Saturday, April 21, 2012

Totalitarian democracy

Andrew McCarthy on law and culture and liberty. Essential reading.


We are in an age of upheaval, and what becomes of our law will go a long way toward determining how it ends. In a free society such as ours, grounded in a culture of ordered liberty, law should not be a didactic force. It undergirds economic and social life as it is already lived, reflecting the society’s values rather than instructing the society on what to think and how to live. But today’s progressive legal elites would have it another way. To them, the “rule of law” is code for a “social justice” crusade in which the courts, government bureaucracies, and international tribunals replace democratic self-determination with their sole and exclusive truth. If the progressives get their way, upheaval will not yield utopia. It will yield totalitarianism.

American society is a tapestry of countless private relations-- churches and families and civic organizaions-- that give it civility and stability and purpose. As Tocqueville observed, religion is (beside the family) the most important force in our culture.

Law properly serves to undergird ordered liberty, not to dictate it. Law establishes the minima of civic peace and justice necessary for culture to flourish. The unrelenting secular assault on our most important civic institutions-- our churches-- serves to replace voluntary ordered liberty with mandatory conformity.

Chesterton quipped that America is "a nation with the soul of a church". The secular assault on religion-- on our soul-- is a totalitarian project. 

No comments:

Post a Comment