This thread is inspired by a YouTuber I'm subscribed to Cody Webber. Cody uploaded a video pretty much stating that he felt he doesn't fit into the category of liberal or conservative. So my question is, do we need a new title for persons who feel they don't fit into either category?
OK, so not "liberal" or "conservative" - what about "reasonable"?
I'm not sure "reasonable" really says much at all from a political or social perspective. What is reasonable to one person may be unreasonable to another. Its too vague in my opinion
I think liberal and conservative are useful descriptors when it comes to the basis of the outlook of most people. If you don't find some foundation in those broad strokes then feel free to use something else. I consider myself a 'social conservative'. I want a small government that mostly keeps its nose out of our lives but I feel that some minimum of social safety nets is beneficial to everyone. Like most conservatives, I want to see a justice system that is 'tough on crime', but like most socially oriented people I feel that addiction should be treated as an illness, not a crime. So, by tacking a little adjective onto 'conservative' I can quickly communicate what my views might entail. Is this not possible for most?
You have a point I must admit. However the problem is both of these labels or descriptions are very heavily stereotyped and somewhat butchered to a severe degree.
For example "conservative" is often viewed as a person who limits themselves to very traditional values (mostly religiously orientated)
Where as "liberalism" has its own stereotypes of being overly PC, being borderline socialist, being biased and advocating more rights for the individual and not the majority etc The list goes on
So while you perceive that using the label "conservative" is communicating your views, that does not automatically mean that everyone will be on the same page and automatically accurately guess (or even understand) your view points.
I find that whatever page they land on in judging my 'social conservative' stance says more about them than it does about me. If nothing else, it's a point at which the conversation begins. When trying to guess a number between 1 and 100, one starts with 50 rather than asking philosophical questions about quantifying conjecture.
When I hear and use the term "social conservative" I don't associate it with what you are describing. I (and others who I talk to about politics) think of a social conservative as one who disagrees with gay rights, wants to limit abortions, thinks Christianity ought to be the national religion, and the like. I think of a fiscal conservative as one who wants small government (except for defense), minimal taxes, few limits placed on business, and thinks that most if not all social safety nets are wasteful government entitlements.
This suggests to me that you are an American. Perhaps it would translate to 'conservative socialist' in Americanese?
I too have a hard time trying to figure out what to call myself politically. Sure, if you want to paint me with a broad brush than I certainly fall on the liberal end of the spectrum. However, this spectrum is so broad that that any nuance of opinion is pretty much lost.
If you want to be in a political party and you really care about what party you would like to fit into than I suggest you look up a list of all American political parties. There are lots of them but like I said before if you really care you will study each of them or at least study each until the first sign of a disagreement with their beliefs. If you can get through one you find completely agreeable than that could be the one for you. You have plenty to choose from and chances are there is one you will like. They even have a Marijauna Party but if you fail to find one you can always start your own.
Why do you need a word for yourself? We always want to have nice little neat packages that we fit into and can wrap up with a pretty bow. We want to be able to say, "I'm a republican/conservative/liberal/democrat/green/hippopotomus" and have people know exactly what we mean. Why would you want to be that simple?
In order for there to be a word to describe a mindset, so many people would have to conform to that mindset. If you don't conform to it, that means that you have thought, and diverted from the majority. That is a good thing. That's what makes us atheists.
Be proud of your differences I say. Wear them like a badge of honor. Take the time to explain your opinions and your beliefs. Don't look for a term that fits everything, that's boring.
As for me personally, the word that comes closest is objectivist, but even that doesn't fit all of my beliefs. So I don't call myself an objectivist. I'm just me, and that is a good enough term.
You will most likely fit into one or more of the categories of political thought, though not necessarily fit into one of the parties who purportedly represents the view. When people make statements such as yours it tends to tell me that they are not very informed in regards to political thought.
Liberalism is the idea of individual rights and equality being the foundation of society. To understand the philosophy underpinning the central tenements you will usually be directed first towards the writings of Mill, Locke, and Kant. The main issues with liberalism is a backsliding into anarchy and the tyranny of the majority.
Conservatism is the idea that revolution is to be avoided and stability preferred, and the importance of tradition and values. Conservatism is more of a general idea and less a philosophy than liberalism, and the first stops to understand it would be the writings of Burke, de Tocqueville, and de Maistre. The main issues with conservatism is a backsliding into reactionism and dictatorship.
Today the classical distinction between the schools of thought have been diminished greatly with most parties and political philosophers picking from both schools and marrying the ideas. The third major school of thought is socialism, and a combination of certain elements of all three schools tend to be dubbed progressivism or social democracy. Most atheists I know and know of tend be in the latter category, I certainly find my home there.
After a bit of research I leaned that there is in fact a term that may fit in with me a bit more, it very rare though and not may people know about it. The term is known as an "equalist". Its not even listed in the majority of English Dictionaries. In a nut shell it is the advocation of universal equality especially for gender, race and sexual orientation. It is more of a social stance than a political stance from what I understand