Or has made a powerful attempt anyway.
The London based Economist, my newspaper of choice over the past fifty years, when I could afford the indulgence on a schoolteacher’s stipend, and lash out on its cornucopic range, has, in its 175-year anniversary edition, chosen to whinge at length about how Liberalism, allegedly the ethic motivating the so-called ‘Western Canon” [not to mention the newspaper itself] is under siege.
Apparently mankind [sorry personkind or perhaps humanity itself; or should that be… hupersonity… oh dear…] has toddled on into ‘left behind’ anxiety driven populism while those professing; or simply even perhaps unconsciously, living the liberal theme: are “obsessed with bossy political korektness: and are out of touch with what matters to ordinary people”.
They have no grasp of what it means to be ‘ordinary’.
This means those allegedly dozing inhabitants of formally free, Western type democracies, are in deep danger of being enslaved; or overthrown by evil forces bent on enslaving it in a debt drenched morass:[for those who didn’t think we were already in such a place] thereby heralding an existence equitable with feudal servitude.
Those who would do this are [allegedly] using proxies.
These take the form of enraged or despairing LB’S [Left Behind’s remember] Or what That other Kontender kalled: “Deplorable’s” … and there are far too many; and they are all winning… and its … Oh dear.
It was a generally sad read.
With an intriguing denouement
In its closing akts.
One could argue that Liberalism is a dead duck… The Economist hopes it isn’t. All It does tell us, is that the philosophical idea called Liberalism is of “broad faith” … Broadly in the sense that all things are ok… As long as no one is stealing my particular piece of cheese [presumably].
In fact, is has been so demonstrably of “broad faith”, that it tacitly supports murder at one end of its relativist spectrum: and broad welfare at the other.
To the extent that[so-called] refugees from places that are so horrible to live in, that everyone rushes out; to the glee of the remaining despots: tacitly supported by liberals through a process of the well spun: relativist, Orwell defined: double think double talk; moving to infinite series’ squared off rubrics: that have so defined the financialised years… Remember. They were those years where everything, including syndicated servitude and tax funded enterprise, was/is packaged: and becomes available for sale to those who come to take the edge off the rising rate of interest.
“Spin” is for sale to the best bidder.
It’s almost like the word is out that the world, as we know/knew it, is entered into a period of transformation. The known is ending; and that we are in its end days [for now]. And the future is as always uncertain. So its grab whatever kan be grabbed; live well, ‘eat drink and be merry’… for the boogie person comes.
This is a generally long-standing viewpoint stretching back hundreds of eons and who is to say we didn’t do all this before? And forgot… other than for this ‘boogie person’ malady. What if the people who left their post – Neolithik indicators at somewhere like Gobekli Tepe, for instance, drank to the end of the world; once they worked out the only way to kommunikate to those who might find their real message: millennia later after all was forgotten.
Noting that there are places in the world where one could be “vanished” like a certain Mr.Jamal Khashoggi,this past week, who it seems entered the Saudi Embassy in Turkey and never exited. he has ‘vanished’ apparently. One could perhaps say that Liberalism is suffering from ‘Kompliance Error’…. Being generally [and allegedly] more concerned with being more than fair, to those who have ‘suffered’: whilst being soft on the wounds of their local neighbors.
And sometimes perhaps you have to lose something or come close to its loss: to appreciate what you think you had… or perhaps vaguely remember what you think you had… and whether it was better or worse, than what is now about. You could at least decide “What the Fuck” is all this about?
Maybe you may be a reader who is not sure what this “Liberalism” is about?
So Liberalism is ultimately an idea about choice; and where, on a matrix of at least two intersecting variables, society as a whole functions. It is a broadly flexible idea…
A society that offers its citizenry the widest possible range of options by which people can live their lives and make a business successful, is more liberal that one that restricts opportunities for a range of cosmetic reasons.
To assist confused readers The Economist newspaper uses a guideline developed by one of their [former] workers.
The worker: Edmund Fawcett, suggests that there are four elements to Liberalism:
• Society is ACCEPTED as a place of Konflikt.
• This Konflikt should be engendered to be systemic.
• Thus supporting Kompetition for ideas.
• So Kompetition must/should prevail.
• Society is dynamic.
• Hence Improvable.
• Distrust all power.
• Especially Koncentrated power.
• Individuals have rights. Irrespektive of the power strukture of the State.
• The individuals inhabiting it must all have an equality of positive respect for their civic rights:
• and “thus the importance of personal, political and property rights.”
It is noted, of course, that there are far too many places where all individuals are equally disrespected by the authority strukture of the State.
Equally there are all too many that use selective amnesia to deal with rights violations.
There are also many places that have wonderful baskets of rights: without an economy that can sustain them.
So the Economist summarises thus: “Today liberalism needs to escape its identification with elites and the status quo and rekindle the reforming spirit.” In which it was apparently born.
In the interests of full disclosure I should mention that in regards to matters civically economic: if one may coin a phrase; I tend to favour such philosophic icons as Hayek, Nozik, Von Mises and Mikhail Bakunin who famously said: “A Boss in Heaven is the best excuse for a Boss on earth; therefore if God did exist he[she?]would have to be abolished.”
One has noted over one’s decades of use, that the Economist prefers to put such ‘radikal’ thinkers into its “naughty kids in the Korner” box. Any explanations are peppered with giveaway “Buts” and “Yes: Buts”.
And thus I should say that it would seem that Liberalism, has, perhaps, in its rush to be kompliant with all and sundry, itself diskarded klose attention to Mr. Fawcett’s third and fourth criteria.
In essence the problem of Post-Modern Liberalism is that it has become kompliant; and has too frequently been busted substituting the effortless activity of “NICENESS”: for the deep ethics motivating the Rule of Law; and Accountability, for undue acts.
The backlash is now demanding due attention. And the trend is unfolding. The cards are slipping and sliding. The “society” is also now more truly Global, than it was… albeit only minimally more inclusive.
It may also be about to shake and pulse with the, as always, unwanted ekonomiks of Kompetition. Specifikally between ideas rooted in Fawcett’s world of imagination: clashing with the harsh and grinding reality inherent to those ideas prevailing in those worlds ranging from autarkik disinklination to savage autokracy.
In closing I would note simply, that, serendipitously, last Sunday 30th September was [according to my local newspaper] the two thousand four hundred and ninety eighth anniversary of the Battle of Salamis [2498 BP = before present ].
This Battle was won by a massively outnumbered, combined force of citizens of the Hellenes, in a naval battle, that to this day has never been equaled, for its mass slaughter of the combatants, mostly Persian slave warriors… some 40,000 of whom drowned that day.
Salamis embedded the idea, and set a 2500 year old standard; whereby free citizens trump [no pun intended] press ganged hordes… setting up the foundations for Fawcett’s liberal thought and society’s norms… And laid the base for the system, that has lifted individuals all over the planet to have lives infinitely more fulfilling, than it was; back then scrabbling in the dust for klues to the meaning of life.
Shall Liberalism rest in peace? And where to shall we go?
Does the Ekonomist at last come to rekognise the validity of UBI?
And what have we now?
To be continued …