I've been reading Richard Pipes' book on the Russian Revolution. He makes some interesting observations on 19th century liberalism. The most important point is that there was no essential difference between the aims of the liberals and the extreme left revolutionaries. Both wanted to reshape human nature entirely. Both were products of the Enlightenment. Both are ardent materialists. They differed only as to the means to be employed to bring about Utopia and to create the perfect Socialist Man (or the perfect Liberal Man).
The starting point of both ideologies can be found in Locke and in the utilitarianism of British philosopher Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832).
And an equally important point is that if forced to choose, liberals will support the far left extremists.
Pipes says that:
“...even under this reform-minded theory [of liberalism] lay the tacit premise that man could and ought to be remade. This premise links liberalism and radicalism and helps explain why, for all their rejection of the violent methods employed by revolutionaries, when forced to choose between them and their conservative opponents, liberals can be counted on to throw their lot in with the revolutionaries.”
This has remained substantially true right up to the present day. Both liberals and the far left believe that people can be moulded to conform to their ideals. If people don’t want liberalism they will be made to want it.
What this means in practice is that there is no such thing as a moderate liberal. All liberals believe that there is no limit to the extent to which human nature can be altered, and they intend to keep altering human nature until absolute conformity has been achieved. Eventually everyone will be a liberal. All it takes is sufficient indoctrination. The desired end point is totalitarianism. Liberals believe this will be a warm and soft and cuddly totalitarianism. Mao’s Cultural Revolution had the same aims. Modern western liberals think they can achieve the same results more efficiently and that the people will welcome this transformation. If they don’t welcome it that’s too bad - they’re going to get it whether they want it or not.
It is important to realise that these beliefs are not limited to leftists. They are shared to an overwhelming degree by all mainstream “conservative” parties in the West. These beliefs are also almost universally embraced by Big Business. This Cultural Revolution will bring about a world that will be extremely congenial to Big Business. It may well be a disaster for small business but to the leaders of Big Business that is a feature not a bug. A world of compliant conformist consumers is a world that appears to them to be very attractive indeed.
Not only will political dissent be eliminated. Religion will also be eliminated. Families will be ad hoc groupings of consumers. These changes are also seen as major pluses. To Big Business religion and the family are irritating disruptions to the growth of consumerism. To liberals religion and the family provide a dangerous potential focus of opposition to their program.
Our most dangerous enemies are the "moderates" - they are not moderate at all. They are extremists who intend to achieve their extremist ambitions in a slightly more gradual way.