I thought I knew the leftist mindset quite well, when I read this passage. Speaking of Pope Benedict, Twomey writes:
Modern democracy, he maintains, is a fragile structure that depends on values and on an ethos that it cannot create of itself but that are indispensable for its functioning. It is, moreover, a structure that has its own internal weakness and a tendency to concentrate power (and so freedom) in the hands of the few who dominate society, especially through their use of the media. On the other hand, the Marxist vision of the future freedom yet to be brought into existence by submitting to the logic of history ends in a total submission to the Party as the bearer of that "logic". This was compounded by the nihilism of Jean-Paul Sartre, who denied the existence of human nature and posited a state of complete indeterminacy that is hell. In other words, "to be free is to be damned", and salvation is found only in the (Communist) Party.
I doubt that there are many people left who believe that statement verbatim.
But the mindset is definitely still around.
Consider women and abortion
Women are free.
Women are perfectly capable of saving themselves from unsafe abortions: just don't have them.
But leftists do not believe in freedom and personal responsibility.
In their minds, if women do not have recourse to legal abortion, they are damned.
Their personal responsibility is insufficient to save themselves.
The Party or The State can be the only ones to save them from their own indeterminate selves that can't bear responsibility for their actions.
And since there is no determined morality, and thus no inherent responsibility, attributing responsibility to women who seek unsafe abortions on their power is a form of "blaming women" and condemnation, as if stating an objective truth amounted to cruelty. In the leftist mindset, deflection of responsibility is a kind of doublespeak. Of course women are responsible and autonomous agents. Except when they seek unsafe abortions. Then they`re not autonomous and responsible any more. They are completely blameless for performing what are widely known to be unsafe behaviours. They know the foreseeable consequences, but they cannot be held responsible for negative consequences for their free actions. To be free is to be damned.