Intelligent Design

Quote of the Day

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[L]iberal intolerance represents not the self-undermining of liberalism, but a fulfillment of its essential nature. When a chrysalis shelters an insect that later bursts forth from it and leaves it shattered, the chrysalis has in fact fulfilled its true and predetermined end. Liberalism of the purportedly tolerant sort is to militant progressivism as the chrysalis is to the hideous insect.

Adrian Vermeule

4 Replies to “Quote of the Day

  1. 1
    Axel says:

    Wow! Bull’s eye. What a quote.

  2. 2
    vmahuna says:

    Um, I think this works better for Progressivism. Classic Liberalism had a long and successful career. But Progressivism was always a disguised version of Communism that arose in the 1890s starting with the assumption that “manager” technicians would eliminate the human errors of mere entrepreneurs and give society endless technical advances and a perfect distribution of resources. Woodrow Wilson was a Progressive. Wilson’s administration during WW1 came damn close to dictatorship.

    The problem turned out to be that bureaucratic managers optimize the bit of the world that they control for the manager’s own optimum. Lenin discovered the same problem in Russia: commissars redistributed resources for the benefit of the commissar and his circle of comrades. Executing any particular commissar simply replaced him with another locally focused commissar.

    But Progressives have ALWAYS been about ORDERING other people around. Classic Liberals assumed one got a well rounded education in Western philosophy and culture before you attempted to speak in public.

  3. 3
    Bob O'H says:

    The same argument could be made for conservatism and fascism, I think, with about as much validity. Both liberalism (in the US meaning of the word) and conservatism can lead to militant progressivism and fascism if they become more extreme. But I don’t think either is inevitable, unless moderation is removed from them.

    Just to make things more confusing, liberalism (in a slightly different form) has anarchy as its extreme endpoint.

  4. 4

    vmahuna @ 2: Good points.

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