As usual, an intellectual analyst, over-analyzes and hyper-intellectualizes a marvelously simple phenomenon.
Nobody but a handful of pundits even believes any of the hypocritical nonsense spewed by left or right, and even they are only working their brands by knowing what their target markets want to hear and regurgitating it to them in continually re-packaged form.
Nobody down on the street really believes in “social liberalism” as a day-to-day ethos, any more than does anyone truly observe the tenets of “traditional values.” In each case, lifestyles of essential advantage-seeking within each person’s microcosm are built around elaborate codes of exceptions, caveats and disclaimers, all adapted to whatever one’s surroundings, circumstances and biography will allow for.
Nor is there any particularly impressive groundswell of supportive sentiment making up some “constituency” of any imaginary “left” or “right.” All interest, boiled down, is self-interest. The rhetoric of all politics, is mere intonation of liturgy.
Nominal liberals will vote a liberal ticket while wallowing in capitalist, consumerist super-privilege, if those votes feel like they will sustain policies and programs which provide them with their preferred perqs. Similarly, so-called “conservatives” will pay lip service to fictions like “limited government” and “family values” while voting for people who represent no such things, because what they do represent are the financial and corporate interests which will sustain in turn, their chosen advantages over the otherwise chaotic and dangerous conditions of their own lives.
Nor does anyone but the most deluded and the most naive, believe in this Wizard of Oz calling itself “democracy.” No one but the most idealistic and the most ignorant fails to see that no matter who is voted into what positions of power, they will use those powers to construct their own personal fiefdoms of autocratic rule over whatever spheres of influence can be thus dominated.
The one democratic prerogative that even exists, is to prevent any one faction from basking in those powers permanently. When one has begun to show the signs of the arrogance and apathy of permanent rule, the electorate, by a kind of collective-consciousness instinct apparently, will topple them for a time and place their rivals in power. And in due time topple the rivals and allow the other side a go.
Balance of power, is the only ideology that truly exists in any meaningful form. The talking points and supposed ethical foundations of any faction, are purely utilitarian and brazenly counterfeit. Gaining and holding, or losing and striving to regain, pure power and for its own sake, are the only political motivations that exist. The rest is pageantry, the public knows it, and exercises the one form of remaining power left in popular hands, to keep any one gang from running the neighborhood for too long.
The tragic consequences and calamitous momentum of any faction under any banner being allowed to rise to absolute power, constitute the one and only moral and social imperative in all politics: to never allow anyone too much power, for too long.
Liberalism hasn’t lost. Not a thing. It has, once again, been unseated from the power to rule for the time being, for the stunningly simple fact that its turn has expired. It will be back, and so will further manifestations of its fake rival, conservatism, because they are not each other’s opposite.
They are evil and identical twins, this “left” and this “right”. Chained together in a mutual curse of lust for power, they are the common enemies of the human species and the primary threats to the human future. Only by keeping them permanently at war against one another, can the human family protect itself from the both of them, and get on with the much more important (and thoroughly apolitical) business of living life.