I think Liberalism can be compared to a virus like, AIDS or Ebola, that was innocuous until it found a way to get into a man’s bloodstream piggybacking on something else, in this case Utopianism. People have always dreamed of a just world, filled with plenty, inhabited by a brotherhood of man. But people were by necessity always aware of human nature because there was yet no social system that allowed them to live like an island. The Industrial Revolution created such a system and now all those dangerous illusions appear to be almost within reach. Every time the addicts make an effort to live high all the time, someone burns the house while high on drugs.
The Soviet Union is a good example: all the suffering inflicted on the Russian people -and those who were forced to follow them- was self inflicted and had its roots in the form of government they chose. All the suffering that Americans had to endure since independence can be traced to some deformation of the natural economy that served us well from the beginning of history. For example, among certain kind of Catholics, Distributism is the fashionable deformation to be believed. Ask them who is the central authority that is going to set the limits and controls that system necessitates and they blank out: because, of course, that someone has to be a good tyrant!
Liberal Capitalism, Fascism, and Socialism/Communism are forms of the same disease. One can recognize them because all of them eventually produce a world without God. The economies that mankind inhabited in the past were always tied to the production of goods. To produce them we always needed raw materials and wisdom. The curious thing is that raw materials in this planet are always the same. Save for the occasional meteorite nothing is added to our stock. The only thing we can really grow on is wisdom. The more wisdom we apply to administer our God-given treasure, the better our life will be. That wisdom should increase with every generation but … because of the reality of sin, the by-product of wisdom, abundance, eventually produces more lazy fools than the system can handle. As foolishness increases, our grasp of natural capital decreases: wisdom disappears from the scene. Foolishness reigns until all is destroyed and a new generation seeks wisdom to begin the cycle all over again. It reminds me of the lyrics of Ellington’s Sophisticated Lady.
Then with disillusion deep in your eyes
You learned that fools in love soon grow wise
Fools in love with the ideas that came from Illuminism are growing disillusioned with the meager “happiness” they have bought. We may laugh all we want at the former Soviet Union but the American Dream will not have a different end. Something tells me that neither the American Revolution nor the will of God intended to fill the earth with town after town with shopping malls. I don’t think our best minds have to be destined to play abstract games in Wall Street while the subjects of those games work their entire lives like unhappy serfs.
Recently I learned on TV that a young lady was paying her tuition by selling her body as a porn actress. Curiously enough her name is “Belle.” Years ago I knew of someone who worked as a prostitute in Buenos Aires. By living frugally and investing her earnings she managed to acquire a small apartment building. In time she achieved her dream: to have her mother move in with her. The daughter took good care of her mom until mom died of old age. Why do I mention this? Because that happens eventually to all of us. We must give up the life we would naturally have lived to live the life we are allowed to live under the circumstances. The horse is thus placed behind the cart or worse: the horse is placed in the cart and we are forced to push it.
I believe the end of the Modern Age has come, yet I don’t think we are postmodern. We live in the apotheosis of Modernism. Virtually all human things are dying: economies, countries, cultures … In time fools will have to grow wise and we will be back to where we started but we shall see the place with new, wiser eyes.