Feeding Cthulu with freedom
August 2, 2014 § 40 Comments
Throne and altar conservatives have understood that modernity only moves in one direction for a long time. When I coined the phrase “Hegelian Mambo” at VFR years ago I was just putting a cute little image on what had been common knowledge among Catholic critics of modernity for centuries. In general that something happens to be new to us doesn’t make it new in fact.
Recently some secularists have discovered the fact that Cthulu only swims left, but they haven’t fully grasped what fuels this motion. The usual thinking among the noobs is that Cthulu’s leftward swim is fueled by progressive insistence on equality. This is at best only a half truth.
Equality is not the most basic commitment of liberalism. The most basic commitment of liberalism is right there in its name: political liberty, also known as freedom. Insistence on equal rights is a consequence of making freedom into a political priority.
Freedom is a state of affairs wherein what people wish to choose corresponds to what they are actually able to choose. Freedom as a political priority requires us to subvert all transcendent conceptions of the good – all concepts of the good which transcend what people happen to want – to whatever actual people actually wish to choose. It therefore inherently sets itself against reality.
Because it inherently sets itself against reality, freedom as a political priority creates contradiction and instability. This contradiction and instability inherently demands change without limit in the direction of trying to make reality conform to what people wish was the case rather than what actually is the case.
And the only way back to stability is to put freedom in its place: as a mere side effect of the fact that good people find it pleasing to do good things, and find it pleasing when evil is crushed beneath the boot of Heaven.