I began an analysis of the different kinds of leftists in my last post, where I used a ‘handbook’ on Antifa as my jumping off point. Ultimately, I’m going to be arguing that the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ to describe political ideologies are useless and will offer my own terms and classifications. In the meantime, for the purposes of this post, the characterization of ‘liberals’ and ‘progressives’ as ‘leftists’ will be used since it is what everyone uses. I do so only with reluctance. When I am done hashing out the ‘left’ I will turn my attention to the ‘right.’
In the last post, I talked about the most dangerous kind of person: the person who thinks he is good, but in fact is bad. A bad person who knows he is bad is not deterred by his conscience. A bad person who thinks he is good is spurred on by his conscience. The former knows he operates immorally, and thus recognizes that if he is going to rise above simple murder to full out genocide, he’s going to have to dupe people into lending assistance. The latter believes he is operating morally; he is not above duping or lying about their real intentions, but genocide is not the intention–just the result. And since the intentions were ‘good’, the latter pardons himself and then tries to do the same damned thing again and again.
Bad people who know they are bad gravitate to any position where they think they can succeed. ‘Left’ or ‘Right’ mean nothing to such people. And only a fraction of the left, say, 5-10%, are bad people who think they are good. The bulk of the ‘left’ are in the category of ‘nice people.’ Even, ‘very nice people.’
Note, by ‘nice’ I do not mean, good.
A nice person is someone that you can associate with on a daily basis and be on friendly terms with. You can eat with them, coordinate with them, say hello and “have a good day” to if you meet in a store, and mean it. A nice person is someone who means well, but doesn’t give too much thought about what ‘well’ means. His own heart is his guide and prompt, and, as it generally conforms with the expectations of broader society, usually serves him well. You can get along well with a nice person and even do some good things alongside them.
However, when the chips are down, when the bad people–of any stripe–are about their business, the nice people are worthless. They are easily manipulated, nay, they want to be manipulated. They generally don’t feel that their ordinary, private lives, provide sufficient meaning, and so they welcome the opportunities to join mass movements. If their participation in a ‘mass movement’ suddenly turns into a mob action, they will, as a nice person, abhor the violence they inadvertently participated in. It does not occur to them that the violence was not an accidental byproduct of their action, but rather the logical outcome of their action. He is quick to pardon himself because he ‘meant well.’
That would be well and good, I suppose, if ‘meaning well’ only ‘accidentally’ resulted in the destruction of a couple city blocks every now and then, or the murders of a couple of bigots by ‘over-zealous’ social justice warriors, o the deaths of social justice warriors at the hands of bigots retaliating. But, we know from history that ‘meaning well’ has ‘accidentally’ destroyed whole civilizations, and tens of millions of people in the process.
There are ‘nice’ people across all political spectrums, but there are specific reasons, I think, that the ‘nice people’ on the left are of particular concern. By virtue of their deference to Big Government and mob action (“This is what democracy looks like!”) they actively promote policies that give governments more power–even though most of the dead of the 20th century were killed by their own governments–and care less about the electoral process and the rule of law in general when it comes to any cause they deem to be a good cause. They are quick to justify their actions by pointing to polls, and quick to ignore polls and assert that ‘elections have consequences‘ if the polls don’t favor them–‘elections’ no longer have consequences when the person or persons elected are of a different political persuasion.
In other words, they are fundamentally unprincipled. They will say and do and justify anything, provided it is something they think is a good cause. They will stop short of violence–they are nice people, after all. They will even denounce violence. In the meantime, they entertain numerous notions that veer dangerously close to logically entailing violence. They are always shocked when things turn violent, not comprehending their role in facilitating that violence.
Again, if it was just small scale stuff, we could let it slide. There are crazies all over the place. But the crazies the ‘right’ might encourage or ’embolden’ will rarely rise above small scale stuff. The crazies the left encourages and emboldens are elevated to increasingly higher levers of power.
There is a sense in which this is neither here nor there. The more important element is that a ‘nice person’ is just a rudderless person being carried along on the waves. Every now and then, he will put a paddle into the water to try to direct his course slightly (eg., “Bigots deserve death! Oh, but I mean that rhetorically…) but in the main, he is no match for societal currents.
A good example of this mob mentality was the case a few months ago when the Trump administration was castigated by a social media frenzy for ‘separating migrant parents from their children.’ The nation got all worked up, outrage du juor style, over migrant children in cages, eventually forcing Trump to change course. This, the ‘mass’ man, considered to be ‘democracy in action.’ Pictures like the one below circulated throughout social media:
I give that example, because I personally saw it numerous times on social media. What everyone failed to mention was that A., this picture and many like it were taken while Obama was the president–NOT Trump, and B., the policies in question were pursued during the Obama administration.
It is neither an attack on Obama nor a defense of Trump to point out how quickly people worked themselves into a froth when they thought Trump was uniquely to blame, but didn’t give a rat’s ass about the children in cages when Obama was president. It’s an attack on the ‘nice people’ who allow themselves to be so easily worked up in the name of a ‘good cause.’ While it is true that the truth of the pictures eventually surfaced, it is also true that not everyone got the memo. It is also true that even after it was understood that the enraging pictures were not taken on Trump’s watch, this did not diminish the outrage.
That is an important point: facts and reality mean little when your real purpose is simply to be outraged–and thus, feel like you are doing something important with your otherwise meaningless life. For such people, any pretext will do, and they can shift between pretexts seamlessly, usually without even knowing they are (and justifying it if they are self-aware to catch it).
This is one example out of literally… I mean literally... hundreds I could list, and that just from the last 2-3 years.
As I am writing this, we are emerging from a two day long social media outrage spurred on by a smug teenager wearing a MAGA hat staring down an American Indian, who, putatively, was minding his own business. I have been staying off of social media as much as I can (precisely because of this kind of nonsense) and even I was aware of it, since it hit the MSM, which, as usual, reported it uncritically. Since it was in the MSM, nice people assumed it must be basically true as it was represented to them. Nice people everywhere were disgusted. And sure, why not? “If it was true..”
Today, the truth is coming out. It appears that if anything, it was the opposite. It was the American Indian that confronted the kid with the MAGA hat. (HT Sasquatch). In the meantime, the kid with the MAGA hat on was ‘doxxed’ and there were open encouragements in social media to beat the kid up. Perhaps this might be one of those cases where the truth manages to diffuse before actual violence occurs, but we must remember what is meant by the ‘drive by media.’ People may hear initial reports (“The MAGA kid was racist! He needs to be beaten up!”) but then will have moved on with their lives before they hear the follow up correction. Perhaps there are already thugs plotting to hurt this young man who won’t have gotten the memo.
“That’s what democracy looks like.”
If the kid did get beat up, the nice people would bemoan it, but they would excuse their role in facilitating it. Because… and this is important… if it HAD been true that the kids were mocking the Indian, then a beat down was definitely called for. Rhetorically, of course. wink-wink-nudge-nudge. They are very nice people, you see. Not a racist bone in their bodies. Ready to fight injustice whenever they see it! … unless its an injustice against a white Christian male.
Uncritically joining daily outrages is not limited to the nice guys on the left, by any means. However, as someone who critically assesses media reports across the political spectrum, it appears undeniable that it is disproportionately a leftist phenomena. Just pick a three month period from within the last 2 years and survey the ‘outrages’ during that period, and you’ll see it for yourself. Few liberals are interested in such an exercise, though. In their hearts, they already know its true. The thing is, they don’t really care that much. People may have flown off the handle, but they ‘meant well’ and they thought it was a ‘good cause.’ Not like those people on the right who flew off the handle! Those people are racist, homophobic, sexist, bigots!
So yea, inevitably, some people are going to get shot — *cough cough* Scalise *cough cough* — and the nice guy will decry it, at the same time, perhaps under his breath, say that those people deserved it.
With such attitudes and approaches to life and politics, you can begin to see why it is no comfort at all to acknowledge that many people on the left are ‘nice people.’ Their modus operandi is basically the same as the ‘radical left,’ minus the endorsement of violence by individuals. The ‘nice guy’ is not necessarily opposed to violence–provided a government carries it out. That’s their idea of ‘the rule of law.’ Typical Leviathon thinking. Given the right ‘good cause,’ the ‘nice guy’ can be counted on to support almost anything that the masses have deemed to be appropriate.
What that ’cause’ is changes monthly. Occasionally, it really is a good cause. However, today the ’cause’ is highly toxic. The ’cause’ they are fighting is based on the belief that every white person is a racist. Every (white) male is a sexist, if not an actual rapist (RAPE CULTURE!). Every person who believes homosexuality is wrong is a bigot. Every Republican and/or conservative is a fascist. Etc., etc. What makes this so toxic is that at the very same moment that nearly half of America’s population has been found guilty of the most vilest attitudes and behaviors by the other half, the latter half believes any and all measures–save violence itself (with some caveats allowing for governmental intervention)–are appropriate responses to such (alleged) attitudes and behaviors.
This is the attitude of the ‘radical left’ and it is the predominant attitude of the ‘nice guy’ left. Thus, if you are looking for allies against real tyranny, you will find that they are worthless. Worse, it is more likely in our present climate that they will be helping to bring about real tyranny, all in the name of opposing tyranny.
Even the ‘nice guys’ tend to have as their starting position is that their political ‘foes’ are the lowest human vermin since the Nazis.
Who could ally with such people? They’re not going to be the ones to shoot you in your beds at night, but they aren’t likely to lose any sleep over it if you get whacked, either. They may not think you are a Nazi, especially if they know you personally, but they aren’t going to defend you, either. We may hope that for a certain lad at Covington, he will be an exception. Alas, there is no reason to believe it will be a ‘rule.’
In our next installment, I’ll talk about a third category of leftist: the good person who is actually good.