Definition as defined by the Oxford Dictionary
- Willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas. “they have liberal views on divorce”
- Relating to or denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise.
Only a few years ago, people who called themselves ‘liberal’ were progressive and left leaning. In Australia, our main conservative political party, the Liberal party was starkly contrasted with the American left wing liberal Democratic party which is progressive. The Liberal Party in Australia has used the term to refer to being fiscally liberal. But from its genesis, Menzies wanted to develop a liberal party, in the sense that it was centrist. He said in one of his first speeches that it (the party) would not be too left and not too right. He wanted it to be tolerant of “other” ideas. The biggest concern in the world at that time was fascism, marxism and communism. These ideologies were diametrically opposed to the classical liberal belief of tolerance and true diversity of ideas. If you disagree with this summary of that period of history, have a read of Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago and then we can discuss it further.
What we are facing now is a new iteration of these problems. Those who were progressive and “liberal” only a few years ago are now considered evil by people who now follow the woke “progressive” movement. Of course, people who believe themselves to be woke think of themselves as “being aware or well informed in a political or cultural sense, especially regarding issues surrounding marginalised communities”. The word is now used to describe someone who has “woken up” to issues of social injustice. The problem is these positive definitions of “woke” are observably and consistently untrue. The concept is that everyone who doesn’t believe what they believe are still asleep. They, the woke, are better humans, because they woke up to The Truth. The enemy is anyone who doesn’t completely agree with them, who doesn’t have the truth and isn’t awake to their truth yet.
You can identify people who are woke and illiberal by their behaviour toward of people who they disagree with and believe to be still asleep.
Someone who is genuinely liberal and kind, who might be traditional, religious and conservative OR academic, progressive and atheist, will still disagree, but they won’t harm people or seek to punish people who simply disagree with them.
Woke progressives are dogmatic, they demand total adherence to the Group. Dissenters are harshly punished. We see this most vividly expressed amongst Marxist Feminists and the treatment toward any woman who disagrees or raises legitimate concerns such as Camille Paglia, Christina Hoff Sommers / The Factual Feminist or God forbid we mention her name, only one of the greatest authors of our time, who is a survivor of DV, J.K. Rowling.
Please don’t misunderstand this post as an endorsement for a particular political party. Here at DVAA, we hate all politicians equally! DVAA is both gender and politically non binary. All political parties get it wrong most of the time but some get it right sometimes. We will celebrate it and support them when they do. We’ll point it out when they get it really wrong and share how we believe they can improve.
Someone who is liberal and kind will challenge ideas, ideologies, methodologies and not attack someone personally. We can’t change who we are but we can all improve our ideas. We can’t change our immutable biological traits but we can take responsibility for and change our behaviour toward one another.