Why liberal societies are necessarily metaphysically sociopathic
June 6, 2014 § 48 Comments
I’ve discussed for literally decades the fact that liberalism is a fundamentally self-contradictory political philosophy undergoing a continual process of logical explosion within the context of the real world as we find it. Because there literally are not and can never be “free societies” of the sort liberalism requires, the encounter of liberalism with reality continually produces new structures and forms of itself as liberals (which include almost all modern people) make unprincipled exceptions to their liberalism, and seek out what in their minds is an authentic implementation of political liberty.
Liberalism, including the ever new kinds of liberalism that sometimes label themselves conservative or reactionary, rests on the assumption that metaphysically neutral politics is possible within some scope.
Some kinds of liberals want metaphysical neutrality at the high levels of political hierarchy, creating a free market of different polities any one of which the superman can Exit if he prefers. These kinds of liberals are under the illusion that their liberal emperor will play nice and not insist on the liberal philosophy that governs the empire overall dominating the individual polities in the federation. They are also counting on the “free market” producing a bazaar of traditional artisan governments for consumption by hipster connoisseurs, not the political equivalent of Wal Mart and McDonalds. Both of these presumptions strike me as more than a little implausible, not least because we already have a free market of several hundred nations: all we are missing is the emperor.
Other kinds of liberals want to see liberalism “down in the streets”, with the superman exercising his free and equal Voice at the ballot box, tempered by a judiciary that ensures equality and protects the sheep from the culinary choices of a majority of wolves: that is, ensures that the democratic process can only result in liberal outcomes.
But in reality the choice isn’t between metaphysically neutral politics and metaphysically “opinionated” politics. The choice is between politics that is self aware enough to know that it is opinionated and politics lacking that self awareness. This is true at all scopes and levels of abstraction.
In faux-neutral liberal polities that lack this self-awareness, metaphysical bias still drives what is done. It is just necessarily sociopathic.