Liberal Threats to Liberalism
But I wanted to discuss a valuable book I recently finished, New Threats to Freedom, while it's still fresh in my mind. It's a compilation of thirty relatively short and crisp essays on -- you'll never guess -- new threats to freedom. I'll just quote from the product description:
"In the twentieth century, free people faced a number of mortal threats, ranging from despotism, fascism, and communism to the looming menace of global terrorism. While the struggle against some of these overt dangers continues, some insidious new threats seem to have slipped past our intellectual defenses. These new threats are quietly eroding our hard-won freedoms, often unchallenged and, in some cases, widely accepted as beneficial."
Of the thirty essays, I would say that about a third are quite good, a third mediocre, and another third slightly lame. I suppose for the sake of "diversity" -- ironically, one of the new threats to freedom -- they included a number of liberal authors, and their intellectually flabby contributions are the weakest, being that liberalism is the greatest contemporary threat to liberty (by its own acknowledgment, since it knowingly barters away liberty for its fantasies of equality).
In this context, it's a little like inviting communists to discuss new threats to private property, or NAMBLA to discuss new threats to children.
Judging by the density of my highlighting, it looks like the greatest threats to liberty are, in no particular order, the decline of American press freedom, the closing of the liberal mind, the new dogma of fairness, single women (this was one of the more important essays, as we shall see), the loss of the freedom to fail, the EU, the rise of anti-religious (really, anti-Christian) orthodoxy, multiculturalism and the threat of conformity, the tyranny of the news cycle, transnational progressivism, anticapitalism, and the rise of mass dependency.
Ironically, one of the liberals wrote on the dangers of anonymous trolls! He has a point, in that cyber-anonymity does permit sixty year old perverts to pretend they're girly adolescents and liberals to pretend they're not, but a sophisticated internet user quickly learns to tune out the extremists. Politics has always been a blood sport, and it's naive to imagine otherwise.
In his essay The Closing of the Liberal Mind, Bruce Bawer discusses the blatant contradiction of so-called liberals and their tacit (and often overt) alliance with Islamic terrorists, not just in Palestine, but all over Western Europe. He cites the example of Amsterdam, where life for homosexuals can be a living hell "because of predatory Muslim youth gangs who know that according to the teachings of Islam homosexuals deserve to be killed."
But the left just doesn't care. Why? One reason is that recognition of the reality would undermine their irrational faith in multiculturalism. They would have to acknowledge the self-evident truth that some cultures are better and more evolved than others, which is an impermissible thought on the left. And God -- or Gaia or Wakan Tanka -- forbid that Judeo-Christian culture be the most evolved of all! That would qualify as the ultimate secular heresy.
I remember getting into an argument with my late father-in-law and my eminent historian-by-marriage, who were insisting that they much preferred the ancient Greek gods to the Judeo-Christian God. No amount of factual evidence of the barbarism of the pre-Christian world had any impact whatsoever. This is the kind of adolescent sentiment I might have expressed back in my 20s, just to show how daring and unconventional I was. But in order to hold such a moronic view in one's 70s, one must literally forego intellectual and spiritual growth for the remainder of one's life. It's like irony and cynicism as guiding intellectual principles (a Christopher Hitchens falls into this camp as well, which ultimately amounts to the glorification of nihilism).
As Bawer writes, liberal values have been "sold out in the name of multicultural sensitivity," the result being that "millions of self-styled liberals have closed their minds to aspects of reality that challenge their ideology -- an ideology that is, in fact, radically illiberal." There was a point in my lifetime that liberals would have cheered the demise of a fascist dictator in Iraq, but as another contributor writes, JFK was the last Democrat president to govern on the principles of classical liberalism. He was as insensitive as Ronald Reagan or George Bush, declaring the Soviet Union to be "a slave state" that was "embarked upon a program of world aggression."
Bawer notes the truism that being a liberal once "meant standing up for freedom, both at home and abroad, against every form of oppression and totalitarianism." But in the last two years, we have witnessed the exact opposite of this philosophy in Obama, who has coddled or bowed to virtually every despot on the planet, while alienating critical freedom-loving allies such as India, Israel, and Poland.
The left is far more upset about Gitmo than they are about Iran executing homosexuals or about hateful Palestinians training their children to be genocidal islamikazes and mullahtov cocktails. Just as they hated Ronald Reagan far more than Gorbachev, they express far more animus for Dick Cheney or Sarah Palin than Arafat, Abdullah, al-Bashir, or Ahmadinejad. And that's just the A's.
But I think the most profound and far-reaching essay -- for it truly has cosmic and world-historical implications -- is Jessica Gavora's Single Women as a Threat to Freedom (she happens to be married to Jonah Goldberg). First of all, the essay is not the least bit inflammatory, although you could never convince a hysterical ovary tower feminist of this. (Ironically, because of their conspicuous lack of self-awareness, radical feminists display some of the worst untransformed traits of femininity!)
But if we accept the premise that the greatest threat to our liberty is the vast, intrusive, coercive, greedy, and corrupt State, then it is a simple matter of fact that single women are responsible for electing politicians such as Obama who promise to grow government -- just as married women and men can be statistically relied upon to oppose the leviathan state.
Before analyzing the reasons why single women wish to replace men with the government and become dependent upon the latter, let's crunch some of the numbers, shall we? Gavora notes that in the 2008 election, single women "delivered a whopping 71 to 29 percent majority for Barack Obama." It is simply a truism that liberty is not high on the list of values that animate the single woman. Rather, they much prefer to be swaddled by the state, largely because "increasingly these women are substituting the security of a husband [for] the security of the state."
This is a major -- and potentially fatal -- problem, because in 2007, "for the first time, the U.S. Census reported that the majority of American households were headed by unmarried people," and I don't see any immediate prospects for a reversal of this sad and dysfunctional demographic shift. This can only mean more government -- and, of course, fewer and fewer people to pay for it. Any remotely conscious person knows that our present economic course is unsustainable. But you can't tell that to a woman who is married to Uncle Sam, and who has made a lifetime commitment to making the relationship work, for richer and for poorer.
Thus, it is no coincidence that the left favors policies that are destructive to traditional family values -- for example, the redefinition of marriage. Because on most all issues, "Americans in traditional families tend to have more traditional values." Furthermore, "the presence and number of children only magnify this effect," making them the most conservative of all.
The problem is, dependency on the state is a self-perpetuating cycle that interferes with the normal evolutionary process of adult pair-bonding in order to grow emotionally and to nurture the next generation. Once women convince themselves that men are unnecessary, this has truly earthshaking consequences. For the cycle of dependency only creates more dependency, which requires more expansion of government, and then more dependent women and children. Here we can see how contemporary liberalism demands the persistence of social pathology, for in order to win elections, it must pander to this huge and growing segment of the population.
Unmarried mothers now "constitute 26 percent of all eligible voters," which is "a bigger pool than African Americans and Latinos combined." We all know how Democrats pander to the latter two groups, but most people aren't aware of the government's seduction of single women in order to perpetuate and expand its power. If the goal of feminism was independence for women, it must be judged an Epic Fail, for they simply wedded their fortunes to the biggest loser of them all.