Why I am not a LiberalNote: I am using 'stereotypical' liberal opinions, which I reflect on here, and I'm well aware that these are by no means the opinions of all people who call themselves liberal. Here is simply a random collection of view points, which I've perceived to be fundamental to and dircetly connected to liberal thinking and which I disagree with from a meta-political and philosophical point of view. This is an absolutely biased analysis from an absolutely biased point of view, reader discretion is advised.
I am not going to go over specific examples or into extensive detail on individual topics such as gender equality, for example. I will apply a much more macro-level - meta-political
- approach to the matter at hand.
One of the biggest bones I've got to pick with the 'liberal world view' is its illusionary detachment from the past, from the accumulated experience pf human existance, a break with humanity itself. I don't know about others, but I definately sense that the feeling or attitude that we've somehow managed to escape the past and that all has changed or is about to change, very soon, is inherent in liberal thinking. That what will follow is a brave, new world. I think this attitude may be derived from a lack of understanding, on an emotional level, of the past. Or perhaps its the otherway around, that this ideological break has lead to the inability to grasp the past of mankind, but I definately think there is a causal connection here. In any case, for these aforementioned changes to occur, for this new age to actually materialize as a heaven on earth, also humanity must change profoundly against its own nature. It seems, that liberals 'have faith' in humanity.
Liberals are more of the atheist inclination and should therefore perceive, that knowledge > faith. May be this faith exists exactly because the liberal finds the past incomprehensible, not in the way that he cannot cognitively understand what has occured, but that he doesn't understand the mankind that brought these events about. I will try to illustrate my point by example: no less than 50 years ago, pretty much everyone in our not-yet-so progressive societies could have been classified as 'racist' by present liberal thought. Now, by racist I don't mean discrimination and violence solely, but rather the prevailing ethnocentrism, the commitment to what liberals like refer to as "social structures", such as ethnicity, race, religious community, and so on. This kind of communal commitment and the set of morals derived from such a commitment are quite foreign to the individualist liberal perspective, and such 'racism' is as utterly foreign to liberal ideology as it is demonized as a concept by it. Now with this example, allow me to continue my argument. How then is the liberal to be able to find himself in the mankind of previous generations and thus link up with the immense, near-infinite human experience? The liberal wishes to see the human experience dismantled, the deconstruction of the human tradition, its removal from the present and future, viewing history as some distant, foreign country.
By making this artificial break with the past, the liberal fools himself into thinking, that he can cheat human nature, indeed escape it, because it represents such a foreign and incomprehensible entity from the view of the 'socially progressive' liberal, it represents something unwanted. A typical example of this attitude is the condemnation of historical events, such as the holocaust, the massacre of the native Americans across the continent, slavery, colonizations, imperialism and so on. While from a moral perspective such events could indeed quite justifiably be condemned, it is the invasion of politics into history, and the moralizing twist this politics gives to history, that makes these condemnations seem more like attempts to find forgiveness and salvation, for humankind. The past is literally condemned in hope that by condemnation ("confession"), a break can be made with the past and a fresh beginning is at hand (the "sins of man" have been forgiven). "We are a different world, a different mankind now" is the statement of this politicized history. Truly, it is the Messianic-historical self-flagellation, often manifested as White Liberal Guilt, that will absolve our sins.
Curiously, although liberals usually see themselves as pragmatic and and their beliefs as justified by science, taking pride in their 'scientific' approach to the world, they choose to ignore the natural laws, laws of human nature
, that apply to us all. It is as if the liberal sees himself above and beyond such primitive restrictions imposed on by biology, evolution, genetics, and such. Homo economicus
, the rational man. When discussing such matters as group identity, gender roles, religion, value systems, and so on, the liberal is quick to point out that these are in fact nothing but social constructs, invisible borders that govern our behaviour. And I'm sure they are right about this. Some go as far as admitting, that such constructs, from the perspective of human cultural evolution, are indeed present through-out the historical human experience, and could be described as being part of 'human nature'. Yet, for some odd reason, the liberal and the new and improved Homo economicus is beyond the reach of these laws of human nature, as if we would have suddenly, thanks to a couple of horrific, 'lesson-teaching' world wars, evolved beyond such primal paradigms.
By tearing down the old manifestations of these human traits, known as social constructs (such as religion, ethnic identity, gender roles, traditional family values, etc), the liberal thinks he is getting rid of the traits themselves! Humans have an inbuilt need to divide people into in-groups and out-groups, us and them to put it bluntly. If we deconstruct the social construct that is "us" (at the moment for example "English", "White", "Western", etc), the liberal reasons, we get rid of that primal expression of human nature. In actual fact the liberal is simply repeating the same human pattern. New manifestations of human nature and collective behaviour, brought on by liberal ideology, will replace the old value systems and other social constructs, but the liberal would pretend (or perhaps genuinly think) that these new manifestations don't exist, that their own value system and ideological divide into us and them isn't simply another cycle, rise and fall, of a certain "human culture", if you will. Because of this false pretense, the new social constructs are deprived of their communal, symbolic, even ritualistic, functions as providers of social cohesion, as the pillars of society. It deprives the culture of a common or communal mental and spiritual existance. The hollowness of such a value system is not something I feel attracted to. I feel that liberalism is fundamentally dishonest and 'denialist'. The liberal might desribe it with the euphemism of "optimism", as he has faith
in human solidarity
, social progess
and a humanity
itself. The Holy Trinity.
This is why I am not a liberal.
Today I went to get the paper. Because its friday, Helsingin Sanomat, Finland's largest daily, comes with its weekly 'tabloid', called Nyt-liite, a journalistic publication concentrating mostly on popular culture. In today's edition, a parliamentary candidate for the Green party, Jukka Relander, in response to Jussi Halla-aho and other critics of multicultural society , said:
"But liberal culture is not a multicultural culture, it is a cultureless culture."
Which it obviously isn't, but its nice to pretend. This sentence illustrates perfectly the schitzophrenia of liberalism.