Initially framing his analysis/diagnosis of modern liberalism on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, author Richard Houck very astutely discusses the effects of cognitive dissonance on the “liberal” mind, and the ways in which a belief in liberalism—and it is a belief, for it is not grounded in empiricism nor tethered to reality in any appreciable way—poison the minds of its adherents and, by extension, the people and ultimately societies around them. As Houck notes, it is vital to understand the way the liberal mind functions (or perhaps more accurately is dysfunctional). It is generally not tethered to any objective reality but to a relativistic set of principles that profoundly warp their understanding of cause and effect. It is largely atheistic but imbues whites with the burden of Original Sin as “white guilt” and ethno-masochism. It is an ahistorical worldview, one divorced from context, complexity, and nuance. It rejects the logos as the primary driver of Western civilization in favor of pathos, an emotive and by-definition irrational state of “mind.” The Leftist, then, must also sacrifice their ethos, for a standard of ethics and morality cannot be plastic minus certain exceptions (think of a white lie here or there), but rather must adhere to a logically consistent set of principles that govern and define a particular group. By rejecting logos, and by extension ethos, the Left has essentially rejected Western civilization as a whole. Reason is anathema to the liberal “worldview,” which is little but a fluid mess of contradictions that is as fickle and volatile as the season’s latest fashions and just as superficial—though tragically its effects are not.
Liberalism as it presently (de-) constructed is impossibly contradictory and self-negating. For example, to quote Nathaniel Berman:
Politically, modernist primitivism was as ambivalent as it was aesthetically and libidinally. Patricia Leighten, among others, has shown in complex detail the ways primitivism played a significant role in driving the anti-colonialism of the left-wing European avant-garde. This could take a number of quite different forms – at times, through proclamations that it was the colonialists who were the “real primitives” due to their brutality; at other times, on the contrary, through valorizing the fantasized, primitive vitality of colonized peoples against the ossified, dead cultures of Europe. Left-wing modernists participated in, though often transformed and revalorized, the prevalent images of colonized peoples, but their ferocious fantasies about the non-European other often brought them into the streets in solidarity with their revolts.
The Left has an unshakeable belief in the rectitude of their beliefs and actions, and no amount of rational dissuasion can draw them off their path. This is deeply disturbing, and it transcends “mere” politics where compromise is vital to a healthy, functioning society. To find compromise, then, is asking the fanatic to compromise their beliefs, as abhorrent as asking a devout Muslim to just take a bite of a ham sandwich. That their worldview is self-negating and about as substantive as daytime soap operas is irrelevant to the fanatic, and besides, as Houck illustrates, pointing any one of the mess of contradictions in their worldview will simply trigger cognitive dissonance and result in the “doubling-down” of the fanatic on their belief system even in, or more appropriately because of, all evidence to the contrary. Whether what passes for liberalism is indeed a mental illness, or a mass psychosis, or even a kind of secular Wahabbism (Steve Sailer refers to “Social Justice Warriors” as “Social Justice Jihadis” for this reason) is unclear. Probably it is some combination (“‘Racism’ has become a religion to the Left,” Houck writes). Regardless, Houck’s point is a crucial one: we cannot reason with those fully in (post-) liberalism’s ideological clutches.
Where the face of modern liberalism—which Houck takes great care to differentiate from classical liberalism—appears to be a forever-young and unblemished, apple-cheeked picture of equality, compassion, and purity, what is under that mask, what Houck reveals, is the sunken, decayed, maggot-infested visage of the corpse of communistic alienism, even more horrifying (if that’s possible) than the appearance of the aliens in They Live. Further, the aliens in the film are actually more compassionate to their human cattle than our current overlords: they were not genocidal and they actually respected certain institutions such as marriage. Marriage (between a man and a woman) is an inherently conservative proposition; even among non-whites, who always in majority vote Democrat in the United States, married couples were more Republican in their voting habits than single people. Marriage—a successful marriage anyway—requires the ability to think beyond oneself, to actually empathize (not curry social favor through virtue-signaling), and to future plan. It is difficult to imagine a father looking at the present trajectory of society and in good conscience voting for the Democrats (or Labour, etc.). As Houck rightly discusses, our hyper-individualistic, atomized, greedy, superficial, dystopian world is a product first of “liberalism” unchecked, and secondarily the fault of those who did not check it (“conservatives” and the rest of the sleep-walking population). This is not to point fingers at those who are or were unaware of the problems—the media-entertainment-academia complex is very effective at filtering out dissident thought by-and-large, though the Internet Age has seen their grip dramatically weaken—but simply to highlight that there are both those who are actively working against us and those who might simply be uninformed or working with an incomplete picture.
Regarding the latter group, Houck has accomplished the very rare feat of being both accessible and challenging; Liberalism Unmasked doesn’t seek to preach to the converted, nor is it too esoteric, but it offers a comprehensive dismantling of each of the Left’s shibboleths. In many ways it actually reminded me of Tucker Carlson’s Ship of Fools, though where Carlson gives the benefit of the doubt to our ruling class as being merely ignorant and mediocre at best (which is a good self-preservation strategy for someone of his visibility and importance to the cause of restoring American greatness), Houck takes the extra step and identifies the really insidious strains animating the Left. He is also not afraid to call a spade a spade, so to speak, but he is not gratuitous. This is the kind of rigorousness and care that is needed for the Dissident Right to cement itself as intellectually and factually unassailable (Houck also makes key moral arguments as well). Does Houck “hide his power levels”? Yes—but if you’re further along the “red-pill path” so to speak, he sprinkles in clues with a little wink: “Liberals always cry out in pain as they strike you.”
In most instances Houck effectively follows the “show not tell” adage and provides evidence—a lot of it—for the reader to draw their own conclusions. As far as persuasiveness is concerned, this is very effective for it engages the reader in a process that is both active on their part as they are doing much of the intellectual work themselves, and informative for Houck systematically refutes every one of liberalism’s shibboleths empirically and logically. When he does discuss the moral and ethical differences between Left and Right, it is that much more effective for having first been grounded in logos, and the ultimate emotional pay-off is amplified dramatically. One of the best examples of this progression is as follows:
I’ve often seen Liberals using the pro-life stance of conservatives against them through faulty logic. Liberals will claim that being pro-life must also mean favoring of mass migration of so-called refugees. But this is absurd. The principle is simple: conservatives do not believe in harming the innocent or initiating aggression upon people. Therefore it is immoral to harm unborn children. A man and a woman choose to bring their child into existence; thus the child becomes the responsibility of the parents. If they did not want that responsibility, they should not have created a child. Tax payers, on the other hand, made no equivalent choice as regards refugees. They are not responsible for them, nor are the refugees entitled to the resources of American or European citizens. No American tax payer ever made the decision to cause the never-ending chaos of the planet, nor did anyone ever agree to spread his money all over the world to provide financial support for matters that do not concern him.
After debunking the “contradiction” between being pro-life and pro-death penalty, Houck arrives at this:
Not long ago there was a proposal in Texas to change the disposal practices for aborted children. I read the comments on the news articles, and watched the absolute outrage by the Left on social media…They labeled the Texas proposal as “hate-filled,” “misogynistic,” and “sexist.” What was this new law that so powerfully called down the liberal ire? It stipulated that instead of disposing of children’s bodies in a bin alongside other “medical waste,” the remains were to be buried or cremated, as at a proper funeral…I thought about all the animals I had rescued, cared for, and eventually had to bury when they passed away. I buried every single one, and I did so properly. I’ve even buried dead animals I found near my house that had been hit by cars.
I’ve done this myself, once even pulling over to the side of the road to bury a bird in the woods who had flown through my open window and broken its neck against my chest.
I thought about that gut-wrenching feeling as I read through the reactions to the new Texas law. No compassion to be found in these hearts of darkness. They saw this Texas law as nothing but a massive infringement upon “human rights.” They were extremely outraged that they might be required to provide a burial for a human that once lived inside of them. And it was at that moment I realized Liberals would never be like us. They are not of the same lineage. They are demented, they are sick, they are insidious in everything they believe. They are mentally ill beyond any doubt. These truths are slowly becoming axiomatic to me.
Liberals cry that “Meat is murder!” but are fully content with abortions on demand; it is, in fact, a badge of honor to have had one. The more abortions one has had—the more times they have murdered an unborn child inside of them—the more “status” they are able to signal. And we wonder why they seem so pathological, so unhinged. The utter and complete lack of self-awareness, the dark irony of the responses, and the unanimous condemnation all only reinforced what we already knew—they are a hive-mind. They are Borg. Diversity is strength, #RefugeesWelcome, make money off dismembered fetus parts but think of the children WON’T YOU THINK OF THE CHILDREN—now buy this useless shit made for pennies on the dollar in Sri Lanka!
Remember: the Left does not have the moral high ground in anything: they support the slaughter of unborn children, they support foreign wars and interventionism, they support censorship and the jailing of and violence against dissidents, they support confiscatory taxation, they support abridgements of the Constitution and infringements on personal freedoms like free speech and the right to bear arms, they support mass dissemination of pharmaceuticals that enslave and zombify people, they support the systemic grooming and rape of women and girls based on class and race, they support religious persecution, they support pollution and the degradation of the environment, they support wealth inequality, they support the destruction of the middle class, they support the removal of the freedom of association and taking away property rights, they support and enable criminality and injustice, they support election fraud and demographic replacement, and they support genocide.
What, then, is to be done? Well, you’ll just have to purchase the book yourself and refer to the final sections as well as the Technical Appendix for the Cure for Liberalism.
My only criticisms are pretty minor, and I only have two. The first is stylistic: Houck has a quirk where he uses a sentence fragment for effect as opposed to using a conjunctive word and/or a comma to connect the two sentences. Sometimes it happens in threes. This in no way diminishes the quality of the book, but really comes down to stylistic preferences. The second is that this very much feels like the work of a man who is in ideological transition. This is not to say that he does not believe what he’s writing or that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—the book is excellently sourced—but rather that one gets the sense that Houck may have been evolving as he was writing the book. That doesn’t make it feel incomplete: Liberalism Unmasked is the perfect Dissident/Alt-Right gateway drug. This is to say, however, that I am wagering Houck’s next offering is going to be truly exceptional. As regards this present offering, however, I also cannot recommend it highly enough.
Liberalism Unmasked is published by Arktos Media and is available for purchase on their website.