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paulkienitz's Journal
paulkienitz's Journal
September 25, 2023

Why do even the most authoritarian right wingers keep using the words "liberty" and "freedom"?

This is the paradox of the US right wing which baffles non-Americans trying to observe our country, plus Americans in the center and left trying to understand the weirdos who keep messing things up for us: the fact that the fascist wing in our country, and all their right-of-center allies, keep pronouncing how much they believe in liberty even as they destroy it. It cannot be made sense of in logical terms, or "libertarians" would be staunch foes of fascists instead of all too often being their friends and allies.

As far as I can see, the answers vary -- there are nuances that differ based on the particular flavor of right winger in question. For instance, those who belong to religious cults define freedom in a narrow specific way: freedom from government authority which competes with the religious authority they want to establish. Their internal rules might be downright totalitarian, but when the government interferes with their ability to impose such an authoritarian way of life, out comes the rhetoric of freedom.

Capitalist types, of course, define it as freedom to make money without the government causing problems when their profits come at a human cost. Small-government types focus on freedom from paying taxes. And racist types may define it as freedom to not associate with minorities, or freedom from being expected to meet some basic standard of decent civil behavior around people they don't like.

The common ground is that they all believe in "freedom for me and mine, but not for you and yours".

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Bay Area, California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 1,288

About paulkienitz

Software engineer who thinks a lot about the future. http://paulkienitz.net/future/

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