to [Russel] Kirk and to the American traditionalists he inspired, liberals ultimately fail to understand the partiality of their principle. Their account of human nature excludes too much of what can be known, and is known, about the human good. Because their principle is “simple” or “reductionist,” liberals possess no “other” principle which can authoritatively limit the eventual application of their principle to all spheres of human life — this, despite their proud boast that liberalism differs in kind from all other political theories in refusing for itself a “comprehensive conception of the good.” Because, for liberalism, the public sphere is limited only by rights, which are the possession only of those great abstractions, “individuals,” the public sphere in fact extends to all human relations. The homogenization of the whole of the human world on the basis of the contract theory is the dehumanizing threat we ultimately face, made all the more dangerous by the fact that America’s political discourse has lacked any terms which would enable us to recognize the ideological or dogmatic character of liberalism.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Links and Thanks
Thanks to Happy Catholic and The Anchoress for linking to two of my recent posts. The discussion has been interesting and I will try to answer questions in a new post, but today is already a full day. Tomorrow looks much better. In the meantime, here are some links I have been sitting on for a while. I haven't been through it yet, but this PBS site about the travels of Peter and Paul looks like it might be interesting. This essay is a bit purple in places, but an interesting read nonetheless: Peter Kreeft on the subject of women as priests. Finally, there is a longish but very good essay at The New Pantagruel on "Understanding Traditionalist Conservatism." Here's a snip to get to you going: