Commentary by Alexander Tomský
Many years ago, the once classically liberal Anglo-American weekly The Economist, like many global companies, embraced the leftist and anti-capitalist ideology of "social justice." What a surprise when it devoted its editorial and a whole lengthy section (briefing) to "The Threat From the Illiberal Left" in late summer.
Did the editors make a U-turn? After all, until now they have supported every delusion that anti-racist, egalitarian ideology has ever promulgated. Perhaps after the departure of President Trump, they no longer need to so vehemently defend leftist shibboleths, and the change is symbolized by the emergence of a leading editor from the liberal daily The New York Times, who was ousted from the newsroom by his activist colleagues. Revolution, as we know, eats its children.
The last liberal president from the Democratic Party was John F. Kennedy, "Ask not what the state can do for you, ask what you yourself can do for the country!" (1961) Since then, American liberalism has morphed into openly socialist social engineering activism designed to eliminate discrimination against sexual and racial minorities. It has successfully implemented so-called repressive tolerance or censorship, gossiping or character assassinations, and organizing internet demonstrations against people with incorrect views, which usually means losing their jobs.
Why has classical liberalism, which professed debate and reform, morphed into the revolutionary ideology of the "confessional state," as the magazine's editors called the change, and divided American society? The answer is simple, for they are convinced that they know the bright future of humanity. "Classical liberals know that this is not possible, and they want change to proceed slowly, spontaneously, and from below."
Democracy is discussion and compromise; it has no final goal or form. It is the coexistence of a multi-layered society. The idea that the existing hierarchy must be broken is dangerous; dictation will not bring progress. According to progressives, the suppression of the reactionaries and the privileged is the way to elevate the oppressed, as if to take away from some and add to others is to straighten them out.
The famous economist Milton Friedman once said that a society that prefers equality to freedom will lose both. Progressives think they have found a method to liberate oppressed groups. In reality, they would have to suppress the freedom of the whole of society.
Social justice activists attack the hierarchy of success that is the essence of executive enterprise. To combat racism, the government and businesses are to employ the same percentage of people regardless of merit to the proportion of racial and sexual minorities, they intend to abolish tests for college applicants, and they are not to judge the level of written language. The Biden administration intends to compensate exclusively black farmers for covid and is considering reparations for slavery.
De facto anti-discrimination has eroded the Constitution, fairness and equality before the law. Progressives also attack institutional racism, the existence of which can be seriously questioned. Americans have been desegregating and favoring blacks since the 1960s. Many prejudices have also fallen, and the vast majority of people do not mind mixed marriages between whites and blacks, once considered a vice. The Economist is correct in its judgement, but it has forgotten something.
Of all the stupidities that progressives have pushed into the canon of political correctness, the biggest is the one about unconscious white racism. Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't racists in America, how many no one knows, but certainly fewer than in many other cultures. Western civilization is the only one in the world that does not know the institutional crimes of dictatorships and tyrannies. It has forgotten, however, that evil resides in man, not in the democratic structures of society. And sometimes it is also the result of good intentions.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)