A half-cooked Nietzschean attack on traditionalism
In the entry, “Hypocrisy and the good,” I argued that liberals, by denying traditional notions of a transcendent moral good, dispense with (or at least they think they have dispensed with) the hypocrisy that is an inevitable price of such beliefs. In a thread at Mark Richardson’s Oz Conservative that I’ve previously linked, commenter Jal Nicholl, who is some kind of Nietzschean, reacted to the word transcendence—and to me—like a bull to a waving red cape, and I replied.
Liberalism being a modernist, i.e., anti-transcendent, ideology, it is highly doubtful that other modernist ideologies, such as Nietzscheanism, fascism, and Darwinism, can be viable alternatives to it. Since the aim of the liberal project is to dismantle the natural, social, and spiritual order of being and construct in its place a society in which the only recognized basis of order is an equality of all human desires managed and pacified by a bureaucratic state, it follows that the only true opposite of liberal society is a traditional society, in which the order of being is recognized, nourished, and expressed, rather than disparaged, despised, and banished as it is by liberalism.
As I wrote in January 2008, one way to start assembling the elements of the traditionalist vision is to identity the things that modern liberalism attacks.
For example, in the current issue of the Atlantic Hanna Rosin complains about the fact that the breast feeding of babies, and women’s primary responsibility for childcare generally, takes time away from women’s careers and leaves them in an inferior professional situation compared to their husbands, with all the positions of “power” occupied by men. Rosin demands a society in which women are absolutely equal in career advancement and “power” to men, and views anything short of that as an unbearable injustice.
Modern liberals’ attack on the very existence of natural sex differences, and on the different social roles of men and women that inevitably result from those natural differences, tells us what liberalism is trying to destroy, and, by so doing, tells us what we need to defend, articulate, and restore.
By the way, The Atlantic has changed. It used to be resolutely, even magisterially, centrist. But as is evident in the last couple of issues, it has become aggressively left-liberal, displaying a nasty, alienated edge, and springled with gratuitous anti-American comments.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 30, 2009 06:23 PM | Send