Does Liberalism Scare You?

 
Does Liberalism Scare You?

Since you have made it to this website, chances are that you have come across a classical liberal or an objectivist on the internet or elsewhere.

You probably balked the first time you heard about downsizing the welfare state, closing the Central Bank and introducing private property everywhere.

You are probably not very sympathetic to these ideas, and you might dislike the rhetoric that characterizes many liberalists on the net.

This is completely understandable, and we appreciate your opinion.

All You Know

There may be many reasons why your encounter with liberalism has you reeling, but this one is probably the most important:

You have grown up in a society marked by a culture and philosophy that is completely different from liberalism. From the moment you were born, until today, you have been influenced by a specific system with opinions and thoughts. So have your parents, your grandparents, your siblings, your friends, your acquaintances, your co-workers, and almost everyone else in society.

Through childhood, kindergarten, school, the media, academia, their jobs, and the public sector, everyone have all been exposed to the same general mindset. Indirectly, it is about supporting the welfare state, social democracy, and the mixed economy. Just look with an open mind at almost all political parties in Norway – the vast majority are in favor of the welfare state.

You have known these thoughts – either consciously or subconsciously – since you were young, and the same applies to all the other people you have met. The phenomenon is not conspiratorial or strange. Each individual has a philosophy, but few people make conscious decisions about their views on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and so on. Instead, they assume the general trends from the media, academia and the power elite – and these have been dominated by collectivism during your entire life..

Not Overnight

Therefore, it is no wonder you may have reacted in disbelief or disgust the first time, you hear what classical liberalism is all about. Nor is it strange if you still consider it as something negative, several years after you first becoming acquainted with the ideology.

Shaking off a fundamental philosophical foundation is a particularly demanding and difficult task. A liberal society cannot emerge overnight, and a liberal will probably not emerge from a social democrat, just like that.

Nevertheless, it is important to be open and inquisitive, and above all to be honest with yourself. What is the purpose of liberalism really? What ethical and moral underpinnings support it? What are the right things to do for both yourself and others?

Diametrically Opposed

If liberalism is so sensible, then why is the ideology not more widespread today than it is? We find part of the answer to this question, in the view of the liberal philosophy of Objectivism and its founder, Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand expert Vegard Martinsen writes the following:

The reason why she is not recognized is that her opinions are diametrically opposed to the usual, widespread opinions; she advocates individualism, rationality, egoism and freedom in a culture built on collectivism, irrationality, altruism, and management.

Summary

  • It is easy to be put off by the ideas behind liberalism
  • The main reason may be several years of indoctrination social democracy
  • This is no conspiracy, but the result of you and everyone you know growing up in a particular society, where school, media, and the community – friends, family, and acquaintances – share fundamental philosophical commonalities
  • Liberalism breaks with this philosophy, therefore it can be difficult to relate to it
  • Although it is difficult, it is essential to be honest and challenge yourself

Resources

 
 

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