Bubble check - Is liberalism/progressivism the true path forward? What are some of the critiques? Serious replies please.

RustyNails

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,008
I should probably state that I started out more as an anti-George W Bush than pro-liberal or Democrat during 2004 elections. The idealogy I for the first time identified was...Ron Paul libertarian in 2008. But that only lasted a few months, until i researched Barack Obama's platform and got fully on board. Ever since then I identified as a strongly liberal, progressive democrat on pretty much every issue.

I do however try to see things outside the "bubble" so to speak constantly. To make sure we're not drinking the same kool aid as say, Republicans who are now basically part of a full bore cult. Meaning, I try to critique American liberalism, but I do not see much to critique outside of vague monetary philosophies. The ideals, of having equal rights for all, strong central government taking care of poor, taxing the rich, etc. all seem morally right and the true path forward for humanity. I can't say the same of conservativism, which is just mean-spiritedness and economically disastrous (trickle down garbage). What are some of the real critiques of liberal thought and ideals?
 

Matt

The Terror that Flaps in the Night
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
2,314
The biggest worry I have on this front is how will progressivism survive the havoc this world will experience as a result of climate change. What will western nations do when the rest of the world needs someplace to go...
 
Oct 25, 2017
835
The only way forward is the socialization of control over production and international cooperation. Our current system is set up to exacerbate the issues we currently face.

the real critique of liberalism comes from the left.
 

Plumbob

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,389
A critique that doesn't get surfaced here enough is that market pricing is a signal of preferences. Absent externalities, giving people what they want is often a good thing. And competitive markets move towards giving consumers what they want.

In other words, capitalism has its merits.
 

Rushersauce

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,470
We need a new system, and I'm not talking about socialism or communism.

Liberal, for many, is a laissez faire system that let companies take too much power. Privatization of services, low taxes, and small government (the neoliberal way). And guess what? Is a status quo system that fucks its people over.
 

sphagnum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,662
No. Liberalism believes in private property and therefore supports capitalism. Capitalism is unsustainable and killing the planet. Capitalism is unstable and falls into continual crises, which gives rise to fascism. Capitalism is inherently authoritarian and contradictory to democracy, revealing the extent to which liberalism is ineffective at protecting its own values.

Capitalism will one day collapse, and there are only two options that come after it - socialism or barbarism.
 
Oct 25, 2017
835
A critique that doesn't get surfaced here enough is that market pricing is a signal of preferences. Absent externalities, giving people what they want is often a good thing. And competitive markets move towards giving consumers what they want.

In other words, capitalism has its merits.
lol its melting the planet but at least we have nice treats

Give me a break, people's economic standing is as precarious as it's been in the post war era.
 

Auros01

Avenger
Nov 17, 2017
1,875
I think the major critique, in a way, is a lot of these ideals will make privileged people groups in this country feel as if they are in danger - I mean, this is obviously already happening. I don't think this is a downside at all but the critique is liberalism/progressivism could potentially continue to incite class warfare and further a deep divide between the "haves" and the "have nots" in this country.

Mind you, I'm not at all saying liberalism isn't the path forward... it just seems to be a very difficult path forward.
 

rarenight

Resident Novelist
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,801
Liberalized, pro-corporate capitalism ala. Nancy Pelosi's style of American liberalism fails as a societal model because it is still founded on the supposition of infinite growth for corporations in a very finite world with limited resources. This model will break down sooner than we think.
 
May 25, 2018
4,526
No. Liberalism believes in private property and therefore supports capitalism. Capitalism is unsustainable and killing the planet. Capitalism is unstable and falls into continual crises, which gives rise to fascism. Capitalism is inherently authoritarian and contradictory to democracy, revealing the extent to which liberalism is ineffective at protecting its own values.

Capitalism will one day collapse, and there are only two options that come after it - socialism or barbarism.
Jesus
 

headfallsoff

Member
Mar 16, 2018
29
having equal rights for all, strong central government taking care of poor, taxing the rich,
Those ideals are good and the reason you don't see anyone critiquing liberalism on those grounds is because it, uh, doesn't do that even a little bit. It's nice rhetoric but the economic policies of neoliberal governments lead to horrendous abuses of equal rights, abuse of the poor and an easy life for the rich. The reason the critiques are monetary is because it's primarily an economic policy and the economics are the core how how the power is structured. Marx knew what he was talking about back in the day lol and not much has changed.
 

_Karooo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,223
Having unchecked immigration and strong welfare systems aren't compatible with each other.
 

Matt

The Terror that Flaps in the Night
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
2,314
I do wonder how many of the criticisms of liberalism would be addressed by a 100% estate tax.
 

Rushersauce

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,470
I wait with great anticipation for your thesis on a new economic order that isn’t capitalism, socialism or communism. (Better not be some third way Tony Blair bullshit)
Take this if you were being sarcastic.

Oh, fucking hell. I hate your mentality. "We have this and that good luck trying to create something new lol"

If you were being honest:

Cooperation is needed to create a new system. At this rate, humans will go extinct before that.
 
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Dec 15, 2017
497
Democratic socialism is the only model that makes sense for a sustainable future. If the pro-corporate establishments continue to get their way unchecked, anybody who is not making a minimum of 250k a year is going to be severely fucked.
 

Plumbob

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,389
I'm not really sure what your point was other then capitalism makes nice stuff. I think that a political program needs to go a bit deeper then that but do you.
I said "absent externalities" and your response was to throw snark at me about climate change. Of course climate change is huge problem with free markets.

Respond to the point I made not the point you wanted me to make.
 

Midramble

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,058
San Francisco
I wait with great anticipation for your thesis on a new economic order that isn’t capitalism, socialism or communism. (Better not be some third way Tony Blair bullshit)
How about socialized capitalism? Say a company as large as Amazon decides to donate its shares to a "Public Trust". Public Trust being a trust setup where the beneficiaries is defined as every living human. Since that establishes everyone as an equal shareholder of the company the trust managers are now required to run the company under global democratic vote. In this model it is capitalism but the people have seized the means of production. Say this company develops into a monopoly due to consumer trust because of consumer ownership, then it is an entirely socialized system operating on capitalist mechanics.
 

kittens

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,144
We need to develop anarcho-communism focusing on community based food production. We need to simultaneously feed people, heal the planet, and undermine corporate and fascist powers. This will be the anchor we need to survive both climate change and fascism. By bringing people together to help each other eat and grow, we can transform our communities and relationships, boost community wellbeing and power, and slowly chip away at the systems that are killing us.

That will give us a chance at survival, but there's still so much work to do beyond that. We have centuries and probably millenia of healing to do. We need to repair the planet, unlearn colonialism, and slowly learn how to live in cooperation and harmony.
 

Acorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,469
Scotland
How about socialized capitalism? Say a company as large as Amazon decides to donate its shares to a "Public Trust". Public Trust being a trust setup where the beneficiaries is defined as every living human. Since that establishes everyone as an equal shareholder of the company the trust managers are now required to run the company under global democratic vote. In this model it is capitalism but the people have seized the means of production. Say this company develops into a monopoly due to consumer trust because of consumer ownership, then it is an entirely socialized system operating on capitalist mechanics.
That's nationalisation
 

rarenight

Resident Novelist
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,801
How about socialized capitalism? Say a company as large as Amazon decides to donate its shares to a "Public Trust". Public Trust being a trust setup where the beneficiaries is defined as every living human. Since that establishes everyone as an equal shareholder of the company the trust managers are now required to run the company under global democratic vote. In this model it is capitalism but the people have seized the means of production. Say this company develops into a monopoly due to consumer trust because of consumer ownership, then it is an entirely socialized system operating on capitalist mechanics.
The model fails if you still operate in a free-market society where producers are free to mark up prices of essential goods like EpiPens due to inelastic demand.
 

Midramble

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,058
San Francisco
The model fails if you still operate in a free-market society where producers are free to mark up prices of essential goods like EpiPens due to inelastic demand.
The market goes that direction due to companies being run under the goal of maximum roi where the social company would inherently be ran with goal of sustainable steady growth. Said company would inherently seek out IP/patents like those that are standard goods and produce without markup. The model would be heavy ESG conciousness sustainable margins and gains (like a nationalized company just bigger)
 
Oct 25, 2017
835
I said "absent externalities" and your response was to throw snark at me about climate change. Of course climate change is huge problem with free markets.

Respond to the point I made not the point you wanted me to make.
Absent externalities isn't the basis for a conversation worth having. I'm sorry if you felt that was snark. It wasn't, the dynamic which allows capitalism to respond to need is the same dynamic that gives it the ability to superceded politics, communities and individual dignity and exert power to order society. It is all externalities
 

Dyle

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
8,083
Wisconsin
The biggest issue is that most liberal/progressive programs, barring social policies, are hard to implement and requires a great deal of social, economic, and political will. People, voters and leaders alike, will generally choose to do the easy but destructive thing over the hard but constructive one and that may be what dooms us all. Overcoming the organizational inertia of human society is exhausting and cultivating the kind of strong political will to consistently make those policies a reality may not be feasible.
 

Acorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,469
Scotland
Yup. I'm just supplying a model for a global form of it as there is no global government that do the equivalent
You would need a global government(like world government) to do it. Otherwise it being beholden to every human being is meaningless because they don't have a democratic way to exercise any control.
 

rarenight

Resident Novelist
Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,801
My biggest issue is direct election of highest leader through plurarity / majority. Seeing people like Trump and Jair in power means something is broken.
Yes. Humans have a penchant for tribalism, treating politics like sports teams and demonizing The Other. Society cannot succeed through a democracy because the majority will inevitably end up elevating idiots who speak to their tribalism and stroke their fears. Donald Trump, a reality television star and a petulant child born into wealth, should have never became the candidate for the Republican Party and yet he was voted in at the primaries. The fact that ever happened is a direct failure of democracy.

The question is how do you solve the dilemma of democracy without the ruling class seizing power and creating just as many abuses?
 

hanshen

Member
Jun 24, 2018
971
Chicago, IL
Democratic socialism is the way to go. Neoliberalism has shown its inability to solve massive income inequality or climate change.
 

samoyed

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,003
The ideals of liberalism/Enlightenment thought (individual freedom, equality) are good.

In practice, liberalism upholds a lot of systemic inequalities in place. Profit seems more important than equality, and when equality can be squared with profit then equality is given, but if there must be a choice between the two, liberalism skews towards profit and status quo.

Similarly, regardless of how well you think of the Enlightenment philosophers, they were probably all thinking of white men when they laid down their theses about social contracts and so forth, just like how the founders only cared about land-owning white men. The gifts of democracy weren't extended to women, and then non-whites, until centuries after the original tenets were laid down.
 

Midramble

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,058
San Francisco
You would need an global government to do it. Otherwise it being beholden to every human being is meaningless because they don't have democratic way to exercise any control.
Global corporate governance. Currently today every company on earth, due to every country having trust law (as it's the oldest form), is required to inform and collect votes from shareholders in order to establish operating policy. This is globally universal. As a result you already have a system in place for establishing that democratic voice. The voting tech is also leagues ahead of classic governance due to the needs of efficiency in the capitalistic private sector.
 

CaptSpaulding

Member
Jul 13, 2019
171
Its a slightly better system than what we have now. But still far from perfect.

I feel there will be no perfect system to make everyone happy when we still live in a world of scarcity.

Once we develop fusion power, replicators, and warp drives then finally humanity can all be one and at peace.
 

Acorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,469
Scotland
Global corporate governance. Currently today every company on earth, due to every country having trust law (as it's the oldest form), is required to inform and collect votes from shareholders in order to establish operating policy. This is globally universal. As a result you already have a system in place for establishing that democratic voice. The voting tech is also leagues ahead of classic governance due to the needs of efficiency in the capitalistic private sector.
The difference between X amount of shareholders and the entire population of earth is so huge it isn't comparable.
 

ckareset

Member
Feb 2, 2018
3,762
We should throw away political ideology and start rethinking things.

I'd say certain things need government/public control such as utility, healthcare, education and other things should be left to market forces.

There needs to be a tear down of current lobby groups and monopoly pandering.

As for social issues, yeah. Liberalism is the way to go. Just got to be careful when it comes to banning stuff like mods on resets do lol
 

DukeBlueBall

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,572
Seattle, WA
Yes. Humans have a penchant for tribalism, treating politics like sports teams and demonizing The Other. Society cannot succeed through a democracy because the majority will inevitably end up elevating idiots who speak to their tribalism and stroke their fears. Donald Trump, a reality television star and a petulant child born into wealth, should have never became the candidate for the Republican Party and yet he was voted in at the primaries. The fact that ever happened is a direct failure of democracy.

The question is how do you solve the dilemma of democracy without the ruling class seizing power and creating just as many abuses?
The best we have is a diversity of systems across the world to learn from and keep the excesses of others in check. One day we can point back to the shortcomings all the systems we have and the lessons learned passed on to future nations and generations. If civilization survives climate change.
 

Midramble

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,058
San Francisco
The difference between X amount of shareholders and the entire population of earth is so huge it isn't comparable.
I work in the proxy voting sector. There are roughly a half billion individual investors who's votes are counted for tens of thousands of companies on hundreds of policies annually and they make up the minority of voters. There is an entire market around shareholder voting. Proxy voting, shareholder activism, and corporate governance are all quite deep and interesting subjects.
 

Inuhanyou

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,259
New Jersey
Coming from an American mindset...

Liberalism isnt the same as progressivsm. Modern American liberalism has more in common with neoliberalism which is shared by conservatives economically and in terms of things like foreign policy while only speaking surface level to social minded policy, unlike straight neoconservativsm.

But if you ask me if progressivism the true path forward? Absolutely. Its not just people's feeling, its directly applying what works in other countries for the better in terms of policy and using it in a place like America. In addition...progressiveness is inherently a hard lurch shift away from fascism as it lies on the opposite side of the spectrum. Its clearly superior to anything else.

As far as i'm concerned there is no critique in a world like ours which is drifting to the extreme right pretty much every day.

I mean, i'm not going to accept weird nonsense like progressivism(which is only basic social justice advocacy and generalized social democratic aspirations and a light sprinkling of demsoc post capitalist sentiment) being analogous to Stalin or whatever nonsense people have in their heads, so i see no downside.
 
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Dream Machine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,575
Many people who call themselves or think of themselves as "on the left" (particularly those in charge) are really quite centrist and want to compromise with the (ever far right-ening) right rather than move the country left in meaningful ways. So that branch of liberal thinking isn't the path forward, or the path to anywhere, no.

Actual progressives who want meaningful structural changes are the only path forward. We're out of time
 

Acorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,469
Scotland
I work in the proxy voting sector. There are roughly a half billion individual investors who's votes are counted for tens of thousands of companies on hundreds of policies annually and they make up the minority of voters. There is an entire market around shareholder voting. Proxy voting, shareholder activism, and corporate governance are all quite deep and interesting subjects.
Fair enough, I'll take your word for it.

I still think you would need an actual world government for this to be doable in the first place, at a minimum we would need sort out a lot of problems around the world before we could "internationalise" a multinational.

You could nationalise something like Amazon much easier (using easier loosely here) because there are plenty of nationalised companies working on a global scale.
 

Chasex

Member
Oct 29, 2017
652
Hate to say it but this is not the place to get a bubble check. There are plenty of issues to be talked through but people just simply don't want to hear it, and I've given up posting about these issues publicly because cutting through the toxicity is basically impossible. I'll talk about it in DM's if anyone wants.

But yeah, on a whole I think your assessment that progressivism is morally superior is largely correct. When people ask me why I am a liberal I typically say something to the effect of "science and morals" and leave it at that.
 

Fork

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
4,786
Lima, Peru
No. Liberalism believes in private property and therefore supports capitalism. Capitalism is unsustainable and killing the planet. Capitalism is unstable and falls into continual crises, which gives rise to fascism. Capitalism is inherently authoritarian and contradictory to democracy, revealing the extent to which liberalism is ineffective at protecting its own values.

Capitalism will one day collapse, and there are only two options that come after it - socialism or barbarism.
Ouch.

Its totally true though.
 

BatterseaPS

The Fallen
Jun 19, 2018
306
The major problems with liberalism are that:

1. it can lead to a disjointed society. Liberalism and progressivism either seek to or inadvertently pick apart common traditions, religion, shared culture, etc. As a result, each person defines his or her own meaning of and goals in life. That can make it very difficult for individuals to cope, emotionally and spiritually.

2. a society without a strong core is more susceptible to foreign attacks. This is related to the tolerance paradox; if you're ok with all ideas and beliefs, you'll eventually let in those that will destroy you.

Note that these are issues with liberalism, but there's no judgment attached to them. That is, maybe you feel that it's a fine price to pay for the benefits to being progressive (e.g. increased human rights and equality). It is worthwhile to examine and critique liberalism, however. So thank you for making this thread.
 

tommy7154

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,564
I dont know i just want to say i agree about the morality. I believe in whatever is morally right. I dont understand the rights views there. Do they literally not have that sense of right and wrong, do they just not care?

For example I know many even on the right will agree that separation of families and caging other humans is bad, but theres always a "but" that comes after that with them. As if the law or whatever other excuse they use Trumps being a good and moral human being.

Its frustrating.