If man is the measure, it cannot be right to tell him what to do. We cannot be forced to be free or ordered to be equal. Neither theoretical refinements nor practical compromises can resolve such basic contradictions or keep them from leading to unprincipled and irrational conduct that eventually proves self-destructive.
Savor that felicitous prose. It is a sample of what awaits those who read James Kalb’s The Tyranny of Lib-eralism, 289 pages of text followed by ample documentation and references. Kalb says what many of us have not been quite able to articulate. He identifies the cracks in the foundation on which modern liberal sensibilities rest, cracks which all of us knew had to be there, but found difficult to spot.
Kalb loves language. There is a poignancy to his lamentation of its preempting by the Newspeak of the New World Order. His description of how liberals use the terms toleration, inclusion, and rationality can liberate even one educated in post-1960’s public schools, unless those institutions were successful in destroying his ability to think critically.
Kalb also loves tradition. He correctly assesses liberalism as a rejection of tradition, and with it the unwritten principles, many of which are based on religion, that allow people to live in the real world. ...