As I have been working on my book, I have come to realize more and more clearly how fundamentally amoral and inhumane liberalism is.
In a recent article the philosopher M. G. Piety says:
Plato thought the freedoms associated with democracy would ultimately destroy it. I explain to my students, however, that that is because there are no other values in Plato’s democracy than freedom. Democracy, I argue, combined with a commitment to humanistic values, with respect for the dignity of individuals, of all individuals, can work.
Freedom is the highest value proclaimed by liberalism. The United States, the world-historical champion of liberal democracy, is all about freedom: sweet land of liberty, the pursuit of happiness, the Statue of Liberty lifting the torch of freedom beside the golden door. And remember the Cold War? The Cold War was supposed to be a titanic struggle between the Free World and the Iron Curtain. The world was divided: on one side capitalist freedom, on the other communist darkness at noon.
But what is this liberal freedom all about? What purpose does it serve?
Liberal freedom is the absence of interference. Each can pursue their own goals as long as they allow everyone else the same freedom. Society is a collection of individuals pursuing interests. There are no higher social purpose. Indeed, collective goals seem threatening. Individual freedom is its own purpose.
The remarkable thing is that liberalism sees nothing wrong with this.
Liberal freedom is unequal freedom. Free competition with unequal endowments leads to rich and poor, winners and losers. The logic is dog eat dog, devil take the hindmost. Worth is based on money: without money you are nothing, or maybe less than nothing, maybe just a hindrance to pedestrians. But everyone if free.
Liberal freedom is predatory and amoral. It is cruel. There is no humanity in it. Humanity requires a higher purpose than freedom. Humanity requires solidarity.
Solidarity is the highest value, not freedom.