Remind me what it was, exactly ....
Outstanding essay as always. The paradox of the Liberal seems to account for the strange sort of "racism" inherent in much of the West (I can certainly speak about the American Left.). There is almost idolatry at the altar of symbolic multiculturalism, but with all cultures reduced to cutesy, shallow, and meaningless theme park versions. Genuine "cultural" groupings, those that actually command genuine loyalty and allegiance from their members are usually either callously manipulated or villified, the latter, in particular taking rather bluntly crass form. Both, ironically, seem necessary because acultural and atomistic Liberalism cannot offer an alternative to tribal loyalty and tribal hatred, so rather extreme forms of both emerge in a society where Liberalism is officially being enforced (intentional word choice).
As usual, a useful and thought provoking article, in the usual very measured tone. Thanks for all the work that went into it.
Some points that occur to me:
1) Liberal ‘theory’ and propagandising could be explained through a Marxist style class analysis. I.E. Most or all of Liberal philosophy can be described as a tool to obfuscate and hide the exercise of power by a ruling class.
2) Greeks of the classical age would not recognise any existing state as being a ‘democracy’. The word has been recruited into being a fig-leaf for what they classified as oligarchy - the practice of using delegates chosen from a ‘qualified’ class, to express the ‘will of the people’.
Democracy was expressed in Classical Athens by the use of sortition - committees chosen by random lot from the free male population regardless of wealth or position. (Of course, we would not now describe this as true democracy either, as women, foreigners, slaves etc. were disenfranchised).
3) On the subject of why such class divisions appear sociological analysis seems to reign supreme, but I think it would be useful to add a psychological anaysis too. Most of the sociologists I have talked to (a pretty small sampling, I admit) pooh-pooh this idea.
I'm not sure I agree that liberalism isn't solid enough to get people to fight and die for it. I've lived in the USA since 1995 and witnessed the transformations after 9/11 2001. The bloodthirsty national superiority was built up by rhetoric that heavily used Americans' patriotic free-democratic sense of self, i.e. the liberalism shared by its political foes. What that showed is that liberalism can function like a theology uniting Americans across the spectrum in regime change fervor.
Whether or not this can continue to work as material conditions decline is a good question but I'm not sure that the incoherence of any theology is reason to believe that it wont work politically or that the excesses of Radical Social Liberalism will cause people to turn against their national myths.
In what authoritarian country does the leader have the sole power, without consultation, to:
* Hire and fire the country's 5,000 top officials.
* Declare war. Frequently.
* Issue 300,000 national security letters (administrative subpoenas with gag orders that enjoin recipients from ever divulging they’ve been served);
* Control information at all times under his National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions.
* Torture, kidnap and kill anyone, anywhere, at will.
* Secretly ban 50,000 citizens from flying–and refusing to explain why.
* Imprison 2,000,000 citizens without trial.
* Execute 1,000 citizens each year prior to arrest.
* Kill 1,000 foreign civilians every day since 1951
* Massacre its own men, women and children for their beliefs
* Assassinate its own citizens abroad, for their beliefs.
* Repeatedly bomb and kill minority citizens from the air. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/mar/02/duncancampbell) (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/10/move-1985-bombing-reconciliation-philadelphia).
I don't see the recent aggressive activism-oriented takeover of institutions (Successor Ideology) as very liberal. It's just creation and creative use of policy to punish enemies and get ahead. Are these presented here as examples of liberalism? If so they aren't very good ones. A lot of people including myself find the Good-Old-Fashioned liberalism, for example as in the Bill Of Rights, appealing, at least as a kind of aspirational statement of values. At the same time I am offended by the excesses of the spread and takeover of the DEI industry and its associated opportunists. The the article's mixing together of a critique of GOF liberalism with a critique of this new perverted activism is confusing and a bit of a turn off. The article seems to attack values I like with examples of behavior I repudiate.
You don't have to think in binaries.
Consider a three-fold scheme:-
You can have a dictatorship, run by a dictator, that doesn't listen to the ordinary people or experts...(authority in the authoritarian sense, but not in the "authority" sense)
You can have a populist regime, where experienced people are ignored. (Neither kind of authority)
And you can have a regime that has know-how and experience, and isnt run by a single dictatorial figure, and listens to the people. (Authority in the good sense, but not the bad one).
I believe, that this 6-minute video does an excellent job of explaining what's going on.
And here is some direct evidence. When it became clear, that USSR is giving up, survival became less of an uncertainty, so humans (thanks to Darwin's theory) reduced the expenditure of energy on their intelligence.
for another essay on 'liberalism'
> One is related to the Liberal fear of the state as an institution, and the belief that states should be as weak as possible, consistent with protecting private property and upholding contract law. Everything else should be left to the private sector.
May be I'm missing something but that sounds more like the point of view of classical Liberals from 100 years or so ago. Don't modern Liberals want the state to control pretty much everything including the pronouns people must use? If you look at Liberal strongholds of Canada, California, NYC, etc., (sorry, I'm not familiar enough with the situation in Europe to provide good examples from there) they all have less economic freedom, less cultural freedom and less diversity of ideas than Iran (well, OK - may be more than Iran but not by much). Generally a great essay though, thanks!
Very good article, that touches on quite a lot of good points, albeit insists more on some than the others.
There is a certain pathology in Liberalism, and we have a name for that, and it is called Sociopathy, and individuals suffering from it we call Sociopaths.
While Aurelien is in my mind focusing too much on ideology, ultimately, ideology is just a tool for achieving some real, material objectives. And here we must go back to good old Aristotle and his description of types of polities: democracies, tyrannies, and oligarchies, with oligarchies tending to be the most stable ones. And then you have the combinations, alliances: tyrannies & demos and tyrannies & oligarchies. Our present configuration in the west is oligarchies masquerading as democracies, with a figurehead (president or monarch) as ... figurehead. The executive power is usually the "CEO" of the network of oligarchs.
All they want, the oligarchs, is to own everything, be above the law (or the law to be what they say it to be), and control everything, and if possible, become immortals. Tyrants and the demos are, in fact, less sociopathic, but because the template of success being established, the pathology is being slowly spreading. So the present ideology and the mental acrobatics being performed has this as objective: the furtherance of Western and ultimately American plutocracy as the ruling network of the world. If they could own entire planets with people (like in Jupiter Ascending movie), and extract their immortality from it, they would. It is not that complicated.
Magna Carta created freedom for aristocrats from the "tyranny" of the King. Those nobles were the first "liberals". That kind of oligarchy reached its peak in the Polish Seim in the 1600 and 1700s. It ended up, of course, being a failure, because ultimately there was no actual Pole willing to defend the rights of a sociopathic aristocracy, corrupt to the marrow. And now that type of mental mindset has spread (or being pushed) to every individual. The actual resistance is against such mindset, which ultimately covers the "freedoms" of the pike.
But most of us are minnows and I find more suitable, from a political perspective, a system that does not allow anyone any extra power, for extra time, never mind to be transferred down to next generations.
"revelation, which by its very nature cannot be challenged"
Not true. "Revelation" can be challenged by appeal to experience.
If what claims to be revelation does not comport with existential experience, it is fabrication, not revelation.
That noted, authority is indeed the question of the age.
Authority resides in the hearts of believers. There is only one authority. He has countless names and forms.
I tend to agree with much of what you have just expressed about Liberalism but would also like to present to you a brief case (leaving out of this argument for now what Hobbes was up to) for what you correctly characterize as the emptiness of liberalism. This presentation is based on the philosophical writings of Aryeh Botwinick, a former Professor of Political Science at Temple.
Botwinick would argue that this very emptiness has historically been a key source of strength for liberalism in the U.S.
The U.S. constitution, primarily constructed by James Madison, appears based on an unrelenting type of formal minimalism or emptiness. It is indeed true that this constitution is replete with various vacuous tautologies (like the "general welfare" clause, the "necessary and proper" clause, and the "legislative," "executive" and "judicial" power clauses which nowhere spell out the full extent of the content or the boundaries of these different forms of power.
In addition the doctrines that are the hallmark of the U.S. constitutions--the separation of powers, checks and balances, and federalism are nowhere stated or spelled out in this document. This perhaps purposeful ambiguity seems to allow for a continual redrawing of the boundaries between these modes for exercising power in the light of evolving historical circumstances and immediate events. Madison seems to have opted for a constitution of absence and emptiness rather than one filled with specifically directed and fully elaborated content.
I consequently think it can be argued that such minimalism or emptiness has been a source of endurance of the U.S. constitution. The very fact that the state continues to make and remake itself as it goes along without a firmly preset agenda of what economic, political or social goals it needs to accomplish enable it to negotiate transitions across political time and from generation to generation.
Geopolitics is not being discussed enough!
Have you read Jim Nolan's ' Danger on our Doorstep'? Published in March 2022 I think. It is strangely still quite relevant.... ?
I wrote this last night. What do you think? Keep up the great work, kind regards, Justin
I am struggling with a problem that most of us are facing.. a divided world and a disguised evil that expresses from within people just a lack of basic care and consideration of everyone,; friends,family and strangers...
I have just been reading the vaccinated psychological handbook of how to convince us to take our medicine...because they worry about us.( Psychology Today and their ilk ) Their arguments, especially concerning loved ones, are much the same as ours. My dear friend/ family member is deluded. They need our / my help!
It is interesting watching these articles change over 12 months.( Its also a bit sickening, so I don't recommend it)
'US vs THEM' - WHO's idea was that?.. no, that was The FEW... oops, that's backward. WEF!
They have attempted to convince US with their data. We have attempted to convince us THEM our data.
They have attempted to convince US with appeals to our hearts.We have attempted to convince THEM with appeals to their hearts.
They STOPPED attempting to convince us with their data, because apparently WE are to stupid to understand it.
We have attempted to convince THEM with THEIR data. They actually can't ,OR WONT even look at their own data.
THEY cite Fauci and WHO.
WE cite sacked geniuses and Nobel prize winners. We site freely available government data and great people have legally got government bodies to release purposefully hidden data.
People at the top of their field will continue to dig out the truth.
DO WE NOT HAVE ENOUGH PROOF?
Yes we do. The obvious coercion was proof enough for me- NO SCIENCE REQUIRED!
Repeatedly butting heads will not work. To inform people of their failure requires doing it one by one for most of us. It requires the abilities and competence of professionals including Jordan Peterson and his like to convince many people at once.
Butting heads will not work - BECAUSE THESE POOR SOULS TRUSTED THEIR GOVERNMENT AND POTENTIALLY POISONED THEIR CHILDREN, THEMSELVES AND THEIR PARENTS.
They may or may not know that they made an IRREVERSIBLE decision, but this is why they don't want to know now, or be reminded, ever.
What would they say to their kids?
What would you do?
Not everyone is a Hero like some of the jabbed people of the freedom movement who are dedicating the rest of their lives to stopping this disaster.
Is it time to let go of the insanity of butting heads. The work being done by the medical freedom movement is important, but most of us are not qualified. The gains vs efforts are small if at all, in the long term for ( see and economist/ mathematician for the right terms for this)
I think people ( like myself) are not utilising their intuition and developed skills. Skills that will be required to rebuild this world.
Why waste my e.g. nursing degree reposting articles of corruption to people who already know about it. Hopefully, instead, I can help someone who needs and appreciates my skills.
I seriously need to get off my arse and connect with people and share what I have to give, knowing that their may yet be a future to hope for.
A Question for anyone in the know:
When dissidents lose access to the net, what old technology might be useful for communication if this happens?
Some great articles below-
How We Exit the Cave (And stay out. Without the other prisoners killing us. We hope.)
I’m going to propose a set of thinking principles, or mindsets, to adopt:
The Principle of Ubiquitous Bullshit
The Principle of the Dark Unseen
The Principle of Light Orientation
The Principle of Interconnected Caves
The Principle of Compassionate Awakening
(Quoted passages below)
It is worth noting, that if you have surrendered your bodily sovereignty to the State, and there is no longer a border between you and the State, what would you ever say no to in the future. If you were not prepared to stand up for your bodily sovereignty, what would you ever stand up for?
They think there is no war.
This is a vital point, and I draw on my time in Iraq to understand it. As a Citizen.( sorry Frank, I added the 'As a citizen bit for context for the reader)
We knew there was a war. We knew who the warring parties were. We knew there was a border being fought over. We knew that our wants and needs needed to recalibrate to the reality of the war we were in. I don’t remember anyone ever complaining about missing out on all of life’s “nice to haves”. Our wants had recalibrated very tightly around our needs, there wasn’t a gap really. If we and our loved ones were fed and safe for the night and we had a job in the morning that allowed us to be fed and safe for the night, then we were generally happy. To survive war, you need to recalibrate psychologically to it. Of all my friends during those years, I don’t remember any of them being depressed. They had psychologically adapted to the reality of war, and to a climate of having and doing less. Within that recalibration, we were content.
We bunkered down and got through it.
"How The Irish Became White" is a good example of how helping the elites crush "others" gets a pass into what once was Whiteness, but now is "Progressive".