What was incredible is to have watched the super-speedy near-complete ideological corruption of Republicans from 2015 to 2020, five years to banish any hint of liberalism from the party and fully embrace statism, all from the desire for control. There should be a book.— Jeffrey A Tucker (@jeffreyatucker) December 6, 2019
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!