Are we seeing the end of an era of extreme liberalism?

The most recent terrorist attack at Champs-Elysees, the cultural heart of Paris, France cannot have come at a more interesting time. Elections there come at a time when tensions are already high following a spate of similar deadly attacks over the last two years. This latest one — which ISIS was quick to claim responsibility for — may just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and propel far-right leader Marine Le Pen into power. Le Pen’s campaign rhetoric virtually mirrors that of US President Donald Trump who won on a strong anti-immigration platform that surfs atop a growing popular backlash against many liberal ideals.

Perhaps it is an opportune time to pause and reflect on what drives people to gravitate towards the seductive populism of people like Le Pen, Trump, and even Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte who, though not fitting the same right-wing mold of the earlier two nonetheless commands a vast following even as he thumbs his nose at the old liberal guard that ruled the nation for decades. Much of what attracts people to these leaders and a return to the “traditional ways” that they promise lies in a disillusionment over left-of-centre values that had practically hardened into borderline-religious dogma over the last half-century.

The pillars of these liberal values, multiculturalism, gender equality, the welfare state, gay rights, and globalisation have once again become hot topics of debate. It is not as if these values were ever non-controversial, but with a media and entertainment industry controlled by a liberal-leaning oligarchy in the West (a situation mirrored in West-crazy but, still, southeast Asian Philippines), the “debate” around these had largely been crushed within the mainstream and in “polite” company for several decades.

Still, it is likely that the allure of conservatism remained alive and kicking in private company — openly discussed among close trusted friends and family behind closed doors. Certainly, the open-plan offices in hipster havens like Silicon Valley did not lend well to such “impolite” sorts of talk. Credit then goes to politicians like Le Pen and Trump who pulled all this out back into open chatter.

Conservatism remains successful because it draws from human beings’ natural inclinations — even instincts — to band together in like-minded (and like-skinned) cliques, suss out social hierarchy and find their place within it, look to a highly-structured and highly-prescriptive belief system (a.k.a. religion) to seek comfort within, and march to the tune of symbolism and groupthink. These inclinations, after all, are what savvy chieftains, politicians, religious leaders, warlords, and thought leaders used to organise large numbers of human individuals into the vast collectives that had, over the ages, come to be known as tribes, kingdoms, cities, states, nations, and armies.

Liberal ideals challenged this and from it came good things — social justice, the emancipation of women, scientific inquiry, and secularism. Unfortunately the pendulum, as it usually does, swung too far beyond these good things and out to the areas of thought that now fuel the anger that catapults populist politicians like Le Pen, Trump, and Duterte to power today.

Perhaps it is time to challenge the notion that certain liberal values are as “natural” to human society as liberals would like people to believe. Perhaps the belief that these are “natural” to society is just an outcome of decades of the subtle indoctrination Hollywood had effected during their long heyday when they monopolised information dissemination. It seems that it is no coincidence that, in an era where this monopoly had been broken and the power to communicate to a mass audience has become a accessible to all, the challenge to perverted liberalism has come back to the fore in full force.

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8 Comments on “Are we seeing the end of an era of extreme liberalism?”

  1. It is important for this country to make its people so obsessed with their own liberal individualism that they do not have time to think about a world larger than self.

  2. I am a Centrist …I can move to liberalism, if it needs to be; and to conservatism, if it is too much for me.

    French has really a lot of problems on its immigration policies. The country is now invaded by Muslim immigrants, who would not part from their radical Islamic belies. Some of the ISIS terrorists have blended with the refugees, from various Islamic countries.

    Some of the French terrorists are -native born. They refused to adapt to their new country. This is the real problem of most Islamic refugees.

    Let us wait and see, if Marine Le Pen, will win the election. If the pendulum, will swing to the “far right”. So, be it !

  3. The French election takes place in 2 rounds. The first round tomorrow (sunday 23 April 2017) en the 2nd (and final) round Sunday 7 May 2017. From all contenders/candidates who participate in round 1, only the top 2 go through to the 2nd round. Then in the 2nd round the winner must get more than 50% of the votes to become the new president.

    Among the top 4 candidates the difference (in the polls) is not big. So it is and will be a neck and neck race.

    What does le Pen wants? She wants to close all French borders, she wants to leave the Euro-zone (and back to the French Franc as currency) and she wants to leave the EU (and that includes leaving the Schengen treaty).
    As part of Schengen and as part of the EU there are no border checks/controls anymore (at least not on the roads/highway).

    Personally, I do think that it must be possible for Marine le Pen to get through to the 2nd round. But I dont believe and dont think she will be the new president.

  4. The thing about liberalism in the modern sense is it’s not really liberalism. The modern idea of liberalism is more leftism than true liberalism. Most leftists I have met want to control people and restrict their freedoms. Classical real liberals do not want to control people. The political left has taken advantage of ignorant people and stolen the word liberal, even though they are globalists/ authoritarians. Well-informed people do not succumb to these tricks.

  5. Liberalism has a way of causing a false sense of autonomy because the ideology itself could essentially be void of limits- which therefore eliminates the need for determination. Yes/No? If so, they really can play sick games with people..

  6. What you ate seeing are FALSE-FLAG’ Attacks in defense of the NEO-Liberal Order. When the Nayor of Nice confiscates all the video camera footage of a Truck ‘ATTACK’ on the streets of Nice,France because there is no blood or dents on the suspected vehicle and scant evidence of injuries, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what is happening.
    Duly noted is the speed with which suspects in MASS MURDERS/TERRORIST ATTACKS are tried and convicted within hours of the alleged ‘ATTACK’ when everyone knows a proper investigation into any single murder takes two to three weeks, let alone multiple murders as is the case in these alleged TERRORIST ATTACKS’….when you learn what to look for ‘FALSE FLAG ATTACKS’ become very easy to recognize.

  7. is this a place where it can be argued ,Yea or Nea, for the NWO, or for the religious virtuosity that Plato proclaimed in the ‘The Republic’ was necessary to keep the masses in order and to prevent the descent into Tyranny? I DOUBT IT…..I mean,REALLY?LOL …

  8. Are we waiting for ultranationalism and neo-fascism?

    Please don’t mention about Nazi Party unless it’s case of emergency.

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