Over the last several years, as COVID lockdowns, mandates, and forced injections became the rage, there was an accompanying (and loud) blaring of voices calling out the “hypocrisy of the Left.” These banshees fixated on the tactic perhaps because they felt it would go a long way in de-legitimizing the standing of opponents as defenders of freedom, though in fact little more than randomized ranting ever occurred. Their failure can be ascribed to a fundamental understanding of liberalism itself, and what measures are sustained to preserve it.
For starters, the issue is not one of liberalism gone awry. It is common for Intellectual Dark Web types to present such narratives, lamenting the distraction from a genuine freedom order wherein differences might be hashed out using the court of public opinion or through elections. Truthfully, a system built almost entirely on enfranchising and uplifting the commoner’s aspirations without any serious application of responsibility is bound for swift degeneration. Even if certain values are upheld or safeguarded, they are unlikely to stand much chance against the churning and insatiable drive of each generation’s ego and inability to check personal impulses over the short run. This was ably described in The Conservative Mind as follows:
“There is no perversion of liberalism, but simply its natural progression. Liberalism (fortunately) has always been a secondary state, living on like a saprophyte on the tissue of the previous age, inheriting its monuments, feelings, and social hierarchy.”
The reference to subsisting on the grounds of predecessors helps explain the muscular liberalism of Macron, Trudeau, and Biden. As stewards of a schizophrenic and paranoid ideology, said public actors cannot afford to actually endorse a continuation or renewal of liberty and freedom for the masses; to do so might call out liberalism’s own internal contradictions and flaws, perhaps leading to another philosophy gaining appeal. The central belief and all associated indoctrination efforts must be kept outside the cold, and only forceful demands on the populace at-large will be acceptable. Of course the consequence might still be steering folks towards alternative ideas, but at least liberalism can die with dignity as that process unfolds.
Let us recognize that there can be no correction of the problem under existing terms. The Rand Pauls of our world frequently offer up amendments and speeches imploring for government officials to “give back” their power and “restore the Constitution.” To do these things would mean undermining the very essence of liberalism’s primacy, which dictates its moral justification in utilizing tyrannical means to protect legitimacy and the system as a whole vis-à-vis other tyrannical elements. Any significant lessening of effective state abilities is therefore counterproductive, and not credible suggestion to a liberal actor. All the dissident can do is sneer and outflank liberals verbally, while being thoroughly ignored when actual policy questions arise.
So, rather than indicting liberalism for the crime of useful hypocrisies, it may be time to go out and create your own.