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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 9, 2010 10:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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the french revolution where the labels left and right began to be used and in fact the left were seated delegates and representatives of those who work representing the common people, to the people we refer to as liberals and democrats were less. ..
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the fascism in various forms, including nazi. i. that is the traditional left-right gauge. but what does it measure? it's interesting. in the 1820s and 30s, maybe a generation of the french revolution, we begin to see for the first time the use of the labels liberal and conservatives. conservatives had been used before but modestly. but liberal and conservative began to be used as political labels and labels that represented opposing positions, beginning in the 1820s and 1830s.
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and in the united states, probably took an extra ten years. really began in britain in the 1820s or so. we see the formation of the conservative party in britain in the early 1830s. it's at that point really that the two camps so to speak, begin to represent in some way opposed ideologies. what are the ideologies? we'll hear more about that momentarily. what's interesting is how the political spectrum fills out in the next 50 or 60 years. behind the 1820s, and 30s, and 40s, we begin to see the elaboratings. and we begin to see marxist
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themes develop. and they push the political spectrum leftward. liberalism gets relegated to an almost middle of the road or re -- reactionary. and the critique of liberal rhythmas always that liberalism doesn't go anywhere near far enough, that as marx puts it, it liberates the state and politics, but doesn't liberate society. doesn't serve to liberate the individual from oppressive social ideas. by the late 19th century, you begin to see the development of kind of a counterreaction. you begin to see the development of what we might call proto
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fascist theories, theories which led to the rise of italian fascism, mussolini's fascism in 1922. and these began to push the contures of the spectrum further to the right. conservativism is no longer the right-wing theory. we have these theories further to the right, which are in some sense, for some reason, more right wing. so, you begin to see the filling out of the spectrum. but the question is, what does the spectrum mean? what does it mean to be politically left or right? people have disagreed. theiryists have different ideas and there's a likely debate between academics, whatever academics consider a lively debate. what i want to suggest is that what really underlies what i'm
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going to call the progressive vision, the left-wing vision, in it's various manifestations, is something that really did begin to emerge in the french revolution. in particular it was the philosopher who was a victim of the french revolution. but conderse wrote a fascinating book called the historical sketch of the progress of the human mind. and in that book he begins to talk about what he thinks the vision of politics ought to be from this point on. it's significant that at the point -- we're talking about the line lightenment, a period in the 18th century history where the old order is breaking down. the natural law order, the sort
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of the synthesis of the religion breaks down in the 18th 18th century, and it's by the point of the french revolution, when it becomes apparent that a new ideology, new theories are going to emerge to take its place. what is the vision? conderse says the real vision of poll tissues -- calls is the final end of the social art -- ought to be pursuit of a real equality. what he means by real equality is actual lay pretty breath-taking concept. what he means that equality embodies not simple play sort of overcoming of political differences or social or economic differences. it's a much more all-embracing idea than this.
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condese argues that real equality is an overcoming of all of the types of differences that ultimately result in economic, social, political differences between individuals. but his theory is the government ought to good so far as to even overcome differences of the natural or genetic lottery, that the role of government is really in essence to overcome not simply the effects of society, politics, the economy, all of these extrinsic differences that have put different individuals in different places, and that it should go deeper and literally overcome the differences of the natural or genetic lottery itself. and that's a pretty breath-taking idea. and i don't think it's any coincidence that this idea emerged precisely at the point in history when people were
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beginning to look for a form of political order that was more terrestrial, more this-worldly, shall we say, where they were looking to fill the gone -- fill the gap left by god. and i think of the progressive vision captures this idea. it's that government to a greater or lesser degree ought to seek to overcome all the various contingencies, race, sex, income, disability. you name it. that separate one person from another. pretty all-embracing idea. again, not to overstate the idea, but i think it's interesting that this idea became attractive to people precisely at the point in history when we begin to think -- when many intellectuals
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think, and they begin to adopt the view that perhaps there isn't a god, there isn't an afterlife, equality has to take place here and now. in essence, i think that vision, that robust conception of equal, again, to a greater or lesser degree, is what drives the modern progressive quest. even when they don't -- progressives don't think about it in that way, it's really about a deep equality. the people that we're going to talk about as conservatives in their last forms of conservatives, they resist that idea for a number of different rains. -- reasons. they resist the expansion of government to achieve these up try egalitarian ends. that is what lies at the heart of the difference between left
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and right. now, people -- several different theorists from different political orientations have sort of attacked the idea of the left-right spectrum, and have said, among other things, it really doesn't capture as much about politics as you think. hannah orint argued that when you look at left-wing theories. extreme left-wing theiries, stalinist communist. right-week theories, particularly nazism, they aren't that different. they're both totalitarian theories. so the difference between left and right can't be that great, or nazi. i has to be rethought of as a left-wing matter, not a
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right-wing ideology. another philosopher thought totalitarianism and there aren't great differences between the left ring and right wing, they're all totalitarian ideas. and i think what all these thinkers were getting at were summed up by george orwell, when he said a left jack boot to the head feels as painful as a right jack boot to the health there's -- jack boot to the heat. so they're very similar. what i think those ideas miss, though, is that they were both totalitarian communism and totalitarian nazism. used the state as a means, yes, but to a very different end. what was motivating the left was the pursuit of a rigorous
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equality. what was motivating nazism was the pursuit of other very rigorous racial hierarchy, concepts that what is important to nazism in particular, if we want to place it at a far right-wing theory, that there's this rigid racial hierarchy barked by law in a variety of weighs. so both systems are totalitarian, both are evil systems. but both are using the state to a different end, and in that respect there is some meaning to this left-right political distinction. the postmodern philosopher, richard, who died a couple year ago, pragmatist, capture the
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idea well when he said that really what progressivism is really about is the pursuit of making each person equally susceptible to suffering. making the liability of each person roughly equivalent in terms of liability to suffering. that people shouldn't suffer more because they're poor or wealthy or one race or another or one gender or another. and again, i think roarty was reflecting as many others have along the way, reflecting that same idea. so i think there's something powerful in this left, right distinction, and this brings me to the second part of the talk to talk about how liberalism and conservativism in a sense -- we use these terms today. how they sort of reflect this dichotomy. i want to begin by being very clear that i think the word
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liberal and the word conservative today are really misleading labels. there's so many contradictory meanings, and in my book i talk about the paradox of liberal lim and conservativism. what is the paradox of liberalism? it's very simple. all liberals, whether they're sort of the 19th century classic limited state liberals, or the more modern left-wing liberals who believe in expansive government, all liberals believe that freedom is the most important political end. but modern liberals believe that the way to achieve that is by expanding government, that the end -- the way toward achieving actual individual freedom, the
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way to do that is by actually expanding government itself. now, what is interesting is that modern progressive liberals don't even see an irony in that. they don't see an irony in thinking about the extent to which there may be a conflict between their means and their ends. and ultimately that's the paradox of liberalism. it's the paradox of modern liberalism. it's this idea that we're pursuing freedom by what the classical liberal certainly would have considered very antiliberal means. think about it. almost every position that the classical liberal would have taken, the modern liberal takes almost the antithetical position. the classic liberal favors modern government. the modern liberal favors
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expansive government. the class liberal thought it was important for individuals to live their own lives, make their own decisions their own mistakes. modern liberals are considerably more comfortable with a great deal of papa turnallism. the----- -- paternalism. the classic liberals're individualists. modern lib -- liberals are a lot more state. classical, these two values, central animating values of the american political order. for the classical liberal are in tension between each other. the more equality, the less
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freedom. no theme could be more important. modern liberals think just the opposite. they virtually define freedom as equality. you go back to john ralls, or john dewey, the great progressive liberals of the 20th century have defined equality and freedom as one in the same value. so, what does all this mean, really? it means that we have a label that gives us the appearance of kind of a continuity of a tradition. but when the chrissicalal -- classical liberal and the modern liberal take different positions, it's hard to understand this is the same position, and modern liberals have borrowed a very powerful
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word, and along with seek to sort of marry aspects of the older liberalism with left-wing critiques, particularly socialist critiques of the chrissical liberal state. so modern progressive liberalism is in that respect much more comfortable with socialism, much more comfortable with a conception of government that us -- is closer to what people consider socialism. so liberalism in that respect -- what is it? well, we know what people mean by the word today. we know what the media or the popular press might mean. but where is the continuity? how about conservativism? conservativism -- conservatives are generally divided on almost
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every single philosophical issue. do you have to believe in god to be a conservative? will, russell kirk, the author of one of the most defining conservative treatises of the 20th century, lists beliefs that a divine intend rule society is literally the first important tenet of conservativism. other conservatives couldn't disagree more. michael oak is one good example, the british conservative thinker, who argued that conservativism is not about orthodoxy. it's not about religion. in fact, he makes exactly the opposite argue. he argues that conservative jim is necessary because we aren't in god's hands. we can't count on there being a providential order.
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there was an interesting take on this. he says, we can't count on there being a god. we can't take truths from up there and bring them down here. and he says, what conservativism is really about is really being prepared for the worst results. and he says at one point, if you had to bet on whether your next encounter would be with the dalai lama or charles manson, bet on manson. that's what conservativism is for the more skeptical conservatives. do you have to believe in god or not? conservatives are divided. it conservativism a limited state philosophy as the classical liberals believe, or from a very expansive state to
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protect social morality. very fundamental divide there. do conservatives believe that the state, quote-unquote, the state is by nature prior though individual? that's what aristotle, who is arguably the first conservative in history, said that, the state is by nature prior to the individual. it that conservativism or is john lock closer to conservativism in post lating that the individual comes before society and the state. was edmund burke closer to the essence of conservativism when he said that society is a transgenerational spiritual contract that unites the living, the dead, and those not yet born? was burke's vision of this transcendent social connection
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the essence of conservativism? or was margaret thatcher close are to the truth when she said, there's no such thing as society. which is it? we go down the line. again and again there seems to be a fundamental dilemma in conservative thoughts. in some respects it's a divide between the classical liberal version of conservativism and the orlando conservativism of aristotle and the natural law order. it's a real powerful dilemma that conservativism faced. and ultimately what is a dilemma for the conservative really is this. is conservativism about conserving a basic social order? such that tradition in some sense as burke thought, preserves that connection with nature? this is really central to burke's idea, the idea that by committing tradition to sort of
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evolve organically, we maintain connection with the natural order? is that really what it's about? or is conservativism something like the more modern conservative -- again, the late samuel huntington, who wrote an article in his career about 50 years ago where he said, conservativism isn't an ideology at all. we don't believe in anything really. it's not like socialism. conservativism is a resistance to change because of the unsettling effect. the unintended consequences of change. it seems to me conservatives are torn about exactly that very basic, very basic issue. and so what we mean by modern conservativism today and what we mean by modern liberalism today, they really are kind of placeholders, i believe, for
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your position about how far you want to go ultimately in a quest, whether you believe that the mission of the state really ought to be to overcome the cosmic unfairness in essence, of life, or whether you believe, for a variety of reasons as conservatives of different stripes do -- that isn't government's role. that's, i think, really at the heart of the dilemma, and again, different conservatives -- we have in america today, neoconservatives, skeptical conservatives, sometimes libertarians are called conservatives. so the connection between libertarianism and conservativism is very tenuous. yet we call all these different groups conservative. why?
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what they all share in common is resistance to this sort of radical progressive enlightenment vision, the vision of later progressives. let's what i think is really at the heart of this. and then it takes me back to finally, i guess, the third part of the talk and more concretely, how does centrism fit in? what does it mean to be a political centrist? i want to say a few words about this. you're a young audience. you're students. some of you may have heard -- please don't be insulted. quite the opposite. you may remember winston churchill's equip, if you're not a liberal at 20, you don't have a heart. i you're not a conservative at 40, you have no brain. a few laughed on the first half of that but not the second. i can tell you where this audience leans. i think it's very natural for
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people to -- for many people -- not all by any means but people tend, i think, over the course of their lifetime, for a variety reasons, to move in a more conservative direction. and part of that, i think, is just simply a function of human experience. i think people's political values are ultimately forged in the crucible of day-to-day human experience. i thought i would maybe at this point cut away a little bit from the abstract to throw out a couple -- two or three vignettes that led me in a sense to reconsider what i once regarded as my youthful liberalism, when i was your age, i was, i think, probably a very libertarian liberal. decriminalize everything, drugs,
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prostitution, let it all hang out. that's where it ought to -- surrogate mother contracts, i wrote my desert addition -- dissertation on that at catholic university. let people make those contracts. i had a feminist and a very conservative catholic were two of the three, and neither liked what i had to say. they were very gracious and passed me. but along the way, what has troubled me about dish -- -- i guess what call the arc of liberalism -- is that it seems in a sense modern liberalism has passed the tipping point. we sort of reached a point -- maybe everybody says this when they get to be my age. i don't know. at one point it seemed that liberalism had it right. a certain amount of government
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structuring of the economy and society is essential to human flourishing. you push tight far and -- push it too far, and it looks likeover on the road to serfdom. but my experiences, these little experiences, but -- when i was at georgetown university, at this law school, i took a clinic where we defended inner city -- generally inner city tenants from landlords who were evicting them, and i had a case where, among others, we were defending a young african-american woman who had a couple of children, and she had just hadn't paid rent in months to this particular landlord. well, our goal, of course, was
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to keep her in the apartment as long as possible: we got delays and continuances. when i inherited the case, by the second half of the year, we had a hearing at one point where i met the landlord. and he was a working-class african-american guy who lived in the same fourplex. he lived in one of the four units, and lived in another, and there were two families in the other two units. and he approached me after i think a year since this woman hadn't paid rent. she had no defenses by the way. she was -- well, the light bulb went out. he said, look, i don't care about the past rent. i'm going to lose the note on this place. my family is going to wind up on the streets because i can't afford to pay the mortgage because she isn't paying rent. justifies just have her move
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out. i won't go after her for the back rent. need to get someone in there and i felt badly for the guy, and i approached a supervisors of mine, is there anything we can do? and he made the progressive liberal in some ways, and his response was -- after i laid out the story. he said, expletive him. he didn't say that -- it seems very callous to me. we were her lawyer and had to do our best for her. she was our client, but it seemed callous, and perhaps a small insignificant story but it stuck in my head. ...
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the members' attention and she changed her story a couple of times. she wasn't being completely candid about what happened. and what followed was this fascination to be about whether
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this should matter, whether this should count toward her not getting tenure. and one of my colleagues who is a self-described progressive feminist said the following: she said i don't know what to make of these things but i'm not worried about it. we should vote for this candidate because she is a woman, and in fact if this candidate were an african-american male i would say the same thing about him. and then she ended gratuitously however, i would not make this concession if it were a white male. that blew me away. that struck me as again, one of those small moments yet eight loan to my own thinking because if we were to bend rules on the
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basis of what group a person is an, the basic ethical rules, then there is something really wrong. in these sorts of experience is particularly academe have made me reflect on the nature of people who work progressives and consider to be progressive liberalism. again, that doesn't invite progressive liberalism. maybe these folks are off, but it seems like there is a lot of that going on. all of this by way of saying in my own trajectory i have sought a way -- i've looked for as opposed to philosophical sense but also practical sense what is the essence of liberalism? real liberalism. we can't call it that unfortunately, but what to be cushioned the goal of a good political society be, and i think ultimately it is recognizing that we do our best
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to take account for the relative distances between people when they don't matter. or to put a little differently we take account of the differences where we can see because of someone's background their race agenda, socioeconomic background. it's had a particular back down. we look to a person's past to try to gauge their level of merit i think we might say that we certainly don't bend the rules in the fashion like my colleagues and those sorts of things i think sort of shaped my notion of centrism. so what is centrism? what do we all believe? i'm going to finish up here with a few bullet points. dressed all, interesting poll. over the last decade americans have been asked to you find yourself as a liberal or
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conservative? in every single poll, only 23 cone 25% of americans are willing to call themselves liberal. and only about 25 to 30% are willing to call themselves conservative. that means an awful lot of people, in fact something like half the population feel they are neither and they are an independent or centrist oriented, and we see this reflected in more particularized polls, about abortion and the death penalty. people are looking at centrist middle-of-the-road positions that are for merit, for principle. so, what is centrism? well it several things. i'm going to tick off a couple of important points i think. i think first of all and perhaps most generally, yes, centrists or as many people like to say tired of the duopoly of power
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between the democratic and republican party, the attire of the polarization. but underlining all of that i think is centrists' ask themselves why is it essentials that i have to accept the entire left wing panoply of the leaf or the entire right wing panoply of believe? why don't they go together? why can't i be pro environment traditionally liberal position and pro-life, traditionally conservative position? why can't i be anti- discrimination but believe there should be strict limits on the illegal immigration, traditionally conservative position? why can't i believe in more generous welfare policy a little patrician but at the same time believe there is nothing wrong with putting the ten commandments on the courthouse wall? why can't you have those
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differences? there's no particular logical requirement that is again the positions that are usually noted to be left wing positions go together in a particular. so we reassessed the clustering idea. only a first step but we think people should feel free to say i don't like whole lot either way. i don't buy the whole passage. secondly, i think centrists really are people who are in a sense of old-fashioned values, but the interpret them in a modern way. we believe in self-reliance and merit and how it works and personal responsibility, but we also recognize people come from different backgrounds often weren't some consideration. if somebody has overcome a particular socioeconomic background or a racial background, that ought to be considered. we are very liberal in terms of
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our views of sexuality, the issues, a marriage, those sorts of issues, but we are opposed to this idea of identity politics, this idea that by being a member of a class of designated victims one has sort of special status to raise concerns and almost create issues where they don't exist. we are socially liberal, but we are frankly tired of what we might call again the victimization of identity politics. we are finally in favor -- we believe we live in a wealthy society. we certainly accept the reforms of the new deal, the reform of the great society, but we are very, very concerned about what is happening to the debt, to the deficit and what will
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undoubtedly be rising taxation over the course of the career and for that reason it is a good note to end on that you saw so many independents support president obama in 2008 something like 60 to 70%. and now you see roughly the same number who are falling away who are concerned about what seems to be this fast expansion of government and even a previous, and i think it's this last issue about the rapid expansion of government, debt, deficit and taxes that is really driving so many independent of the current time at least into the hands of conservative for the republican party. the republicans in essence are the lesser of two evils, not by much perhaps, but the lesser of two evils in that respect.
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so in a nut shell i think those are some of the commitments that centrists have. and i will just say this finally. in part to of the book i have particular chapters on abortion, capital punishment, affirmative action, illegal immigration, judicial activism. and i try to sort of map out a coherent centrist position ought to look like. i'm going to stop there. it's been a real pleasure speaking with you, and i'm looking forward to any questions you might have. [applause] i do have a question. >> please. >> how can you distinguish political centrism from sort of a third way movements? movements which chez neither in local or small view of government or large view of the government necessarily humanitarian politics, what is the difference between the political centrism and third way politics?
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>> yes, welford bate politics itself to me is a kind of nebulous idea. do you associate them with humanitarianism in particular or is it not? because i kind of think of third-way as different from a communique. >> that is an example of a third-way move from the 1930's the third-way, we don't need state run governments, we don't need free markets. we need a coalition of states and corporatism, said nihilism. that is another example -- [inaudible] >> okay. we are definitely not cynical. we don't believe -- we believe in a regulation of the free market but we believe in a free market. we believe to put the senses around the free market in certain ways obviously they have to be regulations. but cenacle is a government sort of running the economy. that is the direction we are
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moving now centrists are opposed to that. that's one of the reasons many independent have turned from obama. so to answer your question a little more generally, i think there is some overlap between some of the third-way movement and what i am calling centrism. but again, there's sort of part of what i hope to do with the book really is to try to lay out what i think most independent source centrists can get behind. it's not necessarily a litmus test. we don't disagree among ourselves like any other group but i think it is an effort to try to sort of go down the line in part one first of all here is why liberalism and conservatism in the terms used or deformed and second of all here are the positions on the issues. so to the extent we may share some of the notions of some of the third-way movements, there is some overlap. but we certainly are not
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cenacleists or necessarily humanitarian value. i happen to like the various aspects of humanitarianism as well including that way of thinking, but i don't -- i mean really what part of centrism is and the recommended approach to the issues. please, yes. >> what would you consider liberalism and conservatism in the realm of foreign policy? because you have these candidates who say they are conservative, like in 2000 bush said i'm going to withdraw and then he goes and says everything liberals are doing and associates that now with neoconservatives, and then obama comes and is going to withdraw the troops and this and that because it is a little thing to do and does the same thing more or less. so what do you think is the foreign policy -- >> it is a great question, in fact it's a question that
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illuminates why these labels are just not helpful. think about it. among conservatives you have milhaud conservatives who are really interventionists oversees building democracies particularly in the middle east. then you have the sort of pat buchanan wing of the conservative party who are old -- ultra nationalists. it's interesting to show several months ago to see pat buchanan agreeing with very dovish liberals on foreign policy. it's another example to the extent to which these terms are conflicting. let me say this in addition. a real conservative policy is most conservative traditionally understood edmund burke for example, or even in the 20th century like joseph [inaudible]
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they would have said you can't -- what it means to be conservative is to say that social institutions are really the center of gravity of a society. you can't hope to come into a society, change the government from the top down and help the society will change. a whole iraq mission from the standpoint of the traditional conservatives idea is bound to fail because you can't go into a basically tribal society and hope that democratizing from the top down instantly hope they have believes and basic values that will change. so in that respect, i think that neoconservatism is a very on conservative kind of philosophy in the foreign relations sphere. did you have a follow-up? okay. >> in my mind, one of the
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closing of conservatism is a phrase used the idea of consequences, the idea of the axis of the extract of formal equality, formalism and consequences of the sphere of change. and then probably unfairly, on the opposite side of the aisle, hillary clinton's the village, the idea we are all in this together, that we need to settle our differences and work together as a national community to build each other up. >> right. sprick these are spoken things and encapsulated ideas. what kind of slogans would speak to >> you mentioned hillary clinton slogan. i talk about that in the book. it takes a village -- first, president bush's slogan that this is a stakeholder society, a very different idea. i think a centrist slogan, i would like to be a to think about it to make it a little bit more witty, but i think to try
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to answer the question it's about permitting people to flourish to believe in marriage, personal responsibility, hard work. a government has a background role, that is a terrible slogan. [laughter] but i'm trying to get at the idea. politics shouldn't be taking center stage. politics ought to be the structure of what people do in the world, but what people do what they do. let life go on, but the civil society flourished, let people for risch, but without all of the excessive government intermeddling. i have a slogan i will have to work on that, john. [laughter] that is a good question. >> you mentioned how individuals had to become more conservative throughout their lifetime. you also mentioned how the american society has come to
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internalize and accept pretty much across-the-board new deal reforms create society. when you say that in contrast [inaudible] american society over time, like both liberalism and conservatism and centrism has become more liberal over time? >> you've really asked the 64,000-dollar question. i actually talked about that in chapter 3, and the quick answer is absolutely. i think that once if you accept my thesis about what it means to be left and moved left, think about, every generation liberal is the next generation conservative or maybe two generations, right? the liberals of the 19th century would be hopelessly conservative to us today, right? why is it you have all these people? william f. buckley says i want
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to stand before history stops but things keep moving beyond. people on the right to quickly say, ronald reagan said in the 1960's i don't need the democratic party, the democratic party left me. remember that one? and even the father of conservatism irving kristol said in the 60's it was easy for a little to become a neoconservative. all you had to do was stand still. the same idea. think of it. we've had tremendous -- every decade, the 1920's we see the end of women's suffrage, the woman's right to vote. the 30's and 40's we see the new deal reform. the 1950's desegregation, brown v. board of education of 1954. the 1960's, civil rights and the great society reform and the
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70's affirmative action and the 80's and 90's. who would have imagined in the 60's this interesting debate about decriminalizing homosexuality and a very famous debate among scholars, the liberal and conservative on this. a big debate about it. who would have imagined that even 30 or 40 years later we would be having a national conversation about the marriage? isn't it interesting that ronald reagan a conservative president appointed political conservative justice kennedy who himself authors an opinion holding unconstitutional sodomy laws as was done in the lorenz case in 2003. i don't disagree with that decision. all i am saying is if that is conservatism what is it that we are conserving? yes, i think things are moving
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in that sense to the left if you accept my of vision that i believe the left is about and a lot of it the centrists want to draw the line on these issues and there are a bunch of reforms that are essentials to treating people decently and equally. women who do the same job ought to get paid the same amount of money. that's all there is to it. there shouldn't be differential pay because agenda. people who are gay shouldn't be discriminated against because they are gay. if they can do the job, they ought to do the job. but yes these are the dates we only imagined 50 years ago and i think this it's interesting individuals are moving left. what do you take from that? >> [inaudible] society is almost like the
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aggregate of individuals and they tend to move right. liquid with the reasons before society moving left? >> political institutions move left, in particular the government expands it tends to solidify. it tends to be -- the become permanent additions to the structure of government and it didn't change. a government that grows never gets smaller. egalitarian reform most of them are accepted by the next generation at least or two generations down the path. but ultimately, we are talking about institutional reform that become part of the structure of government and society and that the next generation comes along and they accept whatever the particular reforms are and then they have their battles to fight when they get older.
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there will be a point where i find it interesting and irving kristol and the neo conservatives accept the new deal reforms, accept welfare, but they draw the line at affirmative action and a lot of other things where the pendulum is sort of moved beyond what the liberal position was in the 50's. the institutions themselves become solidified and particularly it is as the government expands it never gets smaller. a government that grows is never growing smaller. we have it permanently. yes? please. >> [inaudible] true conservative like the tea
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party movement. the reason the republican party is suffering as we are not orthodox [inaudible] >> i think it is a reaction. i think it's a reaction to what we've seen on the obama ad and attrition. it's the fact that obama -- president obama was sold to the americans as a centrist. many people thought that. independents brought up. 60-some of percentage of witty voted for obama and now are appointed for reaction. they've seen that he is not a centrist and people on the right are angry and there is a litmus test, purification, you have to prove that he wore a conservative and enough with these people who believe in half measures. we need to pull back. i think that is exactly what is happening and by the way we see the precinct polarization today. we are a little conservative
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angrier than ever in that line of chasm between the two. it seems almost and visual. >> thank you for the talk. [inaudible] the fact that it's not the best way to paint up picture of the political landscape position to show their or all of the options and i found it basically across the interviews and other dimensions. >> the four quadrants?
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libertarian, conservative, left and right? >> [inaudible] >> yes. >> [inaudible] >> right. >> [inaudible] >> yes. yeah. >> what do you think of this picture [inaudible] >> well i actually -- there's an interesting web site i think you are referring to called if you're interested go home and google it and they have a picture of authoritarian i think at the bottom, literature and at the
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top and left and right to capture the nuances. there is a difference between being a libertarian left in an offer terry and left, very different. and yes, they do plug and historical figures so after you take the exam there are several questions and then your place will pop up on the scale next to gondhi or stalin or what have you. and interestingly when i took the test, i wanted very close to the center. i was slightly libertarian and slightly left but pretty close to the center. so more libertarian, a little bit left becoming socially liberal, but there are different schemes people have for thinking about politics and that can be meaningful scheme as well you
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are on packing a second dimension. f.a. hayek thought they ought to be thought about in a triangle. he felt there were libertarian, classical liberals in one corner, true socialism in another corner and what he called conservatism in the third corner. and he thought that most furious and practice fell on the line between the two. but interestingly, she made the argument of the theoretical similarity between authoritarian applause and social liberalism. they're both post enlightenment political furies that share a lot of assumptions and putting the methodological individualism. the socialists and the conservatives also share certain things interestingly. it's sort of interesting that earmarks criticized a certain type of socialist conservative in the 19th century called
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torrijos socialists and futile socialists of another point. but any way, f.a. hayek thought we ought to think about politics as a triangle. i think these are all meaningful different ways of unpacking the construct between the two and they get at the two dimensional idea gets it more and i credit but for being a forward way of thinking about politics. my purpose here was simply to capture this idea that on the left right spectrum what does that really mean in the sense i think people are sort of conflict about that so i wanted to provide a more philosophical take on what that might mean. >> one more question? >>


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