The pandemic reveals that perhaps liberals aren't really liberal at all.

in #liberalismlast year


Here in the US there is a definite left-right, Democratic-Republican divide on the issue of lockdown policy - encompassing the leaders and the followers.

Its been both interesting and disturbing to see how the debate over the necessity to open or to isolate breaks down along the political spectrum.

Overwhelmingly, those who affiliate as 'liberal' have been firmly in favor of stringent lockdown and are now tending to hysterical alarm at the behavior of people who insist on living their lives as close to normal as possible - being particularly irate at those who insist on gathering and alarmed at every additional new case.

I am coming to the conclusion that a fundamental difference in mindset has been revealed. In truth, the 'liberals' are not really liberal. They are at heart social engineers, large and small. They see social outcomes as sculptured by collective decision making which necessarily includes compulsion. They prize uniformity (notwithstanding all the talk about diversity), they want team players, they want to forcibly prevent people from congregating "because they are spreading the virus" rather than taking it upon themselves to avoid situations they regard as risky.

The non-'liberals', the rest, are more inclined to bristle at attempts to control them and others. And, of course, they are much more skeptical of the ability of collective decision-making to achieve good results. For them the lockdown experience is evidence of this.

Put another way, they are very skeptical of the "people" being able to self-regulate to a degree sufficient to offset disaster.

I also appreciate that many may not want to take extra precautions themselves. (I want to go to the shoestore so you must wear a mask. If the merchant does not make you do that then both you and the merchant are bad and stupid and must be regulated etc.)


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