Friday, July 31, 2009

Healing Liberalism Through Apparatchiks Anonymous

(Note to visitors: if you want to skip the post and get straight to the 12 step program, scroll down to the end.)

No time for a new post, since I have to leave earlier than usual for work. However, I think I have time for a repost. I wish I had more time to edit it in light of Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism, but the book is so packed with historical detail that that would be impossible. I'm more of a big picture or wide screen guy anyway. I'll be blogging about it in more detail in the future, but in such a way that it is woven into the Grand Metacosmic Narrative, for Goldberg is dealing with "intrinsic truth," even if he doesn't realize it.

What an excellent question asked by James Lewis at American Thinker, Why Isn’t the Whole Left Neoconservative? Leftism is such a discredited ideology, so intrinsically wrong, so at odds with higher human nature, so cruel and unworkable in practice, so retrograde in its results, that one can only wonder at the persistent hold it has on millions of minds around the world.

Some day Leftsim will be rejoined with its twin ideology, fascism, which no one takes seriously anymore (consciously, anyway; as Goldberg demonstrates, the program of the left is indistinguishible from fascism). Why is that? In fact, fascism is not a “right wing,” much less “conservative” ideology, but a competing from of socialism. It was the communists who tried to discredit “national socialism” by labeling it “right wing” merely because it wasn’t what they wanted, which was international socialism.

In a two-body system, it is impossible to say which body is moving. As I've mentioned before, in many respects, my own "journey" to so-called conservatism hasn’t been a journey at all. In reality, I am more or less the same even-tempered American (classical) liberal I have always been. It’s just that, over the past 30-40 years, liberalism has been hijacked by the Left, thereby becoming a thoroughly illiberal movement. Bizarrely, liberalism and liberty are now antonymous, for the state can only take with two hands what it gives you with the Finger.

To cite just one example, when I was in college in the 1970’s, being liberal meant being tolerant toward homosexuals. But for the Left, if you merely “tolerate” homosexuality, you are a bigot, something they call a "homophobe." No, you must celebrate and even encourage it. You must never suggest to children that certain sexual arrangements are better than others. If my son wants to marry a man or a woman, it should make no difference to me -- just flip a coin, as it were.

Needless to say, I regard such “thinking” as not only devoid of wisdom, but frankly abusive, narcissistic, and unscientific, completely at odds with what we know about both psychosexual development and the soul of man. It is a horror to even contemplate confusing a child in this manner.

Leftism can never be enunciated in any philosophically consistent and coherent manner -- hence the ubiquitous lies and deceit -- and unavoidably truncates the most vital aspects of man’s being. Like Lewis, I wonder why my entire generational cohort hasn’t evolved in the same way I did -- why there is anyone my age who is still clinging to the magical mythology of Leftism:

“After the Soviet Union crashed and no one could possibly ignore the bloody mess the Left kept making over seventy long years. So why didn't all the decent Leftists just read their Milton Friedman and grow up?” So-called neocons (i.e., former Leftists) merely saw "how wrong they had been. They grew up. My question is: What happened to all the others?”

Amazingly, surveys in such “liberal” places as Canada or Europe indicate that the clueless majority of their citizens regards the United States or Israel as the greatest threats to world peace. Lewis notes that in Britain, a recent BBC survey revealed that "the greatest philosopher of all time is considered to be... Karl Marx? A hate-filled parasitical scribbler who spent his life in the British Museum, stoking the fires that killed 100 million people in the 20th century? What is wrong with British education that the plain facts do not shout out for themselves?”

I think it’s the wrong question to ask “what is wrong with British education.” Instead, I think we have crossed the line into genuine soul pathology -- not psychopathology, mind you, which may or may not be copresent, but a disease of the human heart. Indeed, I believe the heart must be diseased to embrace such a profoundly inhuman and anti-human ideology. Marxism is not human, but specifically demonic -- even, one might say, the quintessence of demonology, in that it is the last word in fallen man’s promethean rejection of reality, whether it is economic reality, historical reality, psychic reality, or suprasensible reality.

One of the most salient characteristics of the Left is that it is peculiarly incapable of learning. In my lifetime, it has been ridiculously wrong about virtually everything, but it is as if facts and reality don’t matter. The same people who successfully curtailed nuclear power plants in America are now insisting that we must be “energy independent.” The same people who argued that Reagan’s tax breaks would destroy the economy enjoyed a quarter century of economic growth. The same Democrat party that accommodated southern and northern racists for decades continues to argue that race is all-important and that government should be engaged in the task of dividing people by race and gender and giving special privileges to some groups. And of course, the international left is now the main repository and champion of mankind’s most ancient and vile prejudice, anti-Semitism.

Lewis agrees that “The fact that the Left never, ever learns gives the lie to all its high-falutin' claims of ‘idealism,’ ‘progressivism,’ and superior morality.” Yes, but why are they never blamed for their failures? Why does the bill never come due? Lewis provides one obvious key: the left "still controls the organs of propaganda.... Thus some 90 percent of our media functionaries are left wingers. A predominant percentage of professors and teachers are, too.”

It’s the same old Marxist idea: “who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” Lewis points out that “To hold on to their beliefs leftists must shut down any competing ideas, which is precisely what they do. Just take your favorite leftist friends, and tell them some obvious fact they don't want to hear. You can see it working right in front of your eyes: They just won't hear it.... As long as they control the dominant media, our society will keep teetering at the brink of destruction.”

One of the greatest conceits of the Left is that they are “intellectually curious,” “open-minded,” or “reality based,” when it would be difficult to find minds more parochial, narrow-minded, and hermetically self-enclosed people than those responsible for the idiotorial pages of the New York Times, or NPR, or CNN, or virtually any MSM outlet.

It is even worse in Europe, where their press is not nearly as free as ours and there is little access to competing views such as on talk radio. As Lewis notes, European thought is absolutely stifled by the Left, which "doesn't see any respectable alternative [to itself]..., since conservatism is constantly and deliberately confounded with fascism." And since these hidebound and intellectually inbred reactionaries live in such an echo-chamber, "if one fairy-tale of Earthly Paradise is seen to crash, another one must instantly take its place." Thus, "the commissars of Post-Modernism and Multiculturalism suddenly rose to power all over the West in the 1970s and 80s. The faithful had to find a new way to justify their idee fixe.”

Lewis notes the patent irrationality of this “mental fixedness,” and again wonders why they would continue “peddling the same toxins.” Why are they stuck?

Again, in my view, this is not a psychopathology but a pneumapathology -- a disease of the soul. Since leftism is a faux religion, you really need something closer to cult deprogramming. This is why conventional psychology is powerless to explain it or to do anything about it.

In a way, it is analogous to addiction, another problem of the soul that psychology is generally powerless to remedy. I don’t know if it’s the same way now, but when I was in graduate school, I was even taught that it would be unethical to try to treat alcoholism with psychotherapy alone. By far the most successful approach is the 12 step program, undoubtedly because it addresses the underlying soul pathology at the heart of addiction.

Perhaps we need a 12 step program for leftists, Apparatchiks Anonymous.

1. We admitted we were powerless over the intoxicating dreams of socialism, and that our lives and governments had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a power far greater than our own omnipotent little egoic fantasies of total control could restore us to true liberalism.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the Creator and Guarantor of our Liberty.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of the well-intentioned failures and frank evils of socialism.

5. Admitted to the Creator of our Liberty, to ourselves, and in a live phone call to C-SPAN, the exact nature of socialism’s wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have the Creator of Our Liberty remove all these defects of ideology.

7. Humbly asked Him to cancel our subscription to the Times.

8. Made a list of all races, genders, and classes our government programs had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all by realizing that these constructs of race and gender are irrelevant to begin with.

9. Made direct amends to such people by switching parties.

10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were again tempted to abuse ideology for the purposes of blotting out reality, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer, meditation, and listening to Rush Limbaugh, to improve our conscious contact with the Source of our Liberty, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other Leftists, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

28 Comments:

Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

"Just take your favorite leftist friends, and tell them some obvious fact they don't want to hear. You can see it working right in front of your eyes: They just won't hear it...."

I'll never forget an episode during my Wall St. days when an otherwise buttoned-down executive whom I did not know to be a leftist reacted to my assertion that 9/11 had nothing to do with "poverty and victimization by American Empire" by literally clapping his hands over his ears and yelling at me "stooopppppp!"

Last time I tried having a sensible political conversation in Manhattan.

7/31/2009 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Marxism is not human, but specifically demonic -- even, one might say, the quintessence of demonology, in that it is the the last word in fallen man’s promethean rejection of reality, whether it is economic reality, historical reality, psychic reality, or suprasensible reality."

It is anti-reality at it's root, and all the rest fall-oh!s from that.

"One of the most salient characteristics of the Left is that it is peculiarly incapable of learning."

And truly they can't, as Learning requires integration, not mere lining up or stacking facts, but integrating them together. Absent that, nothing has been learned, only collected.

7/31/2009 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"Apparatchiks Anonymous"
Lol, love that.

"7. Humbly asked Him to cancel our subscription to the Times."
To which may be heard to ring out once again "Cancel your own God Damn subscription!"

7/31/2009 08:57:00 AM  
Anonymous goddinpotty said...

Why Isn’t the Whole Left Neoconservative? Because neoconservatism has revealed itself as a sick joke over the last eight years. Here's merely the latest example of its leading intellectual spokesman spouting complete self-contradictory nonsense. Oh but wait, you think Jonah Goldberg is a genius. Never mind.

7/31/2009 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Abdul said...

This I see TRANSFORMED man, wished to be very in type, from which it keeps with me. They are not safe, because this one may not know the God existence. All these to lose in its Web page. Traditional capitalism always has, always had social factor the video that has way of the demands there that are the United States, my spheres of the steam one. I wait for the luminous task, not those, which of a little erroneous, because I do not do. Abdul

7/31/2009 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Reality denial… How much progressive taxation will be deemed enough by radical leftists? "To put this in perspective, the top 1 percent is comprised of just 1.4 million taxpayers and they pay a larger share of the income tax burden now than the bottom 134 million taxpayers combined.

Some in Washington say the tax system is still not progressive enough. However, the recent IRS data bolsters the findings of an OECD study released last year showing that the U.S.—not France or Sweden—has the most progressive income tax system among OECD nations. We rely more heavily on the top 10 percent of taxpayers than does any nation and our poor people have the lowest tax burden of those in any nation.

We are definitely overdue for some honesty in the debate over the progressivity of the nation's tax burden before lawmakers enact any new taxes to pay for expanded health care."

7/31/2009 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

More alternate reality from the left. Trees should have legal standing to sue. As per Obama's "science" "czar."

7/31/2009 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

gulpinpotty said..."Why Isn’t the Whole Left Neoconservative? Because neoconservatism has revealed itself as a sick joke over the last eight years."

And... if so, all the more mystery, why aren't you lefties all Neocons?

7/31/2009 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>> . . this is not a psychopathology but a pneumapathology -- a disease of the soul. Since leftism is a faux religion, you really need something closer to cult deprogramming<<

I think you'd need a mass exorcism, conducted by all those who take prayer seriously.

I think Leftism might be considered a universal mind-parasite, a floating meme that gets its traction by way of glamorization - it's a shimmering illusion that promises a salvation that's always "one shot away", but that never materializes, never. It's literally a trance-inducing *spell* that corrupts genuine divine imagination into shabby fantasy. (which is what spells do)

Leftism glamorizes completely. It's a party-atmosphere with bubbles. It provides "meaning" to lives that are without such. It's "fun" in the syrupy way that crying jags and benders are fun. It provides excitement - it's always a hoot to think of yourself as fighting against the Man. It's righteousness on the cheap, which is to say, it's not righteousness at all, but a satanic lie.

7/31/2009 12:34:00 PM  
Blogger sehoy said...

Worse, Leftism offers NO FORGIVENESS.

There are indulgences, via Al Gore and his environmental carbon credits, but no FORGIVENESS!

Does it matter?

Yes it does. In the dark of the night, when you have only yourself to confront, it does matter.

wv: pasho
I had a German Shephern dog named Pasche.

Everything matters.

7/31/2009 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“As I've mentioned before, in many respects, my own "journey" to so-called conservatism hasn’t been a journey at all.”

This is why I say our chances are better if we lower the voting age to zero.

7/31/2009 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Socialism and capitalism cannot coexist in the same country… as we are constantly led to think it somehow can here – look at Canada, etc. , some say… But “here” just ain’t any ol’ “anywhere”.
All will fall to communism eventually if here goes away. These look-to countries aren’t communist yet because they benefit greatly (scratch that, critically) in so many indirect ways by the separate existence of a Truly progressive, freely creative nation centered around her capitalism, classical liberalism and her capitalist, classical liberals; somewhere they must be free or the rest fall. We can all still point to at least one such place, thank God.

7/31/2009 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Will said "...it's a shimmering illusion that promises a salvation that's always "one shot away", but that never materializes, never... "

And it is those seeking something for nothing that are particularly susceptible to the glamour con. As any three card monty huckster knows, 'something for nothing!' is the way to reel in the rubes, and as gulpinpotty so often proves, the one who is least willing to admit he's been had, is the rube that's been robbed... because it would require admitting that he thought he was robbing the one, who was actually robbing him, to ever fess up. Talk about the guilt of the victim card player.

The type of person who truly wants to accomplish something isn't look for something for nothing, quite the opposite, to create something to relieve a nothing. For them, being celebrated is something that may or may not follow from their accomplishment, and so they're not susceptible to being conned by the glamourizers.

But those who just want to be recognized, to be celebrated and glamorized, regardless of what they have or haven't done... in fact they'd just assume not having to work for it. They want something for nothing, and they will go right on trying to get that free lunch, no matter how much it costs, and the monty dealer go on flattering him until he not only has nothing, but is nothing.

7/31/2009 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"Worse, Leftism offers NO FORGIVENESS." So true! There is no rest/slack for one trapped in a works-centered ideology. I once heard a commentator say that liberals really just want to feel good about themselves. It's self-absolution (which equals bondage to sin).

7/31/2009 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

I remember once talking to a friend about how Communism/Socialism and Fascism were pretty much the same thing, and he indignantly said, "I've never heard of that. Nobody says that." What I think was going on is that I was saying, "Hey look at this green (arbitrary color chosen for analogy) color over here" (ie US-style freedom.) And he was comparing two variations of blue and not even considering green. So to me, the two blues were ...blue, and I was comparing it to another hue completely. That's how stuck in the mold he was. He didn't even have a category for real freedom. He only had flavors of control. Very much like the mammon-seeking head smacking against-the-wall imprisonment mode versus the wall-less hierarchically-correct truth/freedom mode.


wv: swast (ica)

Freaky.

7/31/2009 03:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Northern Bandit said...

Ricky,

As a coon with a paw in both countries (I've lived about equally in US and Canada) I can tell you that currently Canada is considerably more business-friendly and economically stable than the US. My last significant company was in Massachusetts. I would be insane to locate the next one there. Calgary is a far better bet right now.

7/31/2009 04:19:00 PM  
Anonymous g said...

Susannah: wow, that is a shocking statistic! Unfortunately it is entirely meaningless because it does not take into account the distribution of wealth and income.

http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu/faculty/hodgson/Courses/so11/stratification/income&wealth.htm
http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html
http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2007/03/29/business/20070329_TAX_GRAPHIC.html

Van said: As any three card monty huckster knows, 'something for nothing!' is the way to reel in the rubes, and as gulpinpotty so often proves, the one who is least willing to admit he's been had, is the rube that's been robbed... because it would require admitting that he thought he was robbing the one, who was actually robbing him, to ever fess up.

Have you considered trying to get a job as a speechwriter for Sarah Palin? You seem to share her inability to string ords together into coherent thoughts.

7/31/2009 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Elephant said...

Cont. from my previous comment...

My friend was offended that I likened his two opposites he held so dear. If fascism wasn't right wing, then what WAS the opposite of leftism? If conservatives and "neo-cons" was something other than the only non-leftist option, fascism, then what is it? Mr. Truth comes walking in the room and he (my friend) runs for cover.


Sometimes wv is too much fun. He was "cribin". [In a crib.]

7/31/2009 04:56:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

NB,
Either we’re agreeing with each other, or you attribute Canada’s and Calgary’s success to the fact that they are socialist … I say they’ve learned a good thing or two from us. We’ll see how long it lasts.
Let me put it this way, the weaker we become here (in general, as a whole, not pockets), the more nervous the average citizen anywhere around the world should become. So by “we” I mean the average citizen here. You say you are a business owner who goes where the going’s good. That’s what capitalists do – which is only half my point. If our property rights (businesses included) can be taken from us, here of all places, it’s steam roller time for anybody anywhere. Then where will you go? Down the list to the next less-socialist county?
This is why I say we are agreeing with each other.

7/31/2009 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Nice linking skills, G. I’ll get right over there..
What’s an ord?

7/31/2009 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Outstanding, Bob!

Heck, this entire post is quotable.
Next time someone asks me why leftists bitterly cling to their old, failed ideology/cult despite all the evidence of it's destructive results, I'll point them to this post.

7/31/2009 06:19:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

HT Ace of Spades:

“That's the racist idiot Crowley, our Susan Boyle, helping Gates navigate the stairs, while President Wonderful preens for the camera.”

Bob, reminds of that photo of President Bush helping Senator Byrd.

7/31/2009 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Why...here it is..

7/31/2009 07:21:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I'm sure goddinpotty would say that Bush only helped Byrd because he was a Grand Dragon in the KKK, while Crowley only helped Gates because he's 57% white.

7/31/2009 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

"He can kiss 2% of my ass!"

- Dr. Seinfeld

7/31/2009 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

g said "string ords together"

g? no, g... tee-hee.

7/31/2009 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

be left of right?
= bereft of light

8/01/2009 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger xlbrl said...

The neocon is the leftist rat that abandoned the leftist ship, gnawed and rotting, and swam for safety to the rightwing ship, which is now rotting for the same reason.

Irving Kristol--
One can say that the historical task and political purpose of neo-conservatism would seem to be this: to convert the Republican party, and American conservatism in general, against their respective wills, into a new kind of conservative politics suitable to governing a modern democracy.

BTW,
The unnatural, that too is natural.
Goethe

8/01/2009 09:29:00 AM  

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