Wednesday, March 17, 2021

"You’re fer or agin"

From a Jay Nordlinger post today:
In recent years, people have liked to describe themselves, and others, as “post-liberals.” I find this term puzzling. As I see it, they are anti-liberals, or illiberals. Such people, we have always had with us, and always will. In fact, they constitute the vast majority of mankind.

Liberalism — meaning, classical liberalism, rather than, say, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — has no “pre-” and no “post-.” It has friends and enemies. (A relative handful of the former, teeming multitudes of the latter.) You can no more be “post-liberal” than you can be post-freedom, or post–human rights.

I mean, you are or you aren’t. You’re fer or agin.

In a discussion of this topic last week, a reader drew my attention to a speech by Calvin Coolidge. The president was speaking on the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, in the summer of 1926. I’d like to quote a big ol’ chunk, and I don’t think you will be sorry.
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.
Well said, Cal. They called him “silent,” but when he spoke — it was worth it.
Jay Nordlinger, "Bad words, good words, etc," NRO, Mar. 17, 2021.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.