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Liberalism’s Thousand Faces – OpEd


By Dénes Martos

“In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”. — George Orwell

Liberalism is a political doctrine which, amongst other things, is characterized by its capacity to mimic. Depending on the time and circumstance liberalism will take on whatever aspect is best, giving way on matters of secondary importance whilst holding on with an iron fist to its fundamental tenets. To facilitate its chameleon-like capacity for adaptation, over the past half century or so, liberalism has made for itself a costume with a series of different masks that make it attractive for those who are innocently inattentive, whilst it remains rigidly inflexible to the initiated.

Its first mask can be found in the very name it uses to define itself, which obviously refers to liberty. Naturally, who doesn’t want to enjoy liberty? Who would dare openly deride or hate liberty? Liberty is written in bold golden letters on the blazons of our modern republics and even in those of surviving monarchies. And yet that which the “philosophers” who promoted that Grand Subversion of 1789, which History calls the “French Revolution”, was nothing but a pale shadow of true, real and possible Liberty.

Precisely because of that, because it turned out to be completely unviable, the liberty of our founding liberals – at first conceived for individuals and later promised to entire people, nations and countries – is now a thing of the past. It merely survives as a Utopian concept, however after 150 years of repeated intents the truth is that to this day it remains as unattainable as it was then. As time went by, liberalism became a costume which started to wear and tear as a consequence of its own stumbling and excess, whilst at the same time it became more transparent. Nowadays, it is nothing more than a cloak for a very small and tight group of people whose ambition for power they imposed through the strength of money, has acquired global dimensions. But it continues to be flexible. Because this costume has a thousand masks with a thousand different faces, where the only thing they have in common is that they all gawk at profit and water at the mouth to get it, even if it means weakening, destroying, pauperizing and corrupting people, countries, nations and even entire civilizations.

One of its favorite masks presents the world with the faces of rationality and economic freedom juxtaposed in an attractive blend. In essence, what it suggests if that, in a free market goods and capital flow freely throughout the world, know no borders or impediments. The problem here is that, when they do, then Nation-states are left defenseless and have no way of defending their own local economies, workers and products. Because such flows are controlled by the “market”, however the market is controlled by capital and, thus, by the owners of capital. Today it is easy to see to what extent the State, government and even society itself are forced to succumb when confronted with the power of capital. Countries are now starting to realize the real cost of national indebtedness because it asphyxiates them, and it will increasingly continue to do so for generations to come.

Naturally for this to occur it was also necessary to ensure that politicians and governments accepting these rules of engagement; accepting liberalism and its tenets were catapulted to places of power, thus delivering up their countries to global plutocratic greed.

Another favorite mask used by liberalism – well installed and well known – is what they euphemistically call the “Rule of Law & Order”, which in practice is nothing but the Nation-State that will arise from manipulation and distortion of its Laws. So much so, that what we have nowadays are codes of law and jurisprudence geared more at protecting delinquents than honest folks. When suitable to liberalism’s interests, it will ensure court rulings that can be invoked beyond the ridiculous to mitigate the true seriousness of crimes thus softening the ensuing punishment meted out to delinquents. Nevertheless, in spite of such sentences and permissiveness which are true attacks against social order – even against basic common sense – judges continue to remain unseatable as long as they count with the backing of those in power. Even judges who are obviously corrupt and immoral. Or maybe it’s precisely corrupt and immoral judges who are especially uneatable under liberalism’s system. Especially those who set free criminals as soon as they can, so they can be let loose on society to continue killing, maybe even 48 hours after being released from jail.

But the very worst aspect of this alleged Rule of Law & Order is the huge number of political decisions – decisions that really affect the lives and future of millions upon millions of people – are just not subject to the control of any rule of law and order whatsoever. Thus, the very idea of Law and Order, under which the Nation-State willingly obeys laws geared at preserving the Common Good, has become totally subverted.

Because much of what goes under “Law & Order” in reality not only serves to unleash on society common criminals, but far worse, it will not remove from society those criminals that do it the most damage because they wield the power to make political decisions that end up damaging all of society without their being truly accountable for what they do.

And this is because, irrespective of legal technicalities, today the “Rule Law & Order” means a State where government officers cannot be tried de facto nor are they accountable de jure. Thus, we have the worst of both worlds in which government officers cannot be tried for their political acts, nor are there legal norms to make them accountable for the decisions they make.

Nor can we ignore the mask of religious liberalism. Because, it is clear that this is not about people having the liberty to believe in whatever they wish – or can – nor does it have anything to do with the right all people should have of practicing whatever ritual their Faith asks of them. What this is really all about is giving a full green light to militant atheism so that it is free to virulently attack all religions, especially those that uphold values that are incompatible with liberalism’s materialistic rationalism, which is the philosophical basis of all liberal doctrines and their ideological derivatives.

Naturally, this also means that any sectarian madman can found a new superstition, have it recognized as a “religion” by the State, and then put out their hands asking for government give-aways and subsidies of all shorts. Now that is something militant atheism – hiding behind the mask of the Rule Law & Order and of liberty – will accept with open arms! And the more ridiculous and grotesque the so-called “religion”, the more it will be able to wield suitable arguments to erode true religious Faith and the Churches sustaining it.

Naturally, these are but a handful of the myriad faces of liberalism. There are, in fact, many more: the pacifist face, the negotiator face, the egalitarian, permissive, relativistic faces; the consumerist, usury, hedonist, and a whole carnival of other faces.

But fighting liberalism is somewhat akin to fighting against the proverbial thousand-headed mythical Lernaean Hydra.

In Greek mythology, the second work of Hercules was to slay the Lernaean Hydra, a many-headed monster with venomous breath who had a strange characteristic: if any of its heads were chopped off, two new ones would immediately spring up in its place.

Apolodorus tells us that Hercules could only vanquish the Hydra with great difficulty after asking his nephew Yolao to help him by cauterizing each injury with the fire from a flaming torch as Hercules chopped of each head, so as to avoid new ones from springing up.

Like most myths, the slaying of the Lermaean Hydra has a moral which can be applied to any modern endeavors to subdue liberalism, because like the slaying the Hydra you will need to do this as a team. Not even Hercules was able to do the job on his own. And to be efficient, all teamwork requires a good, well planned idea that is then properly carried out, leaving nothing to improvisation except for the unforeseeable.

Solitary heroes if challenged by the Lernaean Hydra might, with a bit of luck, chop off a head here and a head there with their swords; but immediately two will spring up, then four and the monster might even come out strengthened from such a battle. So, to be successful, we need at least two or more fighters acting in consonance and as a team, where one does the head chopping and the others cauterize the necks with their flaming torches to ensure that no new ones arise.

And of all imaginable torches, there is one whose bright fire is particularly effective in avoiding all those Hydra heads from arising and multiplying. It is the Torch of Truth, which when well used, in an age of enormous lies becomes a revolutionary weapon.

Dénes Martos, Buenos Aires, Argentina,

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