Urbin Report

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Found on Ipsi Dixit

Don't Go In There Alone (Take A Shrink With You)
Peek inside the head of a truly committed liberal (oh, sorry, "progressive"). If you dare; it's a scary neighborhood:

[T]he Constitution appears to be fundamentally at odds with progressive ideals and visions.

The incompatibility, however, of progressivism and the Constitution goes deeper. Not only does the Constitution fail to prohibit subordinating abuses of private power, but, at least a good deal of the time, in the name of guaranteeing constitutional protection of individual freedom, it also aggressively protects the very hierarchies of wealth, status, race, sexual preference, and gender that facilitate those practices of subordination.

Thus, the Constitution seemingly protects the individual's freedom to produce and consume hate speech, despite its propensity to contribute to patterns of racial oppression.

It also clearly protects the individual's right to practice religion, despite the demonstrable incompatibility of the religious tenets central to all three dominant mainstream religions with women's full civic and political equality.

It protects the individual's freedom to create and use pornography, despite the possible connection between pornography and increases in private violence against women.

It protects the privacy and cultural hegemony of the nuclear family, despite the extreme forms of injustice that occur within that institution and the maldistribution of burdens and benefits visited by that injustice upon women and, to a lesser degree, children.

Finally, it protects, as a coincidence of protecting the freedom and equal opportunities of individuals, both the system of "meritocracy" and the departures from meritocracy that dominate and constitute the market and economy, despite the resistance of those systems to full participation of African Americans and hence despite the subordinating effects of those "markets" upon them.

Very generally, the Constitution, incident to protecting the ideational, economic, and familial spheres of individual life against the intrusive effects of benign and malign legislative initiatives, protects that realm of private, intimate, social, and economic culture that creates and then perpetuates a spirit of intolerance toward, alienation from, and active hatred of subordinated persons. By so doing, the Constitution not only fails to protect against that subordination, but it also fails to exhibit neutrality toward it: it nurtures precisely those patterns and practices that are most injurious to the economic opportunities, the individual freedoms, the intimacies, and the fragile communities of those persons already most deprived in the unequal and unfree social world in which we live.

In short, because of the Constitution's emphasis on protecting the liberty of individuals, it is incompatible with the goals of the progressive Left. This isn't just identity politics, this is outright rejection of the concept of individual liberty because the "results" of such society organized around individual liberty are unacceptable. The problem is, if one cannot abide the "results" that obtain from a system based on individual liberty, the only alternative is a totalitarian state that enforces the results one demands. Of course, we libertarian types have known that this is what the far left really believes for decades. It's just shocking to see it admitted so openly.