Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Seven False Premises of Liberal Dogma

Arguments are like trees. The roots of all arguments are its premises. The trunk is the conclusion, which stems from the roots, or premises. The branches and leaves are axioms, all of which rely completely on the roots and trunk.

Without good roots, the tree fails and dies. It doesn't matter how large the tree is, how many branches it has, or how pretty its leaves are, if the roots are bad, the tree cannot survive. Modern liberalism is such a tree, set on roots that are bad, which cannot support the monstrous tree of liberal dogma.

Most modern liberal arguments seem to be axiomatic, supported by branches and leaves that are assumed to be true. Arguing with liberals is like chasing a squirrel among the leaves and branches. As soon as you cut off some leaves at one side, the squirrel dodges to another branch, content in its knowledge that all the branches with uphold it. However, liberals never bother to look at the source of their arguments—to the roots.

It is at the roots of liberal arguments that we find the problems with the trunk and with the branches. In plain words, liberal arguments are based on false premises. If the premises are bad, then we cannot accept the conclusions, no matter how good they may make us feel. Here's a list of false premises on which modern liberal arguments rest.

1) Western Civilization is evil because it is oppressive.
This is a fallacy of over-generalization. Because some individuals in the past oppressed others, liberals take this as firm proof that the system is bad and corrupt. Here's an example: Modern history texts drive home the point that slavery was evil. We all get that and agree that, yes, slavery was evil. But the texts then go on to teach that slavery was an inevitable by-product of Western Civilization. This is patently false. In fact, slavery has existed in all ages and among all peoples. Slavery still exists today in the United States. Western Civilization didn't create slavery, evil people did. In fact, it took the philosophy of Western Civilization to give us reasons to reject slavery as an immoral institution.

Western Civilization isn't oppressive but is, in fact, liberating.

2) The free market is evil because it is oppressive.
This premise also overgeneralizes and blames abuse within the system on individuals who don't follow the principles of the free market. It was Karl Marx who made the word "capitalism" a dirty word among Europeans and Americans. Following his bankrupt ideas, other socialists used his words and techniques to break down the free market in order to exercise control over peoples' money and lives. Yet, real oppression stems from the abuse of power, from those who limit the market, from those who direct it, from those who takes its wealth away and uses it to gain even more power—you know, like what the US government does to its citizens.

3) Equality is measured in outcomes instead of opportunities.
The US was founded on the principle of equality of opportunity. At the heart of socialism is the concept of equality of outcomes. This is the idea that, somehow, government can force people into being equal economically and socially, and yet still remain a benign government. Besides being oblivious to human nature, what this dogma really does is to pretend that once everyone is exactly equal in terms of money and social class, then the world will be a better place. The ideal is ludicrous, but liberals believe it as reality. We only have to read a blunt history of Stalin to understand how silly an idea this really is. If you don't have a biography of Stalin handy, I recommend this movie on YouTube.

4) Government can and should interfere with the development of society in order to ensure equality.
Again, there's a vast divide between equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes. For further reading, try George Orwell's Animal Farm or 1984. For a more scholarly approach to the dangers of government interference, see F. A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism.

5) The US was founded on the principle of separation of church and state.
This is not an accurate reading of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution, but has, unfortunately, become the common interpretation of the 1st Amendment in the court system. Most liberals forget that, besides a clause that prevents Congress from establishing a state religion, there is also a free exercise clause. In fact, religion is the very first thing protected in the Bill of Rights. Rather than denying rights to the religious, the US was founded on protecting those rights. Modern liberals would like to see limits on religion, for precisely the reason the Founding Fathers protected it. Religion creates beliefs that compete with government, and therefore limits it.

6) Government is essentially a good institution, which purpose is to protect equal rights.
There are two fallacies here. First, that government is inherently good is adequately proven false through the inductive reasoning of history. History mostly shows us governments always abuse power. Most liberals tend to think that since they live a free society, that it was the government that created it. Rather the opposite is true. Radicals, also known as the Founding Fathers, denied the very idea that government would work for the public good and did everything in their power to keep our republic from ever gaining too much power. Even so, most were pessimistic about the future of the US. Hence, when Benjamin Franklin was asked what type of government the Constitutional Convention had created he replied: "A republic, if you can keep it."

Second, the idea that it is government's responsibility to protect equal rights goes back to the problem of the definition of equality: equality of opportunity or equality of outcomes.

7) Liberalism can create a perfect society.
Recently, I had a conversation with a liberal woman who said she wished that I would die so that my "oppressive" ideals would die out. Then, and only then, would the world become a perfect place for her and her kind to live in. The liberal dogma of creating a utopian society stems from Marx, who stole the ideal from Aristotle. Most people don't realize that the term "Utopia" comes from Thomas More's book written during the time of King Henry VIII. More's title can be translated as "no place" and More makes fun of the utopian concept in his own book. Again, history has many examples of utopian societies that have failed. Why do they self-destruct? Because they all deny the one thing that we cannot seem to overcome, human nature.

Humans are imperfect, and it is hubris of the highest order to think that imperfect humans can create a perfect society. For example, President Obama has tried to create a society in his own image. Yet, in order to do so, he has lied so many times his speeches should be pinned to a revolving door. How could such a man with such little regard for his subjects Americans, with all of his many imperfections, ever be considered a leader who would create a perfect utopia? And what about the guy who came before Obama? Liberals are quick to point out how imperfect a man George W. Bush was. What about the next one to come along? Will that one be perfect?

The concept and the premise of the argument, are ludicrous.