Freedomism and Slavery
People say you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts. That's not true. Actually, you are entitled to your own facts as well, but not your own ontology. Facts are facts and reality is reality, but facts that aren't situated in the proper reality fail to be factual.
Freedom, of course, is of the highest value, on par with love, truth, unity, beauty, and virtue. But the liberal understanding of freedom coincides with an "anthropology which has always-already given that freedom its meaning."
However, thanks to the Cartesian Conspiracy, this freedom is "shaped by the liberal disjunction between subjectivity and objectivity" and thus "infected by the liberal dualism of will and intelligence, with its corresponding voluntaristic subjectivity and mechanistic objectivity."
In other words, freedom in this view has no intrinsic relation to truth or virtue, so freedom redounds to a grim Clintonian will to power, while our epistemological freedom is reduced to a kind of "perception is reality," so there is black truth, white truth, feminist truth, homosexual truth, etc. Which is no truth at all, being that truth converges on unity, not plurality. Truth and multiculturalism are antonymic.
We are all familiar with liberal bogies such as structural racism and white privilege, but far more problematic is structural sin, which goes to the existential reality of the fallenness into which we are born. Living as we must in "liberal structures," it is very difficult to avoid being naughty and still make a living.
For Schindler, "unless we recognize the ambiguity of present-day freedom at its very source, we risk colluding in the development of a culture that can easily... become the death of freedom." Note that this book was published in 1996, thirteen years before Obama took office and made it all rather obvious.
"Coincidentally," the Happy Acres Guy has a link to this interesting interview with a fellow who wrote a book called The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction. He is saying pretty much the same thing we are, and yet, getting paid for it. From the interview:
"In your chapter A Brief History of Freedom, you propose what some might consider a damning interpretation of the anthropology of modern liberalism that suggests that the desire of 17th-century thinkers to free themselves from political authorities led to a rebellion against all external authority.
"The end result is not just a political, but an epistemic one: Reality ends up being self-constructed; we end up trapped in our heads. Your account starts with Descartes and his mind-body distinction, passes through Locke, and culminates in Kant [and drives Van nuts]. Does the modern political project we cherish -- liberal, democratic, rights-based, etc. -- and that those same thinkers developed necessitate the loss of genuine attention (and the consequent problems)?"
Crawford responds that his "critique of the anthropology we have inherited from early modern thought has a couple of dimensions. The first is sociological, simply noticing how autonomy-talk is pretty much the only idiom that is available to us for articulating our self-understanding, and how inadequate it is for capturing lived experience."
Exactly. Such "autonomy talk" is grounded in certain liberal assumptions about freedom that have nothing to do with the religious assumptions that gave freedom its original meaning and value.
He goes on to suggest that "Living in a culture saturated with vulgar freedomism, you may develop a jaundiced view of the whole project of liberation inaugurated by Descartes and Locke."
This parallels Schindler's observation that the implicit assumption of contemporary liberalism is that "truth and freedom are inversely related, in such a way that any clear claim of truth then becomes in principle a threat to (someone's) freedom."
This is how we end up with a liberal totolerantarianism that issues death threats to those who do not embrace the lie. It is very much as if liberals believe that truth enslaves instead of setting us free.
They are half-right about that, because for someone committed to the Lie, the truth will feel like an ominous prison: "liberalism's appeal to freedom, paradoxically, serves to enslave -- that is by virtue of its hidden dogma."
Conversely, the so-called dogma of Christianity wants desperately to liberate man into the metaphysical, ontological, epistemological, and anthropological reality of world-as-gift, or to situate our lives within the trinitarian dynamic of being for-being from-being with, or I-You-We, or just plain old Love.