This website, or blog is my attempt to continue the promotion of discussion among laypeople about the political issues of our times. It is a work in progress, so please bear with me on the formatting issues as well as content; as I navigate my way around WordPress.
I dislike left/right categorisation; I feel like it has a tendency to be used pejoratively. This is to be expected I guess: a hypothetical far-left thinker will be resentful towards a hypothetical far-right thinker. But at the same time the left/right distinction is to me, an indispensable asset to have, as at the end of the day one needs to acknowledge that there are a wide range of opinions/points of view which to some extent are antagonistic. We cannot dispute that when assessing one’s political perspective, there is always a relativistic element when we consider society as an aggregate of political ideologies. When I say relativistic though, I don’t mean that the actual positions are illusory.
If a tree falls in the forest and no-one hears it, does it make a sound? If all currently left-wing people were to suddenly vaporise, would there be no such thing as right-wing, centre-right, far-right? In some sense, although left and right are necessarily relative to each other, I think that there are certain absolutes that haven’t changed with regards to both positions. However, there definitely are some striking ways in which the people claiming to be left and right have changed in response to the sociohistoric timeline. This has been propounded well by Brendan O’Neill in a BBC radio podcast, among other places. Basically, the left was traditionally for radical social change, whilst the right sought to maintain (conserve) traditions. In this way, there is some continuation. However, the left were always the advocates for freedom, whereas now we see that role has been taken up by right-of-centre politics. To some extent, a person’s perspective determines what side of politics they are on, but also, due to the aggregate nature political views changing gradually over a historical perspective, sociocultural forces actually change the nature (or rather the categorisation) of left/right politics. This is why now you have, in my opinion – and this has been shared by the aforementioned Brendan O’Neill and Andrew Bolt, among others – a shifting of the populace and political class, such that where what I would call centre-right perspectives are now becoming portrayed as far-right. I don’t think the views have changed, just the categorisation. Another thing which I think can’t be denied is that there has been such a shrinking of discourse to a wafer-thin state which it is now in. Ushered in by political correctness, people with perfectly acceptable centre-right views are now afraid to speak up about issues, wanting instead to normalise to the perceived centre so as not to be shunned by polite company. Some of the shifts I think are inevitable as time goes on; whereas others – particularly in regards to free speech and a disdain for expanding powers of government – are neither inevitable, nor desirable. I think it’s natural that as time goes on, different issues become extinct. For instance, far-right conservative viewpoints – for example property holders before any civil rights came to allow the common man to acquire property or vote – are, the way I see it, extinct. Unless a politic event absolutely catastrophic happens. Same with civil liberties: I don’t see aboriginals or women having the vote taken off of them. But again, issues such as free speech, and the bypassing of democratic choice by the electorate and placing it into the hands of the political elite present some intriguing problems which are headed in uncertain directions. But then, as long as we have free speech, we can at least debate such things, in the marketplace of ideas.
So, as far as my politics is concerned, perhaps I would have been left-wing in times past. I possess a love of freedom which now seems to be forgotten about by the left, and now taken up by the right. But I also do like the conservation of such wonderful things, like our western culture. Therefore (keeping in mind the above discussion) I guess I would identify as conservative.