Thursday, June 15, 2006

Know your place

David Warren on the great divide between liberals and conservatives:

The constant ambition is to deprive the individual of the freedom and security that only the state can assure, while making him a ward of the state in his private behaviour. To do this effectively, the entire moral order of a society must be systematically destroyed. In particular, the seemingly impregnable institution of the family must be undermined and subverted, and likewise religious and independent social institutions -- for it is from these a society acquires its moral backbone. Break them, and the citizen becomes a kind of jelly to be fit into any desired new mould.

In this regard, I’m thinking less of the theatrical affronts to our inherited freedoms that are performed with increasing confidence by “human rights” tribunals, or other kangaroo courts from which due process has been extracted. These are propaganda venues; the decisions are only meant as pedagogic. They remind the citizen that his ancient freedoms no longer count.

By comparison, such apparently indifferent things as the legal attacks on the right to smoke in a bar, are of larger social significance. Apart from destroying the businesses of independent publicans, the proliferation of petty and unreasonable by-laws help to reduce the citizen to a condition of puerility, constantly looking around to see what the governing puritans will and won’t permit.
Read the rest here. Via SDA.