Liberalism? I don't think so.

A few weeks or months ago I saw a 'clever' image bouncing around Facebook and it was a little bit off.  This one is much more appropriate:
However, the main points of the image bouncing around had a list of classical liberal things jumbled up with current "liberal,: i.e., Leftist items.  It went something like this . . .

What Liberalism has brought us:
  • Women's suffrage
  • Voting for 18 year olds
  • Eight hour workday
  • Minimum wage
  • End to slavery
  • Social Security
  • Collective bargaining
The list was longer, but you get the idea. After seeing this a few times it finally dawned on me what was missing: Make the trains run on time!

Yes, the list was an edited version of this:
Mussolini's Fascist Manifesto, 6 June 1919
 Here is a different copy:
Benito Mussolini: A Father of Liberalism
One would think that an important document such as this would be easy to find, since it reads like a founding document of most everything that the modern 'liberal' embraces.  Wikipedia has a Fascist Manifesto page with a translation to English, but not much for source documentation:


Politically, the manifesto calls for:
  • Universal suffrage with a lowered voting age to 18 years, and voting and electoral office eligibility for all age 25 and more, including women;
  • Proportional representation on a regional basis;
  • Voting for women (which was opposed by most other European nations);
  • Representation at government level of newly created national councils by economic sector;
  • The abolition of the Italian Senate (at the time, the senate, as the upper house of parliament, was by process elected by the wealthier citizens, but were in reality direct appointments by the king. It has been described as a sort of extended council of the crown);
  • The formation of a national council of experts for labor, for industry, for transportation, for the public health, for communications, etc. Selections to be made of professionals or of tradesmen with legislative powers, and elected directly to a general commission with ministerial powers (this concept was rooted in corporatist ideology and derived in part from Catholic social doctrine).
In labour and social policy, the manifesto calls for:
  • The quick enactment of a law of the state that sanctions an eight-hour workday for all workers;
  • A minimum wage;
  • The participation of workers' representatives in the functions of industry commissions;
  • To show the same confidence in the labor unions (that prove to be technically and morally worthy) as is given to industry executives or public servants;
  • Reorganisation of the railways and the transport sector;
  • Revision of the draft law on invalidity insurance;
  • Reduction of the retirement age from 65 to 55.
In military affairs, the manifesto advocates:
  • Creation of a short-service national militia with specifically defensive responsibilities;
  • Armaments factories are to be nationalised;
  • A peaceful but competitive foreign policy.
In finance, the manifesto advocates:
  • A strong progressive tax on capital (envisaging a “partial expropriation” of concentrated wealth);
  • The seizure of all the possessions of the religious congregations and the abolition of all the bishoprics, which constitute an enormous liability on the Nation and on the privileges of the poor;
  • Revision of all contracts for military provisions;
  • The revision of all military contracts and the seizure of 85 percent of the profits therein.
When your 'liberal' friends spout off about what great things their predecessors brought the world, maybe you should point out that many of those ideas are Fascist and that both the Fascists and Nazis were Socialists too.
Free bumper sticker! Just print and stick.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment