Absurdity of 'cultural liberalism'


Everyone says there's no agenda, but the agenda shrieks to high Heaven. Last Friday, national newspapers carried an advertisement, headed "The Family", on behalf of the All-Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution.

 Inviting submissions aimed at reviewing the constitutional basis of the family, it listed nine questions for respondents to address. Three were of a general nature. Question four, the first to address a specific interest, asked, "should gay couples be allowed to marry?" The next two asked whether the Constitution's reference to a woman's "life within the home" should be changed and whether the rights of natural mothers require express protection. In questions seven, eight and nine we came to fathers and children.

One-third of Irish children are now born out of wedlock, and most of these will have little or no relationships with their fathers. Divorce has caused an exponential growth in the numbers of children from broken marriages being similarly disenfranchised due to the dearth of legal protection for father-child relationships. Roughly half the children growing up now will experience negligible fathering in their formative years. That is the crisis.

There is no other.

Yet, whenever a discussion is initiated about redefining the family, the media, legal and political establishments say: "Oh yeah - gay marriage". Recently, when the all-party venture was announced, this newspaper ran a front-page story focusing exclusively on gay marriage. It has yet to run a front-page account of the daily abuses of the human rights of fathers and children by family courts.

To see where this leads, look to America. Because we depend on crypto-liberal media, the meaning of last week's election has been contaminated by the tendentious terminologies and interpretations of liberal activists posing as journalists. Terms like "conservative", "evangelical", "reactionary backlash" and "neo-con" are unhelpful to an understanding of America's statement of last week. Such terms convey that George Bush's re-election represents the fanatical and intolerant rejection of "progressive alternatives".

In fact, it represents a rejection of reaction, intolerance and perhaps the most fanatical religion ever seen. That religion can be described in various ways, but, for the sake of mischief, let us call it the Church of Peter Pan.

Its beliefs have their roots in the 60s philosophy of peace and love, liberalism, equality and freedom. Like all religions, its founding ideas are unexceptionable of themselves, but inevitably create rancour and divisiveness when pushed beyond practical limits.

Cultural liberalism, the world's first godless faith, is as intolerant as fundamentalist Islam as it is of those who do not perceive the irrefutability it ascribes to its own tenets. This fatal inability to understand its limits arises from the fact that its period of growth has coincided with a period of unprecedented peace and prosperity in the West, creating a cultural refusal of maturity by a generation now in middle age. Peter Pan philosophy is essentially reactive, formed largely around the negatives of a luxurious and extended rebellion. Harking back to its youthful heyday, it decries and opposes, resents rules and authority, and seeks infinite freedoms for its adherents and the registered victimologies it adopts. But the freedoms it seeks are self-defeating. Liberals assume that the prior non-acceptance by society of what they regard as natural human freedoms is due to the diktats of religion and the puritanism of those in authority.

America has discovered that liberalism, like the dreams of the founding fathers, must sooner or later reach a frontier, defined here by the encroachment of the "alternative" on the lives of the "ordinary".

The Democratic Party, like left-wingish parties everywhere, has prospered by promoting the interests of minorities. The theory of minoritarianism is that, by building a substantial portfolio of victim-niches you acquire enough political capital to rule. But in practice, the promotion of ostensibly unexceptionable values like equality and freedom becomes problematic when, in addressing pre-existing discrepancies, impatience and prejudice merge into a fanatical ideology characterised by superciliousness and bias. In America, relentless, bullying campaigns for affirmative action have destroyed any functioning concept of equality, because by definition they pursue systematic inequality.

Imagine a young American man who returns home from Iraq or Afghanistan, having risked his life for the Free World, is thrown in jail for non-payment of child-support in respect of children he is not allowed to know, and, on his release, finds himself required to vote on gay marriage. Imagine, further, that he is black, and you begin to see both the absurdity of "cultural liberalism" and the impossibility of its continuing to appeal to even the minorities on whose griefs it came to power.