Liberality II

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Man a will not be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest  Denis Diderot.

A kind reader has asked why liberals behave so badly. The answer is simple.

They suppose themselves to be surfing the zeitgeist. (The Enlightenment was always an assault on the past in the name of a future as yet unachieved.) Liberals believe that they know what that Future is, and that they are the agents of it.

These simple facts explain so much.

They tell us why, for example, so ferocious a rear-guard action is being fought by the opponents of Brexit. It is because ‘ever closer union’ appears to them to be the inevitable trajectory of history and because, for them, a priori, nationalism is an evil which results in war. They are in consequence obliged to assume that all patriots are zenophobes, and to despise them as such.

They also tell us why the liberal coterie around Francis is so intent on changes in marriage discipline. Ever wider ‘inclusion’ is, for them, the tenor of history and the only future for the Catholic Church. Evangelism, for them, necessarily entails going with the flow. This may be dressed up as ‘mercy’, and so disguised as theology; but in truth it is naked inevitablism. It is an insolent rejection of Tradition and an impudent claim to have seized hold of the Future. They are in consequence obliged to assume that all traditionalists are unmerciful (‘rigid’), and to despise them as such.

The irony of this inevitablism is that, when the past is summarily dismissed, all that remains is the ephemeral present. The Future, to which the past is at least a key, becomes even more intangible and uncertain.

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