Category: Philip Ahlrich

The Liberal Problem in America


Donald Trump brought the void to the entire liberal establishment. He brought it emptiness and confusion and, more importantly, he brought it fear of the American people. The liberal sun is setting in the West, and all that remains for its worshippers is an unbearable sorrow for the power they have lost, of bewilderment and anger, a sense of the lengthening shadows of their irrelevance, and a gathering realization that, from having dwelt within the deep corruption of the Obama administration, they have nothing to offer the people but their old socialist handbooks, their consuming hatred for the new president, and a roiling temper of revenge.

The liberal mind is a dark place — an irrational, predatory, enslaving, and uncivilizing influence. It has become its own refuge, its own closed system of thought and behavior, its own electric carnival of delusions. It can switch reality on and off with the swipe of a finger. It can turn wishful clay on a magic potter’s wheel until it has made new creeds out of its own lies and new religions out of government. Its proselytes have placed their left hands upon Marx and sworn an oath of fealty to a pernicious ideology of power. Not only have its priests and ministers raised society above the individual in their egalitarian rituals, but they have also elevated the state above society. They eulogize “diversity” and “inclusion” in their propaganda, but when the diverse and the included have entered the great House of Liberal Thought, the wide doors close behind them, and they are not permitted to leave.

In Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi classic, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the remnants of humanity that have not emigrated off-world live in cities perpetually darkened by the clouds and radioactive dust of a post-Terminal War. The people dwell in communities that are neither society nor civilization. With most forms of life made extinct by war, they have created animal and human counterfeits to merge with the remaining culture as a necessary means of survival. No one knows with certainty if anything is real, and no one cares to ask. Better to live with viable simulacra and mood-altering machines than to acknowledge the truth of what intelligence gone wrong had made of the world. Reality is only a suggestion — and even the androids think they are human.

The liberal establishment is too much like this closed, unavailing, dysfunctional state following the Trump apocalypse. Liberals have fallen into a slough of nihilism, for a high tide of common sense has poured over their little castles made of sand; and now they must survive on the products of weak imagination and alternative certainties, on implanted memories of things that never were and on the futility of things that cannot be. Their unreality, however, is a dynamic medium, changeable with art and perfectible with language. To speak this language is to speak a terrible ignorance that misinforms with purpose, an ignorance that does not tolerate correction — a language that makes hatred possible. And if they can survive on the authorship of their own fictional reality, one can only wonder at their infinite capacity for self-delusion. To lie and believe the lie is to forswear one’s humanity; and one might therefore ask of liberals if they too think they are human.

It is a universal irony that the study of democratic societies should often prove a history of free peoples searching for tyrants to enslave them. One has only to examine the bloody record of democratic origins and endings to understand the multifold opportunities available to radical interests for exploitation and overthrow. Although America’s republican form of government provides the greatest resistance to despotic methods, it cannot entirely escape the vulnerabilities inherent to the democratic process itself. We now find our nation disturbed by the cultish and non-moral spirit of intellectual dishonesty, error and arrogance that defines the liberal problem in America, for although liberal activists have proven the perfect stewards of the nation’s political and cultural decline, yet they scorn the world that offers no thanks for their instruction.

It is the definitive modern liberal conceit: that the world waits upon instruction. There are legitimate spaces in our literature for fantasy and imagination, but handbooks on racial politics and social justice are not among them. Liberalism is a mythos of political narratives in which the settled laws of human nature do not apply, thus allowing for an infinite range of social theories to flourish and multiply unconnected to reality. Its poets do not answer to reason; rather, they are hard-wired to the sentiments that direct reason towards misshapen ends. The ability to persuade oneself with one’s own lies, to willingly forfeit one’s conscience to the tribe, and to justify one’s own corruption by teaching it to others is a genius discovered only in a truly liberal intelligence. The modern cult of liberalism thus affords some gratification to the uncounted numbers of unfinished minds desperately looking for a great lie to believe in — for the lie shall set them free of conscience, personal responsibility and the burden of defending freedom itself.

History is the axis of every passing moment. We participate in the constant turning of that necessary human study and its promise of greater understanding. A long familiarity with the ungovernable forces of human nature must precede all political reflections. Only through that gate are we allowed to proceed along a determined course of right action. The study of history informs us, however, that we are now caught in the march of folly — bitter, repetitive clashes of misguided ideology and founding principles — in which each succeeding administration of our government, in order to accomplish its ends, must first destroy the works of its predecessor. If this is not folly, then the word has no meaning. Folly is a universal solvent — a progressive agent of change. In its triumph, it has reduced many forms of government to an elemental sludge; and its influence is certain to continue through American politics, as the authors of liberal doctrine have promised a Stalinist annihilation of history itself.

History is abandoned when social theorists believe they know all the answers. According to the leftist handbooks, democracies are little more than precursor states with limited life spans, necessary procedural stages for a new authoritarian world order ultimately without political parties, without choice, without freedom, but with an absolute promise of social equality — reminiscent of the old Soviet bloc system. The prospect of eventual one-party rule is the reason why leftists regard democracy so highly; and that length of darkness is the path that liberal instruction is now taking the Democratic Party.

Every presidential election, from this moment onward, will represent a hinged point in the trajectory of historical freedom — an unequivocal turning towards or turning from the founding principles of our nation. The world anticipates 2021, the year in which Philip Dick set his post-apocalyptic tale. We should know by that time if progressive interests have recovered the political powers commensurate with their contempt for the American people, the great majority of whom, the left believe, are governable only by force. That reliable plantations have already been established by the left gives credence to their despotic sentiment, outlining the prototype and purpose of a new dystopian form of liberalism for the 21st Century.

Philip Ahlrich can be reached for comment at phahl@icloud.com.

Donald Trump brought the void to the entire liberal establishment. He brought it emptiness and confusion and, more importantly, he brought it fear of the American people. The liberal sun is setting in the West, and all that remains for its worshippers is an unbearable sorrow for the power they have lost, of bewilderment and anger, a sense of the lengthening shadows of their irrelevance, and a gathering realization that, from having dwelt within the deep corruption of the Obama administration, they have nothing to offer the people but their old socialist handbooks, their consuming hatred for the new president, and a roiling temper of revenge.

The liberal mind is a dark place — an irrational, predatory, enslaving, and uncivilizing influence. It has become its own refuge, its own closed system of thought and behavior, its own electric carnival of delusions. It can switch reality on and off with the swipe of a finger. It can turn wishful clay on a magic potter’s wheel until it has made new creeds out of its own lies and new religions out of government. Its proselytes have placed their left hands upon Marx and sworn an oath of fealty to a pernicious ideology of power. Not only have its priests and ministers raised society above the individual in their egalitarian rituals, but they have also elevated the state above society. They eulogize “diversity” and “inclusion” in their propaganda, but when the diverse and the included have entered the great House of Liberal Thought, the wide doors close behind them, and they are not permitted to leave.

In Philip K. Dick’s sci-fi classic, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the remnants of humanity that have not emigrated off-world live in cities perpetually darkened by the clouds and radioactive dust of a post-Terminal War. The people dwell in communities that are neither society nor civilization. With most forms of life made extinct by war, they have created animal and human counterfeits to merge with the remaining culture as a necessary means of survival. No one knows with certainty if anything is real, and no one cares to ask. Better to live with viable simulacra and mood-altering machines than to acknowledge the truth of what intelligence gone wrong had made of the world. Reality is only a suggestion — and even the androids think they are human.

The liberal establishment is too much like this closed, unavailing, dysfunctional state following the Trump apocalypse. Liberals have fallen into a slough of nihilism, for a high tide of common sense has poured over their little castles made of sand; and now they must survive on the products of weak imagination and alternative certainties, on implanted memories of things that never were and on the futility of things that cannot be. Their unreality, however, is a dynamic medium, changeable with art and perfectible with language. To speak this language is to speak a terrible ignorance that misinforms with purpose, an ignorance that does not tolerate correction — a language that makes hatred possible. And if they can survive on the authorship of their own fictional reality, one can only wonder at their infinite capacity for self-delusion. To lie and believe the lie is to forswear one’s humanity; and one might therefore ask of liberals if they too think they are human.

It is a universal irony that the study of democratic societies should often prove a history of free peoples searching for tyrants to enslave them. One has only to examine the bloody record of democratic origins and endings to understand the multifold opportunities available to radical interests for exploitation and overthrow. Although America’s republican form of government provides the greatest resistance to despotic methods, it cannot entirely escape the vulnerabilities inherent to the democratic process itself. We now find our nation disturbed by the cultish and non-moral spirit of intellectual dishonesty, error and arrogance that defines the liberal problem in America, for although liberal activists have proven the perfect stewards of the nation’s political and cultural decline, yet they scorn the world that offers no thanks for their instruction.

It is the definitive modern liberal conceit: that the world waits upon instruction. There are legitimate spaces in our literature for fantasy and imagination, but handbooks on racial politics and social justice are not among them. Liberalism is a mythos of political narratives in which the settled laws of human nature do not apply, thus allowing for an infinite range of social theories to flourish and multiply unconnected to reality. Its poets do not answer to reason; rather, they are hard-wired to the sentiments that direct reason towards misshapen ends. The ability to persuade oneself with one’s own lies, to willingly forfeit one’s conscience to the tribe, and to justify one’s own corruption by teaching it to others is a genius discovered only in a truly liberal intelligence. The modern cult of liberalism thus affords some gratification to the uncounted numbers of unfinished minds desperately looking for a great lie to believe in — for the lie shall set them free of conscience, personal responsibility and the burden of defending freedom itself.

History is the axis of every passing moment. We participate in the constant turning of that necessary human study and its promise of greater understanding. A long familiarity with the ungovernable forces of human nature must precede all political reflections. Only through that gate are we allowed to proceed along a determined course of right action. The study of history informs us, however, that we are now caught in the march of folly — bitter, repetitive clashes of misguided ideology and founding principles — in which each succeeding administration of our government, in order to accomplish its ends, must first destroy the works of its predecessor. If this is not folly, then the word has no meaning. Folly is a universal solvent — a progressive agent of change. In its triumph, it has reduced many forms of government to an elemental sludge; and its influence is certain to continue through American politics, as the authors of liberal doctrine have promised a Stalinist annihilation of history itself.

History is abandoned when social theorists believe they know all the answers. According to the leftist handbooks, democracies are little more than precursor states with limited life spans, necessary procedural stages for a new authoritarian world order ultimately without political parties, without choice, without freedom, but with an absolute promise of social equality — reminiscent of the old Soviet bloc system. The prospect of eventual one-party rule is the reason why leftists regard democracy so highly; and that length of darkness is the path that liberal instruction is now taking the Democratic Party.

Every presidential election, from this moment onward, will represent a hinged point in the trajectory of historical freedom — an unequivocal turning towards or turning from the founding principles of our nation. The world anticipates 2021, the year in which Philip Dick set his post-apocalyptic tale. We should know by that time if progressive interests have recovered the political powers commensurate with their contempt for the American people, the great majority of whom, the left believe, are governable only by force. That reliable plantations have already been established by the left gives credence to their despotic sentiment, outlining the prototype and purpose of a new dystopian form of liberalism for the 21st Century.

Philip Ahlrich can be reached for comment at phahl@icloud.com.



Source link

Slouching Towards Washington


As nature anticipates intelligence, so liberalism anticipates tyranny. We can sense of natural order its necessary evolution in complexity, while of the other, its inevitable decline into corruption. The one gathers wisdom into its folds; the other spends its worth in promises and excuses, social theory and stratagems of power. The one keeps variety in all its forms, encouraging an infinite success; the other lays down its template, bending the world into enormities that fail and fall.

“The best lack all conviction,” wrote W.B. Yeats in his poem “The Second Coming” as he and his generation were disturbed by the threat of socialism in Europe at the end of the First World War, “while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” It is the concern of all enlightened societies when armies of unreason invade and occupy the centers of culture and government. The worst find identity and purpose in a shame culture environment, in tribal myths, in organized lawlessness and shows of violence. In our moment, the best, who believe wholeheartedly in America’s goodness and who recognize in the nation’s founding documents the summit of human intellectual achievement, are distracted by the viciousness of liberal opinion and passion hurled against them. Caught up in the vortex of leftist activism, and unaccustomed to its disgrace and violence, the best are too often weakened in spirit and made fearful of offending the worst.

The worst will level this world with a debased creed of centralized power and the self-righteous arrogance that attends it; and the best must answer in terms the worst will understand. The hour comes round for America, for her citizens, like the children of Old Europe, are now thrown into stasis and soul-annihilating contests of principle and ideology.

Where would progressives be without their consuming, systematized ignorance, their ideological prejudices and hatred? Their poisons inform the uninformed. History is irrelevant; ignorance is necessary, turning the worst elements of human nature into a hideous political strength. Government at all times must act as a stay against human nature. Governments may change, but the purpose of government cannot change. The modern left’s desire for universal participation in their contempt for long-established democratic values and institutions suggests a level of derangement undiscovered in American politics — but there is no level of derangement unacceptable to the left.

We have not yet seen the worst of the worst. We can anticipate the end of democratic institutions should progressives ever acquire the statist powers they have pursued since the Wilson presidency, for the liberal caste, outraged by Trump’s victory, are no longer willing to leave their fate to the electoral whims of the people. Their handbooks tell us that any means of acquiring power is legitimate if it succeeds. Their determined pursuit of power, their need to control the thought and behavior of targeted populations, and their persistent urge to bring harm to those who disagree combine in force as a statement about the terms of social justice they wish to impose upon the American people.

Americans and Europeans are straightforwardly reluctant to accept the dishonesty and the insults of progressive leadership but passive enough to follow its instructions even into the regions of hell. Under the fixed templates of ideological instruction, collapse is the foreseeable product of social justice engineering. The recognition of Sharia and foreign laws by leftist interests, their bureaucratic entrenchment, and their aggressive promotion of uncontrollable immigration from failing states threaten the entire foundation of Western law and culture. Their socialist delusions survive in the expectation of multiculturalism, in the establishment of a new world order of governing elites, in the promise of a massive redistribution of unearned wealth, and in creating difficulties that are insoluble by democratic institutions. All this, so that in the end, the great majority of people, silenced by political correctness and arbitrary liberal authority, and frustrated by their inability to correct them, will learn to tolerate, then to accept, and finally to embrace the depravities which they first so earnestly sought to avoid.

Democratic institutions are inherently conservative, sustained by public trust in their moral legitimacy and distinguished by principles of self-governance. Conservatism is a direct expression of the democratic process. Included in its tenets is a reverence for the equality of all persons under law, for their fundamental rights, and for their freedom from the coercive powers of the state. Liberalism, in its modern interpretation, divides the nation, rending the entire fabric of society, culture, and government, and at every opportunity seeks, for political reasons, to diminish the value of the citizen.

Those among the left who speak so highly of democracy are attracted only to the despotic powers that accrue to the majority. Consider that 51 percent of the vote equals 100 percent of the power in a strictly popular electoral process and you will understand why liberals are attempting, before the 2020 census, to divide the American people into reliable constituencies — organized under the fraud of social justice programming — that would in time establish a permanent majority in government under the “benevolent” control of leftist interests.

But to trust the First Amendment to the benevolence of liberals in government is to trust one’s wealth and property to the discretion of thieves. Leftists value diversity of opinion as long as you agree with them; but those who agree with the left’s distorted ideology render themselves stupid and incoherent in its defense. As a nation, we must respond effectively to those extremists on the left who recruit from populations made ignorant from propaganda, who incite and direct racial enmity for political reasons, who practice intolerance of free speech, and who promote a hostile and retaliatory environment throughout the culture — even at the centers of education.

Knowledge is resistance: to the prejudices of ideology, to the dishonesty of liberal media, to political correctness, and to the despotic will of left-wing activism. We cannot fail to remember that liberalism is a myth, a modern intellectual invention, taking its instruction from social theorists of the 19th and 20th centuries. It owes nothing to the nation’s founding principles of government. Its doctrine is that of a statist command and control system free of constitutional restraints; and its votaries seek to acquire and hold power through propaganda, intimidation, and force, methods typical of a totalitarian structure.

The ignorant are never free. They are the plantation dwellers and slaves of ideology. The propagandists, the demagogues, and the race-baiters are above them — teachers of the ignorant — and they are the masters and whip-holders of the new liberal shame culture. The ignorant will always find someone to tell them what to believe and who to hate, and they will always find tribes and prophets prepared to receive them. Those who have found comfort in the left’s egalitarian dystopia have little appreciation for the quality of rights and freedoms that America guarantees to all persons standing on her soil, and they are quick to shake off the personal responsibilities that freedom requires of them. They have fallen into the trap of political identity that rewards total conformity of thought and behavior while punishing dissent, for they and their masters have tortured the soul of conscience and made of reason a medicine that cannot heal. The willfully ignorant — those who have chosen ignorance — represent the worst of America’s possibilities, for they are victims of a dangerous and misinforming ideology — indoctrinated, radicalized, intolerant of opposition, and full of passionate intensity — slouching towards Washington, like the “rough beast” of Yeats’ terrible vision, to be born.

Philip Ahlrich can be reached for comment at phahl@icloud.com.

As nature anticipates intelligence, so liberalism anticipates tyranny. We can sense of natural order its necessary evolution in complexity, while of the other, its inevitable decline into corruption. The one gathers wisdom into its folds; the other spends its worth in promises and excuses, social theory and stratagems of power. The one keeps variety in all its forms, encouraging an infinite success; the other lays down its template, bending the world into enormities that fail and fall.

“The best lack all conviction,” wrote W.B. Yeats in his poem “The Second Coming” as he and his generation were disturbed by the threat of socialism in Europe at the end of the First World War, “while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” It is the concern of all enlightened societies when armies of unreason invade and occupy the centers of culture and government. The worst find identity and purpose in a shame culture environment, in tribal myths, in organized lawlessness and shows of violence. In our moment, the best, who believe wholeheartedly in America’s goodness and who recognize in the nation’s founding documents the summit of human intellectual achievement, are distracted by the viciousness of liberal opinion and passion hurled against them. Caught up in the vortex of leftist activism, and unaccustomed to its disgrace and violence, the best are too often weakened in spirit and made fearful of offending the worst.

The worst will level this world with a debased creed of centralized power and the self-righteous arrogance that attends it; and the best must answer in terms the worst will understand. The hour comes round for America, for her citizens, like the children of Old Europe, are now thrown into stasis and soul-annihilating contests of principle and ideology.

Where would progressives be without their consuming, systematized ignorance, their ideological prejudices and hatred? Their poisons inform the uninformed. History is irrelevant; ignorance is necessary, turning the worst elements of human nature into a hideous political strength. Government at all times must act as a stay against human nature. Governments may change, but the purpose of government cannot change. The modern left’s desire for universal participation in their contempt for long-established democratic values and institutions suggests a level of derangement undiscovered in American politics — but there is no level of derangement unacceptable to the left.

We have not yet seen the worst of the worst. We can anticipate the end of democratic institutions should progressives ever acquire the statist powers they have pursued since the Wilson presidency, for the liberal caste, outraged by Trump’s victory, are no longer willing to leave their fate to the electoral whims of the people. Their handbooks tell us that any means of acquiring power is legitimate if it succeeds. Their determined pursuit of power, their need to control the thought and behavior of targeted populations, and their persistent urge to bring harm to those who disagree combine in force as a statement about the terms of social justice they wish to impose upon the American people.

Americans and Europeans are straightforwardly reluctant to accept the dishonesty and the insults of progressive leadership but passive enough to follow its instructions even into the regions of hell. Under the fixed templates of ideological instruction, collapse is the foreseeable product of social justice engineering. The recognition of Sharia and foreign laws by leftist interests, their bureaucratic entrenchment, and their aggressive promotion of uncontrollable immigration from failing states threaten the entire foundation of Western law and culture. Their socialist delusions survive in the expectation of multiculturalism, in the establishment of a new world order of governing elites, in the promise of a massive redistribution of unearned wealth, and in creating difficulties that are insoluble by democratic institutions. All this, so that in the end, the great majority of people, silenced by political correctness and arbitrary liberal authority, and frustrated by their inability to correct them, will learn to tolerate, then to accept, and finally to embrace the depravities which they first so earnestly sought to avoid.

Democratic institutions are inherently conservative, sustained by public trust in their moral legitimacy and distinguished by principles of self-governance. Conservatism is a direct expression of the democratic process. Included in its tenets is a reverence for the equality of all persons under law, for their fundamental rights, and for their freedom from the coercive powers of the state. Liberalism, in its modern interpretation, divides the nation, rending the entire fabric of society, culture, and government, and at every opportunity seeks, for political reasons, to diminish the value of the citizen.

Those among the left who speak so highly of democracy are attracted only to the despotic powers that accrue to the majority. Consider that 51 percent of the vote equals 100 percent of the power in a strictly popular electoral process and you will understand why liberals are attempting, before the 2020 census, to divide the American people into reliable constituencies — organized under the fraud of social justice programming — that would in time establish a permanent majority in government under the “benevolent” control of leftist interests.

But to trust the First Amendment to the benevolence of liberals in government is to trust one’s wealth and property to the discretion of thieves. Leftists value diversity of opinion as long as you agree with them; but those who agree with the left’s distorted ideology render themselves stupid and incoherent in its defense. As a nation, we must respond effectively to those extremists on the left who recruit from populations made ignorant from propaganda, who incite and direct racial enmity for political reasons, who practice intolerance of free speech, and who promote a hostile and retaliatory environment throughout the culture — even at the centers of education.

Knowledge is resistance: to the prejudices of ideology, to the dishonesty of liberal media, to political correctness, and to the despotic will of left-wing activism. We cannot fail to remember that liberalism is a myth, a modern intellectual invention, taking its instruction from social theorists of the 19th and 20th centuries. It owes nothing to the nation’s founding principles of government. Its doctrine is that of a statist command and control system free of constitutional restraints; and its votaries seek to acquire and hold power through propaganda, intimidation, and force, methods typical of a totalitarian structure.

The ignorant are never free. They are the plantation dwellers and slaves of ideology. The propagandists, the demagogues, and the race-baiters are above them — teachers of the ignorant — and they are the masters and whip-holders of the new liberal shame culture. The ignorant will always find someone to tell them what to believe and who to hate, and they will always find tribes and prophets prepared to receive them. Those who have found comfort in the left’s egalitarian dystopia have little appreciation for the quality of rights and freedoms that America guarantees to all persons standing on her soil, and they are quick to shake off the personal responsibilities that freedom requires of them. They have fallen into the trap of political identity that rewards total conformity of thought and behavior while punishing dissent, for they and their masters have tortured the soul of conscience and made of reason a medicine that cannot heal. The willfully ignorant — those who have chosen ignorance — represent the worst of America’s possibilities, for they are victims of a dangerous and misinforming ideology — indoctrinated, radicalized, intolerant of opposition, and full of passionate intensity — slouching towards Washington, like the “rough beast” of Yeats’ terrible vision, to be born.

Philip Ahlrich can be reached for comment at phahl@icloud.com.



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Towards a Conservative Democracy


“Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven,” as the rebellious Satan told his assembled host of fallen angels in Milton’s Paradise Lost. These words are a comfort to the progressive left and ought to be engraved above the infernal gateway to the plantations of liberalism in America — for who among the least thinking of that thoughtless cult would not agree that it is better to dwell in the lesser world of a centralized, politically correct totalitarian state than to suffer the burdens of individual responsibility in the cause of a free, self-governing democratic society?

The study of popular forms of government all too often proves a history of usurpations. Democracy endures in the mind, as an ideal state; but like a pure element of reactive material, it cannot exist on this political earth without degrading rapidly into a lesser substance. That is why progressives now speak so highly of democratic forms of government, for they contain within their spheres the conditions and elements necessary to their own overthrow. Since Marx, leftists have considered popular democratic governments to be short-lived precursor states, especially when guided by laissez-faire free market interests, that must collapse, through revolutionary principles, into totalitarian steady-state command and control structures.

The idyllic phrase “liberal democracy” sounds the very essence of classic liberalism and Western democracy but is now, in fact, private code for socialism. Progressives understand its revised theoretical meaning, while maintaining in their fraud the rhetoric of traditional democratic values and institutions. Post-modern liberalism, in its political sense, and even in its best articulation, is not a philosophy of government at all, but rather a disease of reason that argues for the worst in us to overcome the best in us. It is a thought-ending reaction to the constraints placed upon government by conservative principles. It is, fundamentally, an apology for despotism.

Liberalism is not liberalism. The word cancels its own meaning. Liberalism is no longer defined by its original core principle of the individual’s freedom from coercive power; and the new template is difficult even for liberals to explain, for its message is written in water. Liberal culture changes as often as the political seasons — its activists will blow hot when they want power and they will blow cold once they have acquired it. Their language has nothing to do with classical liberalism, which declared that any prohibition on freedom must be justified. Rather, it has assumed a new social dialect, arguing the case for a strictly egalitarian concept of justice, one that establishes a new entitlement class to be maintained by the state and farmed for its votes.

Nothing remains of the philosophical defense of freedom in postmodern liberalism. The protection of democratic values and institutions, however, requires that guarantee. Equality and freedom under law are correlative principles of justice, and neither can stand apart from the idea of America without undermining democratic process. Conservatives raise this understanding of justice even as the left try to take it down, and this conflict over power is the immediate cause of our current political stasis.

Political ideologies interfere with the nation’s shared commitment to basic democratic values. According to leftist teaching, democracies waste political energy. The progressive ideal attempts to eliminate America’s two-party system because it draws personal allegiances and enthusiasm away from the state to be squandered on partisan loyalty, patriotism, and unnecessary compromises. The political order it would establish is not a democracy; nor is it a free society, nor is it any form of self-government. The left would create the lesser world: an entitlement culture in which a functioning democracy is not possible — one in which votes are exchanged for subsistence, one in which political identity serves the function of social achievement, and one in which the individual must ask the state’s permission to pursue his or her personal interests and career opportunities.

The idea of liberal democracy is not a fixed point in the intellectual firmament but changes as the nature of liberalism changes. Leftists have sought to destroy the institutions of society through their activism and a persistent redefinition of terms; and they are attempting a similar transformation to the values and institutions of democracy. But an equitable system of popular government cannot improvise upon free and fair elections; nor can it choose the winners in a contest of free speech. It cannot create buffer zones and safe spaces for political hatred. It cannot disrespect the nation’s borders. It cannot create sanctuaries for the lawless. It cannot punish the many with laws that reward the few. It cannot choose the statutes it wishes to enforce as though they were items on a menu of justice. It cannot create social equality by destroying freedom. It cannot lie to the people with impunity. It cannot speak democracy as it prepares for despotism; nor can it erase America’s founding principles from our nation’s memory. Just, reasonable, and honest government — conservative government — accountable to the people, cannot do these things; but activist liberal government, divorced from the consent of the governed and abandoned to its trivial pursuit of power accomplishes these things with the confidence that comes of systemic arrogance.

The left’s interest in democracy extends only to the political opportunities available for its overthrow. Those who attempt to overturn the results of a national election may rightly be called the enemies of democracy. Following upon the 2016 election, liberals can no longer afford to trust a system of government that allows the people to remove them from power. Should the Democrats ever regain sufficient control over the apparatus of government, we can anticipate further attempts upon the electoral process and upon key structural elements in the Constitution — most notably its Separation of Powers provision — as well as a complete disregard of the nation’s immigration laws, and a final expansion of federal programs designed solely to create a permanent entitlement class of citizens and non-citizens. And in a reckless act of appeasement to cultural diversity, we can also expect progressives to incorporate Sharia courts, which deny equal protection to Muslim women and children, into the nation’s practice of common law — a curse of nonuniformity upon the justice system that owes nothing to statute and which, once invoked, will never be exorcised, thus opening America’s democratic institutions to the most pernicious of foreign interests and intrusions.

The Constitution created our form of government and established the foundation for our nation’s laws, but even that instrument cannot impose wisdom upon government. Strict adherence to progressive doctrine cannot hold that necessary degree of understanding and moral intelligence. To be wrong in doctrine is to be wrong always. Through recent elections, the nation has disposed of many bad legislators, but it is not as easy to rid the nation of the bad laws they made that place our freedoms outside the Constitution’s protections. These legislative foundations are still largely intact, awaiting the next liberal administration to further advance the project. Much confidence therefore remains among the political left that Americans shall in time organize in the belief that the government must provide for them, that they will develop such narcotic dependency on the state for their subsistence that the state itself becomes invulnerable to correction; and that the people, no longer capable of self-government, would be unable to return to original principles — nor would they be permitted to wonder that they ever should.

Liberalism, in its postmodern political sense, is the argument for a statist command and control system. This is what the meaning of liberal democracy has become under the influence of an invasive and destructive ideology of power. We have experienced, under the Obama administration, the first shapes of a totalitarian state in embryo. Every foundation was laid for a vast system of centralized government, beginning with the nation’s health care structure and proceeding through innovations to finance, immigration, education, the rule of law, and an infinite range of regulatory “reforms” to the private sector. Until this hour, we have taken little note of the progressive usurpation of our country, even as we watched the agencies of government intruding by slow degrees into every corner of our lives. But soon enough, the rule-weaving enterprise emerged from darkness, and every left-wing proscription upon freedom was exposed. The socialist scaffold arises from fallen stones, and every Democratic administration elected because of our inattention adds one more level to the completion of a new despotic order.

The untamed progressive mind follows in the spirit of Ares — the Greek god of war, the Olympian god most hated by Zeus — delighting in revolution and the destruction it brings. Socialism means destruction, invoking the brutal nature of violent reform in its social and political disguises as the most effective means of securing centralized power to the state. A return to conservative democracy — towards original principles, towards the ideal of self-government, towards the correlative principles of equality and freedom under law, towards a reaffirmation of the separation of powers, and towards free and fair elections unpolluted by the tribal prejudices, the hatred and the dishonesty characteristic of liberal politics is the one course available to us in resolving our present stasis. Socialism is a word inherent to the postmodern fraud of liberal democracy, and interested, free-thinking Americans will always fear the popular speech that makes either or both possible.

Philip Ahlrich can be reached for comment at phahl@icloud.com.

“Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven,” as the rebellious Satan told his assembled host of fallen angels in Milton’s Paradise Lost. These words are a comfort to the progressive left and ought to be engraved above the infernal gateway to the plantations of liberalism in America — for who among the least thinking of that thoughtless cult would not agree that it is better to dwell in the lesser world of a centralized, politically correct totalitarian state than to suffer the burdens of individual responsibility in the cause of a free, self-governing democratic society?

The study of popular forms of government all too often proves a history of usurpations. Democracy endures in the mind, as an ideal state; but like a pure element of reactive material, it cannot exist on this political earth without degrading rapidly into a lesser substance. That is why progressives now speak so highly of democratic forms of government, for they contain within their spheres the conditions and elements necessary to their own overthrow. Since Marx, leftists have considered popular democratic governments to be short-lived precursor states, especially when guided by laissez-faire free market interests, that must collapse, through revolutionary principles, into totalitarian steady-state command and control structures.

The idyllic phrase “liberal democracy” sounds the very essence of classic liberalism and Western democracy but is now, in fact, private code for socialism. Progressives understand its revised theoretical meaning, while maintaining in their fraud the rhetoric of traditional democratic values and institutions. Post-modern liberalism, in its political sense, and even in its best articulation, is not a philosophy of government at all, but rather a disease of reason that argues for the worst in us to overcome the best in us. It is a thought-ending reaction to the constraints placed upon government by conservative principles. It is, fundamentally, an apology for despotism.

Liberalism is not liberalism. The word cancels its own meaning. Liberalism is no longer defined by its original core principle of the individual’s freedom from coercive power; and the new template is difficult even for liberals to explain, for its message is written in water. Liberal culture changes as often as the political seasons — its activists will blow hot when they want power and they will blow cold once they have acquired it. Their language has nothing to do with classical liberalism, which declared that any prohibition on freedom must be justified. Rather, it has assumed a new social dialect, arguing the case for a strictly egalitarian concept of justice, one that establishes a new entitlement class to be maintained by the state and farmed for its votes.

Nothing remains of the philosophical defense of freedom in postmodern liberalism. The protection of democratic values and institutions, however, requires that guarantee. Equality and freedom under law are correlative principles of justice, and neither can stand apart from the idea of America without undermining democratic process. Conservatives raise this understanding of justice even as the left try to take it down, and this conflict over power is the immediate cause of our current political stasis.

Political ideologies interfere with the nation’s shared commitment to basic democratic values. According to leftist teaching, democracies waste political energy. The progressive ideal attempts to eliminate America’s two-party system because it draws personal allegiances and enthusiasm away from the state to be squandered on partisan loyalty, patriotism, and unnecessary compromises. The political order it would establish is not a democracy; nor is it a free society, nor is it any form of self-government. The left would create the lesser world: an entitlement culture in which a functioning democracy is not possible — one in which votes are exchanged for subsistence, one in which political identity serves the function of social achievement, and one in which the individual must ask the state’s permission to pursue his or her personal interests and career opportunities.

The idea of liberal democracy is not a fixed point in the intellectual firmament but changes as the nature of liberalism changes. Leftists have sought to destroy the institutions of society through their activism and a persistent redefinition of terms; and they are attempting a similar transformation to the values and institutions of democracy. But an equitable system of popular government cannot improvise upon free and fair elections; nor can it choose the winners in a contest of free speech. It cannot create buffer zones and safe spaces for political hatred. It cannot disrespect the nation’s borders. It cannot create sanctuaries for the lawless. It cannot punish the many with laws that reward the few. It cannot choose the statutes it wishes to enforce as though they were items on a menu of justice. It cannot create social equality by destroying freedom. It cannot lie to the people with impunity. It cannot speak democracy as it prepares for despotism; nor can it erase America’s founding principles from our nation’s memory. Just, reasonable, and honest government — conservative government — accountable to the people, cannot do these things; but activist liberal government, divorced from the consent of the governed and abandoned to its trivial pursuit of power accomplishes these things with the confidence that comes of systemic arrogance.

The left’s interest in democracy extends only to the political opportunities available for its overthrow. Those who attempt to overturn the results of a national election may rightly be called the enemies of democracy. Following upon the 2016 election, liberals can no longer afford to trust a system of government that allows the people to remove them from power. Should the Democrats ever regain sufficient control over the apparatus of government, we can anticipate further attempts upon the electoral process and upon key structural elements in the Constitution — most notably its Separation of Powers provision — as well as a complete disregard of the nation’s immigration laws, and a final expansion of federal programs designed solely to create a permanent entitlement class of citizens and non-citizens. And in a reckless act of appeasement to cultural diversity, we can also expect progressives to incorporate Sharia courts, which deny equal protection to Muslim women and children, into the nation’s practice of common law — a curse of nonuniformity upon the justice system that owes nothing to statute and which, once invoked, will never be exorcised, thus opening America’s democratic institutions to the most pernicious of foreign interests and intrusions.

The Constitution created our form of government and established the foundation for our nation’s laws, but even that instrument cannot impose wisdom upon government. Strict adherence to progressive doctrine cannot hold that necessary degree of understanding and moral intelligence. To be wrong in doctrine is to be wrong always. Through recent elections, the nation has disposed of many bad legislators, but it is not as easy to rid the nation of the bad laws they made that place our freedoms outside the Constitution’s protections. These legislative foundations are still largely intact, awaiting the next liberal administration to further advance the project. Much confidence therefore remains among the political left that Americans shall in time organize in the belief that the government must provide for them, that they will develop such narcotic dependency on the state for their subsistence that the state itself becomes invulnerable to correction; and that the people, no longer capable of self-government, would be unable to return to original principles — nor would they be permitted to wonder that they ever should.

Liberalism, in its postmodern political sense, is the argument for a statist command and control system. This is what the meaning of liberal democracy has become under the influence of an invasive and destructive ideology of power. We have experienced, under the Obama administration, the first shapes of a totalitarian state in embryo. Every foundation was laid for a vast system of centralized government, beginning with the nation’s health care structure and proceeding through innovations to finance, immigration, education, the rule of law, and an infinite range of regulatory “reforms” to the private sector. Until this hour, we have taken little note of the progressive usurpation of our country, even as we watched the agencies of government intruding by slow degrees into every corner of our lives. But soon enough, the rule-weaving enterprise emerged from darkness, and every left-wing proscription upon freedom was exposed. The socialist scaffold arises from fallen stones, and every Democratic administration elected because of our inattention adds one more level to the completion of a new despotic order.

The untamed progressive mind follows in the spirit of Ares — the Greek god of war, the Olympian god most hated by Zeus — delighting in revolution and the destruction it brings. Socialism means destruction, invoking the brutal nature of violent reform in its social and political disguises as the most effective means of securing centralized power to the state. A return to conservative democracy — towards original principles, towards the ideal of self-government, towards the correlative principles of equality and freedom under law, towards a reaffirmation of the separation of powers, and towards free and fair elections unpolluted by the tribal prejudices, the hatred and the dishonesty characteristic of liberal politics is the one course available to us in resolving our present stasis. Socialism is a word inherent to the postmodern fraud of liberal democracy, and interested, free-thinking Americans will always fear the popular speech that makes either or both possible.

Philip Ahlrich can be reached for comment at phahl@icloud.com.



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The Left's Romance with Violence


The political Left is a dangerous place for the free expression of ideas. Its activists immediately assume bigotry in anyone who disagrees with them, and that automatic opinion has poisoned every attempt at a national dialogue. Liberalism has declined into a closed system of thought and behavior — a plantation of unfinished minds in service to an ideology of force. But as the experience of freedom makes us unfit for slavery, so the experience of knowledge makes us unfit for handbooks of liberal instruction. The idea of a freedom-loving and self-governing America is lost upon social theorists; and it is quite possible that there is no solution to the liberal problem in America, for the freedom that leftists desire for their own political activity includes the license to deny that same freedom to others.

Activists within the Democratic Party no longer find any political value in the principle of freedom. What is it, then, about federalism and self-governance that threatens the Left? Freedom is so fundamental to the character and growth of nations that one wonders why liberals are so intent on limiting it only to the few who govern. Let them step forward and tell us — without riot and without throwing stones at the questioner — why they have diminished their core principle of “liberty” to an archaism, to a relic and curiosity of times past, to be shelved in academic reformatories and studied and scorned under moonlight. Let them explain the benefits of totalitarianism. Let them tell us why they have chosen to occupy the lesser world of the bureaucratic state that would enforce an equality of condition upon all persons beneath the state; and then let them tell us why history should not regard them as the victims of their own delusions.

Progressivism attracts the intellectually malnourished, and the appearance of that movement deceives us; but there is greater progress in standing upon a principle of justice than in running forward to embrace an evil. Deceptive, predatory, and extortionate, its message of “inclusion and social justice” is given over to the pursuit of power, entitlement, and satisfaction of political greed. Its scripture is not of the world but of social theory, demanding a sacrifice of both intellectual honesty and individual conscience. Modern liberal culture has built an educational system politicizing every study of nature and human value, a system of intellectual slavery that is good only for the master.

The system binds generations of students to an ideological post; and their ability to reason effectively extends no further than the length of their chains, for their instruction is the only truth they need to know. It is the same for every cultish belief, whether religious or secular, and followers of the liberal faith exhibit their knowledge of that “truth” by memorizing and repeating the catechism in the protected spaces of university campuses and social media ghettos where no one may question his received wisdom. Their handbooks tell us that self-reliance is now considered anti-social; that intellectual honesty serves only to weaken one’s commitment to the new liberal order, and that a personal sense of right and wrong can only stain the collective purity of correct thought. The new doctrine of forcible equality seems a prologue to any number of post-apocalyptic tales that reduce humanity to its most fundamental tribal instincts. But in the progressive’s dictionary, this is what the Left mean by “democracy.”

The British author and socialist, H.G. Wells, famously remarked in the conclusion to his Outline of History, “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” Mr. Wells, following the unspeakable ruin of the First World War, often remarked upon the perpetual contests of ignorance from which mankind has suffered periodic turns of civilization and collapse. But if the new liberals of our era cannot learn from the history of real events, if they believe that its lessons do not apply to them, if they lack the courage to inquire into the nature of their own beliefs — then what have they to teach another? To forfeit intellectual honesty for the rank perception of political identity is a moral offense. If our teachers win honor only in classrooms and exhibit their corruption by persuading students to believe in the false doctrine of social justice, if we learn only the reformulated prejudices of failed ideologies, if we must receive our instruction by rote from revisionist handbooks of correct thought, if we are to learn value from the profligate and truth from those whose hearts are full of deception — then education is catastrophe!

There can be nothing more harmful to the idea of America or to her people than the experiment, emerging from the new Left, of an institutionalized culture of revisionism; and if we continue to think and act along the ideological lines of force generated in our schools, then our capacity to reason, to comprehend, to ask the right questions and to prepare ourselves for the duties of civil and open society will regress further into an argument to justify our indoctrination. Democracy itself is at risk under the revised arts of liberal instruction, for there is not sufficient reason in all our language to adopt measures that elsewhere have contributed to the destruction of free societies.

America’s democratic system of elections has been sufficient thus far to break the hold that party ideologies have had on the administration of government. But national sentiment has now swung the pendulum of power urgently to the right, and there it must remain until the liberal puts down his arrogance, his fundamentalist doctrine, and his tribal compulsion for revenge. If power is the only object worthy of pursuit for the liberal establishment, then let their fallen angels reign in the hell prepared for them by their defeat. And should it take a hundred years in hell for the incestuous relationship of the Democratic Party, its entitlement culture, and a virulently dishonest press to end, then that will be a century of justice.

An informed citizenry is the only true government. It is the direction of knowledge over force, for that virtue alone separates the autonomous genius of human society from the coercive genius of the state. We hear the Left in their final agonies, vexed by howls and pinches in defeat — understanding now, a world too late, that they let America slip through their fumbling hands. But when Democrats who were elected to represent the people’s interests have calculated instead to bring them harm with new laws that served only to advance a determined ideological agenda, it is best to remove from them all hope of returning to their instruments. President Trump has shaken the political earth, and anything made of the Left’s weak argument will fall of its own corruption. In the aftermath of a transformative election, the American people have torn liberalism open to the bleeding center, and we are hearing the screams of a dying animal. When those who have abused their power begin to act like victims — when the guilty cry foul — we know we have done a good thing.

Philip Ahlrich can be reached for comment at phahl@icloud.com.

The political Left is a dangerous place for the free expression of ideas. Its activists immediately assume bigotry in anyone who disagrees with them, and that automatic opinion has poisoned every attempt at a national dialogue. Liberalism has declined into a closed system of thought and behavior — a plantation of unfinished minds in service to an ideology of force. But as the experience of freedom makes us unfit for slavery, so the experience of knowledge makes us unfit for handbooks of liberal instruction. The idea of a freedom-loving and self-governing America is lost upon social theorists; and it is quite possible that there is no solution to the liberal problem in America, for the freedom that leftists desire for their own political activity includes the license to deny that same freedom to others.

Activists within the Democratic Party no longer find any political value in the principle of freedom. What is it, then, about federalism and self-governance that threatens the Left? Freedom is so fundamental to the character and growth of nations that one wonders why liberals are so intent on limiting it only to the few who govern. Let them step forward and tell us — without riot and without throwing stones at the questioner — why they have diminished their core principle of “liberty” to an archaism, to a relic and curiosity of times past, to be shelved in academic reformatories and studied and scorned under moonlight. Let them explain the benefits of totalitarianism. Let them tell us why they have chosen to occupy the lesser world of the bureaucratic state that would enforce an equality of condition upon all persons beneath the state; and then let them tell us why history should not regard them as the victims of their own delusions.

Progressivism attracts the intellectually malnourished, and the appearance of that movement deceives us; but there is greater progress in standing upon a principle of justice than in running forward to embrace an evil. Deceptive, predatory, and extortionate, its message of “inclusion and social justice” is given over to the pursuit of power, entitlement, and satisfaction of political greed. Its scripture is not of the world but of social theory, demanding a sacrifice of both intellectual honesty and individual conscience. Modern liberal culture has built an educational system politicizing every study of nature and human value, a system of intellectual slavery that is good only for the master.

The system binds generations of students to an ideological post; and their ability to reason effectively extends no further than the length of their chains, for their instruction is the only truth they need to know. It is the same for every cultish belief, whether religious or secular, and followers of the liberal faith exhibit their knowledge of that “truth” by memorizing and repeating the catechism in the protected spaces of university campuses and social media ghettos where no one may question his received wisdom. Their handbooks tell us that self-reliance is now considered anti-social; that intellectual honesty serves only to weaken one’s commitment to the new liberal order, and that a personal sense of right and wrong can only stain the collective purity of correct thought. The new doctrine of forcible equality seems a prologue to any number of post-apocalyptic tales that reduce humanity to its most fundamental tribal instincts. But in the progressive’s dictionary, this is what the Left mean by “democracy.”

The British author and socialist, H.G. Wells, famously remarked in the conclusion to his Outline of History, “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.” Mr. Wells, following the unspeakable ruin of the First World War, often remarked upon the perpetual contests of ignorance from which mankind has suffered periodic turns of civilization and collapse. But if the new liberals of our era cannot learn from the history of real events, if they believe that its lessons do not apply to them, if they lack the courage to inquire into the nature of their own beliefs — then what have they to teach another? To forfeit intellectual honesty for the rank perception of political identity is a moral offense. If our teachers win honor only in classrooms and exhibit their corruption by persuading students to believe in the false doctrine of social justice, if we learn only the reformulated prejudices of failed ideologies, if we must receive our instruction by rote from revisionist handbooks of correct thought, if we are to learn value from the profligate and truth from those whose hearts are full of deception — then education is catastrophe!

There can be nothing more harmful to the idea of America or to her people than the experiment, emerging from the new Left, of an institutionalized culture of revisionism; and if we continue to think and act along the ideological lines of force generated in our schools, then our capacity to reason, to comprehend, to ask the right questions and to prepare ourselves for the duties of civil and open society will regress further into an argument to justify our indoctrination. Democracy itself is at risk under the revised arts of liberal instruction, for there is not sufficient reason in all our language to adopt measures that elsewhere have contributed to the destruction of free societies.

America’s democratic system of elections has been sufficient thus far to break the hold that party ideologies have had on the administration of government. But national sentiment has now swung the pendulum of power urgently to the right, and there it must remain until the liberal puts down his arrogance, his fundamentalist doctrine, and his tribal compulsion for revenge. If power is the only object worthy of pursuit for the liberal establishment, then let their fallen angels reign in the hell prepared for them by their defeat. And should it take a hundred years in hell for the incestuous relationship of the Democratic Party, its entitlement culture, and a virulently dishonest press to end, then that will be a century of justice.

An informed citizenry is the only true government. It is the direction of knowledge over force, for that virtue alone separates the autonomous genius of human society from the coercive genius of the state. We hear the Left in their final agonies, vexed by howls and pinches in defeat — understanding now, a world too late, that they let America slip through their fumbling hands. But when Democrats who were elected to represent the people’s interests have calculated instead to bring them harm with new laws that served only to advance a determined ideological agenda, it is best to remove from them all hope of returning to their instruments. President Trump has shaken the political earth, and anything made of the Left’s weak argument will fall of its own corruption. In the aftermath of a transformative election, the American people have torn liberalism open to the bleeding center, and we are hearing the screams of a dying animal. When those who have abused their power begin to act like victims — when the guilty cry foul — we know we have done a good thing.

Philip Ahlrich can be reached for comment at phahl@icloud.com.



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