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Post-modern Liberalism

An interesting post at Q & O this morning. [1]

David Warren, writing in the Ottawa Ciitzen [2], takes a look at some of the “Gorbachev/Obama” comparisons that some are doing and finds them wanting.  But, he does find one thing the two men seem to share in common.  Something he calls a characteristic of the post-modern liberal mind:

Yet they do have one major thing in common, and that is the belief that, regardless of what the ruler does, the polity he rules must necessarily continue. This is perhaps the most essential, if seldom acknowledged, insight of the post-modern “liberal” mind: that if you take the pillars away, the roof will continue to hover in the air.

Or a complete and utter disconnection from reality as it functions in this world. We tend to write that seeming disconnect off to arrogance or ignorance, or both.  But in fact, it is a belief based in the following:

Gorbachev seemed to assume, right up to the fall of the Berlin Wall and then beyond it, that his Communist Party would recover from any temporary setbacks, and that the long-term effects of his glasnost and perestroika could only be to make it bigger and stronger.

There is a corollary of this largely unspoken assumption: that no matter what you do to one part of a machine, the rest of the machine will continue to function normally.

A variant of this is the frequently expressed denial of the law of unintended consequences: the belief that, if the effect you intend is good, the actual effect must be similarly happy.

Very small children, the mad, and certain extinct primitive tribes, have shared in this belief system, but only the fully college-educated liberal has the vocabulary to make it sound plausible.

I suspect Bruce is onto something here, in a sense that’s larger than even he sees fully.. and he’s usually quite good at picking such things up.

The problem that I see with both the quoted piece and Bruce’s comments,  is that they’re limited to the political and to the economic.  I suspect, however that it is also true of the cultural.  as I say there this morning [3]: “How much of our cultural values can be stripped away, without causing the roof to collapse on the others? I look at areas of the country dominated by the left…. (Chicago for example) and wonder if that collapse hasn’t already begun.”

As I’ve been saying since this site when online and, in fact, for decades before that, the culture is foundational to the political and to the economic.  They cannot be disconnected, one from the other.  Is there any question , for example, that the corruption that is Chicago was brought on by a stripping away of cultural values?  Is there any question in anyone’s mind, that that loss of cultural values has cost them both in terms of the economic, and the political?  I don’t think so.

There is this, as well… The approach taken here in analyzing this business, is certainly more benign than the more obvious interpretation which is that the proponents of these positions, Gorbachev, and Obama , actually intend to pull the house down. How else, after all, to rebuild the country in the image that you see, without airing down portions of it, if not all of it?

And frankly, I find Bruce’s closing comments spot on.