Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Puritanical heart of liberalism

New York Mayor Bloomberg's outlawing the selling of sodas over 12 ounces does  one major thing, in my mind, it reveals the Puritanical core of liberalism.  

The wonderful book that I have written about previously, "American Nations: a history of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America" by Colin Woodard, made the very interesting observation that modern liberalism was descended from the Puritan Massachusetts founders, and that although the content of the Puritanism has changed a bit, the basic energy is still there, to improve society for its own good, and to do so with dictatorial certainty and righteousness.

There is no doubt about the fact that people harm themselves dramatically by drinking over-sized sugar drinks, but it is a belief in government coercion for the benefit of humankind that lies at the heart of liberalism.  And many find it oppressive and dictatorial.  

The knee-jerk reaction of conservatives is to tell an overly powerful government to take their good intentions, and their belief in the right of government to control every aspect of people's lives -- and shove it.

I think I agree.  

(And I hope people start addressing the terrible health habits that are causing the obesity epidemic in America, on their own, as a result of persuasion rather than force)