Two subject matters I'm engaged in these days are Rome and Liberalism; specifically the degeneration of liberalism. I listen to contemporary political liberalism and I don't recognize it. I don't connect to it. It's a cultish, monstrous, hideous love fest for Leviathan.
John H. Hallowell was a Conservative historian. He wrote Ethics when he was 28. Link to essay at JSTOR below. I selected some quotes (and odd comments) here:
"...Liberalism, as conceived integrally, acknowledged no limitation, upon individual will, except that imposed by conscience."
Good Lord, have times changed. "Conceived integrally" meaning the liberalism founded during the Renaissance (based upon, among other things, ideas from the Christian church. I know. Shock!).
"Of the factors which have contributed most to the decline of liberalism as a dominant ideology (integral): two emerge with particular clarity: the infiltration of positivism into all realms of thought and the gradual disappearance of individual autonomy and initiative in social and economic life. Both have led to the formalization of liberal concepts and of the repudiation in thought and practice of the fundamental postulates in terms of which liberalism was originally conceived."
On the growth of democracy"...the varied rights of man were threatened with submergence in a single right, that of belonging into a popular majority, or more accurately, of being represented by a legislative majority."
"The liberal state (Rechsstaal) is no longer conceived as a state founded upon justice to each but simply as a state that issues its commands in legal form. The individual is no longer declared to be free from all unjust compulsion but simply free from all illegal consumption.
I don't know how anyone can observe what's going on today and not conclude the same.
"Problems that were once individual problems amenable to individual solutions have become social problems requiring social solutions."
As I've argued before, we rely way too much on government for even small problems. We've gone from wanting to care for individuals to essentially enabling them and when we attempt to revisit these programs it is charged those who do so "lack humanity." We've completely weeded out the value of individualism, and Hallowell argues, this must necessitate the fall of liberalism.
ETHICS:The Decline of Liberalism, John H. Hallowell, 1942.
**You will have to register at JSTOR to read part of this essay. I am pleased JSTOR has made available some of their articles to the public.
Lewis Mumford from Faith for Living on "pragmatic liberals."
"Their color-blindness to moral values is key to their political weakness. Hence, they cannot distinguish between barbarism and civilization...Refusing to recognize the crucial problem of evil, the pragmatic liberals are unable to cope with the intentions of evil men. They look in vain for mere intellectual mistake...Evil...has no positive dimensions."
The 20th century history is replere with major liberal miscalculations. From Italy to Nazi Germany, liberals usually picked the wrong side. They couldn't "see" the evil plans of Hitler. They didn't see because the moral compass of the relativist outlook prevented it.
If I understand Lewis, relativism and liberalism merged.
What passes off as "liberal" today is really something else. More along the lines of progressivism or socialism but it's not liberal in its classical sense. Too much faith in the state and too little in the individual. Hence, the reliance on coercion legislated by laws to "control" the aspects of man they can't control. Consent is meaningless to them.
Niemyer: In proportion in social conditions create a type of individual incapable of autonomous and independent decisions, individuals lose the faculty of judging the value of political actions by a yardstick of non-political derivation. Political power, being the instrument of the centralmost coordination of social energies becomes identified with his existence. He ceases to be aware of standpoints from which to measure the value of political facts, other than their political successfulness. All this tends to eliminate the humanistic criterion of value from our system of social standards."
Want to help people? I argue reject modern liberalism which is just a method of enslaving people to the government.
Heck, they're downright hostile to the notion of permitting individuals to solve their own problems. Pick up any liberal website and you don't have to go far to see this. It's no surprise, in reading this, why liberals are incapable of believing - perhaps because of their own cynicism - individuals can solve their own problems or be "trusted" to make "proper"decisions. My liberal friends tell me this all the time; that man can't be trusted ergo better to offshot power to the state than leave it vulnerable to say, corporations. It's a remarkably cynical view if you ask me.
Hallowell wrote this in 1942. The fall has only accelerated since then like a meteor about to crash land on a planet.