What the new nationalism means

What the new nationalism means, by Daniel McCarthy.

Freedom in private life calls for the restraint of moral and psychological coercion.

The Enlightenment philosophes hated the Catholic Church because it interfered in what they really cared about: writing and thinking. The left believes to this very day that the Catholic Church, and Christianity in general, are grave threats to freedom and so whatever restrains the churches must be good for liberty. Hence religious liberty, which the left of earlier centuries often defended against religious establishments, is now seen as backward and reactionary — a fastness for theocrats who only want to deprive women and homosexuals of the right to recreational sex.

But the churches long ago lost their legal power and have lately lost even the cultural authority they once wielded over western societies. Today an informal but no less strict anti-Christianity — left-liberalism as a godless religion — polices our sexual mores and habits of speech and thought. Not long ago, to be a homosexual was to risk professional ruin and social opprobrium. Now, to be a person of faith who is bound by conscience to reject the normalization of homosexuality is to incur the same penalty. And so freedom of speech has become a right-wing cause. …

One class of people, affirming left-of-center pieties, possesses power in this country — in the media, in education, in the boardroom and in the government.

Those who resist that power are the party of freedom, whether they think of themselves that way or not. They believe that something other than the global economy and government experts and the cult of political correctness holds the truth about human happiness. And that other thing — nation, faith, place, the nobility of the soul — can only flourish if we remove the impediments placed in its way by our ruling class.