Interesting how meanings of words change over the years. Of course, public relations firms are hired to do that very thing. The word, “liberal” still means what it used to mean in Europe, but in ‘Amurca ‘it has come to be hurled as an insult.
But if you are the opposite of liberal, watch out! You are in sleazy company.
Fascism, which was not afraid to call itself reactionary …does not hesitate to call itself illiberal and anti-liberal.”
Mussolini has the dibs on defining fascism since he invented it. It took slightly different forms in Japan, Spain and notably in Nazi Germany, but all these movements did have things in common.
They were proudly reactionary, that is, they were rejecting something that had become widely accepted. They wanted to go back to a better, ‘purer’ time, to cast off these new-fangled ideas.
What new-fangled ideas? What were they reacting against? They were reacting against the ideals of the French Revolution; ideals which America shared at its start and still claims to share. Ideals which are shared in almost all corners of the globe.
“Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.”
- Liberty from oppressive government intervention in the daily lives of its citizens, from illicit searches and seizures, from enforced religious values, from intimidation and arrest for dissenters; and liberty to cast a vote in a system in which the majority ruled but the minority retained certain inalienable rights.
- Equality in the sense of civic equality, egalitarianism, the notion that while people differ, they all should stand equal in the eyes of the law.
- Fraternity in the sense of the brotherhood of mankind. That all women and men, the old and the young, the infirm and the healthy, the rich and the poor, share a spark of humanity that must be cherished on a level above that of the law, and that binds us all together in a manner that continuously reaffirms and celebrates life.
“But,” you may say, “we have not lived up to our ideals.”
Ideals are the target.
You will NEVER hit the target
if you’re aiming in the opposite direction.