Over the last few years probably, since the 1999 election, I have been amazed at the growth of the Liberal progressive both in NZ and overseas. They have probably been around all my life, however, everywhere I turn nowadays it seems they are there telling me and you what to do.
This has led me to ask the question – what is a liberal and in particular, a liberal leader? This in turn led to the inevitable question – what is the definition of liberal?
- willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas. “liberal views towards divorce”
- (of education) concerned with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training. “the provision of liberal adult education”
A person of liberal views. “A concern among liberals about the relation of the citizen to the state.”
All pretty straight forward really except that none of the liberal leaders that I have heard fit into any of these categories – in particular – “willing to respect or accept…etc”. In fact I would think that concept would be anathema to a person like Andrew Little
Ouch, now my head started to hurt! So I thought maybe I should look at the term progressive – maybe that will give a better definition of our liberal leaders and what makes them tick.
- happening or developing gradually or in stages. “a progressive decline in popularity”
- (of a person or idea) favouring social reform. “a relatively progressive Minister of Education”
- an advocate of social reform. “people tend to present themselves either as progressives or traditionalists on this issue”
So… Someone who listens and accepts others views and wishes gradual change for the benefit of all people – nah sorry – this definition does not get close to Andrew and co.
A couple of stiff whiskeys later I hit on the bright idea that maybe Andrew and company are closer to the left than truly liberal or progressive – maybe they are socialist or even communist.
- a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
- policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.
- (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism.
Well, this is certainly getting closer to what I believe Andrew Little and others of his ilk adhere to, but somehow it still doesn’t quite fit. So lets look at –
a theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.
Nope still doesn’t cut the mustard – so lets look at the last extreme “ism” and see if they fit in this niche –
an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organisation.
(in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practices.
“this is yet another example of health fascism in action”
Damn! This definition comes the closest to Andrew Little except it is extreme RIGHT wing. All the other bits fit – extreme, authoritarian (let’s all work together and do it my way) intolerant – in fact, communist Russia was closer to this definition than so-called socialism or even communism.
So, if they don’t fit the definition how is it possible to recognise one of these individuals?
My next thought was to look at the various human traits and see if I could come up with a formulae that would let me identify these types of leaders easily .
I selected the following traits to look at for this exercise: Read more »