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Cheers - AE

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Young Liberals are illiberal

What is it with the word liberal these days? In the United States it's mutated into a word used insultingly by one bunch of authoritarian twats to describe the opposing bunch of authoritarian twats, or used proudly by the latter group of authoritarian twats to describe themselves. That both groups are authoritarian in various ways is evident. That they are also twats is shown by the fact that they can't read a fucking dictionary:

1. Showing or characterized by broad-mindedness; "a broad political stance"; "generous and broad sympathies"; "a liberal newspaper"; "tolerant of his opponent's opinions".
2. Having political or social views favoring reform and progress.
3. Tolerant of change; not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or tradition.
4. Given or giving freely; "was a big tipper"; "the bounteous goodness of God"; "bountiful compliments"; "a freehanded host"; "a handsome allowance"; "Saturday's child is loving and giving"; "a liberal backer of the arts"; "a munificent gift"; "her fond and openhanded grandfather".
5. Not literal; "a loose interpretation of what she had been told"; "a free translation of the poem".

1. A person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties.
2. A person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets.
I didn't see "unpleasant bossy bastard who takes it upon themselves to set everyone else rules to live by" anywhere in there. However, I can accept that the English language can change over time and that in a political context "liberal" can now mean simply "someone who is not a conservative". Except in Australia of course, where the Liberal Party are in fact the conservatives. At least I think so - John Howard didn't seem particularly liberal to me, and neither do the Young Liberals:
THE Young Liberals are proposing nine months of compulsory national service to be completed before the age of 24 and which people will not be able to dodge by going to university.
Participants would receive a social security payment and an accommodation allowance if their service required them to live away from home. The plan, to be put at the Young Liberals' national conference in Canberra this weekend, is not restricted to the military. Young Australians could complete their service in overseas aid programs. Or they could serve in hospitals, old-age homes and other community organisations.
Well, there's nothing quite like forcing people against their will to serve in the military or some bloaty NGO, though fucking off overseas to work for an NGO seems fashionable at the moment so the take-up might be mostly along those lines if this nasty idea were ever to become a reality. Begs the question how compulsory it is if people were going to do it anyway, or how voluntary it is really is if the government were going to force you into it if you weren't going on your own. Hopefully it won't:
n 2006, NSW Young Labor, Australia's largest political youth group, proposed a similar idea for compulsory national service to be completed before graduation from high school, similar to a scheme operating in Sweden. It included a provision that it could be served in the community or foreign aid sectors.
However, current president Matthew Walton said Young Labor was not supportive of the idea. He said he would like to know when the Liberal Party threw away its commitment to personal choice and personal liberty.
Good question mate. But in a country where local politics can literally involve throwing shit I'm surprised that nobody has simply called the Young Liberals a bunch of nasty, illiberal little bastards.
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