Sunday, April 25, 2004

A thought on right liberalism

I thought this might happen. When right liberals like Tim Blair gained a following I initially thought it a good thing. It broke up the monopoly on the media of the left liberals, and forced the left to be more accountable (ie not to make things up for the sake of a cause).

However, I've been dismayed lately at the crudeness that you find on many right liberal websites. There often seems to be the idea that countries like America and Australia are "the best of all possible worlds" and to criticise them makes you "one of them" (a traitor, a socialist, a troll etc).

I once tried at Tim Blair's site to argue that we shouldn't try to export everything about the West to other countries. I gave what I thought would be an uncontroversial example, namely that of family breakdown. With only one exception I was met with a torrent of personal abuse, including from the co-editor of the site Andrea Harris.

And now the left seems to have sensed the weakness of the right liberal position. I don't often agree with Philip Adams but he's close to the truth in some of his latest column. As Adams asserts, the right liberals are very keen on spreading the West to the entire planet, so that they even see the appearance of the worst aspects of the West in other countries as a sign of liberation. Adams is also right that right liberals engage too often in mindless cheerleading and are too ready to personally attack anyone perceived to be "not one of us".

If right liberals don't improve their act they'll drive the intelligentsia straight back into the arms of the left - something I don't want to see happen.

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