Showing posts from August, 2021

Liberalism in One Sentence

Liberalism in one sentence: "X is the morally right thing to say, therefore X is true." EDIT: Of course, there's more to it than that.  In some ways, that's inaccurate.  In some cases, liberals are primarily concerned with "optics".  Therefore, they aren't so concerned with whether something is actually morally right - they're only concerned with whether it looks morally right.  (As Debord put it, the slogan of the spectacle is "That which appears is good, that which is good appears" - thus liberalism is inextricably tied up with spectacle.) "That's a bad look" is something that liberals say (the honest ones).  But other liberals really have a politics that consists of trying to have good intentions and think good thoughts.  But it doesn't really matter.  The cynical liberal, who is only concerned with optics, and the idealistic liberal, who genuinely wants to be morally right, are effectively the same thing. FURTHER EDIT:

An alternate schema of historical idealism

  [Note: I'm not saying that I believe what is written in this essay.  I'm entertaining this schema as an experiment, to see what follows from it.] In ancient and early classical Greece, the good was identified with the pious.  Then Socrates and Plato came along, and posed the rather devastating challenge to this world, enshrined the Euthyphro: what is the pious, and why is it pious?  Do the Gods will the pious because it is pious?  Or is it pious because the Gods will it to be?  If what we call piety is merely pious because the Gods will it to be, this implies a kind of arbitrariness to piety - and to consider piety to be arbitrary is, itself, a bit impious.  On the other hand, if we assign an ontological priority to piety, what results is a kind of demotion of the Gods.  They know that what is good is good (presumably because of their omniscience, or something like it), but they don't get to decide what is good. Socrates had performed the most dangerous act of philosophy: