Progressivism and the Loss of Common Reason

From Gerald Russell’s “Beauty Is At the Heart of True Conservatism“:

Progressivism has lost the notion of a common reason to which people of differing faiths could consent, even of the possibility of an objective order that may govern individual or community moral lives. And it has also taken on some of the characteristics of an intolerant religion, such as its antipathy toward free speech and its elevation of ideas such as tolerance and diversity as god terms. Some have called this moment at the end of liberalism postmodernity. Postmodernity has had a lot of nonsense spoken about it but its core principle as formulated by the late Peter Lawler remains a workable definition for our present moment. Postmodernity is liberalism without the notion of human perfectibility. And without that (which of course was itself a utopian project), liberalism loses even the veneer of wishing for a common good. As witnessed on campuses across the nation a post-liberal left is at ease with totalitarian methods, while an increasingly post-religious right, as Douthat has noticed, threatens to descend into atavistic racial politics.

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