A Preview of Liberalism’s End Point
Liberals always stake their claim to the moral high ground, or to put it another way, they believe they own the moral high ground. If this were true, and it most certainly is not, then they would have to believe in biblical morality and authority. The problem with liberalism is that it’s rooted entirely in moral relativism where moral authority resides in the individual. Another name for this might be ‘designer morality,’ where a person basically customizes what he or she believes to be right and wrong. By logical extension if everyone owns their own morality then morality ceases to exist and a person can justify basically any bad behavior as good behavior. Dostoevsky was the first to recognize this, most notably in his novel Crime and Punishment, where the protagonist Raskolnikov wanted to test his conscience and conventional morality by murdering someone without getting caught. And it was Dostoevsky who also famously stated “Without God all things are permissible.” Nietzsche carried on where Dostoevsky left off by declaring “God is Dead” and that all that remains is the ‘will to power.’ This is true not just in the realm of the political but social as well. All relationships in a way become power-centric, i.e., who has the upper hand in controlling the other. Morality not only becomes individualized but so does authority. One can easily see how this leads to the political and social chaos and conflict we see in the world today. Looking out further however, it can be envisioned where liberalism is headed -- to an end point where not only are morality and authority being customized by the individual, but the individual is literally customizing himself (or herself).
Recently a story came out about a man who paid $50,000 in order to become a genderless alien: “Vinny Ohh, 22, from Los Angeles in California, has had over 110 procedures to transform into a 'genderless' extra-terrestrial. The make-up artist believes he's neither male nor female and so his extreme look is a way to mirror how he feels inside.”
Another story from last year describes a man who transformed his face with tattoos and had his ears and nose removed in order to look like a dragon. Apparently he's a transgender that now goes by the name of “Dragon Lady.” These two stories represent nothing short of liberalism taken to its logical conclusion. It’s always trying to take down the natural order of things through the elimination of limits and boundaries, destroying a foundation of universal morality and authority as originally outlined in the Bible. A simple equation shows how this works: moral relativism = designer morality = designer self.
This all dovetails with liberalism’s modus operandi of normalizing the abnormal and the mainstreaming of deviancy, sometimes known as defining deviancy down. It was done with abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, and marijuana -- and now it’s in the early stages of mainstreaming pedophilia and polygamy. Those who deny there’s a slippery slope to all of this are seriously misguided or dishonest.
A glimmer of optimism about a change of direction for the future is discussed in a recent First Things article by Betsy VanDenBerghe, “Generation Z: Desperate for Rules,” that describes how the current youngest generation is looking for guidance to escape the social anarchy resulting from decades of relativism. Possibly this presages a moral revival:
"Abiding by moral rules, especially when they are explained meaningfully and mercifully, gives teenagers swimming in a sea of relativism and nihilism what David Brooks calls a 'moral vocabulary.' Sympathy for multiple generations of family breakdown wrought by moral anarchy isn’t enough. People need norms, writes Brooks, 'basic codes and rules woven into daily life' that offer an alternative to the 'plague of nonjudgmentalism, which refuses to assert that one way of behaving is better than another.'"
Liberals either want to deny or to reject the fallen nature of man, i.e., that we all have a ‘dark side,' an evil shadow self. Liberals believe that pleasure and feeling good are the highest values to live by and that man is ultimately perfectible. What they don’t recognize is that there are clearly bad and unintended consequences to such a worldview. Conservatism recognizes the natural order of reality, that there are limits and boundaries to what a person can do in ‘the pursuit of happiness’ and that we are all “broken” (and always will be) as the more constructive way to view reality and oneself. Liberalism's end point will be a grotesque distortion already personified by the genderless alien and dragon lady, of what it means to be a human. Perhaps that's the way it wants it all to come to an end in the cold and godless alienation of nihilism.