I was speaking with a person on Minds and he remarked “I’ve found myself to be on the libertarian side as well. That has surprised me quite a few times.” This actually brought up an important issue that I’d been considering writing an article about for some time. The political abandonment of classical liberals and classically liberal political philosophy by progressives, Marxist and other leftists.
The problem many people stumble over is that if you realllly look at politics closely – there’s a red pill moment. I myself am a constitutionalist, which by definition there of: makes me a classical liberal as it was a classical liberal who wrote the damn thing and classical liberals who then voted to adopt it.
If you take Constitutionalism as being not moderate: but in fact the definition of a centrist: and then you take any current political affiliation test to see where you plot on the political map: you’ll find yourself squarely on the right. It’s not that centrists are now right wingers: it’s that the political landscape has slid so far left that being a centrist / constitutionalist / classical liberal is now situated on the right.
I’ll give you a practical example; me, being a classical liberal, a strict constitutionalist – am a centrist. Here’s the banner which adorns my twitter, minds and youtube pages.
A full throttle no holds bared statement that all people regardless of any identity of any kind should be treated equally under the law with no special treatment of any kind be it negative or positive.
No second class citizens, no special privileges, no special protections. Everyone treated equally before the law and their individual rights / civil liberties protected BY the law: against the malevolence of others or even against the state itself.
It doesn’t GET any more classical liberal than this. This is the essence of the greatest political and moral philosophers of western civilization boiled down into a single opus that the rights of the individual are sacrosanct and everyone within society should be protected or punished equally by the same code of law.
In spite of the above example of my personal classical liberal ideology: when I take a spekr test: I’m almost as far right and south as it is possible to be.
So you see, in spite of being a dyed in the wool classical liberal, a constitutionalist and thereby quantitatively a centrist by definition and nature of the fact that I’m a constitutionalist: I plot on the political landscape as far right wing libertarian. How far right wing? Just look at that spekr result: which is mirrored by a host of other similar tests I’ve taken by the way.
That above image was screen capped from a political test I took some 10 years ago or so. I can tell you my political views haven’t changed. In anything: having expanded my library of western philosophers has only further convinced me that the premises upon which I was operating were correct if previously less refined. I have never considered myself left, on the left or a leftist. If the Constitution is held as the center (as it should be), then I’ve always considered myself to be a centrist. yet in the 10 year gap between those two political tests: I think my position relative to the rest of the political landscape has only gone further right.
Here’s the thing…
It’s not that I am moving to the right: it’s that the political landscape under me is moving continually left.
If Constitutionalism, meaning Classical Liberalism, is the centrist position: and that was +/- 0 north x +/- 0 west.
Now to be of that exact same set of moral and political philosophical views is to be -160 north + 80 south x -160 west + 80 east.
The political landscape has moved under my feet and there’s many many people who always considered themselves to be left leaning yet find themselves agreeing with conservatives in this day and age. Arguing against censorship, against authoritarian rule, against double standard laws. They often remark about how they feel abandoned by the left and begin describing themselves as “classical liberals.” Which, by the way, is exactly how that term came about.
People who didn’t follow suit with the “new left” and the “progressives” on their march ever onward left towards totalitarianism. People like me who adhere to classical liberal principles and philosophical ideas and find that they cannot agree with the left’s constant attempts at enacting illiberal or anti-liberal laws.
There’s a growing sentiment that conservatism is now the new punk because defending personal freedoms has become the counter culture against the double standard laws being proposed and supported by the identity grievance politics of the new left.
Sargon of Akkad has an entire video collection on the deviation of progressivism from classical liberalism. I’m not Sargon’s biggest fan because he’s still much further left than I care for but his video presentations are accurate. His video archive has been extensively studied for mistakes and it was found that he self corrects when he makes statements which turn out to be untrue: so credit where credit is due. So the videos are Highly recommended.
Sargon’s seminal work on the issue is “Illiberal Progressives”. It’s a good watch, lot of cited research. It is however over an hour long, so feel free to watch it in short stints if you would prefer.