Liberals’ belief in their own invulnerability

In reply to the blog entry, The forbidden topic [of race] returns—thanks to Jorge Busheron, a correspondent writes:

Things are changing. I recently have had conversations with two middle-of–the-road white women who would previously never have dared have a non-PC thought enter their heads suddenly discussing this “immense problem of America’s being swamped by S. American immigrants.”

Do you remember that once I told you that the dominant American thought was that “there would always be enough”? I meant that most middle class, muddle-class Americans thought they could always keep giving it away, but that their world would never change. They are in the beginning of the wake up stage.

LA replies:

Yes, they had to feel it before they could see it. (Who would have thought that the single most accurate and concise explanation of American attitudes toward mass non-Western immigration in the 21st century would come from George Washington?)

What you say is true. Modern liberalism is based on the assumption that “we” are invulnerable, that nothing that we do for the Other can ever cause any existential threat to ourselves. Therefore we can just keep giving and accommodating and celebrating and diversifying and nonjudgmentalizing and tolerating and including and surrendering forever.

Now, where does the idea, that there will always be enough, come from? It comes from the same liberal assumption that gives rise to the idea that the Other’s inferiority is our fault.

Liberalism says that all people are naturally equal. If some other group is not actually equal to us or assimilable with to our society, it must be because of some artificial thing that is being done to it by us, namely discrimination. The greater and the more intractable the differences between us and the Other, the greater the liberal guilt (or, in the case of the liberal elites, the greater the guilt the elites seek to load on other whites and white society generally—but either way guilt is the issue). So we are obligated to do everything for the Other (or, if we are liberal elites, we make other whites do everything for the Other).

But just as our guilt can never be assuaged, our superiority can never be ended. The quasi-religious liberal belief in equality leads to the quasi-religious liberal belief in our own guilt. But in order for us to remain guilty, we must be so far above the Other that we are in effect untouchable and invulnerable. Without the belief in our superiority and invulnerability, we could not maintain the belief in our own guilt. Thus we assume that we can always keep giving away our goods to the Other and trashing our own society for the sake of the Other, and that this can go on forever.

I’ve said before that nonwhites and Third-Worlders see whites as half Santa Clause, half devil—having the wherewithal to give nonwhites everything they need, but perversely holding it back. And what I’m seeing now is that whites see themselves the same way. They see themselves as people who are possessed of infinite goods, but who are perversely and selfishly holding onto them, not sharing enough of them. All liberal whites (which means most whites today, including many who call themselves conservative) share this guilt. In order for whites to maintain the belief in white guilt, they must believe themselves possessed of infinite goods.

LA continues further:

Here’s the meeting point between the Washington/Auster theory of white delusion and your theory: What is the moment when whites feel what is happening, and thus start to see? It is the moment when they finally realize that they could lose it all.

Correspondent replies:

Which is about where you and I have been for decades.


In an earlier article, “The only way the West can be saved,” the same idea was presented at more length, that only major ruin and suffering would make Westerners feel the badness of liberalism.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 20, 2006 07:00 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):