Our opinions and advice to the world. Updated whenever we get around to it.

The Death Of Liberalism

Martin Peretz tells us that liberalism is nearing its end:
Peter Beinart has argued, also in these pages ("A Fighting Faith," December 13, 2004), the case for a vast national and international mobilization against Islamic fanaticism and Arab terrorism. It is typologically the same people who wanted the United States to let communism triumph--in postwar Italy and Greece, in mid-cold war France and late-cold war Portugal--who object to U.S. efforts right now in the Middle East. You hear the schadenfreude in their voices--you read it in their words--at our troubles in Iraq. For months, liberals have been peddling one disaster scenario after another, one contradictory fact somehow reinforcing another, hoping now against hope that their gloomy visions will come true.

I happen to believe that they won't. This will not curb the liberal complaint. That complaint is not a matter of circumstance. It is a permanent affliction of the liberal mind. It is not a symptom; it is a condition. And it is a condition related to the desperate hopes liberals have vested in the United Nations. That is their lodestone. But the lodestone does not perform. It is not a magnet for the good. It performs the magic of the wicked. It is corrupt, it is pompous, it is shackled to tyrants and cynics. It does not recognize a genocide when the genocide is seen and understood by all. Liberalism now needs to be liberated from many of its own illusions and delusions. Let's hope we still have the strength.
The New Republic is in my opinion one of the last bastions of traditional liberal thought. Sure their content drifts around a bit but for the most part their opinions are well thought out and logical.

Between Peretz and Beinart it seems that even liberals are starting to see that their philosophy has run its course. A philosophy doesn't lose it's relevance overnight. It takes years for a way of thinking to wear itself out. One could also claim that the original liberal objectives have for the most part been accomplished and that liberalism has gradually lost its relevance.

Regardless, the demise of liberalism has coinsided with the presidency of G.W. Bush which in many ways explains the appearance of a sudden liberal collapse. The acceptance of conservative positions, at least in the United States, in many ways follows Arthur Scholpenhauer's 'three phases of the truth'.

Before September 11, liberals ridiculed G.W. Bush (and by association his policies), implying that he was inept and dim-witted (the ridicule stage). After September 11, the extreme liberal left in the United States became unhinged in its condemnation of American actions and motives (violent opposition stage). And finally, we have Peretz and Beinart accepting the fact that conservatism is the accepted truth in American politics (self-evident stage).

So what does this mean for Canadian politics? Personally I have no idea. I do believe that liberal thought in Canada is just as hollow and empty as in the United States, but I'm not sure if that will lead to conservative positions being dominant here. The first reason I have my doubts is that many Canadians have an instinctive reflex to position themselves against American opinion. The second reason is that perhaps Canada has gone too far down the path to socialism. Canada might simply have too many people whose livelihoods depend on the good graces of government.

If only I had a crystal ball...

crossposted to The Shotgun


Anonymous said...

Dana as you’ve said before , socialism feeds on the paranoia of it’s citizens who fear their programs will be taken away if Conservatives get in. That’s why Liberals want to add more programs like daycare to increase the paranoia.

Natan Sharansky , the former Soviet dissident, recently spoke at Harvard where he explained that there are three types of citizens in a “Fear Society.” On one side there are the True Believers, and on the other are the Dissidents - people who speak out and decide to be free regardless of the consequences. The vast majority, however, are the Double Thinkers - the people who may think something privately, but do not allow themselves to express those views openly. Sometimes even they themselves are not aware of their Double-Thinking and the enormous cognitive dissonance this builds up inside. He explained that the day one becomes truly free is the day a weight, an enormous burden, is literally lifted off one’s shoulders.

Blogs will help circumvent the left wing MSM which has been allowed to Orwellian-brainwash the voters. But blogs can change all that.
Dana I don’t want to put too much pressure on you, but Churchill would say it’s “your destiny” to convert these Double Thinkers with your Blog … ;>)
It’s OK Dana, we’ll have some fun and the number of us commentators will grow and cheer you on. Besides now that we don’t have hockey, we’ve got to cheer for something and it may as well be - "the end of socialism or we’ll get the puck outa here".


Chris Cummins said...

Having read your blog on the Death of Liberalism and the comment received, I can add that the situation here in the UK concerning New Labour is very similar to that in Canada. Blair may be standing shoulder to shoulder with Bush over Iraq, but in all other respects he is the UK version of Paul Martin.

The intellectual basis of Liberalism is dead. The problem is how to deal with the institutionalized left that effectively controls both countries through the media, civil service, education, but most of all through use of language.

In the long term all this is based on falsehood. Liberalism will coillapse, the institutionalized left will be overcome and truth will prevail, but it will be messy
along the way.

The comment of Natan Sharansky is very true. Witness Europe during the war. It wasn't so much the
enthusiastic collaborators that were the problem. More those who for a quiet life went along with things and allowed evil to flourish. However I do accept that it is easy to express such an opinion on a "warm hearth". It is
very different if one is living in fear of the SS knocking at the door.

Unfortunately, so long as people's affluence is not disturbed, it seems they will go along with anything.

Anonymous said...


“but most of all through use of language.”

An excellent point. I find that many of my conservative business buddies have great instincts on what has to be
done but we get awed by the left when it comes to trying to articulate their/my instincts. Blogs like this will help us.

“However I do accept that it is easy to express such an opinion on a "warm hearth". It is
very different if one is living in fear of the SS knocking at the door.”

It’s not the SS here , but it is a heavy duty patronage country, as you say , don’t disturb the affluence.
Plus this comment is ringing in my ears ..
Adscam whistleblower said …
"At the same time, I have no desire to become silt in the St. Lawrence, either. I have some real fears for my safety."
Presumably this Adscam guy is referring to the Libaranos as Sopranos

Finally I’m please you seem to be cautiously optimistic. So am I …

cheers … nomdenet

Dana said...

I think our optimism is well placed. In time, all falsehoods become obvious. And even though the liberal left has control over so many means of communication and information, new technologies are transforming the political landscape.

At the end of the day liberalism now has a negative outlook on nearly all aspects of our lives here on earth. We are all racist.The earth is dying. Our lives are hollow and materialistic. As history has proven, those with a positive view of the future will always win out over their political opponents.