The Demon Haunted World of the Spiritually Repressed Left
“[T]he revolutionary socialist's life is transformed because he accepts the myth that one day socialism will triumph, and justice for all will prevail. What mattered for [Georges] Sorel... is not the scientific truth or falsity of the myth believed in, but what believing in the myth does to the lives of those who have accepted it, and who refuse to be daunted by the repeated failure of their apocalyptic expectations... the myth of socialism will continue to have power, despite the various failures of socialist experiments, so long as there are revolutionaries who are unwilling to relinquish their great myth.”
Thus, we can see that leftism derives its power quite explicitly from the deep structure of religion. It is simply a displacement of religious impulses onto a horizontal substitute, very similar to a sexual perversion, in which the individual, say, becomes fixated on a shoe or another article of clothing for gratification. In fact, we might think of leftism as a religious perversion--an immature and inappropriate form of spiritual gratification. Noam Chomsky's obsessive mental masturbation comes immediately to mind.
This is an idea I have had in the past (I may even have mentioned it in the book), but have never completely fleshed out. That is, if the vertical extends up (into the suprasensible domains addressed by art, religion, and morality) and down (into the personal “Freudian” unconscious), then there must be ego defense mechanisms operating in both directions. The ego is just a little point in between these vast spaces above and below.
We are well acquainted with the psychological defense mechanisms that keep the lower vertical at bay--repression, splitting, denial, projection, sublimation, etc. But I’m not sure if anyone has ever applied the same notion to the upper vertical, and suggested that it is equally possible (and sometimes necessary for developmental reasons) to defend ourselves from “the above.”
To cite just one obvious example, what would happen if a person were to “repress” their impulse for transcendence? Just like the sexual impulse, it doesn’t go away. Rather, it attaches itself to another object, a substitute. Of course, it doesn’t have to necessarily be leftism. It could also be rampant materialism, a desire to accumulate wealth in a completely absurd and meaningless way--as if one could somehow be “saved” by having enough money. This might explain what would drive a billionaire to gamble his billion to acquire another billion that he will never need. When you are dealing with a displaced metaphysical problem, you will never be able to get enough of what you don’t really need. You will have created a disguised religious compulsion that will be entirely absurcular.
The mechanism of projection also takes place in the upper vertical. Projection occurs when qualities, feelings, wishes and objects that a person refuses to recognize, or rejects in himself, are “expelled” and located in another person or thing. What is there in the upper vertical that can be projected? In other words, what is the “content” of the upper vertical? A number of things, depending on the degree of being. But at the very least, there is Brahman (the formless God beyond God), the idea of God, the divine intellect (nous), the conscience (that which knows right from wrong in an objective way that is not culturally conditioned), archetypes, and even angels.
Thus, the secular existentialist who regards reality as ultimately meaningless is engaging in a sort of bizarre projection of Brahman, which is beyond name and form. It is a paradox, for this projection causes the existentialist to convert the relative world into an absolute--absolute meaninglessness. In other words, the idea of the absolute is retained, but projected onto the relative, or the phenomenal world of maya.
As Jesus said, “the Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” But not if you are a leftist. Rather, heaven will be projected onto this world, in what the philosopher Eric Voegelin called “immamentizing the eschaton.” This is why the leftist must always attack religion, because the idea of a “sugar candy mountain” after death infringes on the leftist’s desire to make it happen now. For the leftist, Sugar Candy Mountain is Sweden... or Cuba... or even projected backwards to the good old days of Bill Clinton, when there were no terrorists and everyone loved us. There was also no homelessness, no hurricanes, no global warming, no people who refuse to purchase health insurance....
Speaking of which, you cannot have a religion without a conception of ontological evil. Being of a religious nature, I recognize ontological evil when I see it--Zarqawi, Saddam Hussein, Islamism, Yasser Arafat, Hamas. Being of a bizarro-religious nature, the leftist also recognizes ontological evil: President Bush, Karl Rove, Haliburton, Diebold, Samuel Alito, Fox, Rush Limbaugh, the internal combustion engine, oil companies, and so many more.
That’s the problem with leftism as a religion. Since they deny and split off the upper vertical, they are left with a projected world of imaginary demons haunting an accidental landscape of ultimate meaninglessness. Rage is its "gift of the spirit," envy its unholy Eucharist (or dyscharist).
Oh well. At least it keeps them off the street. Oh, wait a minute... that's another difference--those outdoor revival meetings called "demonstrations."