Conservatives keep blabbering about family values and smaller communities. But all they really ever advance is economic deregulation, globalization of the economy, and crushing inequality. Dog eat dog, everybody is out for their own self-interest.
As for the progressive achievements, they have all happened strictly in the area of personal sexual autonomy. There is a lot of talk about other things, but this is what really got achieved.
It doesn’t mean that “they are all the same” because they clearly aren’t. But the shared root is clear. Neoliberalism is still liberalism. And for all the talk about solidarity, togetherness and communities, the only cause that actually gets advanced by anyone is that of an independent, autonomous, alienated individual. An individual who derives all meaning from the self.
Macron came to the US and lectured POTUS about the importance of globalism. Then he went to the economic forum in Russia and pathetically, subserviently praised and complimented Putin. I’ve been reading a lot of reporting from the forum and the reaction of people who are there is “wow, what got into Macron? This is kind of embarrassing to watch.”
When he was first elected, Macron wasn’t that into Putin. That was understandable, given how hard Putin had worked to get Marine LePen elected instead of Macron. And then something happened. Nobody knows what it was, of course, because such things aren’t made public. But there’s clearly something because Macron is now Putin’s most eager defender and one might even say lackey. It’s really a big deal that Macron would be exalting Putin right after the investigation of the MH-17 crash concluded Russia is to blame for it.
What’s curious that it was the exact same thing with Sarkozy. He was making anti-Putin noises, and then Putin visited, they talked alone for 40 minutes, and Sarkozy became his best friend. I have my ideas on what it is that Putin says in these meetings to get them on his side but I don’t want to be a conspiracy theorist. In this post, I’m only relating the generally known facts. If there’s interest, we can discuss our conjectures in the comments.
It’s really weird to see one’s home cemetery in the news in this context. That’s really not how I would have wanted us to get in the news.
The theory I’m talking about is, of course, liberalism. It can take all kinds of forms. There is neoliberalism which concentrates on the economic freedom that individuals supposedly will deeply benefit from when supposedly left to interact freely with supposedly free markets. It never quite works out this way but in theory it should.
Practitioners of other forms of liberalism evince discomfort with their neoliberal brethren and concentrate on other ways in which this freedom to be alienated can be practiced.
Then they all bicker about which freedom is more freedomey. No, it’s all about free markets. No, it’s all about bodily autonomy. No, it’s all about freedom to choose your identity. Your freedom is impinging on my freedom! Your freedom of expression hurts my feelings! Your market freedom hurts much more than feelings! And on and on and on they go, equally oblivious of their shared roots.