Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Hypocrisies of Liberalism

Re-reading Orthodoxy, Chesterton's masterpiece (as far as I'm concerned), and relishing afresh this delicious passage:

The modern revolutionist doubts not only the institution he denounces, but the doctrine by which he denounces it. Thus he writes one book complaining that imperial oppression insults the purity of women, and then he writes another book (about the sex problem) in which he insults it himself. He curses the Sultan because Christian girls lose their virginity, and then curses Mrs. Grundy because they keep it. As a politician, he will cry out that war is a waste of life, and then, as a philosopher, that all life is waste of time. A Russian pessimist will denounce a policeman for killing a peasant, and then prove by the highest philosophical principles that the peasant ought to have killed himself. A man denounces marriage as a lie, and then denounces aristocratic profligates for treating it as a lie. He calls a flag a bauble, and then blames the oppressors of Poland or Ireland because they take away that bauble.

The man of this school goes first to a political meeting, where he complains that savages are treated as if they were beasts; then he takes his hat and umbrella and goes on to a scientific meeting, where he proves that they practically are beasts.

I'm sure we can all think of many other examples. The liberal considers marriage to be a fundamental human right, the refusal of which might cause great psychological harm-- as long as it is two men wishing to "marry". When it comes to a man and a woman, though, marriage is a sham and a piece of paper.

Taboo is ridiculous and a relic of the nursery when we're talking about obscene and blasphemous art, but taboo is simple justice when it concerns "hate speech" and the expression of politically incorrect opinions.

Religious freedom is precious in the case of Tibetan monks or Western Muslims, but mere special pleading for a nurse wearing a cross around her neck during working hours.

Reason is all-important as long as we stay in the realm of physics, but mere logic-chopping and sophistry when we ascend to metaphysics.

And so on. And so on. And so on.

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