Writing in the Wall Street Journal opinion pages, Shelby Steele argues that the American left is now consumed by hate because, “lacking worthy menaces to fight, it is driven to find a replacement for racism.” He’s wrong. The truth is that the left, American or otherwise, has always been consumed by hate.
The liberal’s professed faith in reason is little more than a mask for vanity and ego-worship. Without the solid foundation of Truth — without recognition of God, Natural Law, and the objective morality that comes with it — the process of reason becomes a mere exercise in the justification of personal whims, wants, and desires.
My dear friends at Breitbart London seem slightly-bemused by a historian’s description of Napoleon as a modern liberal, proto-EU poster child. A modern liberal, however, is precisely what Napoleon was; initially a supporter of the Jacobins, he was a child of the Enlightenment, an eager partisan of progress and modernity, which is of course precisely why he needed to be stopped.
One look at Napoleon’s record as a civil ruler is enough to make any gentleman of sound political mind and opinion cringe. That accursed Corsican scoundrel instituted numerous liberal reforms, eradicated the last remnants of the feudal system in France, and consolidated and strengthened sate power at the expense of the Catholic Church. Moreover, his conquering armies spread secularisation, liberalisation, and nationalism wherever they went, the consequences of which we are still dealing with today. (more…)
“Conservatism is the negation of ideology: it is a state of mind, a type of character, a way of looking at the civil social order.” – Russell Kirk
Ideologies can best be understood as secular religions. They are born when a person or people rejects God and Natural Law. As history reveals time and again, a people may divest a ruler of power, but they cannot eradicate power itself. Likewise, the history of ideas shows us that while a person or people may reject God and his laws, they cannot remove their instinctive need for religion. Enter ideology.
The religious nature of ideology becomes clear when one examines the modern progressive liberal, for if ideologies are secular religions, surely liberalism is the most successful, aggressive, and dogmatic of them all. Anyone who has tried to have a civilized debate with a liberal knows their zeal for their beliefs is matched only by 17th-century Puritans and medieval Nizari fedayeen. (more…)
Social contract theory is a cornerstone of libertarian or classical liberal thought. In essence, this foundation myth posits that human beings, while in the “state of nature” (a time prior to the existence of any discernible society), first contracted with one another to form a civil society for their mutual survival and protection of their “natural rights” – life, liberty, and property – and then proceeded to agree to create the foundations of the state, a government which was contracted to act as a third party judicator of disputes between members of society, administrator of justice to those found guilty of violating the society’s laws, and protector of society from foreign aggressors; in essence to prevent the violation of individuals’ “natural rights” from threats without and within.
This fantasy tale is certainly more palatable than the completely abstract, modern liberal notion of “human rights”. It reflects the existence of natural law, and is based at least on part on certain actual rights – namely those of the English people (and, arguably, by extension the Anglosphere). This of course is the first fact that belies the abstract notion of contractual government as classical liberals perceive it. All modern ideas surrounding liberty, rights under the law, and representative government are based firmly in the English political experience. (more…)