiate with “conservative freedom.” Liberal freedom depends on equality. If we are to be free from subjugation, then we must give up our opportunity to subjugate others. The ‘free’ part is where we can associate with others and work with them without fearing them or their intentions.

So next time you hear a conservative ranting about how social equality infringes on their freedom, realize they are defending a right to exploit and to ruin, without consent.

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Bring Back the Fairness Doctrine!
May 25, 2008

 

[Z]http://youtube.com/watch?v=2kGZdtRoozE[/Z]

Give us back the Fairness Doctrine!

Trust me, take the 9:16 and watch that YouTube video. I haven’t watched something so informative since the beginning of this campaign. I don’t know who this guy is or where he comes from, but he speaks a truth that I know Pegleghippie will agree with me, as it’s something the two of us are discussing all the time.

The media is there to make money; they are just a business! This is why we’re getting half-truths for news, we’re getting sellable information.

And our talk news, our Fox News and CNN Talk news, these broadcasts are completely right-wing!

All of this is explained in the video, so please watch this, rate it if you have a youtube account, but more importantly… Digg it!

Serenity
May 16, 2008

by pegleghippie

I rewatched the movie Serenity tonight, and while I still enjoy the movie greatly, I left confused about the films message.  If you haven’t seen the film (and the rest of this won’t make much sense if this is the case), It ends with the main character giving a conservative-libertarian speech about not-bettering people, and leaving them to live their lives.  The confusion, however, arose from the actions of that same character.  Despite telling people to live their own lives, he takes action to inform and empower the citizens of the galaxy.  He takes care of those near him and seems genuinely concerned for everyone’s well-being.

So is the film conservative or isn’t it?  I did a little research into the creator of the film (Joss Whedon) and he explained Mal’s comments as Mal’s alone: not a film message.  Mal, indeed, is a libertarian, government-hating, Randian rogue.  Whedon’s galactic government, however, is largely good to people and enlightened.  Mal’s sometimes-girlfriend even works for the government–as a high end prostitute.

Additionally, Zoe, one of the crewmembers, is constantly compassionate, and questioning Mal’s motives.  River, supposedly an abomination of government excess, ends up saving everyone with her government-granted skills.  Clearly, just because Mal is the main character doesn’t mean that his views are the only ones we must contend with.

So by viewing Whedon’s universe as a convergence of diverse characters and viewpoints, Mal’s actions make more sense.  Mal is doing his best with what he knows in a situation that has a lot of grey areas.  One thing I read said that Whedon intended to convey the absolute messiness of human interaction, and he definitely did that.  There’s some hope for transcendent values, however, if Mal’s advice to River about the importance of love at the end of the movie is any indication.  

However, maybe this is a ultimately a hopeless message for our own times.  Like the Serenity universe, most of us agree on a few universal values.  But also like Serenity, that familiarity is no guarantee that we can get along on anything beyond the basics.  Instead, we get stuck playing ideological roles, convinced we’re right, and everyone else “just doesn’t get it.”  We can’t escape our role, since we need it to understand and react to whichever ideology happens to hold power at a given time.  Even while such an understanding gives us our identity, it traps us into either defending or opposing that power, sometimes winning, sometimes not, but always acting based on our role.