Conservatism may be in crisis, but the left has no answers

The liberal left continues to lose the culture war. In America, the rout was resounding, and the reason is simple: having taken the lead in the battle for minority rights, it failed to protect its own flank. As leftists infiltrated corporate America with the “corporate revival,” the Christian right spent millions on a legal machine to unseat Roe against Wade. Many now fear that same-sex marriage and contraceptive rights are following the same path. Although it is not yet evident, in Britain the liberal left is also facing implosion. He might argue for the new nirvana – a virtuous world of gender neutral bathrooms and pronominal badges – but British social liberalism is rocking into its own dystopia.

As America is embroiled in a battle over the female womb, Britain is drifting into its own moral panic over the male libido. And just like their counterparts across the Atlantic, Britain’s leftists are by no means ready for the showdown. This includes the Labor front bench seat. It is telling that amid headlines of Tory foolishness and continued police struggles to handle rape cases, Sir Keir Starmer addressed the nation yesterday not about a morality crisis at the country is facing, but of Labor’s alternative vision for Brexit.

It was a serious oversight. Chris Pincher’s discussion may have been about the innate depravities of Westminster, but the sad truth is that his conduct is positively unremarkable. Almost half of gay and bisexual men in Britain have been sexually assaulted. Women are no less vulnerable: four-fifths say they have been victims of sexual harassment. The Met Police continue to set themselves on fire for institutional failures to handle such cases.

Yet the liberal left is curiously disinterested in this epidemic. He refuses to engage with the truth that liberal society cannot even guarantee the safety of these groups, let alone their basic rights. Objectification and sexual abuse increasingly resemble core features of liberal society, and it may well be driven by more than just a relaxation of morality. Francis Fukuyama’s warning that a society fails to channel constructively thymos – Greek for ambition and desire for status – at his peril, can come true.

The liberal left is oblivious to all this. Even if his supporters could extricate themselves from their latest battle to oust women’s rights activists from this year’s Labor conference, they wouldn’t have much to say that was helpful or passionate, because they no longer believe truly to liberal values ​​of tolerance, self-reliance and human rights.

They have no interest in campaigning for sexual safety because they would rather campaign for human equality than human autonomy. It is the power of the collective that stings them, not the impotence of the individual. Such an attitude is epitomized by the belligerence of Labor activists over the issue of gender-neutral toilets. In the name of equality, they deny the unique vulnerability of women in public spaces, dismissing their anxieties as discriminatory paranoia.

The left will pay the price for its fair-weather attitude to liberal values. Unchallenged, the right might resort to the lazy arguments and past remedies that have become fashionable in America. There, conservative politicians argue that feminist attacks on male “virtues” are pushing men into pornography. Some are calling for new taxpayer-funded benefits to allow families to be raised on one (male) income.

In light of the Roe v Wade verdict, British leftists are much more aware of their vulnerability to abortion. Stella Creasy’s hasty attempt to make access to abortion a human right in the UK’s new Bill of Rights betrays the terror of left-wing debate. Such behavior signifies an underlying problem – having long abandoned liberal principles, their support for abortion is fraught with secret self-doubt.

Given their enthusiasm for vaccine passports and calls from some quarters for mandatory vaccines, one can only infer that leftist support for bodily autonomy is now nuanced at best. Perhaps deep down they are also wondering if they agree with the anti-abortionists in their fundamentalist belief in the absolute right to life. They have, after all, vehemently supported lockdowns and spent the last generation stoking the cult of the NHS. The effect of all this has been to turn what was once a proud tenet of liberalism – devotion not just to life but to the quality of life – into a taboo. In the wake of his recent awakening evangelism, he is hardly well placed to criticize the intolerance of the Christian right.

I see the effects of this moral confusion on some of my friends. When they speak out in favor of abortion rights, they chant a slogan – sometimes casually, sometimes with uncertainty, but rarely with a principled resolve. This contrasts sharply with the 1960s, when feminist attitudes were underpinned by a compelling existentialist philosophy. One who believed that it is not just life that is sacred, but a life lived with freedom and meaning. That without fundamental reproductive rights, as Simone de Beauvoir said, a woman “simply cannot establish her existence”.

The left has long since lost interest in the philosophy of individual freedom, and this is the recipe for settling scores. Polls show public ambivalence about the threshold for layoffs. In the 1960s, abortion rights were bolstered by fears of an overpopulation bomb. How can we say that the fall in fertility will not give impetus to pro-life movements?

Nothing can be ruled out, because on liberal values, the left is inevitably weak. Just remember his dismal response to the government’s new bill of rights. This Machiavellian legislation cynically cheats on free speech while empowering public bodies and eroding the rights of ordinary citizens.

A genuinely liberal left would have shamed the Tories for not using Brexit as an opportunity to decide on our most sacred freedoms. Instead, he chose to obsess exclusively with minority rights.

The fact is that the liberal left not only loses, but has lost all sense of itself. He cannot defend freedom, autonomy, tolerance, respect and human rights because he no longer believes in them. The only question is whether the conservatives will find the will and the restraint to defend freedom.

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