Classical Liberalism and Cultural Marxism

A reader with the Laurentiumite and Latinate name of Lorenzo Fossi comments:

“I’m not referring to liberalism as “the left” there, I’m referring to actual liberalism and asking myself if it is doomed to be subverted by leftism sooner or later or not.”

It is a difficult and interesting question.

Alas, we have only one example in history of a period when the West changed from monarchic to liberal forms of laws and customs, and that is the current period. And that one example does not bode well for the ability of liberalism not to degrade into totalitarianism far worse than the monarchy it fled.

By “actual liberalism” I assume is meant what is sometimes called Classical Liberalism, the political theory that the state’s proper role is protection of individual rights and liberties, unhindered by monarchic or aristocratic class or legal privileges: the liberalism of John Locke or Thomas Jefferson.

Marx cloaked all his illiberalism in liberal language, justified by various misstatements designed to appeal to liberal sentiments (here I mean only anti-monarchic). Marxism is not actually a liberal political-economic theory, but an apocalyptic vision couched in political-economic terms, a Christian heresy. Marxism is the most successful heresy in history, more successful than Mohammedanism or Lutheranism. Marxism conquered half of Europe and more than half of Asia and South America in two generations. The conquests would have been wider, and were prevented only by the most desperate military efforts and hair’s-breadth escapes.

And where it has not conquered by force, it has conquered by subversion. It has replaced Christianity as the dominant paradigm, at least in a Cultural Marxist version called Wokeness or Political Correctness, and its near ally, Islamofascism, by slow invasion disguised as refugee migration, is fairly well along in a program to replace the native populations of increasingly infertile and childless European nations.

Now, how would have this scenario played out without the calamity of two world wars, a cold war, and an ongoing global jihad, not to mention the invention of the steam engine, the assembly line factory, the limited liability corporation, the colonization of North America by Europeans?

The prospects seem grim.

In Europe, the French Revolution and the Russian Revolution, which were both anti-monarchical revolts under the banner and rhetoric of liberal reformation, were spectacular failures, leading to enormities and mass-deaths unprecedented in history.

To this can be added the crimes of the National Socialists of Germany and Fascists of Italy can be added, since they also employed liberal rhetorical tropes, appealing to equality of the people, land reform, equalization of incomes, and so on, despite not being anti-monarchic.

Only in America did liberal political philosophy provoke a political system and culture which, for a time, preserved the rights and liberties enjoyed by Englishmen, which had been preserved at least in England, for another century or so.

Currently the liberties in England and America and English Commonwealth nations, Canada and Australia, &c., are roughly at the same level, with America preserving certain liberties thanks to the inertia of our written Constitution, but losing more liberties in areas not covered — it would require a more delicate and nuanced tally of the laws and customs to declare who had greater freedoms. The presence or absence of the English monarchy or established national church has not had an overwhelming nor obvious effect.

So we only have one datapoint, if we count all of the West as one, or three, if we count the Anglosphere, the Gallic World, and the Slavic world as separate. In all cases but one, classical liberalism led to leftist Marxism, differing only in the approach between brutal Stalinism and subtle Political Correctness.

And where Marxism has not triumphed, it advances are nearly or wholly unopposed. Even the astonishing advent of Donald Trump only slowed certain political advances of the Left in America, snatching victory from their jaws at the last moment, and not actually dismantling or diminishing any power they have over the Deep State, Academia, the Press, the Cinema, or the Military Industrial Complex. Indeed, it was during the Obama and Trump years that the Left abandoned its pretense of peace and peace-lovingness, and began rioting and looting and burning cities.

We have only one example of a Christian civilization attempting to embrace classical liberal norms, and, that one example lost its religion and was corrupted into the mere opposite of liberalism, Napoleonic imperialism or Marxist totalitarianism, with startling rapidity, and, at that, totalitarianisms resting on the terror of a police state, unleashing crimes beyond count, murders in astronomical numbers; and there the rise of totalitarianism was resisted, the liberties were leached away slowly, from Wilson to Roosevelt to Obama, but aimed at the same destination. There are no examples of liberalism preserving the liberties of Englishmen under their monarchy; there are no examples of liberalism offering effective resistance to Political Correctness.

On the other hand, we have only one example to work with. It is like astronomers making guesses about life on other planets, when the sole example of any planet with life, this one, is but one.