A Fragment on “Liberty”
by Mark Gordon
What my friends on the Catholic right don’t seem to get is that abortion and gay marriage are social and moral expressions of the same liberalism they champion in economics. The fundamental incoherence of contemporary “conservatism” – and, in fact, the reason that it is not conservative at all, but merely liberal – is its focus on liberty, not virtue; individualism, not the common good; rights, not responsibilities. But the pro-choice argument on abortion is nothing more than a variation on the libertarian argument for inviolable property rights (See Rothbard, “The Ethics of Liberty“). The push for gay marriage is a social expression of the same emphasis on individual choice and personal fulfillment that undergirds capitalist consumer culture (See Mill, “On Liberty“). To exalt a Promethean economic liberalism while decrying its inevitable personal and social expressions is schizophrenic, like the man who feeds a fire with a gas can in his left hand while simultaneously attempting to dampen the flames with a hose in is right.