In his Feb. 28 op-ed, Jim Key endorsed the variation of liberalism that his Oxford source calls “high liberalism.”
Unsurprisingly, Key stuck a nerve: “High liberalism regards economic liberties as subordinate to personal and political liberties and subject to regulation, with redistribution of income and wealth to mitigate gross inequalities...”
High liberalism? We might substitute the phrase “high-handed liberalism.” Most personal freedoms depend on our economic freedoms. And when our personal “economic” liberties are subordinated to the “political” freedom of a majority to “reallocate” our earnings, we may have given up the store.
I recommend the classic book, The Road to Serfdom, by the Austrian economist-philosopher Friedrich von Hayek (1899-1992). Hayek addressed his masterpiece to “my fellow socialists.” His main thesis - carefully and cogently argued, was that that the progressive socialist project can never be accomplished without perverse, inhumane results – results as Hayek put it, that well-meaning socialists would reject.
These creeping authoritarian features were systemic features of the progressive scheme. Too many naïve liberals appear willing to jump into the Brave New World without forethought or caution. Are they not socialists by default?