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HomeIllinois NewsDo classical liberals ‘pave the way for white nationalists’?

Do classical liberals ‘pave the way for white nationalists’?




Matthew Schmitz, a senior editor at First Things and self-described “socialist Roman Catholic,” recently wrote an article titled “How classical liberals paved the way for white nationalists” in the Catholic Herald. Schmitz has little use for “classical liberalism,” a philosophy that upholds the inalienable rights of humanity and limits the role of the state. How, then, does he link limited government to a totalitarian ideology?

Schmitz argues that both small-government conservatives and white nationalists have “one point of absolute agreement: the value of free speech.” He then references Turning Point USA leader Charlie Kirk's statement that he would defeat Alt-Right leader Nick Fuentes through “dialogue.” The sandcastle of Schmitz’s argument crumbles upon the lightest touch of the wind.

Those of us who value expression over repression do so because the “marketplace of ideas” (just like real markets) allow people to make comparisons. Demonstrating the superiority of better ideas to poisonous ones such as white nationalism is possible only if both are allowed to make their best case. Light distinguishes itself in contrast with the darkness. Free speech is merely an accelerant for thought. If Schmitz bans one, he inhibits the other.



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