Liberalism - the only ideology with a vision

Johan Norberg asks in his weblog is the Left nothing but a negation? He quotes a Swedish left-wing site:

"Unfortunately parts of the right do not seem to understand that large parts of the left define their own policy as a negation of the right, and the left therefore becomes more anti-Semitic if the right tries to simplify the issue about anti-Semitism into a question about liberal vs extreme left."

As Friedrich A. Hayek, nowadays also claimed by many conservatives as one of theirs, wrote in his essay "Why I Am Not a Conservative":

"...as the socialists have for a long time been able to pull harder, the conservatives have tended to follow the socialist rather than the liberal direction and have adopted at appropriate intervals of time those ideas made respectable by radical propaganda. It has been regularly the conservatives who have compromised with socialism and stolen its thunder. Advocates of the Middle Way with no goal of their own, conservatives have been guided by the belief that the truth must lie somewhere between the extremes - with the result that they have shifted their position every time a more extreme movement appeared on either wing.

The position which can be rightly described as conservative at any time depends, therefore, on the direction of existing tendencies."

This leaves liberalism (and I mean in the classical meaning of the word, not the distorted one used in North America, which is actually only a synonym to Left) as the only ideology which has a vision of its own, and which therefore can take the initiative. The socialists will then suggest a course of action diametrically opposite to the one initiated by liberals and the conservatives will oppose any change to either direction. Usually the term "reactionary" is used of conservatives, but maybe it should be extended to the socialists.


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