In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« Blogging, Movie Update | Main | Kubrick Rererereredux »

August 16, 2002

Policy Break -- "Liberal", phooey

Friedrich --

I've been waging a (pathetically trivial, admittedly) campaign for a couple of years, refusing to call Democrats and those to the left of them "liberals." They ain't liberals, they're controlling thought-police, being my experience and hence conviction. So I make a point of calling them "leftists" instead. (And the world quakes.) It turns out I'm not entirely alone.

Here's something from Mark Steyn, a brilliant columnist (who once wrote for the Modern Review, I believe) who's hard to find evidence of in U.S. publications:

You'll notice, incidentally, that I haven't used the word "liberal" to describe the left. "Conservative" has been carelessly appropriated by the media to mean no more than the side you're not meant to like. John Ashcroft is a hardline conservative, but so, according to the press, is the Taliban and half the Chinese politburo and the crankier Ayatollahs. So I think we conservatives ought to make an attempt to reclaim the word "liberal." We believe in liberty, and in liberating human potential. I don't know what you'd call a political culture that reduces voters to dependents, that tells religious institutions whom they can hire, that instructs printers on what printing jobs they're obliged to accept, that bans squeegee kids unless they're undercover policemen checking on whether you're wearing your seatbelt, etc., etc. But "liberal" no longer seems to cover it.

And something from Jay Nordlinger at National Review, whose work I don't generally know:

One of the reasons I turned from the Left when I was young was that these �liberals� seemed so colossally illiberal - closed-minded and intolerant, for one thing. And yet, I�ve never quite accepted the word �conservative,� perhaps because of the bias I was brought up with against that concept, and that word. In a speech I gave to students last spring I said, In time, I became what we call a �conservative� - though I still sort of choke on the term. . . . I like to consider myself a genuine liberal, believing in limited government, equality of opportunity, equality under the law, pluralism, toleration, constitutionalism, colorblindness, a robust, internationalist foreign policy, sound and equal education, a common culture, etc. Nowadays, that makes you a flaming right-winger. But it shouldn�t be so.

Comfort in numbers!



posted by Michael at August 16, 2002


Thank you for showibg me the way here. I sometimes call myself conservativly liberal, or liberally conservative, or just plain idiot.

This is not the first time this sort of thing has happened, go back to the early 19th centry and the party we call Republican was known as the Democratic party and vice-versa.

I've only recently discovered blogs, used to have to depend on or for fun and BBC or canadian news sites for news. A medical site I like (because you can reply to the good doctor) is

Posted by: John Anderson on August 16, 2002 3:31 PM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?