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March 23, 2005

The Decline of the Liberal Faith

The American Spectator has an excellent article on the decline of the liberal faith.

Liberalism, American-style, is dying on the vine. I refer to the faith of liberalism -- the belief in "the redemptive transformation of human society through political means...." [A]s a faith, liberalism is set to decline in the years ahead. It is already doing so, perhaps more swiftly than we know. What is left of it is filled with darkness and pessimism: sex, abortion, euthanasia, and death.
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Although its adherents don't like to discuss the point, the liberal faith has much in common with Communism, including shared roots in the Enlightenment. Human nature, philosophers once believed, could be remade in the classroom. People could be improved by "legislation alone...."

Liberalism and Communism both regarded egalitarianism as an ideal and both were godless; Communism openly so, liberalism more obscurely. Democracy admittedly distinguished between them, but the liberal admiration for an ideological judiciary shows that they, too, would like nothing more than a government that is free to impose its will by fiat (provided it is run by the right people).

The article closes with the author speculating on whether Islam will embrace Enlightenment values, but he is unsure of the outcome.