August 5, 2012

Liberals: the stalking horse of reaction

In the context of our discussion [good is that which benefits or advantages the most; evil disadvantages, harms the most], radicals choose the good and try to live it. Liberals choose the lesser evil and dress it up to look good. Conservatives accept the evil and make no bones about it. Reactionaries want to force the evil on everyone. ...

Private enterprise, laissez-faire capitalists, nation and empire builders have found the good-better-best [evolutionary] formula profitable when applied to natural science, engineering and business, but they have balked proposals to apply the same developmental formula to social practices and social institutions.

Conservatives support this static position. Liberals believe, theoretically, in improvement but they want to protect their property and preserve their privileges. Therefore in a crisis, they use their influence to perpetuate the exploitative institutions of capitalism and imperialism.

Radicals demand the application of the improvement principle: “How can we do a better job?” to the entire realm of social relations and social institutions. It is nearly 200 years since the American Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789 opened the way for an application of the improvement formula to politics. It is half a century since the Mexican Revolution of 1910, the Chinese Revolution of 1911 and the Russian Revolution of 1917 opened the way for the application of the improvement formula to economics.

... These efforts to plan and construct an economy and a society on scientific principles (socialist construction) are welcomed and applauded by radicals, questioned and sabotaged by liberals and fought tooth and nail by conservatives and reactionaries.

—Scott Nearing, The Conscience of a Radical (Harborside, Maine: Social Science Institute, 1965), Chapter V