Have you already issued your liberal ID?
27 de diciembre de 2019

One of the mistakes that liberals usually make is pretending that everyone thinks like us. Don’t look the other way, I’m talking to you. Even if you have done it without realising it, surely you have tried it at least once. Being liberal implies, by definition, not imposing anything on others. This does not mean, however, that we cannot argue to try to get other people to change their minds. But never forcing them but under the arduous and painful process of using our head, building the house from the foundations, and trying to understand our way of doing things. A process, all being said, that is not free from mistakes that are difficult to assimilate.

Paths and directions by ideologies

The left has a marked path that sets its course. A course, at least in theory, full of resignations, taking from some to give to others, to look after the poor and take from the rich what they believe it should never have belonged to them. Stop the fast and boost, lightening his weight, the weak, putting the weight on the strong. The final course ends in some sort of garden of Eden, full of handfuls of roses.

The right, along the same lines, but on a different path, seems to have a clear destination. A powerful one, which places his citizens above the rest. The right needs authority, the nation, and the flag. Symbols that reflect the family, the countryman, the rules and the tradition on the top of a mountain as high as possible.

Those who lean toward the centre seem to have no way forward. Sometimes, they decide to jump the fence to walk on the side that is most likely to give them a happy ending. Let me clarify that none of the above is a criticism. It is just as respectable, especially when it is easy to be branded as a turncoat.

And describing paths, directions and destinations, there are the liberals, handing out IDs. A guard at the door who, when sees you without any, doesn’t even ask you why you want to come in. Instead, he sets you apart and continues to take attendance. The rest of ideologies, due to their idiosyncrasy, can afford it, but that is a luxury that liberals do not have, and less so with the amazing ease with which we hand out IDs. As if the number of liberals who know that they are such were a big deal.

A touch of attention

This should be understood as a wake-up call for having told others what it is to be liberal and what not. For having thought that liberalism was about something static, fixed, immutable.

When I came across this current of thought, a wave of curiosity and tranquillity came to me. I had finally found an ideology with which to feel identified, some values, a criterion, some coherence. Maybe because of being part of something. Of course, I didn’t know where I was going. At times, I would rather feel identified with the left or the right, simply because I don’t have to constantly ask myself if what I do, what I think, or what I would like it to be takes freedom away from others.

Sometimes, I’d rather feel identified with the left or the right, so I don’t have to be wondering if I rest freedom for others

As I am human, I also have impulses, I make mistakes a few times a day, and sometimes I react in a way that does not correspond (I think) to that of a liberal. But, even so, I decide to be one. Precisely because I know that this impulse or that reaction would not be sustained even with a reinforced concrete pillar.

The journey begins with a few questions: why do I think like this? Can one sustain what I think? Do I really think that, or am I trying to argue it to be right? How sad when we even try to impose neutrality and tolerance. What is neutral? What is to be tolerated and what is not? Why? We are so diverse and complex. As much as I continue reading, I am overwhelmed by the large number of things that we have recorded in our heads simply because of culture. Perhaps, assuming that you don’t have an answer for all is what pushes you to become a liberal. Or that, similarly, being liberal consists of respecting answers even when you disagree.

From the above I draw several conclusions:

  • The more information, the less certainty I find.
  • If there are no two equal people, what is the point of thinking that there is only one type of liberalism?
  • Act as you prefer, as long as you do not restrict the freedom of others. Freedom of belief, thought and action.

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