Friday, 10 February 2017

Liberalism - So Good It's Bad

I've been asked why I've been so critical of modern liberalism in recent posts since, my questioner said, it seems to be the most reasonable political approach to the human condition, treating everybody with equal fairness to the good of all. But that's the point really. It may seem to be the fairest and most reasonable system - but only if you are denying the reality and purpose of God and the rather essential matter of what a human being actually is. So in a sense it is almost worse than a patently unfair and unreasonable system which everyone knows is unfair and unreasonable.

Liberalism might seem the best approach to the rational mind but then you have to assume that the rational mind knows best which is actually quite irrational. Why should it? Since it cannot explain itself, and any attempts it makes which have no reference to something higher than itself are clearly inadequate, it cannot be taken seriously as a final arbiter of the human state and condition. Liberalism may be the best current philosophical position of atheistic materialism based on reason but atheistic materialism is a system only kept in place by ignorance on the one hand and wishful thinking on the other. I submit that honest analysis, never mind intuition, religious teaching or revelation, shows it to be empty of any real substance. It only continues to hold sway in people's minds because it is not subjected to hard thinking. That may sound surprising but I believe it's true since free objective thinking is prevented by profound prejudice. Materialism is accepted by most people nowadays because science seems to confirm it but it does so because of the preconceived ideas of scientists themselves who transgress their limits when they seek to explain spirit in terms of matter or life in terms of the forms it takes. There is also the problem of the decline of religion due in part to its own shortcomings and in part to weak leadership. The fact we live in a more or less completely artificial environment also has a lot to do with our lack of awareness of spiritual reality. If we were more in touch with the natural world we would find it harder to think there was nothing behind it.

I condemn liberalism because it is the system under which we live today whether ostensibly left or right, for the secular right is liberal now in most social and cultural matters. If we lived under the Nazi yoke a dose of liberalism would be a very good thing. If we lived under the tyranny of any dictator then liberal movements would be right and necessary. Similarly if we lived with cruel persecutions of certain minorities. But we just don't nowadays. The pendulum has swung and it's swung too far. Now liberalism is used to deny the spiritual and the fact that there is a God who exists and has a plan for us. It's true that a certain sort of spirituality can be made to conform to liberal ideas but it is a humancentric sort which eventually breaks down because it sees the higher in terms of the lower and reinterprets God in terms of man. It eventually always leads to a dead end where God and truth are no longer present even if some kind of pseudo-spiritual reality might seem to be to the deluded subject.

It is just because liberalism makes large chunks of humanity satisfied with themselves morally and gives them the feeling that they are good people where they are now that it is so dangerous and so useful for leading people into spiritual darkness. Ostensibly to be a liberal is to be a good person and to care about humanity. What could be wrong with that? Everything if the humanity you (theoretically) care about is fallen humanity. God does not love fallen humanity, not as it is. He loves the souls that exist within fallen humanity and it is precisely because he does that he wants to bring them out of their servitude to sin. Liberalism is an excellent means of keeping those souls firmly locked in their sinful state. And that is why I condemn it so. 

There is also the question of whether liberals really do care about humanity or whether they care about thinking of themselves as the sort of person who cares. This is not a cynical comment. It doesn't apply to all liberals by any means but it applies to many. It's a phenomenon that seems to go back at least as far as Rousseau and Marx, both of whom seemed to motivated by an antipathy to God as much as anything else. Even the ordinary liberal who doesn't fall into this category is usually confusing nice with good.

It's long been recognised that liberalism is a kind of suicide cult or death wish from a culture that has lost its vision and any sense of real purpose or mission.
 Liberal ideas are a valuable corrective when an established order based on religion becomes corrupt or decadent but they should not become a replacement for that kind of order as they will inevitably result in the sort of society we have now when the relative takes precedent over the absolute and the immanent over the transcendent, both of which are pushed into the background or ignored altogether.Ideas of equality and freedom are good when there is rank inequality and suppression of individual freedom but they must always be seen in the light of higher truths and the fact that man as he is in terms of this world is not an end in himself. He has a spiritual end in God. 

In conclusion I condemn liberalism because it is a means to separate Man from God.The liberal order is currently trying to reprogramme humanity according to its materialistic/humanistic ideology but you can't go against nature unless it is towards spirit, so this will not end well.


Bruce Charlton said...

Yes indeed, well argued.

I would not put it quite the same way in terms of Liberalism being sometimes a good thing (in the circumstances you suggest) - I would rather put it that all things that are evil overall necessarily contain good (or else they have no traction on Men's motivations).

Thus there is quite a bit which is good in liberalism - for example the emphasis on kindness. There was also quite a bit that was good in National Socialism - in its early years - which attracted people like Henry (Tarka the Otter) Williamson. Or Communism, which attracted someone of the calibre of William Morris.

When a movement is new, it can be hard to discern its true nature. But it is important to see how things unfold and develop - that may be revelatory of the motivations behind it. This is why considering the 'fruits' is so useful (not the only consideration, of course, but valuable).

A few years ago on my blog, I suggested that this was a way that dangerous heresies could be distinguished from new Christian churches that were simply different ways of being a Christian. The first serious Christian schism was the Monophysite controversy which led to the Oriental Orthodox churches (such as the Copts) leaving the main body. The fact taht the Copts so courageously maintained extraordinary devoutness in such adverse situations seems solid evidence that it was not a dangerous heresy - and that the horrible repressions they suffered from the mainstream Orthodox were false as well as wicked.

I would say the same about the Mormons - who were subjected to appalling slanders, repressions (and several attempts at extermination) - the past century of devout and active Christian living (when som many of the mainstream churches have apostatised) has shown that (despite being so very different from the mainstream, in terms of metaphysics and theology) Mormons are real Christians.

Liberalism (or socialism, to give the original and correct name) was embraced by many spiritual and sincerely Christian people of many types in its early decades - but that was not the liberalism we see now, far from it! From the mid 1960s - left wing politics has been increasingly built on lies and suppression and refusal to engage with critique. Inversions of universal standards of morality, beauty and truth are not just tolerated (which is not unusual) but officially encouraged, subsidised and indeed enforced by laws and regulation. Thus, liberalism is condemned by its fruits.

It now survives only because of collossal, relentless propaganda from the mass media and all major social institutions - which is why it is so fear-full and aggressive in defence of its false reality.

IF we see the kind of spiritual revival we both hope for, if - that is - many individual people begin to acknowledge the reality of the spiritual world (esepcially in a context of the central importance of Jesus Christ); then the situation is so brittle that there could potentially be a collapse of decades of Leftism in the space of just a few months - like a line of dominos falling; one fall provoking the next.

Your work has exactly the inspiring quality which is most needed. Of course you can't make people listen or think - but the positive, hope-full-ness of your writing is a far more powerful trigger for wholesome change than any amount of negative critique, or worldly 'reforms'.

William Wildblood said...

Thanks for those very interesting comments, Bruce, which add to my post quite considerably. I feel that liberal ideas had their place at one time as part of a greater God centred whole but for several decades (at least) they have been deformed and perverted with a much greater significance than was originally intended laid on them so that they have now usurped the rightful place of true religion. Of course, we both understand what is behind that.