Liberalism as it Stands

Wow. Wasn’t that whole Chauvin trial a mess? That’s an understatement of course. With rioting protests already occurring at the slightest provocation these days, it seems like the threat of social unrest or even open insurrection resides on every street corner. If the cop shoots the wrong person, according to the “protester’s” obviously expert and nuanced opinion, protests. If vengeance justice isn’t met out in the appropriate manner; protests. If the entire system isn’t dismantled on the whim of people you would not necessarily trust to bring you a drink; protests. Apologies for heading down the route of what Jonah Goldberg would refer to as “rank punditry,” but I think it’s important to try to gauge where we as a society are at risk.

The threat of this sort of mob action is rather obvious. In the case of police, there will be more of an emphasis from officers responding to a situation to do everything they can to not attract the mob’s ire. Great when it means avoiding an unnecessary shooting; downright horrible when it means they hesitate in a situation they should not. Or maybe they just quit or retire early, as is being experienced in places like Portland right now.

The path forward if we keep advancing towards the left is rather simple. More mob justice. More violence. A worsening economy. Continue down the list. The fear from the left today is a new form of racial essentialism, wherein being of one race or another precludes you to be ill-disposed towards some positions and to support others. Truly a new form of segregation that we should avoid at all costs. This is of course on the other left-wing attempts at power grabs and the continued erosion of our culture. WAP anyone? (no thank you by the way) Long story short, we are house divided and I think some guy at one point said that we could not stand. One side of the aisle seems to greatly desire the death of republicanism and to large extent liberalism.

But the threat is not only from the left. It would seem that some portions of the reactionary right have had their own thoughts on the issue and have decided that there is no hope to bring back traditional values. Instead, we ought to “ride the tiger” that is keep to our own community. Live out the traditional values that are important to you and wait for a time when they reemerge on a broad cultural basis. Not a bad strategy I suppose. Accept what you can’t change and such.

However, the term “ride the tiger” is a reference from a funny little feller by the name Julia Evola. Evola was an Italian philosopher who was one of the progenitors of fascism. As with many of his days, the Jews were not on his top ten list of favorite groups. This descended, like a certain mustachioed maniac to the North, into conspiracy; believing that much of the modern world that he hated so much was part of a Jewish plot. He also held Christianity in contempt for its apparent weakness, desiring that Europe return to the pre-Christian Roman values.

Now I am not accusing most of those I have seen of being actual fascists of this caliber. The greatest thing that ever happened for the argument for liberalism was the presence of such horrifying figures as Mao, Stalin, and Hitler. However, fear fades with time. “The finger goes waggling back to the fire.” Fascism as an ideology, despite what the left seems to think, is not about mean men marching down a street. It’s not about jackbooted thugs. Fascism can be relatively easily defined as being “third positionist.” That is, it chooses to side with neither individualistic liberal democratic capitalism nor egalitarian socialism/communism. Fascists are nationalists, yes, but they view the State as being the manifestation of the people, therefore, the State is supreme. As institutions live and breathe at the whims of the State.

Again I don’t think many who have argued for this view of the culture are fascists. But it’s still a problem. Quite a few can be seen to argue for state action when it comes to many culture war issues. They argue that the left completely outguns the right when it comes to these types of things, which I would agree with. But we shouldn’t be like the left. I am still a liberal at heart or rather I value the concept of liberalism as being a vital pillar for the continuation of the United States and the West more generally. Even if I agree with much of what the State does I still don’t want it to be involved in our personal lives. Because what was once a benevolent and benign regime can all too quickly morph into the Leviathon.

Imagine if your worst enemy were in power. And then think of what they could LEGALLY do to you. If the thought of them being in power still terrifies you then they in all likelihood have too much power. I am reminded of a lecture/speech given by C.S Lewis on the concept of Christian marriage. While the specifics on what a Christian marriage ought to look like are unimportant to our discussion, what he argued that the Christians should do in regards to the State are important. He argued that far from enshrining the ideals of Christian marriage (besides no spousal abuse, etc…) into law, we should leave a Christian marriage to Christians. Because, as he states, the vast majority will never get behind the tenets of this type of marriage, so we should leave it up to the individual to decide.

Today the threat in the West comes from two directions. Both with authoritarian tendencies. On the left is the threat of the Progressives, who are all too happy to throw out individual rights to enshrine their values. And from the “right” in the re-enshrinement of traditional values at the behest of an authoritarian state. Just because liberalism does not give you all you desire out of hand does not mean the system ought to be rejected.


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