Ultimate Theory of Liberal Thought
And I have finally, for myself, been able to put it all together, at least as a working hypothesis, as to how the modern so-called "liberal" or left-winger thinks.
Many have thought hard about this, because the results of their actions seem so counterproductive to their own survival and previously stated principles, and their philosophy and behavior seems incoherent and deranged, and their actions so nihilistic and irresponsible.
Pundits have been able to describe the phenomena (some aspects of which have been given names, such as "Bush Derangement Syndrome" and "moral relativism" and "malignant narcissism"), and even the psychology that drives left-wing philosophy, but the motive was always rather mysterious.
Why be so oblivious to facts and reason?
Why be so deliberately obtuse about Saddam Hussein?
Why call terrorists freedom fighters, and 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns"?
Sheer power could be the answer for some of the ringleaders, but what was the hidden appeal that drives the footsoldiers into such a frenzy of rage and insanity, as displayed at their bizarre anti-US demonstrations?
What can they possibly be getting out of it?
Simple exhibitionism and a desire for parental attention have been suggested as reasons, and that's part of it, but it goes even deeper than that.
Now I can tie many pieces of the puzzle together.
First, here's an excellent overview of their reasoning (but which doesn't explain the true motive): How Modern Liberals Think
It's a rather long video, but the speaker is engaging and it goes by quickly. To sum it up, the sensitive progressive is against war and conflict and poverty, and notices that inequalities are associated with poverty, and conflict and bigotry (espcially racial) arises from one side seeing itself as different and superior to another side in some way.
How to fix these bad things? The obvious "answer" is to believe, naively, that without any differences between any groups, then conflict and war and poverty would all go away, and that therefore they must demand that there really aren't any real differences between any groups. This infantile insistence on a lack of differences, they feel, will then assure nobody exploits those differences for their ill-gotten gains.
So nobody is allowed to judge anybody else -- that just leads to conflict.
I have mentioned how astonished I was to hear a woman in a CNN daily talkshow audience declare, in defense of Gary Condit (remember him?!?) just before 9/11, that
Jesus wasn't judgmental!I mean, can you believe it?!?
And He will come again in Glory to judge the living and the dead has become a message of if it feels good, man, do it!
When they observe in reality that there indeed ARE differences in power and wealth in the world, well, that must be because of some unfair exploitation or shenanigans, and NOT because of better ideas or greater industriousness.
And pretending that there can be no differences in values necessarily leads to the perverse outcome of tearing down that which is actually good and useful (because that has led to better outcomes and more success), and supporting that which is evil and detrimental.
Really, watch the video above for a better explanation, but that's the gist of it.
The result is moral relativism. I remember as far back as the 1980s, a left-wing friend of mine claiming that Reagan was the real terrorist for retaliating against Gadaffi for his support of...terrorism.
So Bush is Hitler, the United States is the biggest terrorist, we're destroying the planet, etc.
It has resulted in a huge inversion of thought. Take for example this movie review, that is quite revealing for what it shows about the assumptions made by the reviewer:
The Lives of Others
German Movie Indicts Altruism by ImplicationHow curious! What a strange way to put it! I give the reviewer credit for seeing how totalitarianism is destructive, though the reviewer appears to be shaken by the idea that "altruism" is repudiated.
Writer and director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's stinging The Lives of Others (in German with English subtitles) is an extraordinarily powerful drama that repudiates altruism, the idea that one must live for the sake of others, as a moral code.
Von Donnersmarck, recreating communist East Germany on the eve of its collapse, uses a tense political thriller as his framework.
Wiesler is a weasel, spying on others, reducing them to terrified, quivering flesh. He lives, to the degree possible, for the sake of others—exactly as communism demands—toiling for the collective and threatening any individual that crosses his path with a heel-clicking command to wither or be struck down.
But he is soon assigned to a case that could change him forever by a former classmate (Ulrich Tukur).
How strange to consider "altruism" to be sacrificing others for a collective! I always thought true altruism was self-sacrifice for the sake of others!
As in the Birkenhead Drill, in which the British soldiers stood at disciplined attention as their troopship broke apart in shark-infested waters to avoid a desperate overloading and capsizing of the few lifeboats carrying their women and children safely away.
See how pervasive the idea has become that it's altruistic to force others to be crushed for the greater good? You know, like regulating their carbon dioxide output (which is every breath you take) or by ostentatiously showing how unbigoted you yourself are by not allowing others to be suspicious of obvious clues to terrorist activity.
There is a mental illness called Munchausen Syndrome, in which the afflicted make themselves ill or injured to gain sympathy. In its more pernicious form, Munchausen by Proxy, a caregiver sickens or secretly injures someone else, usually a child, to gain attention. By analogy, the disease infecting modern liberalism can be described as Altruism by Proxy.
What the reviwer identifies as a revelation about totalitarianism is exactly the result of left-wing thought and is a definition of the result of multiculturalism and political correctness:
what totalitarianism means in theory and in practice; how it envelops a nation in fear—how it elevates the mediocre—how it destroys that which is good.But what's the payoff for this?
For some, it's a sense of righting wrongs, of being on the frontlines against bigots in the civil rights movement.
But surely not everyone is so politically motivated. Yet somehow there are many willing hordes, so many Useful Idiots. They may use that reason as their proximate excuse. But I argue it's a deeper, more hidden reason.
We have clues from when this trend started. David Warren asks
The question, at what precise moment did Western Civilization capsize, continues to interest me. (It is still floating, but upside down in the water.) I’ve brought it up before. Once, for instance, I called attention to a fine book by the historian, John Lukacs, A Thread of Years, in which, through a series of anecdotes, one for each year from 1901 to 1969, he reviews the decline, fall, and final extinction of “the idea of a gentleman.” Note the terminal year.Yes, note it indeed.
The Summer of Love.
Which was actually 1967 to be precise, but close enough.
It was when an entire generation decided it wouldn't grow up, and demanded social acceptance of its open sex&drug deviancy, rather than indulging in its pleasures responsibly and discreetly like a mature adult. Far too many Western patriots had perished in the two World Wars to provide any discipline or example of a different way of living to the "Me Generation", which went on to run wild in the 1970s, bringing us to where we are today.
As an episode of South Park pointed out, "tolerance" came to mean "acceptance", which is something else entirely.
These are the people fond of saying "You can't legislate morality!"
What they really mean of course, is, "I don't want you to legislate morality!"
Note how the movement for gay rights has gone beyond simply decriminalizing their behavior and tolerating it, which has been achieved, to demanding outright glorification and acceptance of the notion of gay marriage (which has no social purpose when compared with real marriage) to avoid the label of homophobe.
It's a cry of validate me!
This arrested development is a facet of what others like PJ O'Rourke have noted
At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child - miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless.To drive the point home, in keeping with the psychological projection they so often use on their opponents (the rather immature defense mechanism of the five-year-old: I know you are but what am I? No, you're the terrorist!"), these are the people who crowed about "the adults being back in charge" when the Democrats narrowly gained control of Congress. They wouldn't have to make such a big deal about if they were really the adults!
Watch The Adults in action trying to explain their Master Plan for Iraq, only a mere legislative battle that could provoke a Constitutional Crisis.
So the simple answer is summed up by what a friend of mine once said in a completely different context:
When you study enough Biology, you realize everything's eating everything else, and it's all about sex in the end.Now don't get me wrong, I'm no prudish conservative. It's not simply about having sex. The Boomer generation and its disciples aren't doing anything anybody else in history didn't do.
What's different now is, they're too childish and immature to simply be sexual in a mature and discrete way.
No, instead they are demanding that everyone not just tolerate or ignore their modern anything-goes, free-love, girls-gone-wild fornication, but accept and applaud it -- and they probably secretly wish for punishment for it as well, to make them feel better about their lingering guilt (which they deny!) about it, which only reinforces their submissive behavior toward tyrants.
And THAT is the big unspoken payoff for doing away with all standards of right and wrong, and all absolute morality, and all ability to "judge" anything.
And clearly, that is why moral relativism is so appealing to so many people on a gut level. It provides an excuse for the Id to over-ride the Superego, feeding the strongest human drive. Thus, the Ultimate Unified Theory.
They're simply too ashamed to put up with finger-wagging because they haven't grown up and won't take responsibility for their own behavior. Perhaps because somehow it really doesn't feel totally right, in spite of what their gurus tell them...
How else to explain all the weird exhibitionism (like the infamous scrotum inflation guy) and public nudity at the "anti-war" protests? Breasts Not Bombs! And World Naked Anti-War Bike-Ride! It's really about validating their insecure sexuality, which they pretend is oh-so-sophisticated, like a 13-year-old.
And which explains the strange non-sequitor placards at these anti-war rallies demanding such things as "hands off my ovaries!" Hmmm, paging Dr. Freud!
This Unified Theory explains so much!
For example, who is the biggest, baddest buzzkill concerning licentious sex?
The Christian church!
And who do the left-wingers always attack as their gravest threat?
Not fundamentalist islam, which stones women to death for being raped and slaughters homosexuals -- but fundamentalist Christians! So we have groups like Queers for Palestine, and noted lesbian Rosie O'Donnell declaring that
"Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America where we have separation of church and state."Because it's that nasty Christian church that is all about Virgin Birth and the sanctity of marriage and chastity, which makes them feel bad about their sexual behavior.
Whereas islam, on the other hand, though it promises to cut off their heads, is actually a completely hypersexualized "religion"! Sex is the promised warbooty of the jihadist, who is sanctioned to rape the infidel women.
It is islam that allows the multiple wives, which is often the mark of a sex-driven cult.
It is islam that promises an afterlife full of sex, sex, and yet more sex.
It is islam that feeds their secret desire for punishment and bondage/discipline in its demand for submission (indeed that is what the word islam means).
It is islam whose founder lusted for a six-year-old girl and raped her at the age of nine, and is lauded for it.
It is islam that, in the words of American President and Founding Father John Quincy Adams, teaches
THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE (Adam's capital letters)Which is the exact opposite of the doctrine of Jesus.
It is islam that, in the words of Winston Churchill, teaches
A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.Is it then any wonder that today's "liberal" finds it so hard to condemn islam, and so easy to condemn Christianity?
No other explanation makes any sense at all.
Furthermore, the other payoff is that by refusing to believe any one system of values is better than any other, and by not judging anything, they can protect themselves from that greatest crime first discovered by the adolescent sophomoric philosopher that is used to accuse one's parents: the crime of hypocrisy!
The modern liberal finds hypocrites under every rock, like an inquisition witch-finder. Ever see the delight at finding the flaw in anyone who tries to speak for moral values? Such as when Bill Bennet was discovered to have, gasp, gambled?
Well, if he's a hypocrite, he can't lecture me, so I don't have to feel guilty about all this stuff I'm doing that vaguely nags at me and makes me feel guilty, so as long as my social circle keeps self-reinforcing my behavior by saying it's ok, maybe I can keep indulging my animal nature, and we just have to keep saying nobody can judge anything, la la la la la, I can't hear you!
And unfortunately this dysfunction feeds on itself, through the Lysistrata syndrome. Precisely because so many "progressive" women will then offer free sex to men who believe as they do politically, that provides a huge incentive for men to support these illogical theories as a small price for nooky. I've seen it happen again and again.
So maybe the key is the women, to get them to understand where the real threat is coming from, and then, with the power that they have over men which is greater than they realize, the rest will follow. And guess what, maybe being more covert and discreet will add a hint of arousing hot naughtiness that goes missing when everything is all out in the open?
And it's turning out that this "liberation" just plays into male fantasies and harms young women:
But when it comes to “harmful attitudes and practices,” our culture can certainly hold its own –– especially regarding the nation’s sexualized pop culture. The dangers to girls from the worst of American culture can be just as destructive as the cultural practices that are recognized around the world as harmful to girls and women.Free Love has negative social consequences:
The effects of our cultural destruction can be illustrated by Britney Spears, America’s troubled girl child. Though an adult, Britney’s problems began in her childhood and only worsened as she moved through adolescence into adulthood. A wholesome child actress from the Mickey Mouse Club series, Britney became a multi-millionaire and super-sexualized celebrity performer. She is a Grammy Award-winning performer who, according to Time magazine, has sold over seventy-six million records worldwide. She is the eighth best-selling female recording artist in American music history.
Some would argue that Britney is the poster girl for “empowerment” because she took charge of her sexuality, as the feminists challenged her generation to do. Yet, clearly her life is out of control. G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis warned over a century ago that lives loosed from sexual ethics were doomed to self-destruct. Made vulnerable by frivolous values and no visible anchor to the real world, Britney, indeed, was sucked under by the seduction of fame, materialism, drugs and a hyper-sexualized culture –– which she took to its limits in her performances and lifestyle.
Unrestrained sexuality became a new norm in some of these youth movements, leading certain feminists to critique the 60s/70s "free love" as a way for men to pressure women into sex; women who said "no" could be characterized as prudish and uptight.The problem appears intractible because it plays on such a strong instinct. Even the threats of Herpes and AIDS couldn't stop it!
Yet a stronger human instinct is fear.
The modern liberal simply isn't yet truly afraid enough of islamic terrorism. It takes, still, too much of a leap of imagination to foresee the consequences of even a "small" nuclear terror event.
But, that day will unfortunately come.
So far, they were only made afraid enough by 9/11 to get angry, and take it out on the closest authority figure: George Bush and the United States of America.
Isn't it interesting, how in this teen-rebellion model of liberal thought, it fits so well with liberal academic theory of government-as-parent, with the distinction (as they see it) between the left and the right as the left seeing the State as a nurturing Mother and the right seeing it as an authoritative Father?
When in reality, true conservatives don't see government as a "parent" at all -- the idea is absurd! -- but as a creation of sovereign adults, by and for the people, with certain designated powers?
To be totally clear, I am certainly not calling for a return to some kind of repressed prudish environment. I am calling for these spoiled children to GROW UP and do whatever they wish to do without requiring society's stamp of approval.
Own your vices!
And if they still bother you, well maybe that's telling you something about how you really ought to behave. This shame-driven shrill demand for acceptance by removing all standards of judgment and morality is far too high a price for our civilization to bear to satisfy your need for assuaging your guilt. It's an ineffective band-aid anyway, isn't it?
The term "liberal" more and more seems just like a label hijacked to justify a cheap moral "altruistic" superiority through social intrusion while obtaining a License to Thrill.
Restraint, discretion, and true altruism -- self-sacrifice for the greater good -- are instead called for. Be a culturally-confident neo-Victorian!
Because it's unfortunately simply too early to give up the struggle against real evil in the world, which is what moral relativism does.
That is the fundamental human struggle, to be caught between animal and angel.
If at best a Killer Angel.
UPDATE: And here is the Antidote.