The Twin Errors of Liberalism and Egoism
by Dr. William L. Pierce
LAST MONTH we began looking at the question, “What is the purpose of man’s existence?” We saw that there is, in the men and women of our race, an inborn, intuitive urge to order our lives in accord with some purpose beyond the satisfaction of our daily whims. This urge is stronger in some men than in others.
We also saw the importance which this urge, or its degree of fulfillment or non-fulfillment, has in determining the type of world in which we live. Human society tends to be orderly and truly progressive when men with a more highly developed sense of inner direction prevail, and society becomes chaotic, regressive, and decadent when men with a weaker sense of direction prevail, or when all tend to lose or ignore their inner directions.
But even in the best of times, when men with a strong sense of purpose have the upper hand, few — if any — have a true understanding of what that purpose should really be. They feel an inner direction, but they mistake where it is pointing. And so the great majority of even the best of men go in the wrong direction, following false purposes.
Men strive for the True Purpose, but their striving is in the form of an almost-blind groping for something seen only dimly and indistinctly, like a half-remembered dream. Their imperfect understanding leads them far more often into error than into truth.
The greatest cause of error — the greatest hindrance to a proper response to our sense of inner direction — has been a wrong outlook, a wrong general attitude toward life and the world, a wrong philosophical framework within which we interpret our inner promptings. Just as using a badly flawed lens to read a message distorts it and, more often than not, causes us to misread it, so forcing an interpretation of our sense of inner direction into the wrong philosophical framework distorts it and leads us into error.
The wrong general attitude toward life and the world which is presently leading our people into such grievous error and wreaking such havoc in the world is what is very loosely and generally known as “liberalism.” It is what we have called neo-liberalism, in order to distinguish it from the attitude which was called liberalism prior to the 19th century. Its particular aspect which determines the individual’s attitude toward himself and which is primarily responsible for the misinterpretation mentioned above is egoism.
Egoism predisposes the individual to ask the wrong questions, or to ask them in the wrong way, as well as to misread the answers he receives. In looking for his proper direction in life, for goals, the neo-liberal asks himself some variation on the question: “How can I achieve true happiness?”
The answer he receives may tell him that he must strive to be “well adjusted” or popular or successful at some endeavor, but the answer was already inherent in the question itself. For egoism is an attitude which considers only the self and ignores the Whole, of which the self is only a part and upon which the self depends for any meaning or significance. It is an immature attitude, an infantile attitude, the attitude of incomplete men.
The egoist may be “religious”; he may babble of helping others or of “serving God.” But his vision of God is determined by his egoism, and it is a false vision. It is a vision of a supernatural yet personal father-figure in the sky, an anthropomorphic deity who maintains a personal watch over the egoist, shielding him from certain dangers, helping him achieve the self-gratification he seeks, and waiting to welcome him personally into a heavenly mansion at the end of his allotted three-score-and-ten years of earthly existence. Thus, to the egoist “serving God” is simply another way — a self-deluding way — of serving himself.
But the spiritually mature man of our race, the complete man, has a different vision, a vision with infinitely more distant horizons than that of the egoist. It is a vision which encompasses the Whole, or as much of the Whole as our understanding at this stage of our evolution will allow, and in which the self is seen as a part of that Whole — a vital part, an important part, but, nevertheless, only a part.
And yet even this vision of the spiritually mature man is usually not as clear and sharp as it might be. He must strive with all his will and understanding to see fully and clearly the way in which the part — the self — is related to the Whole. When that is revealed to him, then he knows with certainty what his purpose is. It is the One Purpose, which we seek here.
And it is the greatest of ironies that, whereas the egoist, seeking only to save himself, ends by losing himself in death, the man who scorns egoism and orders his life in accord with the One Purpose thereby opens for himself the possibility of true immortality, as we shall see.
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Source: National Alliance BULLETIN, January 1976