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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Liberals and Libertarians Need Each Other

I read an interesting article today at Naked Capital - Liberals and Libertarians Need Each Other.  In it, the author Bob Goodwin raises a number of points which I have also addressed concerning ideological groupings (liberal/conservative, etc.).  He also raises the issue of the Corporatist elite - Big Oil, Too Big To Fail Finance, etc.  In the article he points out that:
Ideological groupings of the population are an interesting phenomenon. I believe they are caused by two human traits. People need a mental construct or shortcut to make sense of complex externalities, and likely overuse these constructs. More importantly people are social animals, and will use social settings (like NakedCapitalism) to refine and align their constructs.
It is part of our nature to define people within groups - she is a blond - he is tall - they are big.  It only become an issue when we loose our commonality because of perceived differences rather than finding the common ground.  As he points out in his article:
It can be very difficult to debate with someone of a different ideology, when your premise starts with a presumption not shared by your opponent. And due to human nature when the debate devolves into a disagreement on the fundamentals of an ideology it will quickly move to an accusation that there must be a flaw in the messenger. Every decent person I know agrees with my proof, so you must not be a decent person
So what can we do?  He has a few suggestions.
1. Agree on common ground. This common ground needs to be sufficient to justify collaboration.
2. Agree to disagree respectfully. For example, the border shooting is going to elicit different opinions. It is not a central fight. So disagree.
3. Try to use neutral language on collaborative topics.
4. Try to ignore opponent’s ideological language that is necessary to create cohesion within their ideology.
5. There must be demonstrable achievements to justify the discomfort.
It strikes me that in large part we have forgotten that it is okay to disagree with one another, without that meaning we are in some ways enemies.  When someone has a different viewpoint is doesn't make them (or you) wrong.  We have to forget our rigid concepts of right and wrong - things can be just different.  It is not all black and white, but lots of shades of grey.

In his discussion about why Liberals and Libertarians Need Each Other, Mr. Goodwin raises the issue of the Corporatist elite and says that is an issue which should bring Liberals and Libertarians together. From the article:
We now have a common enemy: the Corporatist elite, who have corrupted both the free market and captured the regulatory apparatus of our government. Corporatists have power in *both* political parties, and this is where our common interests lie. The Tea party is disrupting the Republican Party (with some success) and the progressive movement has been successful in elections but unsuccessful in policy at undermining the entrenched corporate influence on the democratic side. The Corporatists have an interest to see their enemies divided and marginalized. But the combined power of these two movements is close enough to 50% of the population to overpower the Corporatist movement which has power far beyond its numbers.
Every day there is another article which shows the government-capture by big business.  Our entire system seems overrun by big business and their lobbyist.  It is Robin Hood in reverse.  So I agree with Mr. Goodwin and say that we all need common ground in order to "take back our Country" from the Corporatist elite.

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