Wednesday, October 21, 2020

876: The Origins of Liberalism...

 In the previous two lectures we discussed the political and economic problems, we have to deal with in the coming future.


This all has to do with what you read in the title of this project: A rough awakening from a neoliberal dream.


But what is this "Neoliberalism"? You find all kinds of definitions, like "Neoliberalism is a political approach that favours free-market capitalism, deregulation, and reduction in government spending."


Another interesting description I found on


- quote - Neoliberalism is a policy model that encompasses both politics and economics and seeks to transfer the control of economic factors from the public sector to the private sector. 


Many neoliberalism policies enhance the workings of free market capitalism and attempt to place limits on government spending, government regulation, and public ownership. - end quote -


There are a few common terms in the descriptions, like deregulation, free market capitalism, reduction of government spendings.


Because there is a NEO-liberalism, there must be or have been an old Liberalism, the original theory, so to speak.


This raises a few questions like, what does this NEO refer to in relation to the original theory of liberalism, and where did this liberalism come from?


Let's have a look at the history of Europe. Since the Middle Ages Europe was governed by the political system called absolutism,


Simply formulated: there is only ONE  boss appointed by God... an emperor, a king, a pope. The herd needs a leader and the catholic church was of course supporting this political system.


Due to the Reformation this system began to break down. Not a pope, but in the most extreme convictions, it is the individual himself, who interprets the Bible for himself.


I am talking here about a proces of centuries, from 1500 to 1700. Eventually the severe hierarchical structure came under pressure 


by the discovery of the INDIVIDUAL as the center and origin of political power. Eventually the position of an emperor or king wasn't justified by pointing at god's will but by a social contract.


Hobbes and Rousseau have been regular guests in several of our projects, as well as the inventor of absolute individualism: René Descartes.


The improved position of the individual stood at the cradle of liberalism, although the term wasn't coined yet.


The heart of the new look at the position of the individual in the political arena was the concept of FREEDOM. 


The freedom to stand up against an absolute ruler or an oppressing state. The freedom to have possessions, which are inalienable possession, They were yours and yours only.


This brings us to the first spokesman of this new look on life: John Locke (1632 - 1704).


Writing in the 17th century, Locke saw individual liberty as defined through private property, contract, and market,


in other words, by individual ownership of economic possessions that could not be arbitrarily usurped by the state. 


Freedom for Locke amounted to more than absence from external restraint; it also meant living in conformity with a non-arbitrary law to which the individual had consented. He called it the law of nature.


I guess, that is how it all began......


Thank you for your attention again...


The Discussion


[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:16] herman Bergson: I'll keep the floor but you have now free access to it :-))

[13:17] CB Axel: lol

[13:17] herman Bergson looks at Andrea

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (get circular saw out)

[13:17] herman Bergson: She took a floor last time

[13:18] andrea (andromedaprime) smiles

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): she needed it I suppose

[13:18] CB Axel: I accidentally took the floor from a skybox I have. Everyone who wasn't sitting in a chair fell 3000 m to the ground.

[13:18] herman Bergson: So as a free person I am more cautious now with my private property :-))

[13:19] CB Axel: How are neo-liberals different from libertarians?

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe

[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i earlier times didn't people have private property?

[13:19] andrea (andromedaprime): so neo-liberalism is Locke on steroids?

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa just what i thought

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): out of control in the hands of greedier and greedier companies and  the stock market

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): where profit is all

[13:20] andrea (andromedaprime): or is it really neo-feudalism?

[13:20] herman Bergson: Well I am still working on that...

[13:20] herman Bergson: I'll deal with the difference in oncoming lectures....

[13:20] CB Axel: What they don't seem to realize is that many services work best when everyone can access them equally.

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true cb

[13:21] CB Axel: Police, fire departments, sewer systems, trash collection to name a few.

[13:21] herman Bergson: More important now is this concept of individual freedom and the right to own property that can't be taken from you by a government

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but they don't car about the service, instead they think that there are enough if the rich, who can afford to pay can have the service because that will still secure their profit

[13:22] herman Bergson: Yes CB....most people don't see how socialist they actually are

[13:22] CB Axel: I forgot roads, bridges, etc.

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): infrastructure that just HAVE to work

[13:22] herman Bergson: In deplorable condition in the US, so I heard.....

[13:22] CB Axel: So why should those things be accessible by all but things like education and health care shouldn't be?

[13:23] andrea (andromedaprime): liberals/neo-liberals/neo-cons would own the floor and charge each of us to use it

[13:23] herman Bergson: collapsing bridges even....

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed I've seen a series about things like that and how horrible the outcome can be

[13:23] CB Axel: Yes, Bejiita and Herman. And it's the stupid libertarians who are causing the collapse of our infrastructure.

[13:24] CB Axel: Unfortunately, those bridges collapse from under all people equally whether they thing they should pay for them or not.

[13:24] herman Bergson: There are a lot of contradictions in politics....

[13:24] CB Axel: *think

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if there is no profit they don't wanna service or do t in general

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that lifes might be at stake they dont care about

[13:25] andrea (andromedaprime): we had a nasty fire because people cut safety corners - Grenfell Tower

[13:25] herman Bergson: But you made a point, CB....why pay for bridges and having to pay for healthcare

[13:26] CB Axel: I remember that, Andrea. :(

[13:26] herman Bergson: I have to think about that....

[13:26] andrea (andromedaprime): because safe bridges and good health are a human right?

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some really horrible things ive seen in the airplane industry where in order to make profit they fly and fly the planes and tory dont service them because thats downtime that cost money for them

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): 100s of lives have been lost that way

[13:26] andrea (andromedaprime): Boeing!

[13:26] CB Axel: Scary, Bejiita.

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): when the planes break in flight

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because of bad service

[13:27] herman Bergson: I mean...bridges are paid for by the isn't....that was CBs point, if I am not mistaken

[13:27] CB Axel: Yes

[13:27] andrea (andromedaprime): Boeing 737 MAX

[13:27] CB Axel: Although, the neo-liberals (or are they libertarians?) probably think bridges and roads should all require tolls.

[13:27] herman Bergson: Puzzling point, CB :-)

[13:28] herman Bergson: For clarification.....

[13:28] andrea (andromedaprime): yes - they favoir sfae bridges but they want us all to contribute to their profiteering

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what Boeing did before was murder id say, sneak a system in and not telling everyone, then charge extra for alarm systems telling threre is a fault in the syetem, result noone installed these fault systems and noone knew what went wrong and so crashed

[13:28] herman Bergson: What are libertarians....the term is not used in European politics....

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): 2 times in a row

[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a long time ago we had a healthcare system called "het ziekenfonds"were every one payed the same

[13:28] herman Bergson: Slow down Bejiita

[13:29] herman Bergson: Are libertarians in US terms Dems?

[13:29] CB Axel: That's what I'm wondering, Herman. I think maybe what you're calling neo-liberals are called libertarians in the US. I have heard both terms, though.

[13:29] CB Axel: No, Herman. Dems are liberals not libertarians. Libertarians have their own party.

[13:30] herman Bergson: Ohhh....

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): never thought much of it, i only recognize the term Libertarian

[13:30] herman Bergson: I really have to figure out what libertarians are then :-)

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i thougt in the US are only 2 parties

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sounds like someone working in a library

[13:31] herman Bergson: too Beertje

[13:31] CB Axel: I should have checked that out before I came here today. I'll have to look into it.

[13:31] andrea (andromedaprime): Dems are like UK Conservatives while Reps are the spawn of Genghis Khan er i mean further to the right

[13:31] herman Bergson: Liberals...which is Reps and socialists which is Dems ^_^

[13:31] CB Axel: No, Beertje, There are other parties in the US, but they don't have the money behind them like the two main parties.

[13:31] CB Axel: Dems are more like the Labour Party.

[13:32] andrea (andromedaprime): no they're not!

[13:32] herman Bergson: They aren't Andrea?

[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why need a lot of money for a party?

[13:32] herman Bergson: What then are they?

[13:32] andrea (andromedaprime): perhaps like Blair's version of it i suppose

[13:32] CB Axel: Running a campaign costs a lot of money, Beertje.

[13:33] andrea (andromedaprime): no, i see US main parties as both Conservatives

[13:33] CB Axel: Sadly, andrea, that's true.

[13:33] herman Bergson: All political parties in the Netherlands are supported by governmental benefits and money from members....

[13:33] CB Axel: That's why I may end up leaving the Democratic Party and join the Independent Party.

[13:33] andrea (andromedaprime): the US has a crap party funding law

[13:33] herman Bergson: It is not allowed to accept money from companies etc

[13:34] andrea (andromedaprime): right Herman

[13:34] CB Axel: The US has crap politics in general.

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): where the one with most money wins

[13:34] andrea (andromedaprime): sadly

[13:34] CB Axel: Kanye West was on my ballot this year. So stupid.

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and then mix religion into everything

[13:34] herman Bergson: Hmmm...this going to become a complex matter....because of the differences in American and European political theory

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sigh

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you want to vote for Kane?

[13:35] andrea (andromedaprime): and Boris is selling Britain into the same sewer with Brexit :-(

[13:35] CB Axel: Oh hell no!

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the systems are different for sure

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): way different

[13:36] herman Bergson: YEs.....I have to study our discussion to figure out how to continue....^_^

[13:36] andrea (andromedaprime): there is a Green Party in the US :-)

[13:36] CB Axel: We could just forget US politics for now.

[13:36] herman Bergson: We are speaking different languages here

[13:36] CB Axel: Yes, there is, andrea.

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we are so different Europe and the Us:)

[13:37] herman Bergson: Let's try to summarize.....

[13:37] herman Bergson: US and Europe have political parties that adhere liberalism

[13:37] herman Bergson: What we first have to get clear is what original liberalism means

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:38] herman Bergson: Locke already prepared the road

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so lets Look a bit onto Lo(o)cke

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:38] herman Bergson: Later in the project we have to figure out what is still there of the original theory and what has changed

[13:39] CB Axel: Is liberalism liberty for individuals or for businesses?

[13:39] herman Bergson: This willl lead us to this neo-liberalism and to the present situation in our political systems

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i think it might have started out good and in a controlled way with liberalism but neo liberalism then spun out of control sort of

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we should see

[13:39] herman Bergson: Proimarily for individuals, CB

[13:39] herman Bergson: That is how it all began

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa

[13:40] andrea (andromedaprime): but the law is crap - it rates companies as people!

[13:40] CB Axel nods

[13:40] herman Bergson: The role of businesses became an important issue since the industrial revolution

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hm ok

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa true

[13:41] herman Bergson: In other words....there still is a lot of work for us to be done

[13:41] herman Bergson: cant deal with it in one discussion ^_^

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): early factory workers i know dod not had it easy the bosses were just as greedy if not worse back then

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): did

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): textile mills and similar

[13:42] andrea (andromedaprime): yep

[13:42] andrea (andromedaprime): at least the law does give some protection to workers these days ;)

[13:42] herman Bergson: We are approaching Xmas time Bejiita....I suggest you to watch Scrooge ^_^

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the age we now honor as retro and cozy charming (steampunk)

[13:42] CB Axel: Laws that our libertarians would like to eliminate. :(

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): was probably not that charming to live in

[13:43] herman Bergson: Steampunk is romanticism....

[13:43] herman Bergson: unrealistic

[13:43] andrea (andromedaprime): those are libertarian in the sense they want a "free" i.e. wild-west market

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even me feature steampunk in all games i program and design, big fan of it

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): beautiful buildings , massive machines

[13:44] herman Bergson: I know.....^_^

[13:44] herman Bergson: I played Syiberia..:-)

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Mist and Syberia

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that one ive actually not tried

[13:44] herman Bergson: And Myst too, yes ^_^

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Myst though witch i make a clone of in UE4

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least try to

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:45] herman Bergson: After this complex discussion loaded with questions, I suggest we now look for some more relaxing activities :-))

[13:45] CB Axel: I've tried Myst and Portal but never got very far.

[13:46] CB Axel: Yes. I have to go help a friend with his art gallery.

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now its more halloween horror though like Amnesia which im gonna head back into now a while to be chased by monsters

[13:46] herman Bergson: Your chance to try again now CB :-))

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:46] CB Axel: I'll see you all Thursday.

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we do

[13:46] herman Bergson: I have to study our discussion :-)

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Bye CB take care

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:46] herman Bergson: Thank you all agian....

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu then

[13:46] CB Axel: In the mean time, I'll try to make sense of neo-liberalism and libertarianism. :)

[13:46] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...:-)

[13:47] andrea (andromedaprime): ja wohl!

[13:47]  Carma   (carma.caerndow) is offline.

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (quickly fires up circular saw and cuts out the floor and take t with me) WRRRRIIIIIIIIIII!

[13:47] herman Bergson: Interesting point indeed....

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): MUAHAHAHAHA

[13:47] herman Bergson: Bejiita!

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe

[13:47] herman Bergson: ^_^

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol Bejiita