The truth that liberalism prohibits, even as it exploits it
When people say they’re OK with homosexual marriage, are they being honest with themselves? I was watching an older movie yesterday, “The Mating Season,” that had a lot of flirting going on in an innocent, romantic way between a good looking, well dressed man and a beautiful, courtly lady (Gene Tierney). There is just something gracious in the relationship between a male and female as made by God. I don’t see this in any other relationships (male-male, female-female). Those others just turn me off. Are people being sincere with themselves or are they just beating the idea of homosexual couples into themselves against their own nature and essence because of political expectations?
Liberals would of course reply that your view is nothing but prejudice. In reality, your view represents an intuitive grasp of the truth of existence, the truth of human nature, the truth of the complementarity of male and female. But liberals deny that there is such a thing as truth, because if there is such a thing as truth, then not all desires are equally good and valid, and human beings are not equally free.
In fact, your question about liberals’ attitudes toward homosexuality is paradigmatic for all of liberalism. On one hand, liberals deny that there is an objective good. On the other hand, they say that anything that people desire (so long as it doesn’t involve coercion) is good. But if there’s no objective good, how do they know that anything that people desire is good? And do they really believe that anything that people desire is good? The artificiality and bad faith that you detect in liberals’ attitudes toward homosexuality apply to liberals’ attitudes across the board. Liberals deny objective moral truth while feeding parasitically off of it. This is the very essence of liberalism.
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Sage McLaughlin writes:
I don’t know whether you’ve been eating your Wheaties or what, but VFR has been outstanding the last week or so. This statement is excellent:
“Liberals deny that there is such a thing as truth, because if there is such a thing as truth, then not all desires are equally good and valid, and human beings are not equally free.”
You’ve stated that in other ways elsewhere, but concision is the essence of powerful prose. I’ve bookmarked that statement and written it down so I will not lose it. Thank you.
I think there is evidence that Tex Atlanta’s observations are correct. The liberal psychologist Jonathan Haidt has done fascinating research into the moral psychology of liberals and traditional conservatives. He acknowledges that even many liberals find homosexuality deeply repulsive. He claims that liberals typically react by assuming that they are the one with the problem, and that they need to overcome their “bigoted” reaction by repressing the natural reaction of disgust. They see this as virtuous because they are allowing their “rational” egalitarian impulses to overcome their “irrational” and “bigoted” moral impulses. I think this partly explains the recent push towards the normalization of ever more bizarre forms of sexual expression like transsexuality. The more disgusting some deviant behavior is, the more the liberal can practice the virtues of tolerance and non-discrimination by accepting and promoting it. If the behavior is truly perverse and revolting, it is a heroic act to tolerate it and accept it, an act of liberal supererogation, as it were. [LA replies: That’s a new variation on Auster’s First Law! Under liberalism, the more vile and perverted an act is, the more virtuous it is to tolerate it. ]
In the traditional morality of virtue, one attempts to exercise control over one’s baser desires and animal passions. One eventually learns to tame these passions, thereby achieving the kind of self-mastery that is necessary for spiritual development. The liberal, on the other hand, achieves a different kind of self-mastery. He learns to control and suppress his natural moral passions, so that he can forge a society in which all people are free to indulge their baser desires without fear of social censure.
Excellent comment. It’s often been said that liberalism inverts traditional morality. You have shown more precisely how this is the case. The traditionalist, in order to become a better person, restrains his baser behaviors. The liberal, in order to become a better person, restrains his belief in morality.
Sam replies (before he saw my bolded response to him making the same point):
This phenomenon dovetails nicely with your theory that in a liberal society, the worse a designated victim class behaves the more forbidden it is to criticize it. The more obvious it becomes that some minority group is transgressing the bounds of decency and morality, the more heroically virtuous it is to tolerate their transgressions and to punish those who speak the truth.
Come to think of it, this phenomenon may lend some measure of credence to Steve Sailer’s “status competition” theory of liberal insanity. In any group of people with shared values and norms, there will be ideas about virtue and vice. Those who most embody the virtues will have enhanced social standing. Hence, in liberal society, the more tolerant and permissive you are of vile and revolting behaviors, the more you distance yourself from the benighted non-liberal and the more you demonstrate your virtues to your peer. If you can accept even outrageous offenses against decency and nature, you are the liberal version of Aristotle’s great souled man, able to expect much and receive much.
I’m laughing out loud.
Just out of curiosity—what is your readership? I ask because I get the impression that unashamed, traditional conservativism is gaining some cultural momentum. I say this, actually, as someone who was a left-liberal only a few years ago. I am, so to speak, a “casualty” in the war of ideas. People like you and others on the traditionalist right convinced me that I was completely wrong in almost all of my basic philosophical assumptions. I wonder if being a conservative traditionalist today is a bit like being a counter-cultural liberal in the late 1940’s or 1950’s. Although it looks like the cultural establishment is rock-solid, it is really only 10 or 15 years away from being swept away in a cultural sea change. I honestly don’t know, but I certainly hope and pray. My big worry is the institutions. I just don’t see how we are going to wrench them away from the left, and I don’t see any push for something analogous to Gramsci’s “long march” to take them back.
Here is the Webalizer page with the readership statistics for VFR.
Several weeks ago a reader recommended other sites that provide more information than Webalizer, but I’ve lost his e-mail.
Just out of curiosity—what is your readership?
He has a lot. I’m 19 year old Christian female biracial for example.
I just don’t see how we are going to wrench them away from the left, and I don’t see any push for something analogous to Gramsci’s “long march” to take them back.
We don’t need to take them back. We create our own.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 03, 2011 08:01 AM | Send