Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Trajectory of Left-Liberalism

Speaking of Deneen (below), he essays on something that G K Chesterton encapsulated with his quip that "When you break the big laws, you do not get liberty; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws."

Deneen's version is longer.

...Longstanding local rules and cultures that governed behavior through education and cultivation of certain kinds of norms, manners, and morals, came to be regarded as an oppressive limitation upon the liberty of individuals. Those forms of control were lifted in the name of liberation, leading to regularized abuse of those liberties. In the name of redressing the injustices of those abuses, the federal government was seen as the only legitimate authority for redress and thereby exercised powers (ones that often require creative interpretations of federal law to reach down into private institutions) to re-regulate the liberated behaviors. However, now there is no longer a set of “norms” that seek to cultivate forms of self-rule, since this would constitute an unjust limitation of our freedom. Now there can only be punitive threats that occur after the fact. One cannot seek to limit the exercise of freedom before the fact (presumably by using at one’s disposal education in character and virtue); one can only punish after the fact when one body has harmed another body.

In effect, this immorality tale is Hobbes in microcosm: first tradition and culture must be eliminated as arbitrary and unjust (“natural man”). Then, we see that absent such norms, anarchy is the result (“the state of nature”). Finding such anarchy unbearable, we turn to a central sovereign as our sole protector, that “Mortall God” who will protect us from ourselves (“the social contract”). We have been liberated from all custom and tradition, all authority that sought to educate by habit and within the context of ongoing communities, and replaced it with a distant authority that punishes us when we abuse our freedoms. And, now lacking any informal and local forms of authority, it’s virtually assured that those abuses will regularly occur, and that the role of the State in ever more minute personal affairs will increase (“Prerogative”).

In place of the parent we now have a distant power which, perhaps like a parent, seeks to punish us when we act against decency and civilization. But, unlike a parent, it does not educate or seek to cultivate its wards into self-governing adults. It infantalizes us by saying that we don’t have to grow up—just don’t get caught.

Yes, well, we were just talking about "virtue," ain'a?

1 comment:

Saint Revolution said...


Premised upon massive legal overreach and completely flawed legal interpretation, as well as Stasi-illegal thug enforcement, there is no doubt left the totalitarianistic tyranny of the last two criminal executive offices and administrations and the criminal NSA is completely illegal and DOES exist:

United States Of Secrets

Top Secret America

The post-Nixonian Bush/Obama NSA is completely illegal and out of control.

What is utterly fascinating is the apathetic indifferent complete lack of outrage, or even response, by The People.

We truly are in a post-constitutionalistic tyrannical police state.

This is your life and your country, People.

What're ya gonna do?