ladyjustice

The American Bar Association asks, “What is the Rule of Law?” in its Part I Dialogue.  Meant to initiate discussion as part of the association’s public education efforts, this first part offers an excellent history and overview of this concept vital to a free society.  The full document is available here: https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/publiced/features/Part1DialogueROL.authcheckdam.pdf

 

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Protest in Portland, Oregon

It is fairly easy to give a broad summary of “western” values: democracy, equality, rationalism, universal human rights, rule of law, tolerance (racial, religious, speech, etc.), property rights and capitalism.  There are those who are hostile to these ideas to the point of violence.  This isn’t surprising.  What is surprising is that many of these opponents to “western” freedom come from inside western countries.  This week’s readings will explore three of these groups.

John Daniel Davidson proposes that the “London Attack Indicates It’s Time To Stop Pretending Western Values Are Universal.”  The violence that is plaguing Europe most often has come from citizens or immigrants who live in the communities they attack.  The religious/political views of these extremists is known to authorities before these attacks, although officials have failed to act even when ties to terrorism are documented.

The Roots of Left-Wing Violence,” by Ian Tuttle, explores a different kind of enemy, anarchists and progressive extremists who broadly reject our culture and use protest to combat our way of life.  This isn’t the non-violent protest of Martin Luther King Jr. or Ghandi.  It isn’t the purposeful anti-war/anti-draft movement of the late 60’s and early 70’s.  “Antifa”  claims to be anti-fascist, but Tuttle notes that their methods mirror those of the Nazis and Maoists.  What they are actually protesting is the democratic process, rule of law, and the capitalist system.

Finally, Jordan Peterson argues Why You Have to Fight Postmodernism, resisting the nihilistic movement that has become embedded in Education and Media and targets young people.  (Video and transcript courtesy Tim Hains at Real Clear Politics.)  “Postmodernists completely reject the structure of Western civilization,” argues Peterson, who gives example after example of how this world-view is antithetical to the traditional idea of “western” freedom.

 

 

 

Hostility to religion in America is rising like floodwaters, as proven by the increased numbers of cases and attacks documented in this report. This flood is engulfing ordinary citizens who simply try to live normal lives according to their faith and conscience. It is eroding the bedrock on which stand vital American institutions such as government, education, the military, business, houses of worship, and charity. It has the potential to wash away the ground that supports our other rights, including freedom of speech, press, assembly, and government by consent of the people. – Kelly Shackelford, First Liberty Institute

The First Liberty Institute has documented hundreds of cases of religious persecution and hostility here in the U.S. in their new study, “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America.”  The authors suggest that hostility towards those of faith is increasing and expanding.  This is a difficult, but important topic, and I recommend reading the study.

What is happening to the Left?  I thought Liberals were supposed to be … well … liberal. Future-looking, open-minded, tolerant, looking out for others, non-judgmental, non-violent, “make peace, not war.”  But that doesn’t seem to be the case lately.

John Daniel Davidson argues that “The American Left Is Talking Itself Into Violence.”  He points out that the violence on campus is now creeping off campus into our communities.

Kirsten Powers, author of  The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech, says, “… the illiberal Left reminds me of religious zealots, except of a secular religion.”  She gives evidence of this in the article, Kirsten Powers: The Rise of the Intolerant Left.

Even progressive proponents are recognizing the cognitive dissonance within their movement.  I suggest reading  Nicholas Kristof’s A Confession of Liberal Intolerance, Freddie deBoer’s of course, there’s the backchannel or SE-Smith’s  We Are the Left: Why I Joined the Movement After Years of Internet Abuse from My Supposed Political Allies.  (This last article is very personal and intense.)

What are the possible results of such illiberality? Well, one result may be documented in No Guilt This Time  by Mark Bauerlein.

 

jeffersonmemorial

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute offers a very readable article by Alfred S. Regnery summarizing what Conservatism is, where it comes from, and where it is today.  “The Pillars of Modern American Conservatism” includes a concise summary of conservative values and expands on Russel Kirk’s “Four Cities” as it gives a brief history of the movement.  Definitely worth the read.