Note: I am posting regularly behind the green door on more casual topics like movies and personal topics. The latest is a review of the 2012 movie Dredd. This week’s Taki post is up and somewhat related to this post.
In a modern prison, the prisoners are quickly conditioned to have a reason for everything when asked by a guard. They are prisoners and they have no freedom, so they need permission for everything. On the other hand, prisoners have a lot of time to work the system, so they get good at the rules. With the help of lawyers on the outside they hold the prison system to their own rules. As a result, everyone working in the system knows they need a reason for everything they do.
The prison is the ultimate expression of a world without choice. This is a thing to keep in mind when looking at what is happening in America. It is no longer acceptable to say “because I want to” when asked about a preference or choice. You have to have a reason for your choices. The sources of authority are the prevailing dogma on human relations or science, which is just another word for the dogma. Science has become a deity of sorts for the true believers of the modern age.
One example of how this played out was the homosexual marriage debate. The people pushing it flipped the debate by demanding to know why homosexuals could not get marriage licenses. All of a sudden, everyone was scrambling around for a reason to standby the default position of humanity. Since the official dogma asserted that anyone opposing the homosexual agenda was a bigot and therefore dismissed from the debate, there was no acceptable reason to defend natural reality.
The important part of that debate in regards to the permission society is how quickly normal people went along with it. Once the Left framed the issue as a question, normal people scratched their heads searching for an answer. They just assumed they needed a reason to defend biological reality. Critically, public opinion was no longer justification for maintaining normal marriage. A majority preferring to keep the old ways was not a good reason. Group preference was no longer acceptable.
Public policy is not the only area where choice is being stripped from us. In fact, having a preference is immoral. White women can no longer say they prefer to date white men, for example. That violates the official dogma. They need to find some other reason to not date outside their race. Something similar is being pushed with homosexuals and transvestites. Even the most intimate and personal of choices are subject to examination and you better have a good reason for them.
What kicked this off, of course, was the war on free association. In the quest for racial equality, white people were stripped of their freedom to associate with whom they wanted in daily life. If a white person chooses not to hire a nonwhite, they know they need to record an acceptable reason. If asked, they must provide this reason. The same is true of renting an apartment or asking about the schools. In the permission state, you are guilty until you provide your permission slip.
In this conversation between Christopher Caldwell and Andrew Sullivan, they discuss why many people oppose what they call globalism. Caldwell thinks it is because these people are not capable of competing, while Sullivan assumes these people are ignorant of the glories of diversity. There is an assumed lack of agency. The possibility that people simply prefer to live in more traditional communities is alien to them. There must be some reason that fits within the prevailing orthodoxy.
The prohibition on personal preference is a paradox of liberal democracy. In theory, the system is supposed to reflect the accumulated preferences of the people. That is the point of having an election. The people vote their choices, and the preference of the majority carries the day. The people do not need a reason to make their choices, because in a democracy the will of the people is the finale authority. That is the point of democracy, but now we are at the exact opposite position.
This is another great parallel between communism and liberal democracy. In the former, the dictatorship of the proletariat was supposed to result in the full expression of the public will but ended up with a dictatorship of a tiny minority. In liberal democracy, the election process and open debate are supposed to get consensual government, but in reality, it is something closer to a theocracy. In both cases, the ruling minority appears to despise those they rule but cloak themselves in moral authority.
It turns out that preferences and moral authority are conjoined. When moral authority resides with the people, in their traditions and customs, they maintain the freedom to choose within the broad outlines of those customs and traditions. Once moral authority shifts to some arbitrary ideology, then moral authority shifts to a tiny elite. A similar process happened with the Catholic Church in the middle ages. Church dogma replaced tradition and culture as the moral authority of the people.
That suggests the remedy for liberal democracy is a reformation. In this context, the reformation was about restoring moral authority to the people, by rooting their faith in their local customs and traditions. Lutheranism reflected the nature of the Germanic people, while Anglicanism reflected the sensibilities of the English. For liberal democracy, this means restoring national sovereignty, so that the will of the people can be expressed in politics and public policy.
A new year brings new changes. The same is true for this site as we adjust to the reality of managerial authoritarianism. That means embracing crypto for when the inevitable happens and the traditional outlets are closed. Now more than ever it is important to support the voices that support you. Five bucks a month is not a lot to ask. If you prefer other ways of donating, look at the donate page. Thank you.
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