The Nature of Liberal Morality

The Nature of Liberal Morality

By John “Birdman” Bryant

In contrast to conservative morality, liberalism is based on the premise that Reason, rather than Tradition, should be the criterion of good. Ironically, however, the first historical instance in which Reason was made the basis of morality — the French Revolution — not only witnessed some of the most immoral acts ever performed by man, but saw Reason literally transformed into the god of a religion thru the efforts of Hebert and others, so that Reason simply became a different form of Tradition.

But besides the fact that man’s reason may not be able to appreciate all of the things which the wisdom of the ages has accounted for in traditional morality, there is an entirely different sort of objection to liberal morality, at least as it is practiced in the present day. To explain, let me first quote from Mortal Words, v.3:

“The principal axiom — and fallacy — of the philosophy which in the present day goes by the name of liberalism is that any given human life  possesses infinite value. It is this axiom which explains the liberals’ eagerness to feed the starving third-world masses, in spite of the fact that such feeding will not stop starvation, but will make it all the worse once an infusion of food has made it possible for those who are starving to add to their numbers. It is this axiom which explains the liberals’ abhorrence of the death penalty, even for those persons who have committed the most heinous and despicable crimes. It is this axiom which explains the liberals’ opposition to war, even when the enemy is clearly opposed to the democratic principles which make the liberals’ self-righteously resounding protests possible. And it is this axiom which so arouses the liberals’ anger when scientists, in the study of their carefully-gathered statistics, conclude that some racial, ethnic or other groups may be inferior to others, thereby implying that — since the value of some people is less than that of others — that therefore not all those values are indeed infinite. “There is, however, a notable exception to the above axiom, which is that liberals, in favoring a woman’s right to abortion, do not seem particularly concerned with the lives of the unborn. I am not sure why this exception has arisen — or indeed that it is an exception, as liberals may well be split on the issue — but my suspicion is that it has much to do with liberal opposition to religion, and particularly the liberal distaste for the views of religious fundamentalists on abortion, who maintain that every fetus possesses that apparently-imaginary entity known as a ‘soul’. “Because of this seeming exception, we may avoid use of the above-stated axiom and conceptualize the liberal dilemma in a somewhat different but possibly more enlightening way: We may say that liberalism is given to  taking the easy and short-sighted way out, rather than trying to seek a  long-term and more permanent solution to problems. In a general way this is manifested in all the cases cited above: (1) For starving people, the immediate solution to their anguished cries is to simply feed them, rather than to suffer thru the longer-term (and actually more humane) process of letting them starve. (2) For criminals, the easy solution is to heed their heart-rending pleas let them go free, rather than to consider the long-term consequences of doing so. (3) For war, the easy short-term solution is to do nothing, rather than to take up arms in a conflict that will be full of blood, sweat, toil and tears. (4) For allegations of racial inferiority, the easy and short-term solution is to tell everyone that they are just fine and in no way inferior, thereby avoiding any immediate conflict with the many groups whose variance from the norm insures that many will be inferior in many ways in comparison to others. (5) In the case of abortion, the easy and short-term solution is simply to get rid of the fetus which, tho it may be a person in some sense, is clearly not enuf of one to stand up and complain. “We may extend the above observations concerning the liberals’ tendency to accept the easy short-term solution by noting several other significant liberal positions which accord with this analysis: (1) The tendency of liberals to shy away from disciplining their children is an immediate and short-term solution to their children’s unhappiness, but fails to give the children the basis for self-imposed discipline which they will need later in order to adapt to the extra-familial world. (2) The reluctance of liberals to force their children to master basic educational skills in favor of studying whatever the children’s little minds find interesting again satisfies the immediate desire for short-term happiness of both parents and children, but fails to address the long-term problem of the children’s acquisition of necessary skills. (3) The liberal horror at telling ethnic or other jokes in which someone is made fun of satisfies the short-term need to be inoffensive to others, but ignores the long-term need to deal with the incongruities and perceived differences (and offensiveness) of others. “It is, I think, the short-sighted outlook of liberals which makes those of a different stripe feel that liberalism is one of the most revolting moral doctrines imaginable.”

But we may go even farther than the above, for as I point out in Mortal  Words v. 1, the short-term outlook characteristic of liberals is actually the fundamental cause of criminal behavior:

“The essence of the criminal mentality is that it seeks immediate rewards without regard to long-term consequences. It is the criminal who wants to rape rather than date, to take the money and run, or to shoot now and ask questions later. Because criminal behavior is always characterized by such incredible short-sightedness, it is not altogether unreasonable to wonder whether criminality does not reside in the physical architecture of the criminal’s mentality and emotionality, and to conclude that it is something akin to — and just as innocent as — a severe case of myopia.”

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