Liberalism is a self-consistent worldview. But, rather often, liberal ideas are applied inconsistently, in a cherry-picking way (the privilege of those with a stronger hand). Predictably, conservatives sometimes do the same. My aim is to highlight some of these inconsistencies, which would be the first step to solving them!
I1: Black Lives Matter, But Only Selected Black Lives. Somehow the BLM campaign seems to exclude black people and people with very dark skin tone who live outside the first world. In Subsaharan Africa and India, many people die of starvation and preventable diseases or live in appalling conditions. Should not we worry more about impending acute hunger in over 20 countries (34 mln lives at risk) or child labour in cobalt mines (cobalt is used in mobile phones etc.) than about blackface? Highlighting less urgent issues while not bringing up genuine life-and-death matters seems like a very cruel type of discrimination.
I2: Promoting Tolerance While Not Tolerating Local Conservatives. Conservative culture of white people is just another culture. It should be fostered and supported within boundaries set by secular laws, just as any other culture. Any disagreements should be resolved on logical grounds, within the limits of laws, using solid statistical data to support the arguments. Emotional arguments that incite intolerance against the person who conveys the ideas, as opposed to dealing with the ideas, goes against the core ideas of liberalism in more ways than I can count.
I3: Practising Cancellation In Spite Of Innosense Presumption And Proportional Punishment. Profanity, unsolicited repositioning and disputes that end in accidents are very unfortunate. Yet, cancellations and hate campaigns, especially without giving the accused a chance of fair trial, are disproportional punishments administered by those with no authority to punish. Moreover, that is against the presumption of innocence, the cornerstone of the justice systems in all progressive societies.
I4: Standing Against Racism Yet Complaining About Locally Falling Living Standards. Standing against racism implies that white privilege is not valid, right? This implies that sometime in the future the living standards would (should) be similar in all parts of the world. So why comparing the living standards of the modern first-worlders to those of their boomer parents. Clearly, it is not realistic to expect that more than 7 billion people will live as well as boomers in the immediate future! Thus one should be comparing the average-across-the-planet standards of living across generations. And they seem to be dramatically improving! So let’s heil the progress.
I5: Empathy Not Followed By Productive Actions. Everyone’s feelings matters. But empathy practised on social media does not help those who need help more than first-world liberals! Have you donated money to charities? Have you donated your time to good causes? Have you voted? Have you petitioned your member of parliament? Have you, at the very least, tried to understand the culture(s) you are trying to defend?
I6: Showing A Lot Of Skin To Strangers Equals Empowerment. I am really lost on this one. If men and women are equal, and showing a lot of skin means empowerment, then surely Borat is one of the most empowered men out there, right? Hmm… And men who wear knee-long swimming trunks on the beach and full-length trousers elsewhere are oppressed. Are they really?…
I7a: Expecting To Be Understood And Not Subject To Microaggressions. Understanding is includes knowing the limits, and the limits are where it hurts.
I7b: Expecting To Be Understood But Be Able To Wear Any Clothes. For centuries, clothes were used as an instant indicator of social status, social class and also relationship availability. Thus, they were an instant communication tool. Some are still using it, others don’t; obviously, it creates confusion on the receiving side. Those with high social status clarify the matters, and they are sure to be heard thanks to their status. Simple mortals don’t have such a platform, and cannot expect everyone around them to spend time understanding them.
I7c: Expecting To Be Understood And Form Lasting Relationships Within The Culture Of Quick Acquantances. Everyone is unique, and it should surely take time to understand this uniqueness? When so many others are available for quick connections, why bother? If someone actually bothers, what’s unique about them that makes you uniquely valuable in their eyes? Does this unique valueability comes from the depths of your soul, that you have not had a chance to reveal in a very short timeframe, or from the superficial indicators that are perhaps not the reasons you want to be valued for?
I8: Complaining About Culture Appropriation (Or Lack Of Cultural Integration) Without Understanding Culture And History. Symbols related to tragic episodes of human history, such as wars or genocides, are most definitely sacred and may not be “adopted” for fun, self-promotion or other personal needs. As for religious and cultural symbols, it depends.
Generally speaking, most cultures and religions have some ways for outsiders to get in. Oftentimes, the newcomer looks out of place in some way: perhaps the dress code was not observed, or not applied appropriately! One example is burkinis and hijabs ban, the other is Adele’s Bantu knots. It seems there is not one, but two problems here.
One, typical for liberals, is the attempt to preserve oppressed cultures by keeping the outsiders out, even when the adopted aspect does not have a deep meaning. This is damaging because the nature of culture is to strive through expansion. Starving it from expansion halts the normal evolutionary process. Without having a chance to evolve, it is bound to get an antiquated look and eventually to die, while it could strive.
It often seems that liberals are criticising others for cultural appropriation without understanding the culture they are crusading for. It is as if they are calling out cultural appropriation just because calling out cultural appropriation is a fashionable thing to do. As such, it is a cultural appropriation of sensible liberal culture! It does no favours to anyone…
The other, typical for conservatives, is about preserving “our great culture” by bans, often enforced through laws. This is unfortunate, but also very strange: is “our great culture” really so fragile that swimming suits can make a difference? What is the core of “our great culture” is superficial traits represent the greatest threat, out of all threats? Is hostility, created by bans, the best ambassador to “our great culture”? And it is even stranger when the bans are created in the name of liberty…..