Copyright © 2008 by Bill Fisher. All rights reserved.
Liberalism, whether it surfaces in the spiritual or the secular world ultimately leads to a slide of that world into the oblivion of failed expectations. How and why is this the case? First, and foremost, modern liberalism, as it is practiced today, is rooted in relativism, sometimes called moral relativism. According to this philosophy, there are no absolute truths. What was true yesterday is not true today, and what is true today will not be true tomorrow. What is true for you may not be true for me. Relativism unhitches society from the anchors of traditional, foundational truths. Once unhitched from the anchors of traditional, foundational truths, relativism leads to a free floating uncertain journey through life that has no destination. Thus, it leads to oblivion, because without a destination, there can be no progress, only floating about seeking but never finding. Yogi Bera is quoted has having said, "You've got to be very careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there." And that, at it’s center, is what modern liberalism is all about.
Relativism is defined in the American College Dictionary as: "the theory of knowledge or ethics which holds that criteria of judgment are relative, varying with the individual, time and circumstance." Sometime during the 60's America embraced, with gusto in some quarters, an idea called "situational ethics." This was nothing more than relativism. What is right or wrong all depends on the circumstances, and what the actors think is right or wrong. This is unhitched from reality, not to mention traditional, foundational truths.
While relativism lies at the center of modern liberal philosophy, there is another factor that, when added to relativism, creates a dynamic that seduces society into believing something that has never been true to be true now, in spite of all evidence to the contrary. That factor is an idea commonly known as "socialism." Modern liberals believe with all of their hearts that government is corrupt, business is exploitive, and people are generally good at heart. Interestingly, however, even with that statement of faith, these same liberals believe the best way to create a perfect world is to regulate the conduct of those good-hearted people and to control the means of production of the exploitive businesses (which are in reality made up of good-hearted people). And who should intervene to control such things? Why, the corrupt government, of course (which is in reality made up of good-hearted people).
Modern liberalism has hijacked the label "liberal" and given it a new meaning. Classic liberalism stood for the proposition that government should be restrained not increased. Classic liberalism stressed individual freedom and limited government. It was a marriage between economic freedom and political freedom. It is the principle foundation of the writings of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Thomas Paine and others. It was, indeed, the basis of the foundation upon which the founding fathers of the United States fashioned a more perfect union to establish justice, to insure domestic tranquility, to provide for the common defense, to promote the general welfare, and to secure the blessings of liberty to themselves and their posterity. There was tension between the forces that wanted to create a powerful central government with superior rights to the various states within the country and those who distrusted a strong central government that would eventually dictate every area of life of its citizens. It was this tension that gave rise to the Bill of Rights that were to forever preserve to the people and the states superior sovereignty over a central government.
Modern liberalism is really not liberalism at all, in the classic sense of the meaning of the word. Instead, modern liberalism is actually socialism in disguise. Prior to the late 19th century, everyone who knew anything about this subject understood liberalism to mean individual freedom, limited government, economic liberalism (liberty) and political liberalism (liberty.) With the introduction of the interventionists central planning concepts from Europe during the late 19th century came modern liberalism.
Socialism was the label used in Europe and in Russia for what became modern liberalism in the United States. Most of us have heard of Karl Marx, known to many as the father of Communism. Many of us have heard of his famous book, The Communist Manifesto, published in 1848, in which he set forth a plan for the creation of a utopian society in which the state controlled everything for the good of everyone. What most people don’t realize is that what Marx wrote was not original. All Karl Marx really did was to update and codify the very same revolutionary plans and principles set down seventy years earlier by Adam Weishaupt, the founder of the Order of Illuminati in Bavaria. This blueprint set forth the foundation for constructing a socialist society where centralized government possessed most, if not all, of the power.
It is interesting to note that Karl Marx was hired to put his name on The Communist Manifesto by a group who called themselves the League of the Just. Many serious scholars agree that the League of the Just was the progeny of the Illuminati which was forced underground in 1786 by the Bulgarian government. The Illuminati was founded on May 1, 1776, barely two months before the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. Although it existed in the open for only a decade, it’s offspring — The League of Outlaws, Educational Society for German Working-men, The Communist League, Workers’ Brotherhood of Germany, and others — have survived even into the 21st century.
By the time modern liberalism was taking shape in the United States, the label "socialist" was fairly solidly associated with Communism, which carried with it many negative connotations. The socialists came up with a new name for their movement, and called it liberalism. Over the course of years, the label "liberalism" has come to signify a philosophy of greater government intervention in the lives of citizens and a focus on individualism as opposed to community.
In Part Two, I will explore specific examples of liberalism at work in the current financial crisis in which the United States finds itself. In Part Three, I will explore specific examples of liberalism at work in The Episcopal Church as that denominations is being split assunder by relativist doctrines