As I write this article, votes are being counted in the Republic of Ireland to conclude a landmark referendum on essentially legalising abortion.
As a heavily conservative Catholic state, the Republic of Ireland has, up until now, held that life begins at conception and indeed that abortion goes against the doctrine of that faith. It is very likely that as the results are counted, this will cease to be the case and the so endearingly named pro-choice campaign will claim a resounding victory.
Now, whilst I’m ardently and adamantly all for abortion, and can see no possible argument against for example bringing an unwanted child into a home that can’t afford to support it and thus burden the state with a mistake, I am hesitant to welcome the expected result in Ireland. I am hesitant, because the campaign has been hijacked by social liberal sensitivities and has been thrust upon us by the western social liberal camp with as much moral authority as the church has ever summoned.
Liberalism is evolving into a doctrine, an ideological cult against which there is no other possible alternative, no other option. The campaigns in Northern Ireland have been massively influenced by the intrinsic liberalism found within public personalities, the subtleties in the implication of this referendum, the news papers and the media, the megaphone of universal western opinion, all brilliantly articulated here, and there has almost been a complete disregard for the conservative tone to Irish culture within the rhetoric surrounding the referendum debate, as though conservatism in any manifestation is wrong.
The merits of wanting to preserve life, and respecting the existence of another human by acknowledging its rights even as a foetus isn’t some nefarious idea of a dangerous religious cult, and it isn’t a particularly unpalpable idea- It’s certainly not unreasonable. But it has been presented and perceived not only in Ireland but in America as a toxic idea, an undesirable, uncool, chronically illiberal position. It flies in the face of stone cold liberal totalitarianism and it is an easy platform upon which to fortify the walls of castle liberalism.
I suppose the point here is that conservatism is at risk of becoming an exclusively abstract ideology and ethos. It is at risk of becoming undesirable by default in the haze of liberal dogma that shrouds western thought. Debates are fought on moral grounds if and only if liberalism deems them to be moral, with no concessions nor any acknowledgement for the merits of other thought; doublethink in mysterious, majestic motion.
It isn’t that Ireland may vote to legalise abortion- a move, I will reiterate, that I wholeheartedly support; it is that the purchase of liberalism, acknowledged in its social, post modern context, is ghastly, wildly over reaching and far too strong. There is no alternative to liberal thought and reasoning now in the west. We are bound by the totalitarian shackles of social justice, slaves to our own moral vanity and arrogance; we cannot and must not engineer an environment where no other thought, reasoning nor morality can exist but that which is liberally prescribed.