Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Garden Variety Totalitarianism

Radicals, modern liberals, socialists, communists, progressives - all are plant varieties in the garden of leftist totalitarianism. Each is rooted in its own doctrines and dogmas, watered in "noble lies," and nourished in the soil of disaffection and rebellion against objective reality.

The leftist radical is inspired first and foremost by the French Revolution. Deeply dissatisfied by the status quo of any kind, he projects his existential rage onto the world at large, "the system," "the State" (just or unjust), and "the man." Jean Jacques Rousseau, Denis Diderot, and even the murderous Robespierre are among the heroes in the leftist radical's pantheon.

Modern liberals claim to be ideologically descended from the Enlightenment, and believe themselves to be the pinnacle of the "liberal" values of emancipation and equality. Yet the dismissal of human nature and the value of the individual that arose through "liberalism's" fusion with utilitarianism, and its secularization during the increasing influence of Darwinism, mutated the Christian-Reason utopian strain of liberalism into a call for statists to create a heaven on earth.

Socialists are often mistaken to be "soft communists" or weak-kneed believers in Marxism unwilling to implement communist ideas in practice without regard to human life. But note that modern liberals and socialists are often conflated. Socialism is a utopian collectivist idea predating Marx. Marx often used the language of socialism to describe his ideas, and many times used the term interchangably with communism. Modern liberals, because of the weak strain of humanism tenuously clinging to their ideology, are not as strident as socialists and often disagree with them amongst themselves. Socialists can best be thought of as "blooming communists."

Communism, because of its ready association with totalitarian nightmare states of the twentieth century, is disavowed by most of the left to the point where the invocation of the term is enough to provoke nervous fits of laughter in leftist circles. Communism is most easily thought of as the implementation of socialism by direct force. There are many species of communism, and we may therefore more readily think of communism as a genus of leftist ideology. One species is Marxist-Leninism, or the supposed dictatorship of the proletariat ushered in by a party of professional revolutionaries; another is Maoism, which adapts Marxist-Leninism to instrumentalize a "revolutionary class" of peasants; Trotskyism, which is simply put an elaborate theory of "permanent revolution" and associated tactics; and Stalinism, which is a term intended to suggest that it is somehow a virulent wild strain that is a radical departure from communism writ large. Along with this fallacy, that Stalinism is a departure from communism and not simply one variant of it, there is the propaganda that communism is the utopian fulfillment of socialism. On the contrary, there has never been and can never be a utopian fulfillment of socialism; therefore in doctrine and in practice, communism is the forcible implementation of socialism, with that associated blatant disregard for reality.

Progressivism is America's native version of socialism or communism.  It is communism on the slow track, which is necessary due to the vitality of American's founding.  Progressivism is a unique hybrid of labor movements; populist anti-business sentiment; the ideal of statist-pragmatic-bureaucratic micro-management of the economy and society by elites in order to achieve what they conceive of as "the common good"; and gospel utopianism. Progressivism, when harnessed to achieve the modern liberal ends, results in socialism in practice, which eventually produces communism. In its wrestling with what are thought to be the hardy "weeds" of private property and free enterprise, progressivism in the interim period to communism appears a lot like fascism, or the de facto control of the economy by the state (as opposed to communism, which seeks to eradicate private property).

Barack Obama can in this context be thought of as the "Great Gardener" of the Left. With his spade he pulls out the "weeds" of private property and free enterprise. He sprays pesticides like Race-away, PoliticalCorrectnessBeGone, and Teab*****cide in the media to create a toxic atmosphere for particularly resistant strains. And after the pesticides are allowed to soak in, he takes a riding lawnmower to the Constitution.

But as the leftists try to recreate their totalitarian version of the Garden of Eden, a return to the days when men and women could run around naked like primitive hippies; with all the herbs and seed-bearing plants like cannabis to "use"; with no work or personal responsibilities; a place with no climate; no competition; no desire for personal achievement; one with no divisions among men to cause us squabbles; essentially, a place unlike any seen on earth; they disregard reality, which inevitably comes back with a vengeance. The fatal flaw in all ideologies of the left is that the beautiful flowering societies of their imagination always wither and die in the sunlight of truth.


Ludwik Kowalski said...

Some of you might be interested in my just-published book:


go to WWW[dot]AMAZON[dot]COM and search for Ludwik Kowalski

The first chapter (a condense version of the rest of the book) is now at:


Feel free to share this link with all those who might be interested.

Thank you in advance,

Ludwik Kowalski
Professor Emeritus

Reasonsjester said...

Will give it a look, Ludwik.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jester, I though libertarians liked cannabis?

Reasonsjester said...

Legalizing marijuana and advocating it are two different matters. People can do what they want with their own bodies, it doesn't mean that doing drugs is a smart thing to do.

Reaganx said...

I would even argue that drug bans do much more to promote drug use than legalization. Consider the fact that drug use was not a major social problem in the 19th century, when it was legal.