Tuesday, July 22, 2008

coldblooded legless creatures with poisonous fangs who eat their mates and do not care for their young

Here is a great essay by John C. Wright. It explains why people like me have such a hard time coming up with descriptions of ourselves. I sometimes call myself a conservative, or sometimes I say that I'm on the right, but neither description really seems accurate. Wright explains that these terms were constructed by our political opponents in order to invalidate our views. Here is a short section:
‘Right’, as it is used these days, means classical liberalism plus Nazism. It means all those things I listed (Bill-of-Rights type thinking: individualism, rule of law, separation of powers, free trade, free market, Rights-of-Man, limited government) In other words, it is a meaningless definition.

Now, why should anyone define a term to include classical liberal ideals (individual liberty, limited government, rule of law, separation of powers, etc.) with Nazism? Answer: to denigrate classical liberal ideals. ...

It would be like defining ‘mammals’ to mean ‘warmblooded organisms with hairy skin who give birth live to their young PLUS snakes and black widow spiders.’ That way, if you cannot criticize mammals for anything, you can always claim that they are coldblooded legless creatures with poisonous fangs who eat their mates and do not care for their young.


(link from Foxfier)

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