Classical Liberalism Today: Is Success the Cause of Its Decline?

We weren’t invited to participate in this panel discussion.

Ross Douthat, Sohrab Ahmari, Amity Shlaes and Kevin Williamson are all members of the club that is Conservatism, Inc. The debate took place within those boundaries. Kevin Williamson is an anarchist and Sohrab Ahmari styles himself as a post-liberal Trad Catholic, but these people are all on the same team in spite of their internal ideological differences.

Is liberalism the victim of its own success? If I had been on the panel, I would have framed my response in terms of the orders of creation. I would say that over the past 70 years that liberalism has been highly successful in weakening and dissolving the nation, the church, the state, our race, marriage and the family all in service to the market. We could go even further and say that liberalism is dissolving sex and the gender binary now too and has left us miserable and sterile. The revolt against all forms of social order has been successful. This is what the end of the project looks like which is a bloated oligarchy lording it over a deracinated mass of consumers that have Samsung flatscreen televisions and McDonald’s but nothing else in common. The iPhone and Android are now our source of solidarity. Material objects.

Jeffrey Tucker wonders why this isn’t the end of history. Why aren’t people on the Right and Left satisfied with fulfilling experiences like getting married in a Taco Bell? While I am also a fan of the McDouble, I would point out that it is no substitute for having a wife and children or a nation or a healthy sense of ethnic identity, etc. I don’t think most people are comfortable with the power and influence of our billionaire class when they can’t afford much beyond the Dollar Menu either. Normalcy is increasingly out of reach for millions of people and it goes far beyond owning their own homes.

What is normalcy? It is all these other structures of life which have been neglected, eroded and invaded by liberalism for the past two generations. It is the foundation of a normal life which provides the social context that makes “individual liberty” worthwhile in the first place. Liberalism has blown straight past all those limits over the past 70 years. I don’t think Tucker has given much thought to the sort of “spontaneous order” that would spring up in the absence of the orders of creation. He just seems to take for granted that it would be … better?

Congratulations, you are “free” to live Arthur Fleck’s life!

About Hunter Wallace 12366 Articles
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  1. These Conservative Inc. con artists saying “every Taco Bell is a chapel” are obvious clowns that no one pays any attention to, nor should they. It takes far more time to debunk bullshit than it does to produce bullshit, so responding to bullshit is a waste of time. Just scrape it off your shoe and move on.

    To actually understand liberalism, the good and the bad, it makes sense to read one of the most important 20th century liberals, Carroll Quigley. After reading about Quigley’s infamy in right-wing conspiracy theories since I was a teenager, I finally found a copy of Tragedy and Hope in a used bookstore and spent nearly a year reading it.

    Quigley was a genius and a man of profound insight. Before I was banned by the ADL, I had a great conversation with another Quigley fan who explained how Quigley showed that military technology decides governmental structure.

    When knights were the cutting edge of military technology, castles were the best defense, and Europe was composed of small states. Defensive beat offense. When gunpowder happened, empires could form because castle defenses couldn’t stand up to cannon fire.

    Rifles made mass infantry the cutting edge and Napoleon had a mass army. Because the infantryman was the cutting edge military technology, democracy – which basically meant infantrymen were the government – was the governing structure.

    World War I changed everything. Tanks, airplanes and high technology made infantry with their rifles second class. Thus, democracy itself was no longer the governing structure. In fact, blacks and women were given the vote at precisely the time that high-tech mass media made voting obsolete. I mean, sure, you could vote, but the mass media told you who to vote for, so it really made no difference. Vote A or B, doesn’t matter.

    The real power was high tech, and high technology is controlled by the elite – the smartest, most educated, richest elites. No one else matters.

    Liberalism was a system that evolved in conjunction with the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution made planned economies obsolete, so liberalism evolved as a decentralized system with markets as a regulator. It worked extremely well, as far as it went. It also worked particularly well for the British Empire and the Anglo diaspora because islands and far-off locales like USA/Canada/Australia/NZ need shipping and trade.

    Quigley explains that the winners of World War II, “the West,” with the Russians as junior partners, desperately wanted to prevent a nuclear world war III, so they got together to plan a “New World Order” based on globalism, internationalism, and anti-nationalism. They leveraged the already existing structure of the British Empire, on which the sun never set, let’s not forget. Communism was just another part of this – does anyone remember that Chairman Mao was educated by the Chinese branch of Yale University? I bet you didn’t know that.

    Quigley said that these globalists wanted secrecy, but Quigley disagreed and said they should be public about what they were doing because what they were doing was right and good for humanity as a whole and they could afford to be frank with the public.

    “Liberalism” as such really is nothing more than the network of central banks that regulate societies via money. Money is how people cooperate. Whoever controls the money controls society. Whoever controls the central banks control the subsidiary banks who own the mass electronic media. Whoever controls the mass electronic media controls the masses.

    It’s hilarious when right-wingers talk about their guns and “the coming civil war.” Ask them one question: who are you going to shoot? They can’t answer. The fact is they will shoot whoever the media tells them to shoot and whoever the bankers pay them to shoot.

    High technology rules, whoever controls the high technology controls the world. In fact, old fashioned central banking itself is becoming somewhat obsolete. Now there’s bitcoin, or FaceBook currency, or just points in a video game (which can be transferred into “real” money.)

    Right wingers always fight the last war. Conservative libertarians are fighting for classical liberalism against FDR globalism just as FDR globalism has given way to modern high-tech. Traditionalists are even more retrograde than right-wingers, they are fighting Lincoln still, which is hilarious. And neo-reactionaries are even more ludicrous than that, they are still fighting the Reformation and mass literacy.

    What did they do when the “Alt Right” started communicating via high-tech? Simple: they banned everyone from social media. What do they do when pro-whites start raising money? Simple: they close down their bank accounts and ban them from Paypal.

    It’s all, 100%, about social organization and technology. Everything else is a distraction.

    • Great analysis Mr. Hipster. He who controls the guns and the money rules, as long as the persons with authority over those matters are willing to use the power without limits. I wonder if these persons would allow Capital and Labor to reach a social risk sharing modus vivendi through my sovereign wealth fund universal basic income? Or would they allow the low-level cooperative socio-economic arrangements advocated by the commenter Boomer X on another thread? Based on history, probably not, unless citizens acted with absolute collective will.

    • If you really think about it all of the modern world’s ills can be traced not to the Great War but to the French Revolution. It wasn’t just a revolt against the Ancien Regime.

  2. >It’s hilarious when right-wingers talk about their guns and “the coming civil war.” Ask them one question: who are you going to shoot? They can’t answer. The fact is they will shoot whoever the media tells them to shoot and whoever the bankers pay them to shoot.

    I am not convinced you are wrong. I am not convinced you are right. I think you have made an unsupported claim without any logical argument. How exactly do you claim this will work? Do you think everyone in a “red” state county is a totally brain-washed slave to television propaganda? Do you think the bankers will send a lackey down to the trailer park with envelopes of cash and instructions on targets? Are you using “the bankers” as shorthand for “FBI infiltrators controlled by bankers”?

    • Commander Rockwell criticized right wing “patriots” for their cowardice SIXTY YEARS AGO. So if and when the Boogaloo finally comes down those losers will be of no value whatsoever. If anything they’ll be more of a liability.

    • @gaikokumaniakku

      >Do you think everyone in a “red” state county is a totally brain-washed slave to television propaganda?


      >Do you think the bankers will send a lackey down to the trailer park with envelopes of cash and instructions on targets?

      Absolutely, no question about that at all. They are already doing it. It’s already done. See: Erik Prince and Blackwater.

  3. Yes, liberalism works to dissolve the nation. Except, instead of leading to sub-national decentralization like the libertarians think it will, it ends up strengthening the supranational forces working towards world government and a globally integrated market. No identity must exist except that which can be bought from a corporation.

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