In Defense of Left Leaning Liberal %$#@!@
Nov 14, 2017
How the political labels of Liberal/Conservative do not apply to the modern world.
In going through all of my blogs for a book project I ran across one with a comment prominently displayed at the top of the comment section that was attempting to make a disparaging remark on my work. The author said in so many words it was people like me “publishing Left Leaning Liberal Excrement” that was causing him to not to want to read EV World anymore.
While I was sorry to hear that, I also felt kind of honored to be complimented in such a fashion, and I thought now there is a blog subject if ever I seen one. The trouble is I have addressed this subject of Liberalism v Conservatism over the last twelve years of my blog before; at least I have in part. Needless to say I wear the label of being a liberal openly and with pride.
In recent years I have seen postings, t-shirts, and other sentiments saying to the effect that “Science is not a Liberal Enterprise” and I think this is a blatant falsehood. Science has always been a liberal enterprise since its inception. Science has been a liberal enterprise in the history of western thought including the development of the scientific method.
The Renaissance Popes of the 16th Century were “liberal”, this is why we had a” Renaissance”. The Conservative Inquisition Popes from Spain in the early 17th century “not so liberal”, which is why the pursuit of an open inquiry of nature (later to be called science) fled to northern Europe. Not a lot has changed with Climate Scientist being fired or suppressed in the conservative American government and an open invitation from the President of France for such scientist and other entrepreneurs in the related sciences to immigrate to France. This period of time in America will be looked upon as the worst of times by historians I can tell you that.
Timothy Ferris in his book “The Science of Liberty” went to great pains to describe the intent of the founding fathers of the new American government. The scientific method was very much in the forefront of their thoughts. The methods of science were their model for forming the structures of our government. That is, the proposition that ideas should be tried openly in a market place of ideas and the best ones chosen by a consensus process called voting. The founding fathers had no idea that 230 years later that half of the electorate would be so dumbed down that their minds were closed to new ideas. The intent of the founding fathers does not seem to be working out.
Science was not even properly called science generally until the early 1800’s. Before that time the amateur scientist were referred to as a “Natural Philosopher”. It meant the same thing, an open mind, a search for evidence, and a willingness to go where the evidence leads you. As the great Richard Feynman once commented, “I have approximate ideas and thoughts about things, but I am not attached to them, I am willing to change my ideas if new evidence shows me I must do so.
What we are seeing in the modern political culture in this country is a complete inversion of such noble progress fostering ideas. This has led us to a point where our Congress and the Executive Branch is dominated by persons who have fixed ideas about how the world works and they are not interested in any new ideas that may contradict their preconceived notions. This guiding principle of liberalism is the fatal weakness of liberalism according to Carl Popper. Openness to tyrannical thought means liberal thought is first casualty once the tyrants gain power.
Our choices at the beginning of the 21st century could never be clearer. The very survival of the human race depends of open thought, open inquiry, and a willingness to go where the evidence leads us. This kind openness should not be confused with the so called sceptic who comes to us under the guise of using the scientific method, but who is in fact intellectually dishonest. They may object that over 170 years of climate science inquiry is a giant cabal by the liberals to destroy the “American Way” (whatever that is?) but they do not have serious questions of any substance that do not lead anywhere but to their predetermined paid for conclusions.
We are at a cross roads in the short history of humanity. If the evidence tells us the environmental support systems of the planet are going to collapse due to hyper population overshoot, then these are the facts we must accept. If the evidence tells greenhouse gases are pushing the climate on this planet towards being uninhabitable, then this is the predicament we are in. There is no middle ground. Objections due to religion, capitalism, vested interest, and all the rest of these things that seem to hold power over the minds of many people must be set aside if we have any hope of surviving.
What you think you believe, what you want to believe, what you wish were true has no bearing here. If we go to our collective deaths due to the Taliban v Evangeliban, Neoliberal Capitalism v Communism, Socialism, any ism you care to name, it makes no difference. The so called greatest accomplishment of Evolution the sentient human brain will all be for nothing. In point of fact the human mind will have been an evolutionary dead end pure and simple.
So yes my dear blog commentator I am unabashedly liberal and no that does not mean I am a Democrat, a Libertarian, or any other boutique political party you care to name. It simply means I go where the evidence leads me, and am willing to change my mind when the evidence warrants it. This is I will admit very hard to do.
Anyone alive today who goes to the doctor, who believes in science in any part of their life, even if that is simply accepting the science facts that deliver electricity to their house, gives them clean drinking water, drives on roads, almost any facet of modern life you want to name is a “Liberal”. I want to be clear about that there are no other options. If you believe in and use all these things but also still want to believe in magic, astrology, or Trumpism, then this is just cognitive dissonance on massive scale.
You can be a Republican and label yourself a Conservative if you want to, but if you accept Social Security, Medicare, roads, clean water, safety regulations that keep you alive, then you are benefiting from Liberal/Socialist ideas and you are just denying it. The lack of clarity in thought in this strange process is just stupefying to say the least.
This is my rant for the month of November 2017, but I promise I should have a possibly less contentious blog subject next month. Hopefully we will have more solid news about this book project I was speaking of at the beginning of this blog. A book title, a publication date, price point, and where it is available, etc. would all be good. You know in time for Christmas, or do I mean the seasonal holidays?
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