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The Failure of Liberalism

by Patrick Alan Pittman

What is Liberalism?
Modern American Liberalism is not the same as classical (Jeffersonian) liberalism. In fact it is almost the exact opposite. Modern American liberalism is:

  • The (mistaken) belief that the restriction of Individual Liberty and private property rights can improve society through government efforts to design and manage economic and social structures.
  • The (mistaken) belief that a mob of men can better manage society than core values that protect the individual and his property and enforcement of laws that ensure equal protection of citizens while limiting government and allowing individuals to protect themselves.
  • The (mistaken) belief that social safety nets imposed on the populace are more compassionate than allowing the individual freedom to fail (or succeed) from one’s life decisions.
  • The (mistaken) belief that involuntary re-distribution of wealth is moral.
Classical (Jeffersonian) Liberalism (Which is modern conservatism) is a belief in the superiority of the American core values:
  • Individual Liberty
  • The right to self protection
  • The protection of private property rights
  • Equal protection under the law
  • Limited government (Self reliance)

With these working definitions we begin to describe why liberalism fails so often:

Political correctness achieves the opposite of its intent-
What is the intent of political correctness? Possibly to achieve less animosity and promote greater harmony among different cultural and racial groups by limiting the publicly acceptable speech in diverse company through collective shaming and disparagement of undesirable thoughts and verbiage in public. The intent being to remove thought and speech offensive to certain groups.

The results of political correctness are that it interrupts positive as well as negative cultural structures. Political correctness creates an atmosphere of fear that pits cultural groups against each other in polarity rather than in cooperation. People are afraid to say the wrong thing because political correctness dictates an air of cultural entitlement to historically submissive cultures and a sense of guilt to historically dominant cultures thus dividing further the intended blend of cultures in a dynamic of fueling the offensiveness of words that could fade with apathy without the politically correct labeling of the speech; giving power and longevity to the negative impact of words that would otherwise remain a remnant of the cultural lexicon.

Political correctness creates an atmosphere of intolerance of other cultures by leaving no flexibility for cross-cultural transition through natural healing and natural interaction, preventing offensive speech that could grow into tolerable speech over time and cultural abstraction and transition of typical cultural vagary.

Redistribution of wealth fails to achieve economic equality and prosperity-
The concept of wealth redistribution by central government planners has been attempted many times and always results in the reverse of its intention. The dynamics of economic interaction cause people to respond positively to income enhancement, but the productivity of those in society with a propensity to succeed economically is proportional to their ability to keep what they earn.

When the productive are punished for their audacity to generate income (through its forced removal by nebulous entities who claim that their earnings are better spent by supporting the unproductive), not only does this cause discontent, but it decreases the desire to produce by reducing the reward. The recipients of those redistributed dollars become complacent and assume its repetition to the point of eventual dependency. Just as removal of earned dollars causes the productive to reduce output when the futility of added production becomes evident; so does the distribution of the un-earned dollars cause the recipient to trend complacent and apathetic toward the need to exert productive behavior while the assurance of new dollars continues.

Multiculturalism inflames cultural jealousies and bias instead of erasing them
Multiculturalism is the liberal concept of unnaturally forcing the amalgamation of differing cultures through institutional structures designed to promote the blending of disparate peoples in public settings. Removal of any established set of values or cultures as central is essential to the idea of Multiculturalism .Multiculturalism attempts to equalize values ,religions and ethnic groups in a (well intended ) attempt to remove the natural barriers among differing groups found in proximity to one another.

The problems arise when cultural differences get prominence under a director of multicultural thought ; when one (supposed minority) group gets favor in a public setting to achieve some reparation for a perceived past wrong it has suffered under another group. Multiculturalism attempts to achieve equality through unequal treatment or favor to selected groups to mend their differences. This concept ignores or disregards the cultural assertions and desires of each group by trivializing their dominant traits and removing their natural social power. Multiculturalism neuters the cultures it attempts to equalize by establishing the power for cultural foundation in the institution and not leaving the establishment of cultural power to the cultures themselves.

In order to preserve harmony, multiculturalism removes natural cultural hegemony and establishment of authority. If central planning of cultural integration is better, then which culture gets to establish the plan; and with which favor or aversion do the selected “other” group(s) comply? Multiculturalism creates an established power for the elite and relegates the “common” cultures to subservience to the Liberal in charge of determining how the cultures may or may not interact.

Centrally planned economies fail more people than they help
Bureaucracies, by their very nature, are inefficient and cumbersome in actual (as opposed to theoretical) operation. It takes far more resources to produce any government generated output than a free market output merely because of the added bureaucracy involved in every step of its inception. The development of an entire economy controlled by a centrally planned bureaucracy is, in practice, untenable because there are always too many interdependent factors involved in the interaction of market forces and human cultural and economic transaction to predict key policy measures accurately enough to maintain balance.

Without balance, an economy spins uncontrollably in tangential directions and must be compensated by policies that can exacerbate already perilous trends. The inefficiency and clumsiness of bureaucratic decision making is only catalyst to the corruptible influences of power so easily abused and leveraged through the lives of people subjugated by the unique dispensation of the use of force given to the government that no other entity in society can legitimately claim. With the combination of economic complexity and bureaucratic inefficiency, central planning has proven to be disastrous in nations who have attempted this system in the past. The history of communism and socialism is replete with the inherent failure of central planning to both predict and correct anomalies in the interactive cultural and economic markets in time to have the desired positive effects.

On the contrary, central planning has, historically, been the broken lynchpin in the essential connection between producer and consumer in society. It has also proven to be a culturally disrupting factor in its inability to address regional and local intricacies that require surgical solutions rather than sledge hammer rectification. The environmental destruction and economic failure of past socialist attempts pale in comparison to the deaths that have been caused as the tyranny of the bureaucracy combines with the corruption of the planners.

When liberalism restricts Individual liberty it causes more discontent than the absence of “promised benefits “
There is a reason that the founders of America singled out individual liberty as a crucial element in the inception of the new constitution. Individual liberty is the primary element of success in a free society and cannot be substituted for perceived security. Liberalism is in opposition to individual liberty because the individual is to be subjugated to the collective will under the modern liberal ideal. With Liberal collective management of society, the individual is to surrender to the will of the mob. The group is supreme and the individual is subordinate.

When the desire for perceived security causes liberals to force the sacrifice of freedoms and property rights through government regulation and micro-management of the lives of citizens, the overall satisfaction of society is diminished when the benefits of the attempted security measures dwindle in time under the crushing cost of the bureaucracy that must be instituted to manage the details and juggle the infinite complexities of the equitable disbursement of seized assets to deserving parties. The benefits of individual liberty outweigh the burdens of social management.

The repeated failure of the elites in management of the treasury to accurately predict and balance the accounts of distribution, or even read the behavior of the populace to design the next course of action is well documented in history. The “promised benefits” of safety net bureaucracy always end with the bankruptcy of the original plan and the raiding of the coffers to placate the ever hungry power structure, which inevitably takes precedence over the intended beneficiary of the safety net.

Private property rights protect the environment better than big government
With the increasing growth in population and its inevitable consumption of resources and waste production, conscious protection of the environment becomes increasingly more important to society.

Big government liberalism seeks to impose upon society the theories of elite professors on the government payroll (whose livelihoods depend upon continued need for their pontifications) that can tell the ignorant masses the most effective route for environmental stability. Yet, with all of their study and (unique) interpretation of data that they alone are “qualified “to assemble, the understanding of human nature still eludes them such that the proposed “solutions to our environmental problems continue to be untenable and completely impracticable. With solutions impossible to adequately implement, they become useless as real applicable answers.

Individual actors with property to protect and preserve, however, have proven through the years to be more adept at maintaining a more viable balance of: production and waste, problem identification and solution, and self preservation of an environment that supports continuance of the productive activities that create the profits that individual actors work to create. With continued productivity as an incentive, individuals with property to protect will usually maintain an environment which supports that goal.

When property is seized by bureaucrats and applied to programs that build more infrastructure that is by nature not self-supporting, the users of that property have no personal vested interest to protect that which they do not own and can never control.(see any public areas and compare to privately maintained property of similar monetary value , people will not voluntarily maintain public property that “of which someone else is probably assigned to take care”).

People will trash public highways and beaches; they will deface and destroy public places with no regard to continuity. But someone who owns a building or a farm or a piece of property will be much more likely to protect and maintain his own place. (If for no other reason than the possible loss of value). When property rights are destroyed, what is the incentive to maintain that which is kept out of the reach of individuals?

Capitalism causes more wealth than big government
Government does not create wealth. It seizes wealth. Government can print money, but that has no value unless some individual is willing to sacrifice some portion of his time (life) in exchange for that currency. It is in this regard that printed money is only worth what value the productive members of society are willing to attach to it. If the government prints too much, wealth does not increase; it decreases when inflation devalues those things which are artificially in abundance.

Property is only as valuable as it is difficult (or rare) to obtain. If the government seizes earned wealth from the productive to redistribute to those whom liberal bureaucrats think “need” or “deserve” it more than the person who earned it, then the value diminishes, not only with the free distribution of property in an inflationary sense, but it diminishes in the respect that anything that requires little or no effort to obtain loses its rarity. As a trophy which all players in the soccer league receive (for mere participation) is not as desirable as the championship (or Most Valuable Player) trophy would be.

If Government gives away property (that it must seize to obtain in the first place) , it ceases to be wealth (the accumulation of items of value)because it diminishes in value through the act of unearned receipt. Capitalism (in a free market) is the embodiment of what wealth accumulation represents. People are free to act in ways that increase (or decrease) their own ability to gain items of value. That, in turn, allows more people to participate in the attempt as more wealth circulates in society.

Liberalism, in fact, decreases the value of valuable things through the process of elites rewarding favor to other like-thinking elites to display the “greatness of liberalism”. Giving away a Nobel Prize to Barack Obama (and before that, Yasser Arafat, and Al Gore respectively) before he had accomplished anything to earn it is the perfect example. The prize, used to be a universally valued award for great accomplishments, yet liberals, in rewarding mere liberalism (and appeasing terrorists in the case of Arafat) have forever tarnished the value of the once great symbol of achievement. It is blatantly evident, not so much in who received the prize when these liberals were “honored “by their fellows, but in who was passed by (and the ignored achievements of those people).

Equal protection under the law is impossible under liberalism
The constitutional principle of equal protection of all citizens under the law cannot be implemented by liberal elites whose core philosophy comes from the ten planks of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto; the primary concept of which resides in the forced heavy progressive income tax. Taxing citizens on income, rather than consumption, requires a large Liberal government to investigate the personal financial activity of citizens and to punish productive behavior by taxing the earnings of the most productive at a greater rate than the least productive (who become rewarded for their lack of productivity by this system).Equal treatment of citizens would require the government to view (and tax) all citizens the same regardless of productive capacity. A consumption tax on retail sales would accomplish this objective. (And Alexander Hamilton stated as much in Federalist 12 when the design of the constitution was being forged).

Liberalism cannot tolerate equal protection under the law because that would undermine its primary directive of wealth redistribution among citizens. It is impossible to use the government to redistribute wealth and still maintain private property rights for individual citizens. In order to take the productive capacity (earned or inherited property) from one citizen to give to another, the property rights must be suspended for the productive while protecting the property rights of the recipient. Equal protection under the law would require the government to treat all citizens and their property with identical reverence. Liberalism insists on cultural and racial discrimination by the government as well as financial discrimination. Federally funded institutions require diversity in everything but philosophical thought conservative (and especially Christian) ideas are removed from governmental discourse at all levels in the name of political correctness.

Racial discrimination is forced through school systems insisting on cultural reparations for perceived (and real) past wrongs by discriminatory systems such as affirmative action (and cultural student centers which divide people into all isolated racial groups except whites , who are not allowed to exclude the other groups in reciprocal fashion.)Government contracts also seek to amend these past wrongs through the elite treatment of (liberally) favored groups of citizens over others who cannot be eligible for these set-asides.(your great grandfather’s past wrongs must be punished and you are the recipient of these lashes, and whomever he wronged must have a great grandson in need of some government favor to amend for these evils).In totality the entire concept is riddled with the very unevenness it intends to cure.

Liberalism cannot protect citizens while appeasing the enemies of the culture
American culture, long established with the standards of Judeo-Christian ethic and traditions, is replete with examples of the success of liberty and the superiority of the laws of property and limited governance. When an entity displays its belligerence to American tradition and culture, and even openly demands its destruction (as in the case of the world wide spread of Islam) Liberals are the first to defend these entities and even oppose the defenders of traditional American values.

The examples are voluminous; all public vestiges of Christian heritage and tradition have been attacked by liberals using the invented constitutional principle of “separation of church and state”, the defense of Islam as its incremental encroachment in America begins to mimic the malignant spread of violent culture in Europe and other past centers of liberty worldwide, The kneejerk support of Hamas and the Palestinian culture which feeds violent Islam against our ally Israel, Appeasement of La Rasa and illegal alien invasion of America by cultures that want, not to assimilate and blend with American culture( as the Irish,Italians,Jews,Polish,Germans ,Scots and others did at the end of the 19th century)but to invade our territory (to which they claim title)and establish new conquest (they call themselves reconquistadores )with no immigrant process to establish their acceptance of our laws and acknowledgement of American culture.

Liberal appeasement of all enemies of American culture describes their inability to understand the lessons of history and illustrates their animosity toward the rule of law and the maintenance of the culture of property rights and equal protection that America represents. How can Liberals both protect Americans while appeasing their enemies?

How can Liberals both respect the immigration laws of America while simultaneously suing states that enact laws (even laws that mimic [unenforced] federal laws) that are geared to protect those Border States from the violent and intrusive invasion by people who refuse to abide by the law voluntarily? How can Liberals defend the Islamic terrorists captured fighting our soldiers overseas and claim to protect American culture which is in the crosshairs of these same groups?

They cannot. Liberal appeasement is yet another blatant failure of the philosophy that is rife with failures.

The “safety net “ has no protection from wasteful politicians and will go bankrupt financially while simultaneously promoting a culture of dependence
Social security, no longer isolated away from the sticky fingers of ravenous politicians, has become (and provably so) a Ponzi -scheme destined to run out of funds. Originally designed as a safety net for the destitute retiree, Social Security has become a “catch all” crutch for the dependency culture. Born of liberal golden intentions, Social security has also become the unmentionable third rail of political discourse and the well worn political shame bat for beating the fiscal conservative back into place whenever the reform of this broken entity is suggested. Welfare and Social Security have also transformed an American culture founded on self reliance to one of acceptance (appeasement) of a dependency class who refuses to acknowledge the immorality of a life lived at the expense of others.

Once dependent, the moocher class is not only dependent on the fruits of their neighbor’s labor, but also on the provider (in the form of a liberal “looter class” which trades seized money from the productive for votes from the dependent moocher). This immoral cycle is the heart of liberalism and promotes fear and animosity on the part of the dependent class, who is ever afraid of losing the “free lunch “while simultaneously building severe (goaded) animosity and resentment of the producers from whom their livelihood is taken. This wealth envy fire is stoked by liberalism and is the primary weapon through which the producer is demonized and looted by the bureaucratic tyranny of the big government machine.

The producers in society have little in the way of recourse when the leverage of votes comes from the dependent class bent on preserving their unearned stipend, and while the looters are eager to promise a new round of payments from the “wealthy” to “even the playing field “in a contrived class war in which the unproductive become “victims” of an imaginary task master.(who, in reality wants the poor to become wealthy through self reliance, if, for no other reason than to remove another burden from the overtaxed producers).

The liberal war on poverty has failed miserably
When President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty in 1964, a new era of bureaucratic overkill and incompetence was launched with glorious fanfare. The evidence that liberalism has lost this war in miserable sniveling fashion is all around us today. Everywhere there are big government programs to eliminate poverty and redistribute the wealth in society, there are slums, empty factories, and dependent citizens standing in line for the latest round of government subsidized giveaways ranging from reduced (or free)lunches for those citizens whose parents are not responsible enough to limit their breeding habits to those children that they can afford, to hoards of people standing in line to receive free vouchers for power bill assistance (all the while complaining about the inefficiency and inconvenience of the process for free stuff taken from the neighbor who is at work earning the money to support them as they bark out their objections).

When refugees from Hurricane Katrina weren’t raping and robbing each other in the Superdome in New Orleans, they were luxuriating in donated quarters on cruise ships and trashing the place in wanton fashion. If poverty were just an unfortunate circumstance as liberals claim, then its escape would be swift in a free society where jobs are plentiful and opportunities to create income are as abundant as ideas and free hours of the Idle. But as the mass influx of illegal immigrants have taught us (through the millions of earned dollars wired back to their home countries after arriving in America with, literally only the clothes on their backs) poverty in America is largely voluntary.

In fact, poverty in America is a function of cultural failure. Namely the liberal culture who designs a war on poverty based on giving a man a metaphorical fish (taken involuntarily from his productive neighbor) rather than leaving him to his own motivation after teaching him to fish. This is the starkest and obvious failure of liberal philosophy, and its repercussions resonate throughout the cultures it infects in the form of unintended consequences that effect society in concentric waves around each liberal attempt to repair a problem with something other than high expectations, self reliance, individual responsibility and the freedom to fail.

Everywhere in America that poverty exists today is an example of dependence on government programs designed to foster that continued failure rather than to repair the initial cultural problem. No one wants poor people to burden their neighbors, but it is far more compassionate to teach self reliance (and there is only one way to teach self reliance) than to perpetuate dependence.
Liberalism always perpetuates dependence.

In debt is no way to raise a responsible population
Huge financial debts, whether personal, institutional or generational, always limit productive capacity and self actualization of people. Liberalism and government control over larger and larger portions of American life seed the expansion of bureaucracy with the debt of the productive institutionally, and when those programs double and triple in size and scope , the debt becomes generational as today’s politicians pay for their expansions with tomorrow’s expected revenues and thus children who are not even born are in debt to pay for the excesses that liberals design to manage society in opulent (and unnecessary) fashion. Personal debts can be controlled by the individual, but as America has experienced recently, when liberals attempt to appease parasitic voters with debt bailouts based on tomorrow’s production, the financial irresponsibility (enabled by a ravenous liberal bureaucracy) becomes geometric in progression.

Liberalism itself excuses irresponsible behavior by appeasing the mooching voters with redistributed wealth. And thus, perpetuates poor fiscal habits by denying free citizens the important freedom to fail from their poor decisions and to learn (and possibly to improve) from necessary mistakes. This denial of human nature and needed education in reality is a function of liberal inability to accept the proven self corrective characteristics of individual liberty and capitalism. Individually, sheltered children have an obvious and distinct disadvantage from children whose parents allowed their exploration of life’s trials and tribulations. Sheltered children grow into spoiled and dependent adults.

Children who were allowed to fall and struggle through their own selectively assisted exploration of the world around them are always better equipped adults when it comes to troubleshooting the problems and puzzles that life presents everyone .If you were never allowed to fail as a child, the difficulties in adulthood would be new to you when the decision making process is more critical and dangerous. When you have encountered the challenge of solving a problem before, the immediate reaction would be more focused on solution the second time around, rather than wonder at the enormity of the challenge. Liberalism and its accompanying bureaucratic overspending causes debt and reduces productive capacity for the individual, the institution and the generation that has to shoulder the debt and struggle to compensate for its burden.

When liberal big government programs capture a generation of dependents and lead them down the path of entitlement , the individuals become not just financially indebted to their neighbors for the receipt of their looted earnings, but the psychological dependency that evolves from this dysfunctional relationship becomes resentment and envy which is then used to advantage by the political class in the next round of the cycle as the instigation of jealousy and resentment fuel another raid on the productive in society.