TaraElla Themes 2017-18

A Moral Liberty
Contrary to popular (American) belief, real liberals are not Left (or Right), but pro-liberty.
The Ideas Lab is on a campaign to revive Moral Liberalism.
For more about Moral Liberalism, read TaraElla's book The Moral Libertarian Horizon.

A Liberal and Truly Intersectional Feminism, no GLIF

Only Liberal Feminism is Truly Intersectional Feminism. Learn more here.
Both the Ideas Lab and The TaraElla Show aim to advance liberal intersectional feminism.
To learn more about how other 'intersectional' feminists are doing it wrong, read The Disappointment of G.L.I.F.

More Music
More new work will be added to the catalog of TaraElla's Music.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Donald Trump Victory Lesson: Solidarity

This is a series of articles about learning lessons from Donald Trump's victory, and how to re-invigorate liberalism in the current situation.

While I am a liberal and this is a liberal blog, in this entry we will examine the leftist idea of solidarity, because I believe it holds one of the keys to Donald Trump's victory.

The left has traditionally valued, as one of its highest goals, solidarity. The term originated in workers' socialist circles, where it referred to the solidarity of workers over their economic conditions. These were one group of people with a simple, common goal. Of course there could be some solidarity, agree with them or not.

Yet the new left we have today is a different animal. It staunchly supports many non-economic goals, sometimes even taking precedence over their economic goals. Their agenda includes environmentalism, refugee rights, marriage equality, perhaps abolishing marriage altogether, some form of feminism (but it surely isn't liberal feminism), support for Palestine, affirmative action, abortion rights, animal rights, and more. I personally support some of these and oppose some of these, and I guess it's the same for most people. How can there be solidarity on all these issues, anyway? Environmentalists will find solidarity amongst environmentalists, but supporters of marriage equality do not always find solidarity with environmentalists, and vice versa, for example.

Rather than creating solidarity, the new left's demand that people support all their agenda, no ifs ands or buts, has destroyed solidarity and caused division in society. And while solidarity originated in socialist circles, you don't have to be left wing to realise that society does need a bit of solidarity around the idea that we are all in this together, to solve our common problems and crises. However, with the new left insisting on their program and for it to be implemented by government force, politicians and political parties have been divided along lines of social issues, making this solidarity impossible. So, in 2016, some people trusted Clinton, some trusted Trump, and some trusted Sanders, despite having similar concerns. And in the end, those who trusted Trump simply had the numbers, even though Trump was probably the most divisive of all. This is a climate that rewards those who can exploit the division.

So what will restore the solidarity society once had? Liberty for all is the answer. Just like in my Princess's Spirit novels, people can agree to disagree, but still come together to defend liberty and solve common problems. In the modern day and age, there may not be able to be a unity around a common culture or common views, and any attempt to do so, like the new-left is trying, will only create even more division. However, there can certainly be a unity in liberty. And it's our only hope.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Donald Trump Victory Lesson: The Emerging Liberal Majority: Will It Happen After All?

This is a series of articles about learning lessons from Donald Trump's victory, and how to re-invigorate liberalism in the current situation.

In the later Obama years, many American progressives were optimistic that a permanent Democratic majority, made up of young people and minorities, was emerging. They believed they owned the future, because the demographics favor them. In fact, they expected the Republicans to start having difficulty winning elections starting from 2016.

Ever since Donald Trump's win, this theory has been questioned. Perhaps that is due to most people being short-sighted to the point of thinking that the present is always predictive of the future. For example, while in Obama's America dreams of a permanent progressive majority were being made, during the same period in Australia under the conservative Tony Abbott, no progressive commentator thought something like that may happen in Australia too. Perhaps now America is in the position Australia was in three years ago, at least psychologically.

A balanced prediction of the future should not be influenced by psychological factors like who is in government right now. Rather, it should be based on real, long-term evidence. And right now, the evidence seems to be mixed. A recent analysis showed that, while the proportion of young, presumably liberal-minded voters and minority voters is ever increasing, there have also been trends towards a slightly increasing share of these voters going Republican in each mid-term election since 2006. Overall, it appears that while the Democrats may have a future demographic advantage, it doesn't look as assured as some people may think.

Knowing the statistics outlining trends is one thing, but we also have to know the reasons behind these trends. Right now, I would say we need further research to determine those reasons precisely. But from my own experience, I believe one important factor is that American liberals have become less liberal in recent years. Under the influence of the social justice warrior mindset, American progressives have increasingly embraced restrictions on free speech and freedom of conscience, and many young people and minority voters have simply had enough. In last year's election, some young adults said they would vote for Trump just to combat political correctness, with many of these voters previously voting Democratic or Libertarian.

It is perhaps still too early to say whether the emerging liberal majority will happen or not. But I believe this is actually in the hands of liberals. The age of statist conservatism is over, in any case. People no longer want government social engineering, and will support whichever side that offers the least. If liberals go back to their roots and embrace liberty and equality, the support will come. If, however, so-called liberal progressives show that they are just as authoritarian as Donald Trump but only in the opposite direction, then more and more people will become fed up.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Challenge on Trump Travel Bans shows State Rights are actually Liberal too

It has long been said that state rights are a bastion of conservatism, something that liberals and progressives don't believe in. While states' rights have favored conservative policies in some instances, I have never understood why this should be a general rule. After all, libertarianism, a branch of liberalism, also supports state rights.

The Trump administration's travel bans have served to highlight this. When the federal government overreaches, in any given direction, it's better for the states to be able to challenge them. State rights are ultimately a protector of liberty, when the federal government does not take liberty seriously. Centralization, on the other hand, has always been among the favorite tools of authoritarians.

Of course, state rights have been invoked against marriage equality and anti-segregation laws too. But that's the fault of authoritarianism, not the fault of states' rights itself. For example, in Australia, marriage laws can only be changed by the federal government, resulting in exactly zero states having marriage equality at the moment. In a truly liberal society, individual rights should trump collectivist designs, whether state or federal. But that's another issue altogether.