Part of what keeps a new progressive alliance from forming is that people mistake differences in ideas about how the world works for differences in moral principles. Left-leaning liberals look at the policies classical liberals support and assume that the motivation is to redistribute income from the poor to the rich. And classical liberals look at left liberals and assume that they are motivated by an envious desire to punish the rich even if it means making everyone worse off.
– Don Arthur at Club Troppo, 6 April. Italics added.
If it turns out that liberty really is more important than giving rich people back their money, tormenting welfare recipients and smashing unions, then perhaps classical liberals might consider breaking their alliance with conservatives and forming an alliance with other liberals — the kind of people Andrew sometimes calls ‘social liberals.’
– Don Arthur at Club Troppo, 2 April. Italics added.
This is one reason why ‘progressive fusionism’ is so unlikely in practice, whatever its attractions in theory. Though Don has read more by classical liberals than most classical liberals have, his intuition still says that it is ideological window-dressing for attacks on the poor. And classical liberals believe that whatever theoretical support for liberty exists in ‘progressive’ circles, their desire to reshape society according to their conception of ‘justice’ will lead to excessive state control.