Guys like Julius Caesar and Hegel got places by dividing things into three parts, so I thought I’d do my own three-part division of liberal tyranny:
- The Tyranny of Caring: We’re all equally responsible for what happens to each other, so the State, the only institution that can claim to represent each to each in an equal, orderly and rational way, is responsible for everything that happens to any of us. The problem, of course, is that responsibility implies control. The health and safety Nazis are one obvious result, but there of course are others.
- The Tyranny of Tolerance: Everything everybody wants and does must be equally favored and furthered. Unfortunately, desires conflict. To avoid the problem, we can only be allowed to want things that can, at least in theory, be supplied to each of us in a rational, reliable and conflict-free way—in other words, consumer goods, positions in a bureaucracy and purely private indulgences. Other goals can’t be administered, and might cause squabbling and bad feelings, so they can’t be allowed. Religion, for example, must become a consumer good or private indulgence, or else a social service integrated with the bureaucratic implementation of the tyranny of caring.
- The Tyranny of Inclusiveness: All groups defined by traditional concepts of identity must participate equally in all significant social functions. It follows that no significant institution can take traditional concepts of identity into account except to counteract any residual effect they may have. All social institutions that characteristically take such things into account, family and historical community for example, or that can’t be adequately supervised to ensure their effects are eradicated, must in effect be done away with. Since traditional concepts of identity are involved in every kind of functional human relationship other than those based wholly on money and force, world markets and universal rational bureaucracies become the only things allowed to play a significant role in social life.
In thinking about these things—caring, tolerance and inclusiveness—it’s important to note that they’re treated as ultimate goods that together constitute a sort of religion, so that it’s illegitimate for anything else to limit them. Their demands can therefore be expected to expand without limit. That is what we are now seeing around us.