on December 23, 1999
Judge Bork does a superb job of describing the various elements of destruction that have arisen from the application of modern liberalism to American society. He also offers best and worst case scenarios for the future of the Republic if the current trends continue.
Bork makes it clear that he speaks not of the traditional liberalism exercised by the Founding Fathers but rather an ideological departure from that tradition that has hijacked and bastardized the name.
The modern form of liberalism consists of radical egalitarianism, which inherently requires a coercive State. It also consists of a radical individualism that corrodes institutions of restraint (i.e. family, religion, etc.) eventually leading to a free-for-all that will require the strong hand of government to contain. The centrality and powerfulness of the State in modern liberalism is its most radical departure from traditional liberalism.
Bork does not deride the successes and accomplishment of liberalism when it still possessed the goals and intentions compatible with its tradition - e.g. civil rights for minorities, suffrage for women, etc. However, it quickly evolved into an entirely different beast in the mid-to-late 1960s and has never looked back. The fact that there are currently fifty-five professed Socialists in the U.S. House of Representatives (all Democrat) is testimony to the extreme left-turn taken by those calling themselves liberal today.
Bork does deride the goals, intentions, and actions of this new breed of liberal. It is virulently anti-American and anti-Western Civilization. As it has with the term "liberalism," the modern liberal has hijacked worthy causes (e.g. civil rights) and has politicized them in order to advance their radical agenda. Modern liberalism wishes to rob America of its unique heritage and to replace it with a revolutionary concept of human nature and human governance.
Bork goes through the various components of society where modern liberalism has left the mark of its poison - crime, illegitimacy, welfare, abortion, assisted suicide, sex (feminism), race (racial-preferences), ethnicity (multi-culturalism), education (anti-intellectualism, post-modernism), religion, etc. While Bork is careful not to place the blame entirely on the 1960s radicals, he does point out that they were the climax of an ideological swing.
The 1960s radicals are now tenured professors and hold other positions of leadership and influence. They may no longer be assaulting police officers and burning buildings, but they continue to spread their poison in institutions of higher learning, government bureaucracies, think-tanks, and on the judicial bench. The impact of their influence permeates throughout society and is manifest especially on college campuses where the students of radical professors carry the torch of anti-Americanism, anti-Europeans, anti-capitalism, anti-Western Culture, anti-white, anti-male, etc.
Bork makes it clear that continuing down the current path can only spell disaster for America's future - where inter-racial, inter-gender, inter-ethnic antagonism reaches a peak of resentment and hostility leading to the breakdown of civil order.
Perhaps this is what modern liberals want - a revolution to remake America in their own image and dispense with its entire heritage. But this is clearly not what most Americans want, which leads to Bork's point that the liberal radicals are a small minority of élites that have an impact totally out of proportion to their numbers.
Bork offers several options for reversing the trend towards social implosion. However, he quickly reduces the choices to one that focuses on the re-assertion of institutions of order and virtue - family and religion. It is only by reviving these institutions that there may be any hope of taking the momentum out of the modern liberal onslaught. While Bork does sense a glimmer of hope in this approach, he wonders whether such an approach may merely slow the onslaught that will eventually end in the disintegration of our society and culture.
This book is an absolute eye-opener to what damage has already been wrought by modern liberalism. If there is any chance at all of taming and turning back the beast, the first step is to "know thy enemy." This book serves that purpose. Hence, I recommend it to every freedom-loving American. Obviously, most liberals won't like what Bork has to say, but I think most people calling themselves liberals today have no idea what some are doing under that label. Therefore, I recommend this book to liberals as well so that they can read for themselves what liberal radicals have done and are doing to undermine American culture and society.