Abandoning the Principle of Individual Liberty for the Politics of Identity

“With bright knives he releases our souls.” —Pink Floyd, “Sheep”

When today we find conservatism to be the closest thing to classical liberalism in the West, the left made a wrong turn somewhere. Several wrong turns. A major one was abandoning the principle of individual liberty for tribalism.

With this illustration, Nate Kitch implies that free speech and national integrity are on the same political plane as identitarian moral panic. They are not.

A free man is under no obligation to accept or affirm the delusions, illusions, or lies of others. He is only obligated to tolerate these in those who are not harming others or depriving them of the liberties and rights to which we are each entitled. Toleration does not mean avoiding criticism or ridicule of their beliefs. The fool can stand babbling on the hill. And we can make fun of him.

The desire to compel an individual to accept or affirm delusions, illusions, or lies, or punish him for mocking people who hold or spread them, is an authoritarian desire. The force of law and policy behind such desire cancels the obligation to be tolerant.

The existence of Muslims does not depend on my faith in Islam. Muslims do not need my affirmation to exist. They only need to be convinced of the truth of their doctrine. I only need to tolerate them. Without faith there are no Muslims. But this is their problem, not mine.

To say a man is not exempt from a mandate or a requirement because he does not profess the relevant religious doctrine is to punish him for believing some irrelevant doctrine or no doctrine at all. This is discrimination.

Integration with western society does not require abandoning one’s faith commitments or other opinions. It does, however, require accepting as part of living in the West adherence to the ethics of secularism, rule of law, and diversity of opinion—the very things that permit those who choose to reside in our countries the right to keep or abandon their faith commitments and other opinions. You faith cannot give you any privileges in a free society.

Yet Americans are being told they have to accept and affirm delusions, illusions, and lies and that they will be subject to mandates for not holding approved belief.

Illiberalism is being normalized by the corporate state and its attendant technocracy. Our civil liberties and human rights are at stake. We must recommit ourselves to the Enlightenment. Insist that reason and secularism govern our institutions. Push this woke insanity to the hill where the fool stands babbling.

* * *

If you’re wondering why progressives are so gullible when it comes to accepting the pseudoscience of the state corporate apparatus, you have to grasp postmodernist corruption of the academy and our cultural institutions (A Judge Stands on His Head to Save Woke Progressive Indoctrination and “DeSantis is a Nazi” and the Hysterical Left’s Anti-Working Class Politics covers this issue and provides numerous links to past writings about this). Once academics, administrators, and cultural managers, and the progressives who came through their indoctrination programs, became convinced that science is just another ideology—and, worse, cisgendered, heterosexist, patriarchal, white supremacist ideology—it was only a matter of time before well-known and obvious truths were overthrown for pseudoscientific notions to be displayed on placards and profiles for the tribal purpose of signaling virtue.

One blatant giveaway that science has been rejected are these yardsigns telling us that “This house believes in science.” No it doesn’t. If it did, that sign wouldn’t be in the front yard. (See “In this House…” The Slogans of Woke Progressivism.)

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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