The liberal left is neither a singular entity nor even a single group or organization. Liberalism is a mindset just as conservatism is a mindset. For the average liberal there is not one "goal" or outcome for which they strive.
I am sure that most individuals afflicted with a liberal mindset would be unable to name any particular goal for their beliefs. It is in many ways like a religion ... a set of pre-defined attitudes and opinions by which they make decisions in life. Most often these attitudes and opinions are not of their own formation or arrived at through considered thought. Instead, they are learned from others' repeated pronouncements of them. Those making these statements often have come to learn them in the same way. Much the same as fables and Bible stories are passed down from generation to generation. Unfortunately many of the "proclaimers" are entrenched in the schools and colleges and their views are imbedded in impressionable minds not yet skilled in giving these ideas critical examination.
The key to the successful spread of liberalism is specifically its lack of critical thought on the results of liberal ideas and solutions for society's problems. In fact, to be judgmental or to offer analysis of liberal prescriptions is in itself considered being anti-liberal. Just as a critic of any religious denomination is labeled a heretic, so too critics of liberalism are labeled uninformed or unenlightened. In other words you must take their beliefs and accept them even if they are contradictory or counterproductive.
In order to accept liberalism a person must operate on an emotional level almost exclusively. Persons steeped in logic or the physical sciences are far less likely to be swept into the liberal camp. In addition, as people age and experience the trials of life and reflect on the cause-and-effect relationship of events they tend to become less liberal and more conservative in their thinking.
Tragically, this means our young are the most vulnerable to liberal indoctrination. Whether by design or happenstance, it is a fact that the teaching profession has a history of attracting persons of a liberal, or leftist, ideology. This places them precisely where they need to be in order to spread their philosophy.
While most practitioners of liberalism have no true goals or agendas for their beliefs, those in position to affect public policy often do have such goals. The common liberal is but a pawn in the ongoing struggle between socialism and freedom. Those in power on the left know that our system of representative democracy enables them to pursue their statist agenda by winning over the majority of the voting public to their positions and candidates. They are well aware that most people have little time or inclination to study about or give great thought to important matters of the day. Instead, large numbers of voters cast their ballots based purely on emotional terms ... the very heart of liberalism's appeal.
(One could argue that the average conservative is no less a pawn for those on the right. Yet, by definition, a conservative arrives at his beliefs through the process of critical thought. As such, he is much less likely to be swayed by wrong-headed proposals even should they be offered up as "conservative". Most conservatives will weigh issues and solutions on their individual merits and only then decide if they are worthy of support.)
The true agenda of the left is statism or control of the society by a small elite group. They are a patient lot and willing to achieve their goals over a long period of time through seemingly minor and incremental changes in the laws and attitudes of the nation. Through the constant hammering of emotion driven issues — education, the environment, child safety, gun control, nuclear war, etc. — they gradually affect the laws and policies that govern our society. All the while moving us closer to their goal of a nation of serfs working for the benefit of the powerful few that will control every aspect of a citizen's life.
† There is dispute as to whether Sir Winston is responsible for this quotation.
Philosophy of Government
rev: 8 oct 2003