What America is now experiencing is the twilight of liberalism. It is not a beautiful scene of magnificent hues and fading light. It is a sinister darkening of society with tones of foreboding.
Liberalism was supposed to have delivered a society of maximum freedom. Individuals could do whatever they desired while respecting the feelings of others. The system favored economic prosperity as everyone worked to live out their dreams.
However, as many scholars have observed, liberalism tends to destroy itself by accepting no limits to the freedoms it promises. Respect for others is soon trampled underfoot in the frenzy of self-gratification.
Hence, the tragic twilight. Society cannot function under such conditions.
The Essence of Liberalism
In his book, Revolution and Counter-Revolution, Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira defines the essence of liberalism as “the right to think, feel and do everything the unrestrained passions demand.” This definition helps explain what is happening today.
In its early phase, liberalism used and abused the restrictive structures (largely Christian) that maintained order in society to deliver its promised freedoms.
However, the Catholic thinker notes that as liberalism progresses to its more extreme forms, it “is not interested in freedom for what is good. It is solely interested in freedom for evil. When in power, it easily and even joyfully restricts the freedom of the good as much as possible. But in many ways, it protects, favors and promotes freedom for evil.”
Challenging the Structures of Order
This description fits the image of the present twilight of liberalism. Unrestrained passion requires that the restrictive influence of good be suppressed. In every field, the structures of order and morality must be challenged. Even the restrictions of logic, being and reality must be sacrificed on the altar of freedom for freedom’s sake.
Thus, today’s radical liberalism demands that people have the freedom to identify as something they are not. Men can think they are women, and women appear as men. Drag queen story hours are everywhere promoted as freedom of expression, even as one drag queen in Louisiana publicly stated his intention of “grooming the next generations.” Pornographic children’s books promoting gender theory are in libraries everywhere as an expression of this “freedom.”
Liberalism now requires history to be rewritten through critical race theory. Grammar is challenged with pronoun madness. Satanists must be given the right to set up after-school clubs. Even rational science must be put at the service of the passions. Governments must be expanded without concern for funding.
The prevailing feeling is that there are no limits on anything. The imagination rules. People do as they please, regardless of the consequences. Drugs, violence and unnatural vice advance at a frantic pace bringing destruction to individuals, families and communities. The result of this unrestraint is the current fragmentation and polarization since each feels free to pursue whatever course seems best.
Forbidden to Forbid
Only one thing is forbidden in this twilight of liberalism. It is forbidden to forbid. No one must experience the pain of refusal. These liberals look upon any expression of “no” as an injustice. The result is a world full of resentments, entitlements and reparations.
All liberalism eventually reaches this stage. Those who dare to protest, question or complain about these unrestrained passions must be suppressed. People and governments feel it is their duty to stop those who bar the way.
Thus, they “joyfully restrict the freedom of the good as much as possible” so that the good (or even those who just question liberals) have no rights. The liberals joyfully impose a double standard whereby good is canceled, and evil is given every right. One set of protesters will be brutally subdued, while another will be allowed free reign to destroy order and property.
At the same time, a decadent liberal establishment “protects, favors and promotes freedom for evil” and sin—even when they trample upon the common good.
Thus, the twilight of liberalism looms on the horizon. The only way to fight it is to proclaim the light of Christ and return to Christian order. If no one challenges and denounces this twisted narrative, darkness and tyranny will descend upon the nation.
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