Another solid article.
Brandon Kneefel

Thank you, Brandon.

Restraint and discipline exist in liberalism in so far as it is an elitist political theory, but in its current stage of development these elements have withered considerably and do not play the central role these qualities have in Islam, and Islamism.

The elitist face of liberalism is occasionally visible when there’s panic over figures such as Corbyn, and Trump who are seen as threats to the liberal order.

We see liberalism asking itself: Do we have too much democracy?

Liberalism accepts democracy to a degree, but the US Founders — for example — were well aware that democracy is a threat to the rule of law, and so on.

Democracy for liberals goes hand-in-hand with the development of the public, who must be schooled to act with a liberal ethos— for example accepting the public-private divide in religion — before they participate in democracy.

This is why a wing of liberalism is concerned about immigrant integration, which means the degree to which immigrants have adopted liberalism’s ethos before participating in the democratic process.

Liberalism is always in a quandary over how much ground to give to democracy, and therefore must retain an element of the restraint and discipline required for any elitism.

That said, liberals such as JS Mill emphasised that individual experiments in living are paramount for the social good — an idea inimical with restraint, and discipline.

In this respect, there is a strand in liberalism that tilts directly against restraint, and discipline. This Millian type of liberalism is very influential, particularly in the UK and the US.

Further, there is a connection between fascism, and liberalism whereby fascism borrowed elements from liberalism; and itself contains an element of decayed liberalism that retains liberalism’s elitist core.

In this sense, liberalism influenced an authoritarian political movement bent on discipline and restraint; but this is a very complicated matter because the fascists were not great political theorists, and borrowed *liberally* from socialists, anarchists and liberals.

In conclusion, restraint and discipline are required in almost any political theory but liberalism — apart from possibly anarchism — places least value on these as a social good, though it cannot get by without these qualities because they are essential for its own preservation.

[N.B. My point about fascism, and liberalism is not to be confused with the asinine idea that was floated a few years ago that contemporary US liberals (in the sense of those people supporting the Democratic Party) are *really* fascists. I believe there’s a book — called Liberal Fascism — by Jonah Goldberg, which advances this theory. I haven’t read it, but my instinct from glosses is that it is substantially wrong. In any case, it refers to liberalism as the ideology of the Democratic Party, and not a political theory so is not directly relevant to this point. I mention this because it’s a possible point of confusion.]

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