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History Corner






George P. Grant On Rise Of Sceptical Liberalism In The U.S.: 1970


Lament for a Nation [Canada], George P. Grant (1970; repr. 1995, Carleton University Press, Canada), 75, 76.


[American] society does preserve constitutional government and respect for the legal rights of individuals in a way that the eastern [Communistic] tyrannies do not.

The perpetuation of these depends on the continuing tradition of Lockian liberalism among influential classes.

Bourgeois Protestantism, with its Catholic and Jewish imitations, have survived in the United States and give some sense of the eternal to many people.
Nevertheless, these traditions no longer the heart of American civilization become more residual every year.

Sceptical liberalism becomes increasingly the dominant ideology of those who shape society; and . . . this ideology is the extreme form of progressive modernity.

The United States is no longer a society of small property owners, but of massive private and public corporations. Such organizations work with the scientists in their efforts to master nature and reshape humanity. Internationally, the imperial power of these corporations has destroyed indigenous cultures in every corner of the globe. Communist imperialism is more brutally immediate, but American capitalism has shown itself more subtly able to dissolve indigenous societies. This can make it harder to resist than the blatant thrusts of the Russians or the Chinese. . . . American society has also inherited the older aspects of the Western tradition: the Church, constitutional government, classical and philosophical studies. But every day these become more like museum pieces, mere survivals on the periphery.