American Elephants


A Civil War Against the “Liberal Ethos?” Yes. by The Elephant's Child

In 1993 after the USSR had dissolved and the Berlin Wall been pounded into souvenirs, Irving Kristol wrote, “There is no ‘after the Cold War’ for me.” Instead, the defeat of Soviet Communism signified only that “the real cold war has begun,” a multi-front civil war against the “liberal ethos,” which “aims simultaneously at political and social collectivism  on the one hand, and moral anarchy on the other.” Kristol explained that he had come to believe that “rot and decadence was no longer the consequence of liberalism but was the actual agenda of contemporary liberalism.”

The fight against collectivism hasn’t been won, but remains hard-fought and competitive. The end of the Cold War signaled the demise of socialism and central planning as ideals people fought for, or even took seriously. In 1997 Richard Rorty chided his fellow leftists for their vague desire to repudiate and move beyond capitalism, despite failing to figure out “what in the absence of markets, will set prices and regulate distribution. Until the left comes up with clear compelling answers to such basic questions, he said, it should limit its ambitions to “piecemeal reform within the framework of a market economy.”

These are the first two paragraphs of an essay by William Voegeli in The Claremont Review of Books, and well worth pondering. Is that what the Left is all about? Political and social collectivism on the one hand and moral anarchy on the other? It seems to me that they talk collectivism and supposedly dream of collectivism, but in action, or in the real world they want to make other people equal but put themselves in charge of doing so. They want to control, regulate, force, and make the necessary laws, just like Stalin who starved millions of Ukrainians to death in the Holodomor to enforce collective farming.

Moral anarchy — yes.  That’s obvious.


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