Liberalism in History

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture
Submitted by Kyrel Zantonavitch on Sat, 2016-08-20 03:00

Liberalism is the central concept around which all of human history pivots. The more liberal the foundational philosophy, and consequent culture of a given society is, the more alive, healthy, knowledgeable, virtuous, prosperous, happy, and magnificent it is. The more liberal an individual nation-state is, the richer is its culture, and the higher is its level of civilization. The importance and greatness of reason in epistemology, individualism in ethics, liberty in politics, and heroism in aesthetics and spirituality can not be overemphasized.

Reason, individualism, liberty, and heroism are all definitive concepts. They're like life, health, truth, pleasure, happiness, beauty, goodness, and greatness -- ideas and ideals which can never be improved upon. Liberalism is philosophical and cultural perfection.

Of course -- the god is in the details. These are general concepts, high standards, and marvelous goals that need to be understood in depth and detail. Only serious, sound, solid intellectual inquiry can yield that.

Philosophical and cultural liberalism began 2600 years ago, when the eastern Ionians discovered and invented pure reason. Subsequent Greek and Roman societies were highly liberal during their heydays. But when illiberal Christians took over Rome -- and the Atomists, Aristotelians, Epicureans, Stoics, and Cyrenaics were mostly defeated -- a thousand-year Dark Age ensued in the West.

Then the 1100s mini-Renaissance, Italian Renaissance, and European Renaissance slowly brought back civilizational liberalism. Mankind rapidly advanced and flourished again -- especially during the 1700s Enlightenment and Age of Reason. But when illiberal socialism took over solidly in the early 1900s in the West, a new Dark Age began.

For quite a few recent generations the world was a black, depressing, ominous place. Incredible weapons of mass destruction loomed on a highly irrational and tyrannical planet. Then the philosophy of reason, individualism, liberty, and heroism began to return. Indeed, in the form of the radical thought-system of Ayn Rand, it was better than ever.

By the 1980s, liberal political leaders like Reagan, Thatcher, Gorbachev, and Deng reflected this intellectual change. They massively impacted world government -- especially future trends and possibilities. Liberalism experienced a Second Renaissance. Life was good and the future was bright. The liberalizing West was mostly ascendant and triumphant.

But that period of great hope was largely, or even mostly, arrested by the fundamentally illiberal Muslims and their spectacular 2001 World Trade Center bombing. Now China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe, and other regions are considerably reverting back to old-fashioned Big Brotherism in their cultures. So too even Western Europe and America.

Everyone watches as America tortures suspected jihadis, jails them without trial, and places them in a legal black hole in Guantanamo. Everyone watches as America spies upon and wildly invades the privacy of all of its citizens all of the time in utter violation of the constitution and laws. Everyone listens as America and the West militantly refuse to morally condemn the wicked enemy Muslims and their fatuous, depraved philosophy of Islam. Everyone sighs as America and the West emphatically decline to overthrow the leading Islamic states of Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan, with all of their illiberal monsters and destroyers therein.

These overwhelming evils perpetrated by America, and even Western Europe, hugely support and empower the jihadis, communists, third worlders, and other anti-liberal savages everywhere, while devastating philosophical, cultural, and political liberalism worldwide.

Simple Healthiness and Normalcy

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

Andrew -- You're right about liberalism being just philosophical, cultural, lifestyle, and political "sanity". I would also use the terms "common sense" and "simple reason". When the whole world converts to pure liberalism within a century or two, those future people will look back upon us and be baffled how anyone ever could have rejected or doubted: (1) reason and science, (2) individualism and self-interest, (3) liberty and justice, (4) etc. The ideology of today is pretty much like numerology, rain-dancing, and vodoo.

Kyrel: Chicken or egg?

Andrew Atkin's picture

Liberalism is just sanity - and an expression of respect for others. A sane mind does not need to be taught the rights of others. They already know. I certainly never needed to be told, for example.

I would argue that a failure to achieve a liberal society is rooted in the level of neurosis within a given society, and what creates neurosis is infantile damage and child abuse. That's the powerhouse behind it.

The linked audiobook [written by Lloyd DeMause, narrated by Stefan Molyneux] makes the argument that America was 'ready' for liberalism due to critical improvements in child rearing. The author suggested that the 'freedom country' grew first from that foundation. This sounds very plausible to me.

-This is also why I think the best way to get rid of "Islamofilth", long term, is to focus on how they treat their kids. Crazy ideas can only survive in crazy minds.

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