CommentnWe are repeatedly asked to explain what we mean by thenterm “Liberal Culture”—the one combination of words perhapsnmost often used in these pages.nThe general impression is that whatever it means we do notnlike it. This is correct.nSo before we venture into subtle reasoning on what wenmean by what, it should be stated forcefully and unequivocallynthat liberalism and the Liberal Culture are not synonymous,nnot the same, and often—though not too often of late—atnodds. The progressive assimilation and identification of liberalismnwith the Liberal Culture is a disturbing and deplorablenoccurrence.nX^iberalism has enriched mankind with everlastingnvalues. Man and society are indebted to its moral merits. Asnan attitude built around the predisposition to freedom, inquirynand progress, it has accompanied the Judeo-Christian civilizationnsince its dawn. As a philosophy, it began with thenRenaissance, and reached a golden age in the XVIII centurynEnlightenment—thus becoming endemic to the very conceptionnof American society and statehood. Hobbes, Locke,nMontesquieu, Adam Smith, Jefferson, Kant, Goethe,nde Tocqueville, Lord Acton, Stendhal and Cavour would notnhave objected to being called liberals in the initial sense of thenword. John Stuart Mill completed the liberal philosophy, whilenGladstone determined liberal politics. Western democracy ofntoday is unthinkable without those men. We are ideologicallynfed on their thought and vision. We owe our sense of modernnjustice, of social community and equity to liberalism.nWith the apotheosis of Western liberalism at the end of thenXIX century, there began to emerge a world of new anxietiesneagerly and quickly seized upon for development into ideologicalndoctrines. Much earlier, Marxism had rejected liberalism as “anbourgeois faith, a hollow, never fulfilled promise of democracy.”nMany liberals—Matthew Arnold comes first to mind as annepitome—began to feel an intellectual itch for something morenthan freedom, reason, individualism, responsibility and tolerance.nThe quest for new entitlements carried deep into ournage, spawning cultural and political extremisms. Somehow,nsometime, liberalism lost its marvelous clarity of purpose, itsnmasterfully articulated necessity of moral order, grounded innthe respect for the human mind and conscience. “Progressnwas all right once, but it went on too long,” this old and artfulnsaying sums it all up. Liberalism’s epigones, especially innAmerica, began to delve into socio-political speculations devoidnof philosophical substance.nLiberalism has been appropriated as the label for so manyncauses that now it is often taken for what it is not. The highlynmoral motivations of Locke and Adam Smith, or the sophisticationnof de Tocqueville, gave way to the Whig insensitivitynChronicles of Culturennnin England and a laissez-faire voracity American-style. WhennFrancois Guizot, the French liberal statesman, proclaimed hisnfamous “Enrichissez-vous!” in the 1860’s, it was understoodnin its proper context, for Guizot was a man of renowned, evennself-righteous, moral and ethical integrity. Men, he believed,nshould individually strive for affluence through industry andnenterprise, but never without a keen sense of the moral perilsnand moral obligations involved in such endeavors. Althoughnflattened and warped, this socio-moral precept survives innmany capitalistic circles.nThe liberal Guizot would have difficulty recognizing asnfellow liberals Senators Kennedy and McGovern who believenthat the state and the government—society’s executive armsshouldnsolve the problems of economic destiny for Americanncitizens. Thomas Hobbes, that Nestor of liberal philosophers,nwho wrote: “. . .liberties depend on the silence of the law—“nwould have read with disbelief the New York Times ‘manifestosnon how liberalism today means freeing people from miserynand ignorance with the help of an omnipotent bureaucracy.nSince the ’30s, American liberalism, even while still committednin part to the freedom of property and enterprise, has come tonmean a social-democratic solution to all social ills. Its oldnpreoccupation with grounding moral postulates in reason,nempirical dialectics, and civic virtues—such as fairness ofnjudgment, toleration of other views, respect for other peopleseemsnto have vanished. And it’s at this point where ournargument with the contemporary American version of liberalismnbegins. An argument which infers neither hostility norncivilizational incompatibility.nHowever, in the mid-sixties—the nadir of the Americannculture to my mind—a new doctrinal interpretation of liberalismnemerged. We believe it hostile to man, woman and child alikenand incompatible with Western civilizaton as we inherited itnfrom its builders and molders through millenia. We call thisnphenomenon the Liberal Culture—as it uses cultural meansnfor its expansion, and exploits liberalism’s hard won principlesnof social and political interplay. The circumstance that liberalismnis unable to rid itself of the Liberal Culture’s companionshipnsomehow attests to its decline. Sooner or later, the perniciousninfluence of the Liberal Culture will seal liberalism’s fate.nT. . he Liberal Culture can be described as the wanderingnof certain ideas, trends, and intellectual preferences from Jean-nJacques Rousseau right up to Larry Flynt. What happened innbetween is the evolution of the libcultural syndrome. Flynt, ansinister low-brow, inadvertently hit an XVIII century deisticntone, when—after the travesty of his embracing Christianity—nhe declared that his Hustler magazine would henceforth ben”less degrading” to women and religion.n