has essentially become a form of political extremism mirroring
Islam’s jihadist fanatics, and it is following in the same
footsteps as the most radicalized forms of Socialism and Nationalism.
Liberalism is in crisis. Originally conceived as a moderate and
tolerant ideology is now caving in on itself. Instead of promoting a
set of ideas that are inclusive and open-minded, Liberalism today is
unwilling and unable to accept any other worldviews. Essentially it
has become a form of political extremism mirroring Islam’s jihadist
fanatics found in the Middle East and beyond. In fact, both provide
the ideological oxygen each needs to survive.
is suffering the same fate of other modern Western ideologies, namely
Socialism and various forms of Nationalism. Each presented themselves
as competing alternatives to the status quo, i.e. the establishment
of the time. Each initially aspired to be inclusive. Once each
achieved a degree of political traction and legitimacy, elements
within each sought to monopolize politics and power. This result was
the totalitarian temptation.
some cases Socialism, the outcome of modern capitalism and the rise
of the industrial working class, eventually morphed into Bolshevik
terror and dictatorship in Russia, and duplicated around the world.
Other strains of Socialism, particularly in the West, lost most of
its ideological vigor and largely attempted to imitate Liberalism in
every way except in name. The most radical forms of Socialism
(Soviet-styled communism) collapsed due to its own internal
contradictions and inefficiencies, as well as intolerance to other
experienced many of the same processes and distortions.
provided communities with a sense of identity and afforded the state
a modicum of cohesion. The result was the creation of the modern day
nation-state. With the arrival of the nation-state, then came along
the idea of self-determination. Self-determination became one of the
two foundations of the international order (the other being the
sanctity of legal borders). Socialism long grappled with the idea of
the nation-state and Nationalism, though Liberals embraced both.
followed the extreme from of Nationalism: Fascism and radical
ethno-nationalism. Fascists abhorred Liberalism and Socialism and
largely succeeded in destroying both. Fortunately Fascism in Europe
as an ascending worldview was short run, though elements continue to
exist – Ukraine comes to mind. Like the radical forms of Socialism,
Fascism suffered its own internal contradictions, intolerance, and
the sacrifices of the Soviet Union’s Red Army.
it is Liberalism’s turn. Instead of presenting itself as the most
attractive and moderate ideology compared to Socialism and
Nationalism, Liberalism too is afflicted by the totalitarian
temptation. Liberalism repeatedly fails to live up to its own core
idea of democracy is merely a tool of social control maintaining
Liberal dominance and eventual political (and power) monopoly;
embraces Empire and neo-imperialism;
state is hijacked, captured and re-made in the image of Liberalism;
of any worldview is deemed out of the question and to be challenged
speech is allowed only if it is Liberal speech;
global economy is geared to advance the interests of the Liberal
is constructed and imposed from above.
radical Liberalism is following in the same footsteps as the most
radicalized forms of Socialism and Nationalism. Liberalism in many
ways resembles the intolerance of radical Islamic jihadists. Both
deny the legitimacy of other worldviews. In many ways both owe each
other their existence. And both will experience the same fate of
radical Socialism and radical Nationalism.
Lavelle is host of RT’s political discussion program CrossTalk. His
views may or may not reflect those of his employer.