The Metaphysics of Globalism
By Karl X Brown
Although liberal democracy is based on a principle of relativism, man lives by necessity according to truth, and he can have it no other way. Thus relativism is a lie, simply put. There is for every man at least one or two truths which stand outside of time and cannot be gainsaid. For the liberal, those are liberty and equality. Everything else—be it culture, tradition, or nationality—is in doubt.
As we know, there is no actual equality in the natural world, nor in any sphere of civic life. The liberal notion of equality is simply a word of man, a fiat just the same as the notion of liberty, which means that either one can be canceled out by another fiat. Moreover, the principles of liberty and equality logically presuppose a certain Truth from which liberalism had sought to separate itself; a Truth which gives substance to the notion of ‘common humanity’ or an inherent ‘dignity of man.’ Liberal epistemology begins not with Revelation but with observation, and proceeds from there by means of reason and for the purpose of utility. This much is implied in language of the Declaration of Independence, by the phrases ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident,’ and the curiously vague ‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.’ Clearly this is ‘pointing to’ Truth, but never quite reaching that Truth.
To this day, liberty and equality remain necessary slogans and nothing more. Over time, we see society becoming increasingly conscious of this pragmatism, which results in a kind of patchwork-quilt morality. Recently, for example, Lake Erie was granted a set of basic human rights while the state of Virginia has effectively legalized infanticide. It seems to be true that whatever follows logically in a system, given its starting points, will eventually be observed in the world. Elsewhere we see human beings—Americans, Britons, French, etc—being treated by the ruling class not as distinct and identifiable people groups with a rich history but as fungible economic units, and this clearly indicates a march towards a global monoculture. Gradually, every Western city becomes less aesthetically distinctive while also being largely occupied and governed by foreigners. ‘Progress’ as we call it speaks of homogeneity across the board.
These facts alone should suffice to prove that the logical outworking of liberal democracy is globalism, and yet who among us today can say that he has grasped the point?
Now to point out flaws in liberal thinking is one thing, and to understand how they work and where they come from is another. The doctrine of evolution lays the groundwork for the modern world — socially, economically, and metaphysically — and yet most of our morality comes from inbred Christian notions. The modern world is given its color by the light of these two opposing suns, Christianity and Darwinism, which function as competing religions. Make no mistake that the theory of evolution as it is called is more of a metaphysical presupposition than anything else. As much as we think ourselves to be part of a rational society, there are religious overtones to globalism and progressivism, and have been there since the very beginning. As Sir Francis Galton (cousin of Charles Darwin) wrote.
In terms of metaphysics, the scientific worldview denies the ‘form’ because it represents a an abstract universal that is not quantifiable. Now it should be pointed out that this is fundamentally absurd since science presupposes universals; but nevertheless, within this system the form of the human ‘animal’ is in flux, because it is just matter. The mind itself is seen as a kind of residue, a curious by-product of this ancient cosmic process whose beginning is mysterious and whose end is unknown. There is no stable, metaphysical truth within this system, and accordingly, other abstract things like tradition and ethnicity must be seen as arbitrary. There is in fact a ‘moral duty’ to jettison these relics of the past, or to simply mash them all together as part of the evolutionary process.
Like Christianity, Darwinism has a vision for the ‘deification of man,’ but it is purely biological—based in transhumanism—and not a process of moral and spiritual ascendance. Within the Christian worldview, the ‘form’ of a thing represents the seal of its essential unity. Things certainly evolve, but only after they exist. All created things, including man, spring from an uncreated form or archetype contained in the divine mind. Analogously, one could conceive of the fact that any drawn circle presupposes and mirrors an ideal.
‘Truth,’ as we can see, is paramount here, and it is in fact a name of God. It goes without saying that these two worldviews do not mix particularly well, or at all. But nevertheless, here we are.
Among the conservative-libertarian set, there tends to be less concern with what is true than with what works within a pluralist society. The pluralist principle flows from the principle of liberty, which is a negative right: liberty as a concept does not prescribe duties or define anything per se; it simply acts (in theory at least) as a buffer against state power. Pluralism of course works to afford to aliens an equal share in the resources of the state and it grants an equal ultimacy to other religions. American values thereby mutate with the passage of time and with the influx of foreigners who share no ancestral or spiritual ties to the country. These facts tend to be lost on the average man who would otherwise claim to believe in ‘American values.’ When presented with any difficult ethical question—such as abortion rights—the pragmatic man tends to simply punt the ball away from the state. The term ‘statist’ is for him a pejorative, and quite ironically, because he admits of no allegiance except to the state itself; he is in fact the utmost of statists, as ‘America’ for him refers not to a nation of people, but to an idea. This ‘man of the right,’ as we can see, is anything but.
Now, the origin of liberty as we conceive it—namely, again, as something that presupposes personhood—is traceable to the book of Genesis, where we learn that man is made ‘in the image of God.’ That Revelation worked to provide the common man with a measure of status that he had not generally known theretofore, at least within the context of a civilization. This elevation of the individual surely carries with it the potential for both upside and downside. The era of Christendom no doubt transformed northern Europe in a cultural sense, and it stands to reason that over the course of a millennium or so, European civilization must have tended to select for genes and behaviors that were compatible with Christian morality, and to remove the ones that were not.
Today, without the formal religious backing, the moral imperatives of Christianity are mostly dropped—because they refer to arbitrary cultural constructs—but the soul is tenaciously retained, and a cultural obsession with the ‘self’ has ensued. This is seen in the relatively modern notion that one’s personal happiness (however that may be defined) is a kind of goal in itself, and that this happiness should supersede any external or circumstantial attachments, or any duties to society.
While Truth is but a name of God, either ‘change’ or ‘progress’ correspond univocally to evolution. What do we mean then when we talk about progress? Christianity and Darwinism serve as opposing meta-narratives for the human species, and they both involve a certain mode of progress and an ultimate deification of man as we saw. The goal of the Christian man, a mirror of the divine Logos, is to achieve apotheosis by overcoming the darkness of the heart that characterized the Fall, and this sets the meta-narrative for humanity as a whole. We know why we are here, in other words, and why the world appears so ‘Darwinian.’
The notion of progress in our time is an a priori value judgment that is unequivocally positive. In political speech, progress indicates that things were once a certain way, namely ‘worse.’ The present state of things is subjectively or objectively ‘better,’ and the coming state of things is going to be better still — that is, if we roll up our sleeves, or do more science or something.
To the liberal mind, it is seen as axiomatic that society simply ‘progresses,’ and that this is a completely natural process that occurs without any social engineering whatever. The concept of a value judgment of this sort presupposes an objective standard of truth, but the claim of progress is made exclusively by people who deny truth as well as the idea that traditional morality or aesthetics could have a basis in the objective. These progressives also deny the possibility that any of these things could have a basis in biology while holding to the biological anthropology that we’ve described thus far.
Thus, progress functions as empty rhetoric which leans on historical memes such as the old dialectic of ‘Enlightenment’ and ‘Dark Ages.’ To oppose progress, then, is implicitly irrational. Here we can see what might be called ‘tactical Platonism’: the modern liberal morality, which itself must be a temporary construct, no less represents an objective position of critique for all past cultures as well as serving as a diagnostic tool for all present woes.
There is an obvious tension at play here, not just between rationality and religious commitment, but between diametrically opposite philosophic principles: while Platonism affirms universal metaphysical truth, nominalism denies it. This incoherence rears itself in all the familiar academic positions of today:
Race is written off in anthropology as an unscientific naming convention; but elsewhere race definitely exists, and racial diversity is categorically a ‘strength.’
Life does not begin at conception, but homosexuality does begin at conception, in spite of the lack of genetic markers or any reasoning to explain this phenomenon a priori.
Gender is merely a spectrum of behavior or a spiritual orientation; but on the other hand we are always lacking the specific input of the ‘female mind’ or ‘female ideas’ in this or that industry.
Collective racial guilt is valid and is also heritable across generations, but collective pride and national identity are categorically bad, and assumed to be the ultimate cause of war.
There is no doubting that the world bears an element of relativism, that at least certain aspects of morality are contextual and impermanent, and that human diversity is real. Both Darwinian evolution and the basic principle of adaptation demand that these assessments all be true, and the slogan ‘diversity is our strength’ presupposes them all. Of course, whether one believes in the merits of racial diversity or not, it is logically impossible for diversity to only ever be a strength (it caused the sacking of Rome for one) but extreme punishments are handed down to anyone who dissents on this dogma, regardless of the individual’s intent.
The doctrine of cultural relativism identifies the Christian morality and the traditional family structure of the West as arbitrary by-products of social and historical milieus. Through the lense of relativism, in fact, all of physical and metaphysical reality is seen as nothing more than a wave of cosmic becoming, but the progressive philosopher himself is able to remove himself from this process and achieve a unique perspective of objectivity. This is presumably how modern psychology is able to make objective and ‘science-supported’ claims such as the following:
‘Privilege refers to unearned sources of social status, power, and institutionalized advantage experienced by individuals by virtue of their culturally valued and dominant social identities (e.g., White, Christian, male, and middle/upper class; McIntosh, 2008).’
I see the philosopher as a terrible explosive, endangering everything. For every twisted phenomenon of the modern world, it seems to be the case that there is a relevant Nietzsche quote as such. The themes of ‘power’ and ‘privilege’ mark the progressive philosophy as opposed to truth, which is where legitimate power comes from. In reality, it is the man who is the most obsessed with power who knows deep down that he has none—and who indeed has less naturally earned power and privilege than the progressive liberal academic?
Despite the dire picture we’ve painted here thus far, I say it is a fallacy to assume that a loss of traditional morality necessarily predicts, or speaks of, the ‘collapsing’ of a society. Liberalism, as we can can see, guarantees this type of transformation and precludes the possibility of conservatism. When liberalism is viewed properly in terms of what it logically leads to, and what its proponents actually seek to accomplish, one can only say that liberalism is a success. ‘Society’ is not breaking down, in other words: Western society is; Christianity is. Progress still stands.
The spirit of Enlightenment was to question everything, but those rare few thinkers to have actually called Enlightenment itself up to the stand have merely taken turns towards existentialism and described our nihilism evermore acutely. Christianity is not necessary for a stable or ‘successful’ society. The definition of success—and the concept of progress itself— depends on what we see as the meta-narrative for our being here. In our time it doesn’t seem permissible to speak of such things in certain terms, whether one is on the ‘right’ or the ‘left.’ The chief difference between a Christian society and a patently un-Christian one lies in the identification of man’s main problem. In Christianity, that is his virtue and morality, simply put. For a liberal it is his lack of liberty, that ‘self-evident’ principle that really has no grounding in within the his evolutionary framework, as so many have pointed out.
Now what does the conservative — a liberal in his own right — have to say in the face of all these changes? His assumption is that the atomized individual exists in an eternal tension with the state, which is, at best, necessary evil that is not the guarantor of liberty and the protector of values, but more often an obstacle to his liberty. And that is a battle that by its very nature cannot ever be ‘won.’