Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell.
A fascinating glimpse into the cross section of rapidly ruling ideologies are revealed in the philosophical progressions and proclamations of Sir Karl Popper. The rise and feverish promotion of these mutually exclusive (yet overlapping) social philosophies reflect the swiftly evolving promotion of arbitrary mores and non-critical thinking. It’s a shift that is measured on a continuum with the extreme political correctness of the leftist filling one end of the spectrum–and an all-inclusive, morally-relative brand of libertarianism on the other (while the traditional conservative who recognizes the direct link between ethical vitality and a fixed social morality is targeted and vilified). But back to Popper…..
A former Marxist, the early 20th century philosopher would come to embrace social concepts wholly Tocquevillian in nature as he ultimately concedes:
Freedom is more important than equality; that the attempt to realize equality endangers freedom; and that, if freedom is lost, there will not even be equality among the unfree.
Despite such politically incorrect sentiments, Popper has had a profound impact on today’s progressive movement. In fact, Popper continues to be cited and credited for his early Marxist leanings by those who seek a ‘balanced’ middle ground between humanistic utopia and wealth distribution. Ultimately, the decision to leave Marxism behind was a difficult one for Popper:
I remained a socialist for several years, even after my rejection of Marxism; and if there could be such a thing as socialism combined with individual liberty, I would be a socialist still. For nothing could be better than living a modest, simple, and free life in an egalitarian society.
Despite theoretical differences, upon close examination, there are overlapping principles that link the progressive movement to the libertarian movement. Most notable is an emphasis on a man-centered, morally-relative brand of equality as the highest social virtue (despite any secondary consequence or future detrimental correlation/causation). In particular, a libertarian governing philosophy that lacks practical application will ultimately become indistinguishable from the one political persuasion that most compelled them to ‘rise up’ in the first place.
Regardless, those citizens who seek representatives that are trustworthy and ethical (in carrying out the responsibilities they’ve been entrusted to perform) are having a difficult time finding their place in today’s America. When those elected to govern have little interest in abiding by our Rule of Law, it becomes impossible to believe that we, as American citizens, are truly and faithfully being represented by our government. But this is the reality, and it should trouble us all.
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Photo credit: Jill Robidoux (Flickr)
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