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The Postmodern 'Liberal'

December 24, 2020

The liberals of today aren’t liberal at all. For one thing, the classic liberal – pre-1960s, that is – believes in the free market of ideas. He believes, as with competing products, in letting the consumer choose which idea “wins,” if any. Every idea is given rational consideration, a chance to be heard.

The classic liberal doesn’t allow his decisions to be driven by emotion. He knows that when emotions are controlled, everyone, including himself, benefits. (By the way, to control one’s emotions is not to repress them by any means, but rather to give them expression only in ways that are loving of one’s neighbor.)

The classic liberal believes that everyone should enjoy the equal right to attempt, struggle, fail, and succeed. No one’s right to participate fully in the life of the culture should be unnecessarily restricted, and when restrictions are necessary (on antisocial behavior), they are applied equally and according to rule of law. Nor should anyone be given a hand up by the government because government “assistance” ensures inequality. And by the way, when government steps aside in the field of social services, charity flourishes.

In my neighborhood, on the front lawns of a number of homes, signs have sprouted announcing that “Hate Has No Home Here,” printed in eight languages, usually alongside signs proclaiming support for a certain presidential candidate. The reek of moral superiority is palpable. I do not qualify for one of said signs because I harbor an equally palpable distaste for the reek of moral superiority. The individuals in question believe themselves to be a cut above in the morals department. They aren’t, of course. They hate people like me. I’m a classic liberal. The difference in our hate is that I hate their attitude; they hate me. I would attempt to persuade them to a more liberal point of view; they would celebrate any attempt to silence mine.

How in the world has their totalitarianism come to be called “liberalism” anyway? The answer is simple. In a free market of ideas, their ideas would be relegated to the bottom shelf. They compensate by changing the meaning of words, making appeals to emotion, and shouting down ideas that don’t conform to their narrow worldview. In this way, what is tyrannical becomes “liberal,” and what is genuinely liberal is fascist, racist, sexist, misogynist, and so on.
And suddenly, one is no longer deserving of being heard. You’re a pariah, holding back the species’ glorious evolutionary march toward a pseudo-utopian nightmare.

In the early years of the third millennium, paradox rules.

Copyright 2020, John K. Rosemond

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