The main contradiction of liberal democracy is that it has largely been shaped through a history of various forms of illegal civil disobedience against entrenched power structures. Such civil disobedience is retrospectively seen as justified, and the people committing it are retrospectively seen as heroes. However, each successive generation is asked to believe that any further civil disobedience would be unreasonable.

uspol Show more

@oct2pus YES, I've seen it float around as a heavily artifacted JPEG on a certain microblogging platform where you could not write such a long post.

uspol Show more

@trickster This is so important and obvious once you put it that way. How is this not a meme?

@trickster People always will believe it, too, because people naturally think like that. Prior changes to English are development, new ones are deterioration. Prior adaptations are evolution, new ones are regression. Even old tech is useful and new innovations are bad.

@trickster Is that true in the context of English law (or my own Canadian offshoot)?

Thinking of #democracy, there was the "Glorious Revolution", but since then the Bill of Rights, the Reform Act, Catholic emancipation, women's suffrage, etc. were essentially accomplished by lawful means.

(All right, yes, the suffragettes weren't 100% peaceful.)

As for #liberty, again I think that was mostly achieved by parliamentary measures.

Please do tell me what I'm missing.

@mpjgregoire Good question. The 3 counties most closely tied to the glorious revolution, the Netherlands, the UK and the US were also notorious for their use of chattel slavery.

Note that this was a time when the despotic regimes of Europe, under the stringent rule of Catholicism had all but eradicated slavery. Owing to the fact that if you owned a slave, you could not bar them from being baptized, from going to mass, from having a spouse and children, and generally "a good christian life".

@mpjgregoire Which made them more "just" indentured servants than slaves.

That is not to excuse both dynastic and monastic tyranny (that Spanish Catholicism didn't really translate well to the new world). But the fact that the monarchies of Europe did not keep slaves, while these republics of freedom did was not lost on the intellectuals of the times. And the fact that the chief liberal thinkers of the time were very dismissive of liberalism's incompatibility with slavery didn't really help.

@mpjgregoire A harsh but fair criticism of this "classical" liberalism can be found in "Liberalism: A Counter-History", which made for very uncomfortable reading for a believer in the liberal project.

But the short answer is "the Emancipation Proclamation".

The civil rights movement also had it's fair share of disruptions and scuffles

Stonewall, which started the LGBT movement in earnest, was a riot.

Mandela was labeled a terrorist and the ensuing S.African boycott was as contentious as modern BDS.

@trickster Oh, I largely agree with your original proposition with regard to the US. And FWIW I'm not a liberal, classical or otherwise -- I'm a Tory.

@mpjgregoire In a sense we're all liberals (outside of what that word means in US and UK politics), meaning, a very small amount of us would want to return to the ways of old dynastic Europe.

@trickster Indeed, modern Western society is so shaped by #liberalism, it is hard to realise that not everyone thinks (or thought) outside the framework of rights, individuals and equality.

"It is a hard thing, being right about everything all the time."

@mpjgregoire @trickster I thought Catholic Emancipation in the UK was partially fueled by fear of an Irish Catholic religious violence, which already was ongoing?

@trickster People routinely use the term "civil disobedience" for actions that aren't. Civil disobedience is the refusal to obey an unjust law. Protesters today use it to mean getting in the way of people who are trying to go about their own business.

@gmcgath Sometimes, protesters do not have the luxury of simply not following a law. What were the suffragettes supposed to do? Continue to not vote? Try to get into a voting booth? Would trying to force yourself into a voting booth not get in the way of people who are trying to go about their business? Wouldn't picketing?

Why did the Sons of Liberty destroy someone else's private property and inconvenience other tea drinkers when they could simply not buy the tea?

@trickster Please try to understand how definitions work. They don't change to meet the requirements of action. "Civil disobedience" does not mean "whatever I have to do to get something done." It's a specific type of action with a specific basis.

Why the Sons of Liberty did something has no bearing at all on the meaning of the term "civil disobedience." Picketing isn't even illegal in general. It doesn't become "disobedience" because you like (or dislike) it.

So many "you're protesting wrong" comments with every act of civil disobedience. Shit like "you'll never win anyone over by blocking traffic." Such tired and lazy arguments.

It has been a major feature and effort to deny that Liberalism was established via revolutions, this never ceases to be funny especially in the USA were so much is talked about with the American Revolution.

@indefenseofmastodon The first two liberal countries, the Netherlands and the UK became liberal through "The Glorious Revolution". Nobody owned the monarch with FACTS and BRAIN LOGIC until he relented power.

@trickster ae, #DavidGraeber has written in a few of his essays about the inconvenient truth of every political order, that it establishes it's legitimacy in a successful rebellion against a previously "legitimate" order.

I think this often applies to science too. Something like this: The previous paradigm shifts were good and necessary but now we should follow the path that I and my similarly aged colleagues have paved.

@mmin A hundred times this. So many things are discovered not because they are new, but just because the people that used to shoot them down are now too old to work in academia anymore.

@mmin @strypey @trickster ugh here just yesterday Robbert Dijkgraaf on De Wereld Draait Door(dutch tv) talking about .. string theory as if anything is experimentally proven, and as if he knows the answer to any of the questions he poses... I suppose i can chafe it off to them working under the "audience=stupid" assumption.

@mmin @strypey @trickster Reminds me of a quote from Arthur C. Clarke:

" When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."

@trickster as an anarchist friend of mine says: to make good law you need to break laws

@trickster And I guess the other one is that the power structures and actors of the past are always regarded as bad and oppressive, yet the present that directly comes from it is somehow supposed to not have these attributes.

@trickster True! Even while being assured you live in a truly free space *because* you have the right to gather in protest... which means you shouldn't because society is fine the way it is... and if you do it too effectively, they'll find a way to arrest you for it anyway...

@trickster And thus trying to suggest somehow that acting liberally, is apparently somehow not being liberal.
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