Tyranny is the inevitable consequence of liberalism
Given man’s inclination to worship, to build altars in the public square, our societies will always enshrine some orthodoxy or other (and, therefore, empower some clerisy or other). The only questions are: which orthodoxy? Which clerics? If the past couple of years have made anything clear, it is that there is to be no neutrality. The West must choose.
Do we enshrine the orthodoxy of the latest theories on race, sex and gender? Do we empower the woke clerisy, the army of blue-check Twitterati and HR managers who can destroy careers and lives in a matter of minutes over the smallest of ideological infractions, and whose judgments are subject to no reasoned appeal and no code of canon law? Do we live under their new blasphemy laws, ostensibly designed to prohibit ‘hate speech’?
Or do we choose the more forgiving, perhaps old-fashioned orthodoxy that sustained western culture for the better part of two millennia? The Judeo-Christian values and institutions that venerated natural reason, that by their discipline tamed the big and small would-be tyrants of Europe, reminding them that there exists a higher power than theirs? You don’t need to be religious to think that, on balance, this world view has put us in pretty good stead so far — and is worth keeping now.
It’s tempting to imagine that there is no choice — or to defer the choice for ever. This excuse for doing so is precisely that the present is the best of all possible worlds, while any attempt to preserve the past means clinging to unremitting horrors. For the liberal, to evoke a bedrock pre-modern concept such as the common good — much less the highest good — is to summon those various demons that good progressive liberal values were supposed to have vanquished.