We could use a catechism of liberalism and conservatism (i.e., anti-liberalism.) Young people won’t know about reality unless someone teaches them. They may sense it, but they won’t know it unless someone teaches them.
Update 12/13/16: In response to useful criticism, I have added text to clarify my position. For the time being, additions are highlighted in bold.
Part I: Introduction
Liberalism begins with the deliberate violation of the laws of God, the laws of nature, and human tradition. If this blasphemy excites you, you’re prone to become a liberal. If you’re a normal person, it disgusts you, and you will not become a liberal unless it disguises itself as something good.
Everybody knows something’s wrong with the world. This series is written from the standpoint of traditional Christianity, and as Christians, we know that the ultimate malady is sin. But sin manifests itself in countless ways. We need a more tangible and organized explanation.
A big part of the current problem is liberalism. It’s everywhere, it’s dominant, and it’s perverted. So we all need to defend ourselves against it.
That word “liberalism” is the usual name for the way of thinking that now rules Western civilization, America included. It’s more than just fashionable opinion; liberalism is an organized system. Its ideas are mostly consistent with one another, so they work together like a well-trained sports team. And there are countless organizations which teach liberalism and enforce its morality. Liberalism rules the West, so the people mostly believe it. And even if they don’t believe it, they usually go along with it.
Some intellectuals want another name for what I’ve called liberalism. Or they say that it’s really many separate movements which should not be grouped together under one name. There is some truth to that. But there is one well-defined system of thought that now rules America. And its most common name is “liberalism.”
There is no need here to give a precise definition of liberalism. Like the famous quip about pornography, we know it when we see it. In a sense, everyone knows what it is. Liberalism is legitimizing deviant sex. It’s confiscating guns. It’s exalting nonwhites over whites. It’s rebelling against authority. It’s denying traditional religion. And so on. Everyone (in the Western world, at any rate) has an intuitive sense of the phenomena generally labelled “liberalism.” We also know liberalism because its message is everywhere. Liberalism is what our most honored authorities say you’re supposed to believe. And there is no agreement about the exact definition or essence of liberalism. It’s far easier to prove the falsity of specific liberal beliefs than to identify its essence and then debunk that essence.
A precise definition is also not necessary because this is just Part I. We will have more to say about the essence of liberalism later.
Understand also that liberalism is a collection of doctrines, but liberals are people who affirm these doctrines for the most part. Every liberal has some non-liberal beliefs, so we cannot understand liberalism by looking only at liberals: they, like all mankind, hold contradictory beliefs. Christian beliefs, for example, can coexist in the same person with liberal beliefs, beliefs that are ultimately based on the rejection of the God of the Bible. This does not mean that the acceptance or rejection of Christianity is irrelevant to liberalism, only that people are inconsistent.
Liberalism is the official message of the current age. Therefore you might think it’s is true. Not necessarily. When the Communists ruled Russia the Russians heard the Communist message everywhere. But it wasn’t true. When the Nazis ruled Germany the Germans heard the Nazi message everywhere. But it wasn’t true. Sometimes leaders don’t tell the truth.
Liberalism leads to conservatism, the political meaning of which is: any opposition to liberalism. Since it’s defined by what it isn’t, conservatism is much less unified than liberalism. Libertarians, Bible-believing Christians, Nazis, monarchists, and the atheistic followers of Ayn Rand, among others, are all likely to be called “conservatives.”
Notice that not all conservatism (anti-liberalism) is good. We must become the right kind of conservatives.
The word “conservative” was applied because the first conservatives wanted to conserve. They noticed that the traditional way of life of their people was under attack by liberals and their natural—and honorable—response was to defend what was under attack. They wanted to conserve what was good in the traditions of their people.
But that was the past. Liberalism is now victorious. According to our leaders, we’re all supposed to be liberals. Opposition to liberalism still exists but it has unofficial status. Officially we’re all supposed to celebrate diversity, tolerance, compassion, multiculturalism, and so on. Not only that, but these are taken to be the fundamental social goods, before which all other social goods must give way. Thus we are to honor sexual perversion, give away our places to nonwhites, welcome all the Moslems who want to immigrate, and so on.
No doubt diversity, tolerance, compassion and multiculturalism can all be goods in some circumstances, and if they are understood rightly. But the liberal makes the liberal versions of them absolute, and therefore the liberal imperative to honor them becomes a form of tyranny.
The conservatives have failed to conserve the good. Therefore many honorable anti-liberals have contempt for conservatism.
But despite this undeniable fact, “conservatism” is still the generally-accepted word for anti-liberalism. And since anti-liberalism is good, we stick to the traditional terminology. We speak of liberalism versus conservatism.
There’s a lot of finger-pointing on the Right. Some conservatives accuse some supposedly-conservative groups of actually supporting liberalism. Yes, we’re all tainted with liberalism to a certain extent, and guarding against it is an important and never-ending activity. But this author holds that anyone who has awakened to the menace of liberalism is at least a minimal ally. Conservatives should be encouraged to continue to repent more than they should be scolded for their remaining sins.
What’s wrong with liberalism?
It promises good things but it mostly delivers bad things. And the good it delivers is mostly pleasant distractions that occur before the evil that is liberalism’s real consequence develops fully.
For example, the diversity that liberals love results in, among other things, mass immigration by non-white peoples whose ways of life are radically incompatible with our traditional American way of life. The immediate results include lots of ethnic food and music, which are pleasant diversions for many people. But the long-term result is hostility and conflict, as incompatible people fight over resources and how society should be organized and governed.
Liberals imagine a beautiful future when war, poverty, racism and similar evils have been abolished. But to abolish these evils they try to remake mankind, at gunpoint if necessary. The ideal world they imagine never occurs, so liberals must continue to persecute people in a futile attempt to make the human race behave as liberalism says it should.
For example, liberalism says that nobody should be a racist. Racists are to be harassed out of existence, for then mankind will finally be happy. But the harassment of racists is only carried out against white racists. Nonwhite racists are excused because (so they say) they are only responding to centuries of oppression by white people and therefore it’s not really their fault. And whites are punished not just when they’re mean to nonwhite people, but even when they just act like normal people everywhere have always behaved until approximately the middle of the Twentieth Century: Preferring to associate mostly with their own kind and wishing that their nation would not be transformed into a radically multicultural pseudo-empire.
Since it’s poisonous and false, liberalism must be supported by endless propaganda. Therefore the man in the street generally goes along with liberalism. He doesn’t imagine that there could be another way and, like most people in the West, the average American is materially well-off. So why would he want to rock the boat? Our leaders must know what they’re doing, right?
Not necessarily. Under a democratic system our leaders must be popular even if it means maintaining popular lies. If there were something fundamentally wrong with the system of thought that rules our nation, democracy would be unable to correct the problem. Politicians who rely on the votes of the people to stay in power cannot afford to deliver that sort of bad news.
So why does liberalism fail to deliver the good it promises?
Because liberalism rejects the God of the Bible, a rejection which always leads to a false understanding of how reality operates. Since God is the Supreme Being and the ultimate Author of all that exists, rejecting God causes man fundamentally to misunderstand all of reality.
Although some liberals don’t acknowledge it, liberalism denies the God of the Bible, the traditional God of our people and the one true and living God. Although there is no Bible or Pope of liberalism to make official pronouncements of what is and is not liberal belief, the tenets of contemporary liberalism must deny that God exists as He is described in the Bible, traditionally interpreted. That’s because traditional Christianity denies most of the basic tenets of liberalism. Therefore liberalism must deny God’s existence or His knowability. Or perhaps it must portray God as the Great Liberal in the Sky, weeping over racist police and global warming, and pleading with us to be more tolerant and inclusive. Redefining God can be just as effective as outright denial.
With God denied or demoted, man becomes the de facto Supreme Being. That is, under liberalism in its current form, basic laws of ethics and social order originate from man rather than from a divine source. And the basic laws of nature, including metaphysical laws, must be discovered by man rather than received from God’s Word. Much of nature can be known without explicit reference to God, but the most basic truths, such as that the world has a regular order because it is the product of an orderly divine Mind, become unknowable.
This does not immediately lead to disaster, though. Atheistic man (anyone who sees man as the measure of all things is de facto atheistic) can still be skilled in science and technology. He can still have a basically accurate understanding of the physical world. But without acknowledging God, atheistic man cannot know the true purposes of things, nor can he know their ultimate causes. He cannot know, for example why the human race is divided into man and woman, or the correct way for men and women to relate to one another.
True purposes and ultimate causes cannot be known by scientific investigation because they are non-physical, and science can only study the physical. Under atheism, true purposes and ultimate causes cannot be known because science for the liberal is the only source of certain knowledge. Therefore liberalism regards proper purposes and ultimate causes as opinions rather than facts.
And if they are opinions then they constantly change. That’s why liberals are always fighting to change the way we live: No-fault divorce. Same-sex marriage. Transgender rights. Open borders. Reducing our carbon footprint. What was the right way to do things yesterday is not necessarily the right way today, and who knows what it will be tomorrow?
Under liberalism, there is no such thing as a social order that is relatively stable because the people are in agreement about the basic nature of things. Social orders do change over time, but in the present age the change is speeded up by orders of magnitude. Not just that, but according to liberalism social change becomes one of the basic goods of society. “Change agent” is a liberal title of respect. The natural result is perpetual chaos.
But a human society can only work if the people are in basic agreement about the true purposes and the ultimate causes of things, and about how society ought to be ordered. That way they can trust one another and believe that life makes sense. Stripped of this trust and belief, liberal society eventually and inevitably descends into conflict and chaos. And in contemporary America we have the added pressure of mass immigration which is Balkanizing us into mutually hostile tribes.
Let us therefore oppose liberalism and understand the world as it really is. That is the purpose of this series of posts.
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