The Despair of Liberalism

I've come to the belief that liberals are a rather despairing lot.

George Martin of "A Song of Ice and Fire" fame, describes himself as a liberal on his website, and I believe his work is a good example of the liberal mindset. As mentioned in my review of the first four books of A Song of Ice and Fire, his basic philosophy is essentially "there are no true knights, no more than there are gods" (as enunciated by his character "The Hound", Sandor Clegane) and "there are no happy endings" (as stated by Samwell Tarly in A Feast of Crows). Furthermore, I realised just this morning in the shower, in his novel the ONLY afterlife is hell.

I suspect that most, if not all, liberals, deep down, share this belief that there is no heaven, only hell. Or at best no afterlife at all, which is why there is such a focus on the material and on enjoying life. Yet interestingly this materialistic worldview has consistently, through history brought far more pain and suffering than the "backwards" Christian culture.

Liberals also have a very dim view of Mankind. Although they deny Original Sin and espouse nonsense like Rousseau's "Noble Savage" theory, they really think quite little of human beings. This is illustrated very well in Martin's bleak "there are no true knights" series of books where only atrocities, no heroism, happen. The Liberal Party of Canada made this clear during the 2006 Federal Election when a senior staffer of theirs criticized the Conservative Party's $100/month payment to help towards child care costs for children under 5, saying that parents would blow this money "on beer and popcorn". That's why liberals are almost universally statists: their dim view of humankind leads them to believe that people need to be told what to do.

I should end by stating that I am NOT a conservative. In my view, "conservatives" are really just another brand of liberal. They are last week's liberals.

Anyway, the upshot of all of this is that the reason I may seem bitter about this is because people like George Martin completely dominate the literary field. That's one of the main reasons I write -- to try to get some stuff with a different worldview out there.

1 comment:

Sophia's Favorite said...

Liberalism, whether of the right or left, is a fetish—or, even more often, a taboo. "How dare you restrict anything" is not a particularly nuanced concept; actually most taboo codes of Stone Age societies are significantly more complex and subtle.

Also, the only principle that all liberals agree you can base laws on is "as long as nobody gets hurt"." If you showed that to any ancient society, they would ask why we let our slaves have a political party. In the ancient world, whether it be Roman, Chinese, Hindu, or Aztec, the chief distinction between a slave and a freeman is that slaves are concerned with mere brute material security, while free people are primarily concerned with their dignity. It's not slaves who challenge each other to duels, after all.

PS. Rousseau was actually ostracized by all the other "Enlightenment" thinkers for not believing in the "Noble Savage" idea. He was an agrarian populist, and Voltaire and his ilk didn't like his skepticism of their urban statism.

Pretty much nothing attributed to Rousseau is actually from Rousseau; it's from a couple of 19th Century English intellectuals who set him up as a strawman to justify their own "scientific racism"—specifically, certain policies of the Raj.

Rousseau said a lot of silly things, such as that only states can make war (quite to the contrary of modern liberals, he also thought that military actions against non-state actors—or "brigands", as he called them—were not bound by the rules of engagement that existed between states). But the silly things he said are quite different from the ones attributed to him.

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