Melanie Phillips continues stumbling from the corruptions of liberalism toward traditionalist conservatism. While we’ve noted that her views on sex remain mired in the contradictions she notes in liberalism, her recent Dogma and the destruction of excellence shows a real gain in theoretical clarity. Standing back from the destruction of British institutions from marriage to the A level she notes a repeated pattern. An institution is first attacked and weakened, then it starts working badly and habits begin to shift, and finally the institution is effectively abolished because it is no longer in line with developing social patterns. Why, she ask, is more not done to retain and restore things of value? Why do all efforts concur to get rid of them? Her answer:
Much of this damage is being inflicted by an elite class with an agenda to create their dream of utopia. They are doing so through propounding a doctrine which holds that everyone must be equal, both in their attainments and in their ability to take decisions for themselves without anyone passing judgement upon them.
This means that consumer choice must trump everything else. Anything that interferes with an individual’s choice of behaviour is bad. So is anything that differentiates between attainments. Therefore any hierarchies that distinguish between anyone or anything on the basis of merit, or any rules that interfere with freedom of choice, have to go.
Well said! All she need do now is reflect on what is implied by the concept of a humane and hierarchical society—what there is in modern life and thought that makes such a thing impossible and how it could once again become reality.