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Archive for January 12th, 2011

What is liberalism?

Posted by Charles II on January 12, 2011

Crossposted from Sideshow:

Avedon, on Atrios, you asked for a definition of liberal philosophy. This would be my answer:

The core goal of liberalism is to maximize the freedom of everyone. This requires both limiting the excesses of the powerful and ensuring that the powerless are not denied the tools by which they may achieve their full human potential. Governments are instituted and laws are passed not to grant, but to serve and protect fundamental human rights. They must be as small as possible to achieve those goals, but large enough and independent enough to confront the powerful. Fundamental human rights cannot be enumerated, but are recognizable as whatever actions are required to act to keep us alive, free, and able to follow our hearts. Among ones that are clearly recognized are:
* The rights to associate with whoever we like, believe whatever we like, and say what we like, so long as our actions do not injure others;
* No one may be pressured to believe any particular doctrine, nor may the power of the state be used to promote one doctrine or suppress another;
* Our elected representatives must submit themselves to any non-violent criticism of their policies or their actions;
* We have the right when we do wrong to be charged openly and given a fair playing field on which to defend ourselves in a timely trial;
* The law must be neutral, favoring neither rich nor poor, powerful nor powerless, but always acting according to consistent principles;
* News must circulate freely, and all viewpoints must be heard;
* Our homes may not be invaded, nor our possessions or private expressions of beliefs searched without due process;

Liberalism has wandered very far afield of what it really is. For example, a dedication to small government could be achieved by reducing the size of the powerful interests which government is designed to keep in check. This is, I think, a better solution than making government bigger. Or, for example, if true non-profits competed against insurance companies, that would be an acceptable and non-governmental solution to the health insurance crisis (I’ve always wondered why the doctors didn’t create such entities; perhaps now they will). Modern, complex states do need government. The right is kidding itself if it thinks that there can be high standards of living and limited government. But my vision of liberalism involves a lot less government, especially that part of government that starts and wages wars.

Posted in Constitution | Comments Off on What is liberalism?

Reducing The Profitability Of Hatred

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 12, 2011

Spocko asks the following questions:

* What are the positive financial rewards to the people and corporations who use violent rhetoric?

* What could be the negative financial consequences of violent rhetoric to these same people and corporations?

Spocko has lots of practical experience in this field, having organized campaigns to contact the sponsors of various right-wing hate-mongers like Melanie Morgan and Lee Rodgers to defund them and thus remove their profitability. Here are his ideas on what to do right now:

Will fewer corporations or individuals buy tickets to a fund raiser of someone who engages in violent rhetoric?

Note: Sarah Palin will be speaking at Lubbock Christian School’s annual fundraiser on Jan. 24. What if this Christian school decided that using someone who engages in violent rhetoric isn’t the best way to raise money? Considering the shooting of Omaha principal and vice-Principal last week, Mark Breaux, Lubbock Christian Elementary Principal, or Glen Smith, the Secondary Principal, might wonder about the appropriateness of Palin. Here are their email addresses and phone number if you want to ask them.

  • Could an organization fine someone for their violent rhetoric?
    The NFL fined Indianapolis Colts linebacker Gary Brackett $35,000 on Friday for his blind-side hit on Tennessee Titans long snapper Ken Amato during last Sunday’s regular-season finale.
    Gifford’s Republican opponent Jesse Kelly used the ad, “Get on Target for Victory in November Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly. Could the RNC fine him or his ad agency $35,000 for that?


  • Will people be barred from talk shows for their violent rhetoric?
    What if suggesting that a Iraqi be tortured by cutting off his finger and then his penis became a career limiting move, instead of a career enhancer? You might have a right to say it, but you have no right to get rich on radio or TV doing it.
    • Will producers say, “We can’t book X because he uses violent rhetoric”? We know guests are rarely challenged in real time by supportive hosts. Could after the fact emails to producers suggest violent rhetoric as a criteria for not booking someone in the future, just like swearing or being obscene?

    Marcy Wheeler said the word blowjob on MSNBC and wasn’t invited back. Some MSNBC producer made that decision. The same standard doesn’t apply to violent rhetoric–yet.

    My friends at Color of Change and Angelo Carusone of Stopbeck.com used the same techniques that I did on KSFO to reduce the number of advertisers on the Glenn Beck show. Now he has nothing but house ads and Goldline ads. Over 300 advertisers refuse to advertise on the Glenn Beck show. This technique could be used on all people like Beck. After all, it’s “the market” at work.

    If we are to have an impact on violent rhetoric we need to make it financially toxic to corporations.

    Go and do. Granted, this won’t work on print outlets that aren’t intended to be profitable, such as the Moonie Times and Murdoch’s New York Post and Weekly Standard. And Limbaughwill be protected by his patrons. But for most of the rest, particularly those run by entities whose sole purpose isn’t to spread right-wing ideology, it should work nicely.

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