In response to someone saying “To me, ‘liberals’ suggests a close group who have already settled into some extreme left positions, some of which are more tribal signalling than anything else,” Damien wrote:
“Liberal” means extreme left to you? You’re pretty badly calibrated, then. Most people who call themselves liberal aren’t all that left, at least lots of actual extreme leftists despise liberals of whatever definition.
If you’re American you’re likely starved for exposure to an extreme left. Try this on: 70% top marginal income tax, capital gains taxed like regular income (or even higher), Medicare for all gradually being replaced by an expanded NHS-style VA system, free college for all, a partial basic income funded by land/resource tax, an outright personal wealth cap of $400 million, Keynesian full employment policies via loose money and government jobs programs as needed, random selection of citizens to administrative oversight boards.
You won’t find many liberals who can endorse all of that without choking on something; I’d guess a majority of US liberals wouldn’t support even a majority of that list. And that’s still not all that extreme, nothing like full central planning or the supposed absolute equality of communism or Soviet socialism or abolition of money/private property. $400 million is still a vast amount of wealth, the only radical thing there is the idea of having a cap at all and that there’s a level of “too much” for one person to have at once.
And that’s only considering economic possibilities – there’s a lot that’s further left than liberal when it comes to race justice (reparations, for a start) and gender issues. Going even further left than Damien’s list, I know some leftists who advocate for an armed revolution against the US government. (Okay, I know one leftist who advocates for that.)
That said, I wonder what proportion of liberals wouldn’t endorse far-left policies like the ones Damion listed because they actually oppose them, versus those who wouldn’t endorse far-left policies because they aren’t politically viable?