The Inconsistency of Political Movements

In his essay A Second Face of Justice, written in 1984, Ridgway K. Foley Jr. writes the following:

“The absence of consistency mars all political movements. The liberal holds the tenet of free speech dear, yet demands the privilege of stating the agenda, setting the boundaries, and compelling the dissenting minority to fund the majority hyperbole. Coercively-acquired tax monies support not only public broadcasting editorials and purported documentaries, but also a vast range of spokesmen for political, legal, social, economic, historical and policy creeds or points of view. Valid dissenting opinions are shut out of the mainstream discussion and are often subjected to government-sponsored ridicule if not punishment: A contrary view on the political situation in South Africa or Israel, on the racially-related aspects of criminal behavior, or the immorality of public education, must not be countenanced by the liberal defender of the First Amendment.

The conservative earns almost as many demerits. Many employing this description urge “free enterprise economics” while securing special favors from the government in the form of subsidies, contractual incentives, barriers to market entry by competitors and the like. Those donning the conservative hat tend also to favor foreign military intervention, conscription, excessive defense expenditures and the like, overlooking the propriety of minding one’s own business in a peaceable fashion.”

Read the entire essay here,


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