I had a reader condemn The Alternative as “reactionary views” and “libertarian baloney.” Of course a slur from someone with contrasting political views should be seen as a compliment. But it is hard because none (or few) of us actually wish ill will on others and I have a lot of respect for the accomplishments of this guy.
I knew what “baloney” was but I was unclear on “reactionary,” only knowing that it is a slur. Like “organic,” it comes from chemistry and now has a whole new meaning. “Slur” has gained popularity in today’s language because of the cancellation of the old sticks and stones saying. If you don’t know it, it goes: “Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me,” said with crinkled nose and close to a face.
Reactionary is defined as : “(of a person or a set of views) opposing political or social liberalization or reform.” This is interesting to me because I’ve called myself a “classical liberal” for years. Now, being a reactionary, I oppose myself? Maybe I need some pharmaceuticals to balance the chemicals in my brain, eh?
These are definitions linked through Google, so there’s that. As I scrolled down to where Google took me I came to “liberalism:” “Willingness to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own. A political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil rights, democracy, and free enterprise.” With all the censorship, tearing down of statues and so-forth, it looks like the reactionaries are on the rise.
I just can’t find where I am anything but liberal by these definitions. Where we part ways is in the collectivization of society and the cancellation of the entire concept of “individual.”
Put these ideas into real life. If an individual saves for the future, giving up family vacations or repairing instead of buying a car, then someone who hasn’t done that wants him to pay for his education, healthcare, or retirement, who will be losing their individual rights? Who is the liberal? Is it the one who wants to steal from the frugal saver? In today’s world the language is not just distorted, but turned on its head.
The one who chooses what cakes his business will bake or how he will spend or save his earnings is the liberal. The one who tells him what cake to bake or how to spend his earnings is the reactionary.
As a purveyor of libertarian baloney I am the one who is the liberal because I respect your property and expect the same. Someone who claims my views are reactionary is consciously distorting the meaning of words.
“War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
George Orwell in “1984”