26/29/2019—When you’re a hammer, everything is a nail. I’m that way about nihilism, which I blame for all our problems.
Nihilism is closely related to Hallowed Secularism, because nihilism is what happens to a believing culture when God dies and you don’t develop hallowed secularism.
So, today in the New York Times, Roger Cohen laments the decline of the liberal idea—basically, the American post-war consensus of democracy, market capitalism and the rule of law.
But Cohen does not understand what happened. It was not erosion, though there was some of that. Americans no longer believe in the universe. The liberal idea was founded on faith. Not just in God, but in the path of history, the reasonableness of people and a benevolent universe.
When, instead, history is contingency, people are flawed in their thinking, and the universe is just forces, all that is left is the will to power. Then power is serving only oneself. That is our decline. It would be stupid to be magnanimous in a reality like that.
Same issue with Bret Stephens’ column—nothing for him in the Democratic debates. Why? They are all narrow identity politics. But that is what happens when universal ideals decline. You are left with identity and tribe. Try truth and justice instead. That’s what we used to have. Dr. King even believed that the racist would be redeemed. Try telling that to Senator Harris.