Secularist elites built a “new moral order” after the Cold War, says Gerard Baker in The Wall Street Journal. Now it is “collapsing around them”. This postmodern secular creed – which, for the past 30 years, has steadily been replacing the Judeo-Christian beliefs that inspired and sustained Western civilisation for centuries – is defined by three pillars. First is the idea that global obligations to humanity as a whole trump local self-interest; second is a “quasi-biblical belief in climate catastrophism”; and third is the “wholesale cultural self-cancellation” of the West. But lately, on three continents, each of these pillars has started crumbling.
As migration surges in the Mediterranean, at the Texas border, and elsewhere along the frontier dividing the global north and south, the idea that our “obligations to indigent foreigners are as great as those to our own citizens” is being tested to destruction. The moral imperative of “self-abasing action to combat climate change” is falling too, notably in the UK, where the Conservatives recently took a “small but symbolically important step in climate apostasy”, by tweaking their decarbonisation plans. And finally, the trend for cultural self-annihilation is “wobbling”. In Australia, a left-wing government “eager to impress the world” has launched a campaign to offer Aboriginal people a say in certain matters of state. But a referendum on the matter has met “fierce opposition” from a large majority. It seems most Australians, like so many of us in the West, “have had enough”. It’s time for a restoration of the traditional liberal values that, ironically, gave us the economic and cultural enrichment which permitted this “orgy of self-immolation” in the first place.