Liberalism Is Part of the Problem Not The Solution

 

Is Liberalism The Dead Body in the Doorway To A New Future?

When –isms become –ists they are on their way to becoming –wasms

If Liberalism is not quite dead, then it is certainly rapidly heading past its sell by date. In the UK liberal culture has become mainstream. As well as becoming the unquestionable mantra of the BBC, liberalism for many has become a conventional identity – and like nationalism in 1930’s Germany – it increasingly demands conformity and brooks no divergence from its political correctness.

As Rowan Williams has observed  “What we are now refusing to grasp is that “liberalism” in fact undermines democracy, ethics, human respect, social justice, scientific creativity and pretty well everything else.”

When liberals are told that many truly, open-minded people, who are compassionate and passionate pro-Europeans, are afraid to say what they really think in the company of others who also describe themselves as progressives, they are unable to comprehend it and dismiss them as right-wing bigots. In this regard, liberalism has become an egalitarian cult of sameness and even ignorance, unwilling to face the repercussions of its self-referencing entitlement. In this regard, it is not unreasonable to suggest that liberalism as an dentity has become Liberalist and therfore a wasm.

When we consider the phenomena of Brexit and Trump, liberalist culture has surely contributed to its own demise. It has become a dogma that allows no freedom other than its own, which it righteously sees as at a meta-level above all others When Caroline Lucas declared that immigration is not a problem she was dismissing the lived experience of millions of people which fuelled significant reaction.

According to Isaac Asimov, there is a cult of ignorance … a strain of anti-intellectualism that has been a constant thread … through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

Many liberals do not see that this applies as much to them as to right wing pro-Brexiteers. This shadow of green – liberalist blindness is what still prevents so called progressives from creating a political integration that can bring people together and towards the very values that they hold dear. Liberalists effectively abandoned the creative potential in this vacuum to the right wing supporters of Brexit and Trump. Until we all recognize our own righteous prejudices and truly embrace the diversity, value, wisdom and humanity of all, we will remain in this fake fracture between liberal and conservative politics that serves only the already powerful and we will remain unable to create an integrative political gesture beyond separatism.

Whilst the philosophies of liberalism and conservatism have given us many freedoms – both freedom from and freedom to – both are unable to reach up for the third crucial freedom which is needed to protect the first two. This is the gift of self-restraint – or the freedom-not -to. Responsibility must come before rights. And in this regard liberalists are as unwilling as capitalist apologists to let go of their entitlement.

In a secular liberalist frame, the sacred is an unscientific fantasy, nothing has intrinsic significance, so all value comes from exchange, in consequence liberalism offers a perfect context for capitalism in granting entitlement to do whatever serves self-interest rather than taking responsibility for what serves the whole.

An entitlement in which all ego needs, all material needs must satisfied at some level is a culture of extrinsic rather than intrinsic values. It is the perfect partner for capitalism that depends upon consumerism so that everything has its price in the exchange. Liberalist culture feeds a secular god that colonizes our souls. It demands human rights without any interest in knowing what it means to be human. It has romanticized youth and banished the sacred, raising itself up as a false idol, with no understanding or interest in why everywhere in nature are found processes of maturity that are both generative and self-limiting. In the context of traditional faith these values that were observed over millennia in nature by our ancestors are contained in the gesture of love- that Rudolf Steiner suggests is the esoteric core of Christianity. Long Live Post-Liberalism


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