The liberal as the silent judge of the world

Photo by Marina Lakotka

Liberals have a strange tendency to remove themselves from the world. They try to be a neutral, scientific observer. They know how the world works, but the problem is that others don’t. Liberals know that you should buy organic, vote democratic, recycle your trash. But the others think the world is flat and that vaccines cause autism. So the world’s problems are blamed on the ignorance of the masses, their wastefulness and their callousness.

The more “woke” the liberal, the more distance she puts between herself and the ignorant masses. And the more she despairs. It starts to seem like the world will never be able to catch up before it’s too late, before some catastrophe happens that will finally give humanity its just deserts.

And maybe that’s for the best, so the liberal muses. Maybe we should be punished for wreaking havoc on the environment, for torturing farm animals, for our history of colonialism, our racism, our many sins. Maybe then, after we are wiped from this earth, can nature regain its innocence.

But such an attitude is not only evil, but wrong as well.

First of all, there is an element of classism at play when we talk about the ignorant masses, who are of course none other than simply the lower class. And wherever there is classism there is racism too, so we should divide the lower class into white and non-white (“ethnic”).

In the liberal’s world-view, the white lower class represents the evil of humanity, the stupidity, cruelty and barbarity. The white lower class is responsible for Trump, and racist authoritarians like him across the globe. Add to that also the usual classist clichés about unrefinedness, uncleanliness, carrying diseases and talking funny. These evil, ignorant, racist whites are the same who colonised the indigenous tribes, who enslaved the blacks.

The non-white lower class then, are clearly the victims. They stand for the natural innocence that has been spoiled by white colonialism. After all, the Native American lived in harmony with nature, unlike the whites who can only destroy it. If non-whites do evil, it has to be because of the evil influence of white people.

White liberals love to talk disparagingly about “white people”, as if they’re not really white themselves. Of course they know that, technically, they’re white, but they’re not part of “those” white people, because they “get it”. Maybe they even have a black friend.

So in a way, liberals imagine themselves to stand above the racial divide. And in theory there is nothing wrong with that, we should all strive to stand above the racial divide until there is no divide left. But the universality of liberalism is a false one. It’s based on colourblindness, and on blaming the white lower class for institutional racism.

In the same way, the liberal stands above humanity as a whole, judging its failures, removing himself from the struggle to improve it. Because after all, the liberal will be the first one to gladly admit, he doesn’t have all the answers either. So now, absurdly and impossibly, the liberal found a way to stand above himself, and judge his own ability to judge the world.

It’s impossible to stand on your own shoulders. We all have to take responsibility for our own world-view, and live by it. But because she pretends to stand above it all, the liberal is blind to her own particular world-view, and her actual place in the world.

Serious idealist.