The Total Failure of Modern Liberalism
by Michael S. Rozeff
April 27, 2013
Modern, as distinguished from classical, liberalism has been harming and continues to harm the well-being of Americans whenever its ideas are imposed on them, in any form, whether that of progressives, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lyndon Baines Johnson, cultural Marxists, or those who promote political correctness and unqualified equality. Modern liberalism creates one disaster area after another in human affairs, and it will keep on doing this as long as its ideas gain adherents and are implemented. The reason why liberalism screws things up is that its ideas are screwy. They typically involve invasions of rights.
Washington is dominated by the ideas of modern liberals and so are the individual state governments. Right and left no longer make a difference. The two major parties no longer make a difference. Modern conservatism has endorsed the ideas of modern liberalism to such a great extent that it is not a viable alternative to modern liberalism.
The only alternatives to choose from are those that have a strong and consistent understanding of rights, liberty, markets, property, contracts, the State, and government.
Let’s take a look at FDR’s contribution to liberal ideas in his 1944 State of the Union address in order to see why certain of his ideas were and still are screwy. We need to do this because the U.S. government has imposed these ideas on Americans for 70 years.
Roosevelt has a section on a “second Bill of Rights.” He starts with a portion of the classical liberal narrative, but then veers sharply away from it. Here’s the start:
“This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights – among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.”