We make our own semantic decisions, and they reflect our ideology. If a historian were to speak of the “liberalism of the Bolshevik Revolution,” my beef wouldn’t be that he didn’t study the Bolsheviks carefully enough. It would be a broader beef about how he uses “liberal.” Our decisions on semantics express broader moral and political sensibilities.
In my semantics, the revolutions of 1848 were not liberal. Nor, overall, was the revolution of 1789. As Edmund Burke put it in 1790: “Their liberty is not liberal.”
everywhere you look is another cave man with anther axe disrupting markets and peeling off the parts of capitalism that make it fuction.
then they all look baffled when it stops working.
George Will rightly criticizes Progressives and their situational ethics. Here’s his conclusion:
Progressives, like many others among the highest animals, are situational ethicists. They think parental insurrections against religious fundamentalism are wholesome but that parental objections to anti-racist fundamentalism are impertinent. Darwinism ignited culture wars — skirmishes, at least — in the 1920s when high school education became common in the South, where religious fundamentalism was strong. Today’s resistance to teaching children that the nation is permeated by “systemic racism” perhaps derives somewhat from parents at home hearing political propaganda pouring from their children’s computers during virtual classes. If so, two cheers for virtual learning.
Deirdre McCloskey talks with Lipton Matthews: