Monday, November 8, 2010

Why the Left Will Never Learn

When one surveys the American terrain, from sea to shining sea, across the fruited plain, one is struck by the contrast, not only in terms of geography, but in politics. We see the relative abundance of the red states, men and women rising each dawn to set forth on productive, family-centered lives (to the extent that they are allowed to by the government). We see the human wreckage of Democrat-controlled cities, the rampant drugs and violence, the poverty, the crushing debt. We see the unsustainable burden that blue states like California and New York place on their taxpaying citizens, a model of irresponsible policy that the Obama-led federal government has heartily adopted.

For most of us rooted in workaday life, such a view of the contemporary United State is the political and economic reality. This is because we adhere to the truth. We stand in the present. We are grounded in the experiences of the past. We acknowledge failure. We know what succeeds.

But what of our political opposition? What of Barack Obama, who stubbornly believes that his policies are working, and that we just aren't smart enough to understand them? Or his followers, who are in flat-out denial not only that Democrat policies are not succeeding, but that they literally cannot succeed? Not only world history, but indeed, the American experience confirms that the Democrat's socialistic policies fail everytime they are tried, everywhere they are tried.

Why are liberals unable to learn from that experience? Why do they refuse to acknowledge reality?

To liberals, all illustrations of the failure of their policies are attributed to their unfailing scapegoats: Capitalism, corporations, and conservatives. Whether or not any causal mechanism can be identified, these are the hidden, invisible, ubiquitous forces that rule everything. Capitalism is monolithic in its expanse, synonymous in some cases with economic reality itself, and conditions our very consciousness. Capitalism is the reliable attribution for all evil in the world, which is embodied in their conservative opponents. This worldview is not nuanced, despite all their pretended learning, it is manichaenistic.

The conservative man for them is the man of the past, clinging to an outdated view of the world, one filled with human misery. Thus the mere existence of conservatives is a defiance to their cultural marxist designs, and one that fills them with hatred and revulsion. They believe that if everyone shared their opinions, then their vision will come true in reality. Therefore, all problems in the world simply means that liberals haven't social-engineered their "new man" yet. This mission to remake human beings in their preferred image (not their own image) is part and parcel of their secular drive to solve all problems and to create a heaven on earth. But what kind of condescension for your fellow man and arrogance do you have to have to set out on such a project? And what facts, reason, evidence will persuade you of the lunacy of such an endeavor? None.

For the leftist, his existential angst leads him to survey the world and see it all as an abysmal mess. He sees all around him war, racism, sexism, inequality, poverty and misery, even in cases where they don't exist, and concludes that it all needs to be "changed." It is all a grand experiment for social scientists to tinker with until they get it right, human suffering be damned.

Since it is the leftist's self-appointed task to right each and every wrong, his program demands complete, totalitarian control over politics, economy, society, the private lives of individuals, and even man's inner thoughts. Being a pragmatist in intellectual disposition, he is unable and unwilling to take his thoughts to their logical conclusion.

Each case of continuing government encroachment on the individual's freedom of choice is thus not perceived as threatening by the leftist. He simply sees it as part and parcel of elites creating a better and more just world. He does not see the danger of accumulating such power over people, for two reasons: 1) He believes that this is and the country should be a "democracy," meaning it is composed of "the people" (whose minds the elites should fashion and control) and 2) that the elites are necessarily well-intentioned.

Not respecting history, he does not see how even the best of intentions lead to disastrous results. The leftist does not get that accumulating immense power in a central government, even to do "good," sets the preconditions for deceptive, power-hungry demagogues to rise to power and to utilize it to establish and sustain a power base for the sake of entrenching the elites in perpetual power.

Not understanding human nature, and believing it to be readily manipulable, he thinks the next socialist experiment can be different. He may understand that people tend to be fundamentally self-interested, but he loathes this aspect of the human condition. Thus he rejects it and purges it from his ideal political system.

Though most reasonable men can see the innovation of the U.S. Constitution, and how checks and balances and divided powers promote the common good of the Republic by pitting "ambition against ambition," the leftist does not see the innovation of such an unprecedented charter of limited and prudential governance. Modern liberals do not see the hope that is provided to the world by America adopting a creed and enshrining a guiding document that empowers people to rule their own lives.

Furthermore, the leftist does not see how capitalism has led much of the world out of poverty and misery, and just as importantly, out of necessary servitude to the political class. He concludes from his peremptory view of "modern" history, that capitalism is actually the root cause of the world's problems. The prime mover for all tragic events is uncritically chalked up to "greed." "Greed" and benign self-interest are indistinguishable to him; coercion and willing trade are the same; the necessity of having to work for a living and a de facto state of slavery are one and the same. All must be leveled, including one's faculty of discriminating between right and wrong, good and evil, and just and unjust, as Evan Sayet has pointed out.

Therefore, for the leftist, the worse things get, the better things are getting. Collapsing the (capitalist) economy is good. Demoralizing human beings (so that you can reprogram them) is good. Creating political chaos is good, because that lays the foundations for seizing control of the government.

It is not that liberals really know what it is good, it is that they know what they hate. This is the essence of the left's guiding idea of "critical theory."

It is not that equality will actually lead to what liberals say it will, it is just that it will level the whole world as we know it before an upper crust of philosopher-kings (as they view the world's future rulers to be, quite naively).

Liberals aren't really interested in reality, but in manipulating people's subjective interpretation of it. That is why you will never force them to admit failure, why they are forced to parrot each other's positions, why they must intellectually and socially conform, why they must display a false air of mental superiority; it is a false front, and underneath the facade, they have no idea what they are doing, but simply are creating crises for the sake of creating crises until the "geniuses" of the left can configure things as they see fit.

That the world is infinitely more complex than their imaginations, that reality is resistant to their utopian visions, and that human beings have agency is beyond the grasp of such narcissists. And Barack Obama is surely a narcissist. There is only one way to deal with such untethered elitists: to identify them not as hopeless, benevolent dreamers, but as power-worshiping, unrealistic malcontents who need to be expelled from power.

1 comment:

Richard Thornton said...

"...see it all as an abysmal mess. He sees all around him war, racism, sexism, inequality, poverty and misery..."

If the world and more locally, the USA is not an "abysmal mess," then for what are you fighting?