Summary About Liberalism

Those of you who have read my first blog posts have noticed the drastic change of opinion through the last couple of years. I hope this post clarifies at least some of the abstruseness. Attending to the suggestion of a good friend and for the benefit of my readers, this is a summary of the following posts. It would perhaps be convenient for readers unfamiliar with the blog to read them first:

https://dorta.com/2016/10/04/the-end-of-our-civilization/

https://dorta.com/2017/02/23/understanding-the-modern-world/

https://dorta.com/2018/10/11/understanding-the-modern-world-ii/

I got where I am in political philosophy mainly by interpreting the writings of Leo Strauss on the Enlightenment and on liberalism, by comparing my interpretation to the very different orthodox version of the West Coast Straussians and of conservatives in general, with some help from reading the writings of radical Catholics such as Patrick J. Deneen and Adrian Vermeule. A definitive factor in the change was the revolution in politics brought about by Donald Trump, especially his ability to unmask his opponents, which allowed me to compare the actions and contradictions of the Republican Party USA to those of conservative parties in Western Europe, and to understand the reaction to liberalism currently occurring in Eastern and Southern Europe.

Liberalism has changed with time. This appears rock solid to me although to conservatives it is a preposterous assertion because, I think, they have to hold on to something while lying to themselves and to their constituents. But this is no longer possible after Trump. As it has evolved, liberalism pushes relentlessly forward, and for the first time in modern history its victims see clearly its deadly effects. Again thanks to the Trump revolution. The fight is still a rearguard action, a defensive battle that started from necessity, a battle for survival imposed on the victims. The fight is nevertheless cosmic and pregnant with consequences for the future of the United States of America and the developed world, one more complex than the traditional and simple one of “left vs right.”

“Left vs right” can’t explain why most Republicans and conservatives are globalists. In the USA both wings of liberalism, Democrats and Republicans, are united against Trump, against nationalism and for globalism. They all accept postmodern imposition of “rights” of all kinds with little or no debate or opposition. To push aside the annoying contradictions and to offer a kind of explanation, we had to invent unconvincing theories like “the stupid party” or “Republicans In Name Only,” or “because the left owns the culture,” or that globalism is a wicked secret plan directed by George Soros.

Angelo M. Codevilla is right when he says that we have a ruling class. Pure democracy doesn’t exist outside of Enlightenment propaganda, or outside of our founding myth. All regimes are a variable mix of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy. Aristocracy is needed either to rule the masses or to control the monarch, or both, and democracy is mostly passive acceptance of either or both of the other two, plus the chance to change the rulers by elections. The ruling class of the USA is the “UniParty,” a similar-thinking liberal elite with token differences which are mainly about the acceleration or rate of change in liberalism’s forward movement. Republicans aren’t stupid, traitors, or cowards. The real reason is that it is much more difficult for them to appear to support nationalist, pro-American policies while hiding their globalist intentions, a problem the Democrats don’t have. The elites aren’t “out of touch” either. The ones really out of touch are the analysts who can’t see the changes, who see liberalism as frozen in time since 1800.

As Ryszard Legutko writes, late liberalism has striking similarities to socialist and corporatist regimes, that’s why the most modern and liberal companies, high-tech, seem to be socialist, a mirage that reinforces the traditional idea of the fight being “left vs right.”

Most of the real oppositions can be explained by Tocqueville’s and Strauss’ remains-of-previous-eras theories and the classes that embody them nowadays, the middle class and the working class. In reality, the “left vs right” mantra hides most of the things that are really important. The Trump movement can’t be called right-wing in any way, except lazy ideological expediency. On the opposite side, saying that some group or vision is “neo-Marxist” is the traditional form of analysis; it could be so, but only because neo-Marxism is part of the complex and contradictory mixture that is late liberalism.

This can be clearly seen in Europe where all groups and parties, from greens to conservatives, are liberal, and where all of them close ranks against any groups, individuals and parties that dare to defend traditions, nationalism, religion, natural law, virtue ethics, or even human nature. One clarifying fact in Europe is that the center of the opposition to liberalism is set in Eastern and Southern Europe (less advanced regions = less liberal). Another example is Spain, where all parties are liberal and have concocted, without any debate or opposition, literal translations of hate crimes (delitos de odio), gender (género), LGBTQ (LGBTI), diversity (diversidad), etc., which are imposed on the population. In Spain too we find the same explanations about the Spanish right’s actions: they are “traitors,” “collaborators,” in “moral decay” or who “have forgotten.” This seems naïve, almost childish, but it’s true.

Finally, the left is not the cause of the problems of late liberalism. Just the opposite, late liberalism has made the left important beyond their real numbers because liberalism keeps individuals atomized in extremis, thus at the mercy of government, and because liberalism points to an utopian, collectivist global government. Both are raisons d’être of the world left.

Vladimir Dorta, 11/05/2018