What liberalism is today and why it is toxic
What is the essence of today's liberalism? A good answer is provided by Ryszard Legutko, a professor of philosophy at Jagiellonian University in Poland. He sees liberalism as a super-theory that dominates Western thought to the exclusion of all else. To deviate from the liberal proposition is to be illiberal, which is taken to mean illicit.
So what is the liberal proposition? Legutko answers:
Liberalism's ideal is a society in which there is room for every human desire and life plan, in which all occupations and aspirations are allowed, in which those practicing various religions coexist, in which all groups, associations, parties, and clubs may peacefully pursue their goals, provide they do not impose their views on others. It is a society in which there are Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, heterosexuals, homosexuals innumerable genders, people of all nationalities or ethnic extractions, conservatives, liberals, socialists, anarchists, communists, pornographers, priests, hedonists, moral ascetics, all respecting the common rules.
The goal is to maximize both diversity and the freedom of individuals to be themselves. And if there is not enough diversity, liberalism has a two-track answer. Import it on a grand scale, and erase America's traditional right of free association. The twin of diversity is inclusion. As applied, inclusion means none of the diverse groups or individuals can be excluded or made to feel marginalized, no matter how unusual they may be. Their feelings and sensitivities take precedence over antiquated concepts such as free speech, traditional norms, and religious beliefs if those beliefs are Christian. Diversity and inclusion are not options; they are mandates taken as the ultimate good, and even questioning them is not tolerated.
As Legutko notes, force is needed to make the liberal project run. To achieve its goals, in addition to changing human nature, liberalism must also work to remove old boundaries and limits, no matter how uncomfortable that may be to the majority. At the same time, those who supposedly have been privileged in the past (mainly white males) must have space taken away from them so they can no longer dominate. This is done in government, the corporate world, and schools and is seen even in movies and TV commercials. It is ubiquitous.
Coercion and "cultural affirmative action" must be constantly applied not just for the liberal project to advance, but for it to stay afloat. That's because liberalism is contrary to the laws of God and nature. It is unnatural. This bespeaks its fragility, which is why Legutko writes: "The liberal super-theory adopts a version of the Brezhnev Doctrine: Any threat to liberal dominance anywhere is a threat to liberalism everywhere, justifying immediate and forceful intervention by any means necessary."
Look what happened when Governor Mike Pence of Indiana signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law in 2015. The media and big business came down on Indiana with a vengeance, whereupon Pence ran up the white flag and invited the CEOs who attacked the law to come in and rewrite it. You see, a deviation from the liberal super-theory can't be permitted, as it could lead to the shattering of its edifice. People must not be allowed to think liberalism is anything but highly moral and the wave of the future, for if they do, the emperor is then seen as naked.
The liberal super-theory is what has brought down on society things such things as affirmative action and racial quotas, legitimization of same-sex "marriage," numerous genders, open borders, denigrating traditional Christian beliefs, the war on free speech, and indoctrination of the young in the public schools and universities. All these are presented as great things in today's culture, but none has been the result of a democratic process. They've been forced on society by the ruling establishment, the same establishment that has time and time again shown itself to be corrupt, decadent, and self-serving.
The rise of Donald Trump and his MAGA agenda has breached liberalism's monopoly. To be sure, Trump is not the end of the unraveling of the liberal super-theory, but with some luck, he is the beginning of it.