Saturday, September 01, 2007

Let's Play Who's the Victim?!

One of the appeals of leftism is that you can never be called a hypocrite. That is, if you have no standards, then there is no standard by which to judge you.

Why then are leftists so incredibly, gleefully judgmental? Because, as Polanyi pointed out, one of the defining characteristics of leftism is the subversion of traditional morality. But since you cannot eliminate the moral impulse, it ends up becoming unhinged, that is, uncontained by any transcendent moral boundaries. Therefore, the moral impulse "fuses," as it were, with what is below instead of what is above, and becomes a dangerous vehicle of the most base passions. This is why leftism is associated with the greatest mass murderers of all time -- Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, et al.

In a lengthy essay entitled Hitler Was a Socialist, John J. Ray makes reference to the notoriously "slippery standards" of the left, writing that they "have no fixed principles. If a principle suits their rhetorical needs of today they will proclaim their loyalty to it -- and then cheerfully adopt the opposite principle tomorrow if that happens to suit the rhetorical needs of that day."

Regarding the absence of fixed principles, I can remember on many occasions hearing liberals insist that Saddam was "our creation," and that, like the Shah of Iran or Marcos in the Philipines, we were morally responsible for him. If true -- which it wasn't -- then it would follow that we would be responsible for removing him and "restoring" freedom.

Since that is exactly what President Bush did, the left had to fabricate ulterior motives for the liberation of Iraq -- Haliburton, big oil, imposing theocracy in America, etc. Because of the traumatic cognitive dissonance of President Bush putting their vacant ideals into action, the left had to detach from reality and enter a parallel looniverse of political discourse, in which Bush was and is condemned on wholly fantasized grounds. This is what I mean about the fusing of the moral impulse with the unconscious "primary process," the latter of which is rooted in wish fulfillment rather than the dictates of reality.

In a passage that encapsulates volumes that could be written about the left, Ray discusses the deep structure of leftism, which is always the same, even while the surface content changes from era to era, year to year, day to day, and even moment to moment (as anyone knows who has tried to engage in rational debate with a leftist -- you can't do so, because the rhetorical ground keeps shifting under your feet). Like the borderline personality, they possess a kind of "stable instability" that is their only enduring structure:

"The political content of Leftism varies greatly from time to time. The sudden about-turn of the Left on antisemitism in recent times is vivid proof of that. And what the political content of Leftism is depends on the Zeitgeist -- the conventional wisdom of the day. Leftists take whatever is commonly believed and push it to extremes in order to draw attention to themselves as being the good guys -- the courageous champions of popular causes. So when the superiority of certain races was commonly accepted, Leftists were champions of racism. So when eugenics was commonly accepted as wise, Leftists were champions of eugenics -- etc. In recent times they have come to see more righteousness to be had from championing the Palestinian Arabs than from championing the Jews so we have seen their rapid transition from excoriating antisemitism to becoming 'Antizionist.'"

Which brings us to soon to be ex-Senator Larry Craig. What exactly was his crime? It was doing what homosexual men have always done, which is to compulsively seek anonymous sexual encounters in order to diminish anxiety (the anxiety has specific causes that we needn't get into here, but it usually has to do with a defective sense of masculinity and the need to primitively incorporate the male essence of another; this is just one possible explanation among many -- sexuality is a much more complex and nuanced issue than any doctrinaire leftist imagines).

The left would have you believe that only "closeted" gays engage in this sort of compulsive behavior because they are victimized by society, but any honest homosexual can tell you this is pure nonsense. If anything, it is the possibility of AIDs which put a damper on this kind of behavior. And now that AIDs can be controlled with drugs, we are indeed seeing a resurgence in the kind of compulsive anonymous sex that was responsible for AIDs to begin with.

In any event, how can Craig be homosexual? He obviously wants to be married to a woman. Why should he be defined as a "homosexual" just because he is compelled for unconscious reasons to seek a certain kind of sexual encounter? Because that is the extraordinarily simplistic understanding of sexuality promulgated by leftists. Similar to the "one drop" rule that mandated that one was excluded from being white if one had 1/16 or 1/32 "black blood," leftists believe that if one ever engages in a homosexual fantasy, impulse, or act, one is automatically homosexual. (Which is an especially cruel belief as it apples to adolescents, who are often confused about their sexuality. For the leftist, this confusion is redefined as normative, and the child is told that he or she must "accept" their homosexuality.)

Or I suppose one could also be "bisexual," but that is equally naive in positing a fixed "essence" for what is almost always a psychologically confused and conflicted person whose identity is anything but fixed. Indeed, that is usually the problem in such an individual -- the failure to achieve a mature sexual identity. I personally have not encountered a bisexual person who didn't have a deep boundary disturbance and identity confusion.

Remember a few years back, the celebration on the left when the Supreme Court overturned the sodomy laws in Texas? This was on the premise that sexuality is an entirely private matter, and that the state had no business legislating what people do with their bodies behind closed doors. Fair enough. Why then is it the government's business to target homosexuals who like to pick up men in public restrooms? On what possible basis can they object to this? They're not hurting anyone, right? After all, all he did was tap his foot and brush his hand. I don't like the idea of being propositioned in a public restroom, but why do leftists object?

Normally they wouldn't. Again, I think it's the unhinged moral impulse of the left, that has no traditional boundaries and no fixed standards. Therefore, they blindly lash out in an incoherent way, based upon the needs of the day. They say that they are offended by Craig's "hypocrisy," but the obvious hypocrites are the leftists who would normally see a homosexual being persecuted by the state as a quintessential victim.

The question of "who is the victim" is always the key to understanding the leftist dialectic. One of the reasons they have no fixed principles is that it all depends upon whom they can define as the victim. One could well imagine circumstances in which Larry Craig would become a cause s'lob in the struggle against a marauding, out of control police state persecuting homosexuals just because, say, they oppose President Bush's policies!

But Craig cannot be a victim because he is a conservative white male. In fact, in the economy of the primitive leftist imagination, the conservative white male is always victimizer, even when he is the victim. This is how someone ends up being gleefully stoned by the leftist mob merely for expressing a homosexual impulse.


Dr. Sanity has a similar diagnosis of the left's meta-hypocrisy.


Steve_b said...

Great Post Bob.

For all OC readers who have not read "The Intellectual Origins of America Bashing" by Lee Harris should check it out at Policy Review.

In fact all of his essays are highly recommended. Have a great holiday weekend everyone!

walt said...

Well, they claim that Craig will resign today, so the Dems will enjoy the weekend, I'm sure! Watching, once again, the twisted morality/hypocrisy dance on the left is just....beyond tedious -- and simultaneously, entirely in character for them.

BTW, I ordered the book you suggested the other day about St Theophan, and now I see you're reading an additional one. As you go along, I'd be interested in comments or impressions about these books.

debass said...

It still seems to me that Craig was set up and the news realeased now after 4 months to cover up Mrs. Clinton's acceptance of campaign money from a felon.
Is a person a homosexual if he has those thoughts and desires but doesn't act on them or is it the commission of a homosexual act that determines homosexuality?
Could the same standard be applied to pedophilia, polygamy, murder, etc.?
You are right Bob. The worst thing you can call a liberal is a hypocrite because that would imply he has standards.

Van said...

As noted, the left is bereft of standards, and so their assessments - an action which requires some standard by which to assess by, are less than worthless.

What interests me in this case, is those on the Right who mostly miss what Craig's, to me, transgression against virtue was.

He pleaded guilty. He did so, according to him, not as an admission of guilt, but in order to hush this incident up as quickly and quietly as possible. This from a Law Maker (forget about what we know about politicians, this is about what they are supposed to be, not what they've sunken to being), one charged not only with making law, but with upholding the spirit of it.

If he wasn't guilty, he should not have attempted to finesse an escape of undeserved consequences by admitting to what was not true. For me, that is inexcusable and excludes him from any further position of trust.

If he was guilty, he should have admitted it. 'It's a flaw I struggle with, I apologize to my family and constituents for it becoming public. I ask for your understanding in this matter, and forgiveness for my bringing it to your attention', and been done with it. If his record was worthwhile, he would have had a fighting chance - and more importantly, would have retained a moral leg to stand upon.

As it is now? He makes Captain Ahab look like Betty Grable (or Daisy Duke).

wv:iukzyzho - no, that's kissing them leads to trouble, and you have to pay for it. More bad.

walt said...'s my anniversary!

A year ago, Bob wrote:
"True words aren’t bloggable;
bloggable words aren’t true.
Wise men don’t endlessly blogviate to prove their point;
men who endlessly blogviate to prove their point get on my nerves."

Since I have a "hobby" of Leaning Eastward, I enjoyed the play on Lao Tzu that he presented, and wondered, "Who is this guy?" So I came back the next day -- and you know how these things go -- now a whole year has passed, and I've read every blog, trying to answer that question. In the process, a number of other Big Questions were resolved.

Two things to say:

1) The learning curve has been "killer!"
2) Can't thank you enough!

Petey said...


ximeze said...

Walt said:'s my anniversary!

Cool. What kind of cake are we having? I'm partial to whipped cream frosting....
just say'n

walt said...

Those who know me know my favorite -- Angel Food, topped with grated kohlrabis. And I mean a B-i-g one, too! Ximeze gets all the icing, or first dibs, anyway!

Van said...

I get the frosting off the candle!
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Van said...

Hmmm... always a risky thing to try new recipes.

Though being Angel Food... I suppose all will be forgiven?

cousin dupree said...

I'm surprised that Duke Ellington's inclusion in my list of musical gay icons has elicited no comment. Free indulgence to the first Raccoon to guess why!

debass said...

1.Racoons don't care about a person's sexual orientation, especially one who has assumed room temperature.
2. He is black so he is automatically a victim.
3. Didn't know he was gay, but thought Billy Strayhorn was.
4. He's a musician, so anything is possible and acceptable.
5. I'd rather listen to Basie anyway.
6. He didn't define himself by his sexual orientation.
7. He didn't promote it as an alternative lifestyle.

That's all I can think of. I have to go play a gig and I just had carpal tunnel surgery 2 weeks ago and I'm anxious about it.

debass said...


Happy Anniversary.
Angel food with chocolate whipped cream frosting.

Gagdad Bob said...


Close enough! Billy Strayhorn. The 1940-1942 period is generally regarded as Duke's greatest, which is right after Strayhorn came onboard. Fascinating guy to be openly gay in the jazz world at that time. He wrote Lush Life when he was like 18...

Being a bassMan, I'm kind of surprised you're not a Jimmy Blanton guy. My understanding is that he revolutionized the instrument. Huge influence on Mingus.

Gagdad Bob said...

Oh, and your complementary indulgence forgives you for any "clams" you commit on your gig, as we musicians call them. Just tell the audience Petey already forgave you, so there's no call for booing.

jwm said...

I never knew Dusty Springfield was teh ghey icon.


Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, Dusty played for the other team. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

yr geh frnd. said...

Introducing fabulous me. I'm Geh (pronounced like the "eh" in "eh wot?" with a "g" in front of it). Geh people like the funny boy coutre but without the gay sex which is gross.

So I get high-end cosmetics, waxing, manicures, pedicures, nice clothes. I take care of myself and I'm a fabulous dancer. I look and act gay but I sleep with girls (if I have to sleep with anyone at all). I have two Geh friends who have the same great lifestyle.

Aaaannnyway, here's the thing about us Geh lefties ya gotta understand: we don't care about anything that we don't care about. You get what I'm saying? That's why current events are what its all about. Things have to be interesting. We don't like old stuff.

So, is GB in bed with Haliburton and plotting to impose a church-centered government which will then prosecute gays into oblivion? Yes? No? We don't know, but it's interesting and that's why we like to pretend it's true.

Stuff like "GW is protecting us from terrorism by moving the battlefield to Iraq" doesn't do anything for us. It's deadly dull.

So nothing personal. The left says what it says because its bored. That's basically it. There's only so many movies you can see before you say "I need something more intense."

So you make something up. And if enough of us believe it, it becomes fact.

sly me said...

What the silly fruit said reflects what Bob wrote in his post:

"If a principle suits their rhetorical needs of today they will proclaim their loyalty to it -- and then cheerfully adopt the opposite principle tomorrow if that happens to suit the rhetorical needs of that day."

These people are scary, but they are also in some Darwinian sense admirable. Such flexibility is a virtue in the struggle to survive. Who'll be around in 1000 yar, the neocons or the lefties?

One gets the queezy sensation that the smart money is on the blue.

jwm said...

I'd give it a good C+ for satire.

It'd make an B, but I suspect he really is clueless. Hard to tell.


cousin dupree said...

True, the left is good at adapting. Just not to reality.

Anonymous said...

??? - Reality is what we make it...dontcha know?

Smoov said...

After reading Why bathroom sex is hot in Salon--along with the genuinely nauseating letters that accompanied this little foray into 7th level of hell depravity--I remembered why I draw a firm line between tolerating homosexuality while never accepting or certainly never celebrating it.

Our culture has swung vastly too far toward "acceptance" of this disease-spreading, unnatural abberant behavior. I know this makes me sound like some sort of "God Hates Fags" nutcase, but I'm not. I don't hate gays and I don't want to persecute them. However I don't hate nudists and head-to-toe tattoo wearers either, but I don't want these "lifestyles" taught in third grade as homosexuality increasingly is.

Yes, homosexualily is a permanent aspect of the human condition, but so is pedophilia. The two are not morally equivalent for obvious reasons, however just because something is "natural" does not make it right for civilized societies to promote or celebrate.

debass said...

Tell Petey thanks for the pass on the clams. Did'nt have my clam filter on tonight.
I like Blanton. It's just that I would rather listen to Basie. He's like the big band with soul where Duke is more intellectual about his music and I find it a bit more sterile. It's like he thinks too much about everything and winds up compartmentalizing the smaller pieces into one big chart where Basie is just one big groove. I'm a groove player. If I can find that groove, which doesn't happen that ofter for very long, I'll stay in it and ride it for all I can. It's like opening up and letting the spirit flow. I can just feel the radiance surround me where I can barely contain my joy.
You and I share the same favorite jazz period.
My favorite bassist is Niels Henning Orsted Peterson, NHOP, although I listen to all of them and everyone else for that matter.
Derailed my train of thought. It's late.

hoarhey said...

Just don't let the electricity go out for more than 3 or 4 days or the survivability of the "blue" becomes increasingly questionable.

walt said...

Debass -

I know that kid learned to draw at home in his spare time, but when do we get to see some more pictures?

I mean, while "wise men don't endlessly blogviate," they do now and then, okay?

Gagdad Bob said...

Odd, isn't it, that the European people of pallor have produced some great jazz bassists -- NHOP, Eberhard Weber, Dave Holland, Anders Jormin, Arild Andersen, Jaco...

jwm said...

OT,but very good:
There was a remarkable exchange last night on LGF between poster ChenZhen (resident lib) and Wanumba, regarding the war, the surge, history, etc. It is a good candidate for the best smackdown I've ever read. The exchange is on the Chupacabra thread (go figure) and begins with post (#148: Chen).
Wanumba's reply begins at #206. I actually copied it all so I could print it out. Check it out!


Ricky Raccoon said...

“Not that there's anything wrong with that.”
Too obvious but somebody needed to say it. (wink)

Smoov – exactly.

debass said...

My daughter has been "borrowing" my camera for a few months now, so I haven't been able to use it. Besides, if people see how beautiful it is up here, they will start moving in. On the other hand, it would be nice to talk with a "live" racoon. Although, being solitary creatures, we probably would hiss and snarl at each other.

Ricky Raccoon said...

Haven’t read the LGF exchange yet. Anyway, before I read it, here are my predictions:

1. At the end of it the lib is unchanged…that is if he is a card carrying lib – default libs don’t count (what I used to be).

2. It actually didn’t end – the lib suddenly left. Probably at a point when the guy on the right made the mother of all points – and the lib is now talking about him with his support group behind the right guy’s back. A wonderful comforting place where only imagination is welcome.

How far off am I?

ximeze said...

JWM, thanks for the LGF heads-up.

Yummy: smackdown for breakfast.
It'll get the juices flowing for the C. Hitchens event.

I must need more coffee. My brain registered Chewbacca-bra....

jwm said...

Pretty much hit the nail on the head. But that's how it is with teh lfet. The only thing that penetrates those skulls has to be driven in with a hammer.
Unless, of course, it anti American, or is detrimental to life, liberty, and Western Civilization in general. That stuff they worship as Truth.


Ricky Raccoon said...

Wow! Just read it, copied it, saved it, book marked it.
You weren’t kidding.
Thanks so much, JWM. Gonna get a lot of use..

BrianFH said...

2 notes:
1) AIDs has been made much more dangerous by drugs which treat symptoms but leave (even a little) infectiousness intact. That's almost a prescription for maximizing its spread and impact, epidemiologically speaking. Only a cure with total elimination of HIV is safe to use.
2) Check out; take the survey, then read the factor-analysis of values held by left and right. VERY enlightening.