Liberalism vs. conservativism: Jonah Goldberg’s rule of thumb

Jonah Goldberg, famed iconoclastic columnist for National Review, gives us this simple yet brilliant rule that encapsulates the ultimate difference between liberals and conservatives, as part of his recent column, “For a nation of Buttes: the glory of federalism” :

Conservatives value economic liberty and moral security, while the liberal values economic security and moral liberty.

Applies to just about any issue! Think about it…

(For my readers who come from a secular-Jewish background: read the full article to see the commission of the ultimate cardinal sin – the skewering of Louis Brandeis!)


1 Comment

Filed under Understanding the Left-Right Divide

One response to “Liberalism vs. conservativism: Jonah Goldberg’s rule of thumb

  1. It would be hard to argue this.

    As a “liberal”, I think that everyone – regardless of whatever hardship befalls our economy – should be secure in having shelter, food and clothing.

    On the other hand, we should all be allowed to believe whatever religious creed we like, pray to whomever we wish, have sex with consenting partners, raise our children with our moral beliefs. So I guess this is moral liberty.

    I understand what “economic liberty” means. It means that people can starve or profit based on their own abilities and not be required to take care of those who missed the boat.

    But what can “moral security” mean? The author never explains what this means. It sounds like a creepy code word for dictating other people’s personal lives. Somehow you have to feel unthreatened by other people’s morality?

    Some clarification is needed.

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