The rise of dogmatic liberalism is the American left-wing expression of the broader trend that Mark Lilla identified in a recent blockbuster essay for The New Republic. The reigning dogma of our time, according to Lilla, is libertarianism — by which he means far more than the anti-tax, anti-regulation ideology that Americans identify with the post-Reagan Republican Party, and that the rest of the world calls “neoliberalism.”
At its deepest level, libertarianism is “a mentality, a mood, a presumption… a prejudice” in favor of the liberation of the autonomous individual from all constraints originating from received habits, traditions, authorities, or institutions. Libertarianism in this sense fuels the American right’s anti-government furies, but it also animates the left’s push for same-sex marriage — and has prepared the way for its stunningly rapid acceptance — in countries throughout the West.
What makes libertarianism a dogma is the inability or unwillingness of those who espouse it to accept that some people might choose, for morally legitimate reasons, to dissent from it. On a range of issues, liberals seem not only increasingly incapable of comprehending how or why someone would affirm a more traditional vision of the human good, but inclined to relegate dissenters to the category of moral monsters who deserve to be excommunicated from civilized life — and sometimes coerced into compliance by the government.
The latter tendency shows how, paradoxically, the rise of libertarian dogma can have the practical effect of increasing government power and expanding its scope.
Many churches have sought to lure millennials back by focusing on style points: cooler bands, hipper worship, edgier programming, impressive technology. Yet while these aren’t inherently bad ideas and might in some cases be effective, they are not the key to drawing millennials back to God in a lasting and meaningful way. Young people don’t simply want a better show. And trying to be cool might be making things worse.
What finally brought me back, after years of running away, wasn’t lattes or skinny jeans; it was the sacraments. Baptism, confession, Communion, preaching the Word, anointing the sick — you know, those strange rituals and traditions Christians have been practicing for the past 2,000 years. The sacraments are what make the church relevant, no matter the culture or era. They don’t need to be repackaged or rebranded; they just need to be practiced, offered and explained in the context of a loving, authentic and inclusive community.
Suburban development represents a sharp deviation from how cities and towns were successfully developed and nurtured in the past and gives a detailed description of the obstacles New Urbanists face in suburbia.
As an alternative, Weyrich and Lind strongly advocated the adoption of a dual codes approach as one that conservatives could whole-heartedly support. It would allow developers to continue to build suburban sprawl if they so desire or opt for New Urbanist-aligned communities. This would allow the free market to work. Bth Weyrich and Lind expressed their apprehension over the culture-killing aspects of suburban developments – – where meeting your neighbor can be a difficult task, and any movement requires an automobile to accomplish. They viewed more traditional developments as fostering conservative norms and morals. Invoking Edmund Burke, they spoke of his view that “traditional societies are organic wholes. If you disintegrate a society’s physical setting, as suburban sprawl has done, you tend to disintegrate its culture as well.
It became obvious to all four of us that there was some sort of a serious spiritual division between “us” and “them”: with the radical and the traditionalist on the one side, and the liberal and the conservative on the other. It was more than a set of aesthetic preferences. It soon became clear that it unexpectedly flowed over into social and political issues. Dick and I discovered that we shared a preference for “small is beautiful” populism, a suspicion of bigness whether in government or business, a lack of interest in economics, a dislike of suburbs, a love of nature, and a concern for conserving the environment. (I’ve never understood why “conservatives” aren’t in the front rank of conservationism.) We didn’t get into moral and religious issues, but I suspect that even there we would have found a psychological kinship beneath our philosophical differences.
Perhaps the key was a willingness to be passionate about something, however different these things were. Or perhaps it was the preference for the concrete and specific over the abstract and general. (…) But whatever it was, and whatever political significance it may have, I think it means at least this: that beneath the current political left-right alignments there are fault lines embedded in the crust of human nature that will inevitably open up some day and produce earthquakes that will change the current map of the political landscape.
Since the news came out that three of the officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death were black—this fact is mostly pretty irrelevant to the case. A person isn’t any more or less violated depending on his race or the race of his violator. But it means a lot when some have vigorously pushed the narrative of “black men killed by white cops” as if it were only those instances of state-sponsored violence that were problematic. That narrative helps dangerous myths flourish—like the myth that black cops might be less brutal than white cops. Here’s Joan Walsh arguing that there was “no debate” black cops “absorb” the attitudes of their colleagues. It’s a bizarre idea that’s totally unnecessary if you live in the world but becomes a must-have when your understanding of the problem is based on the fantasy constructed in your head. And it’s a more than slightly racist one because it seeks to diminish the agency of the black adults who make up the black police population.
Max Fisher: We talked earlier about the disagreements within the Russian foreign policy establishment over the Iran nuclear deal. (…) Maybe some people oppose the Iran deal because it would be seen as beneficial to the US, or they support the Iran deal because it could be an opening to ease tensions with Washington?
Fyodor Lukyanov: It’s not part of the discussion at all, to decrease tensions with the West. It’s not an issue.
Public opinion is pretty mobilized because of Ukraine. A lot of policymakers, even those who used to lean more toward some kind of rapprochement with the West, are irritated by sanctions and so on, so it’s not part of the discussion.
So if Russia does something, it’s not necessarily to try to explain it as an effort to decrease tensions with the West. It might be a consequence, but it’s not the goal.
Max Fisher: It certainly seems that there’s no political appetite in Moscow for a rapprochement with the West. Is that preference widely held within the foreign policy establishment, as well? Or is there a faction that is arguing for rapprochement?
Fyodor Lukyanov: There is a faction, but it’s smaller than it used to be. And even many of those belonging to this faction say that, realistically speaking, they don’t see any options for it in the future, because on the American side there’s a very high level of polarization in the political establishment. And with the election campaigns about to start, it’s the worst time to try to launch something.
No American politician will gain anything positive by being softer on Russia. It’s not a central issue, but maybe candidates could use it in swing states, where many Eastern Europeans [who are generally skeptical of Russia] live.
Nas tukaj boli, ker smo mi udeleženi. Seveda je drugače. A dobro bi bilo, če bi se postavljali v neki širši kontekst. Če bi pogledali, kaj se je dogajalo v drugih državah, bi videli, da ti naši spori niso tako zelo edinstveni. Recimo, če vzamete zgodovino Litve ali Slovaške. Tudi Slovaki so glede svoje druge svetovne vojne v sporu, pa so čistke po vojni zajele zelo majhen krog ljudi. A še danes nimajo enotnega pogleda. Skupnosti ne ustvarja toliko enoten pogled, ampak predvsem dialog.
Zakaj ga mi ne zmoremo?
Mi? Kdo smo mi? Nekateri veliki deli slovenskega naroda, tisti, ki se dnevno mučijo za preživetje, so to že naredili in že znajo živeti drug z drugim in si pomagati ne glede na vse različnosti. Če nekateri, ki so izpostavljeni, tega ne znajo, pa morda to ni posledica tega, da ne znajo, ampak nočejo. Ker jim to še koristi. Še imamo krog ljudi, ki bi iz zgodovine delal politiko, ki bi hotel zgodovino izkoristiti za to, da bi onemogočil določene vizije prihodnosti, da bi eliminiral neke ljudi.
Revolucija in posledični totalitarizem sta v slovensko dušo vnesla nagonsko preračunljivost, ki je bila prej našemu narodu tuja. Če je bil slovenski jezik nekoč med najbolj preciznimi jeziki na svetu, je današnja govorica bleda, dvoumna in načrtno nejasna. Naučili smo se, da vsako besedo podzavestno zameglimo, da bi ja ne vnesli nemir v naša življenja. Žal je to ena izmed najbolj tragičnih posledic totalitarne prisile, saj je nezavedno obvladovanje govora in mišljenja končni uspeh revolucije: tisto, kar je bilo treba desetletja preganjati s prisilo pravosodja in tajne policije, je postalo tako globoko vcepljeno, da so ljudje sprejeli omejitve in se jih držijo brez formalnih pravil ali pregona.
Odločitev za partizanski odpor v okviru OF za večino navadnih vojakov ni imela nobene zveze s komunizmom. Tako kot štajerski, notranjski in primorski mladeniči so tudi partizani branili sebe in svojo zemljo. Večinoma so bili kristjani, ki so med vojno v uniformah hodili k maši. Niso se borili za to, da bi jim pet let po vojni nekdo prepovedal hoditi v cerkev in na delovnem mestu nad njimi izvajal mobing, če se ne odpovejo svoji veri.
Brez kristjanov v partizanskih vrstah bi vodstvo OF o svoji vojski lahko samo sanjalo. Zato so potrebovali Kocbeka, da je nasedel komunistični prevari o pluralizmu in jo pomagal vzpostavljati in vzdrževati vse do zadnje faze revolucije, ko so ga dali na čevelj.
Ob tem kontrastu med centrom in periferijo predlagam županu zanimivo strategijo trženja svojih dosežkov. Lahko je tudi predvolilna kampanja. Če center postaja rajska lokacija za tuje oglaševalce, ki lahko na fensi lokacijah poceni snemajo za Jaguarja in Hondo, bi lahko periferijo ponudili holivudskim filmarjem. V Zgornjo Šiško pripeljemo par trabantov in že bi jo George Clooney pred agenti Stasija podurhal v centru bližjo Spodnjo Šiško. Čez zid, na navidezni Zahod. Dva svetova v enem kadru. Neprecenljivo!