You’d better hope it comes up heads
December 5, 2015 § 73 Comments
Liberalism is political commitment to liberty, equality, and fraternity; where liberty begets equality and fraternity proceeds from them. If we only look at one side of each of these coins, the side liberalism likes to show off in the display case, they look very pretty.
But like all coins they have both heads and tails. You can’t pick up a coin without picking up both sides, and if the coin toss doesn’t go your way things don’t look so pretty.
The flip side of the liberty coin is constraint. For every single political liberty empowering a citizen to choose what he wishes to choose, a multitude of constraints on other people are implied. “Liberty” in practice just means that you agree that the ‘free society’ puts the right sort of people in prison.
Liberty as a political priority begets the equality imperative. The pretty side of the equality coin is freedom from discrimination: equal rights. But politics just is authoritative discrimination, so this incoherent demand for authoritative nondiscrimination doesn’t actually make you free from discriminatory authority. It just makes authority sociopathic, pushes it underground, to the bottom side of the coin that you do not see, and creates an arbitrary justification for whatever the ruling class happens to will. Equality attempts to abolish politics and as a result reduces it to arbitrary Will.
Together liberty and equality produce fraternity, the universal brotherhood of the new, free and emancipated man, politically released from the chains of history, tradition, religion, and even biology. The other side of the coin though is that to liberalism, anyone who is intransigently in the way of the political emancipation of the free and equal new man is less than human. He has to be less than human, because all men are political equals, the just powers of government derived from the consent of the governed. If the Low Man were fully human he would be ‘with the program’ rather than impeding it: he would be giving his free consent to liberal governance. But he is not; therefore he is less than fully human and must be educated, rehabilitated, absorbed, or eradicated.
And it is all fun and games until the coin toss doesn’t go your way.