Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Limited Toolkit

"When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." This quotation is normally used by liberals to decry a conservative tendency towards monolinear thinking.

However, political and social liberals like myself tend to have an equivalent (or perhaps hypervalent) tendency that may be worse: "When all you have is a toolbox, everything looks like a tool."

Which is to say, we tend to see every effort by an authority-holding entity to be one aimed at curtailing liberties. In that, we make ourselves libertarians, not liberals. True liberals should be in most (if not all) cases prepared to critique and criticise everything - including their own assumptions about power, the state, truth, expression, and other such constructs.

Sometimes, the majority of people do want simple things - not to be bombarded with advertisements, not to have faux news inflicted on them. Is that censorship? If the state speaks for the people who created it or who elected the governing moiety of that state, do they have a right to rein in special interests on behalf of those people? Is this tyranny by majority (an oxymoron for those who know their history)?

Ah, questions, questions. But remember: the toolbox must have tools in it, and the more, the better. I'd rather not have only a set of really big power tools at the expense of my jewellers' screwdrivers and other diverse and mismatched tools.

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Blogger soloblast said...

"Tyranny by majority"

The French Revolution comes to mind, for some reason.

~Sorosi Wayfarer

Sunday, November 03, 2013 4:26:00 pm  

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