14th September 2010
I just received this text:
“I am just about to download a copy of the koran. Do you want me to burn one for you?”
Did you smile? If so, imho, you understand liberalism.
Did you frown, even scowl? You don’t understand. In other words, you’re one of today’s liberals. But be warned that means you take yourself and others FAR too seriously to be a genuine liberal. You allow your enemies liberty, democratic freedoms and freedom of speech and association, while you are not so sure about the rights of those you dislike, distrust, or even ‘hate’, even if they are the very epitome of “liberty” and are widely recognised and even awarded as such. [See also my post here on Open Democracy]
To prove that point just imagine that somewhere in the Middle East, some backwoods imam had been planning to hold a Burn the Bible Day. [OK, I realise this is a common, if unreported, occurrence anyway, but do please suspend for a moment your preconceptions; continue to disregard that minor detail in the time-honoured “liberal” way.]
If you had then received a text saying –
“I am just about to download a copy of the bible. Do you want me to burn one for you?”
– would you have smiled or scowled?
On that reaction, again, imho, rests real LIBERAL (originally somewhat akin to Liberty) credentials.
For your information I smiled at the thought of both.
Think about it. You know it makes sense.
Smile, Damn you!
OTHERS THOUGHTS ON LIBERTY/DEMOCRACY/LIBERALISM/LIBERTARIANISM
Libertarianism is a political philosophy or a family of related political philosophies based on strong support for individual liberty, which Libertarians encourage mainly through private property ownership and guaranteed personal sovereignty.
Liberalism refers to a broad array of related ideas and theories of government that consider individual liberty to be the most important political goal. Broadly speaking, liberalism emphasizes individual rights and equality of opportunity.
Stewart has taken an indefinite leave of absence and has written on an atheist forum that he expected to be sacked.
But he defended his actions, saying: “The video was a joke video, of course… People do this stuff all the time and if people get really upset about this then they’re taking it far too seriously.”
See what I mean about a sense of humour? Or is that a liberal thing too far?
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Tags: Alex Stewart, Australian lawyer, burn the bible, burning the koran, credentials, democratic, freedom of speech, Liberal, Liberalism, libertarian, Libertarianism, Liberty, Middle East, Political freedom, Political philosophy, politics, smoke koran bible, spliff, test, Tony Blair