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Critique of Liberal Ideology

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posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 03:29 PM
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I’ve recently stumbled upon this essay, written by a man named Alain de Benoist.

The essay is seventeen pages long, but it’s well worth the read.
Here’s a small snippet


In “Critique of Liberal Ideology,” Alain de Benoist uses the term “liberalism” in the broad Europe an sense of the term that applies not just to American liberalism but even more so to American libertarianism and mainstream conservatism, insofar as all three share a common history and common premises .—Transl.

Not being the work of a single man, liberalism was never presented in the form of a unified doctrine. Various liberal authors have, at times, interpreted it in divergent, if not contradictory, ways. Still, they share enough common points to classify them all as liberals. These common points also make it possible to define liberalism as a specific school of thought. On the one hand, liberalism is an economic doctrine that tends to make the model of the self- regulating market the paradigm of all social reality: what is called political liberalism is simply one way of applying the principles deduced from these economic doctrines to political life. This tends to limit the role of politics as much as possible. (In this sense, one can say that “liberal politics” is a contradiction in terms.) On the other hand, liberalism is a doctrine based on an individualistic anthropology, i.e., it rests on a conception of man as a being who is not fundamentally social.

These two characteristic features, each of which has descriptive and normative aspects (the individual and the market are both described as facts and are held up as models), are directly opposed to collective identities. A collective identity cannot be analyzed in a reductionistic way, as if it were the simple sum of the characteristics possessed by the individuals of a given community. Such an identity requires the collectivity’s members be clearly conscious that their membership encompasses or exceeds their individual being, i.e., that their common identity is a product of this composition. However, insofar as it is based on individualism, liberalism tends to sever all social connections that go beyond the individual. As for the market’s optimal operation, it requires that nothing obstruct the free circulation of men and goods, i.e., borders must be treated as unreal, which tends to dissolve common structures and values. Of course this does not mean that liberals can never defend collective identities. But they do so only in contradiction to their principles.


Assuming you read it, what do you think? I personally believe it hits the nail right on the head.


edit on 28-9-2011 by Evola because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 28 2011 @ 09:46 PM
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Evola,

Allow me to confess my guilt; I have not read the entire essay, only your extract and the first six pages. I may finish it, but no guarantees.

I found it to be clear but moderately dense. It is very worth reading especially the dependence of modern liberty upon a religious foundation.

If I have one complaint so far, it is that his definition of "liberalism" doesn't work well in America. At first, I thought he was exploring Jeffersonian liberalism as a contemporary, but no, it was written in 2002 (or translated in 2002 with help from the author, I forget which.)


In “Critique of Liberal Ideology,” Alain de Benoist uses the term “liberalism” in the broad Europe an sense of the term that applies not just to American liberalism but even more so to American libertarianism and mainstream conservatism, insofar as all three share a common history and common premises .—Transl.
Instead of a translator's note that says de Benoist uses the term "Liberalism" to mean Liberalism, Conservatism, and European Liberalism, he should have insisted on a new term that doesn't include apparent opposites and a term "European Liberalism," with which many Americans are unfamiliar.

Get over that hump, and it's a big one, and it's pretty clear sailing.

Examples of my trouble?

On the one hand, liberalism is an economic doctrine that tends to make the model of the self- regulating market the paradigm of all social reality

On the other hand, liberalism is a doctrine based on an individualistic anthropology, i.e., it rests on a conception of man as a being who is not fundamentally social.



. . .insofar as it is based on individualism, liberalism tends to sever all social connections that go beyond the individual. As for the market’s optimal operation, it requires that nothing obstruct the free circulation of men and goods, i.e., borders must be treated as unreal, which tends to dissolve common structures and values. Of course this does not mean that liberals can never defend collective identities. But they do so only in contradiction to their principles.


I don't think these quotes define what most Americans think of as "Liberalism," but feel free to correct me.

Charles1952



posted on Sep, 30 2011 @ 01:30 AM
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Yeah, I think that "anarchy" would be more befitting. Basically the guy is saying that it is a minimalist type of political ideology, which does not in any way reflect the socialist ideology that todays libs have widely adapted.



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