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“Liberal” and “Conservative”

Question: Quite a few articles in Present Time mention “liberalism” as problematical, but I haven’t seen any that mention “conservatism” in a positive light, or as a contradiction to liberal distress. . . . Any thoughts on the topic would be very much appreciated.

Harvey: I would suggest that you are choosing the wrong issues as points and counterpoints. I don’t think it’s going to be very productive for you to debate between two identities when they’re both almost certainly attached to and sustained by patterns.

The “liberal” and “conservative” positions are just two versions of supporting the status quo. They both act for the persistence of the oppression. The viewpoint that is really different from both of them is the revolutionary point of view, which calls for the replacement of the oppressive society, which would mean public ownership of any significant chunk of the means of production. . . .

If you need to have a point and a counterpoint, I would suggest you choose “intelligent” and “patterned” and look at all your attitudes in terms of: Are they based on intelligent evaluation and do they continue to be questioned and improved? Or are they “comfortable” and you don’t seem to get fresh viewpoints regularly?

What do you think?

Harvey Jackins

From a letter to Harvey, on pages 126 and 127 of An Unbounded Future

(Present Time 190, January 2018)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00