This is the last installment in a series that is almost ten posts long. I will now officially wrap it up.
The ‘left’ is going off the rails, and I think even many on the ‘left’ see it happening. However, my expectation is that the people who find this series are more likely to be people already exiting the ‘left’, and previously moderate conservatives who find themselves astonished at what is transpiring, and seeking to understand it. Another group might be fellow conservatives, who want to direct people to information that will explain things. In other words, the people who most need to see it, even the ones who might resonate with it, are not likely to see it at all.
Even so, I should like to give a bit of advice to these leftists.
I know that I said in several places that unless the ‘good liberals’ take control of things, matters are going to spiral out of control. Let me be frank: this is not going to happen. The ‘left’ is now in a descent from which it cannot recover from unless and until it hits rock bottom.
You might think that if certain events were to happen, this might serve as a wake-up call. For example, if some progressive attempts to assassinate President Trump, or succeeds, in a sane world, you could expect some deep introspection to take place within progressivism. But that assumes the people we are talking about are remotely sane. We already have strong indicators that events have no effect on adjusting their perception of reality. Just last weekend, ‘their guy’ cleared Trump and his campaign of all accusations of colluding with the Russians. Did they adjust their perception of reality? No. they double-downed on their fantasy.
That is a significant example, but sadly, I could provide many, many more. But this is the conclusion of the conclusion, not conclusion part 4!
So, if I were to give advice to someone who wishes to retain their ‘liberal’ outlook, I would have to say: GET OUT of the sinking ship. If your thinking is that while remaining a ‘progressive’ Democrat, perhaps you at least can come to common ground with those of a ‘conservative’ bent, perhaps finding select issues on which you could ‘ally’ on, you will find this approach to be cut off from you from both sides.
The fellow travelers on the left are likely to attack you endlessly for cooperating with ‘fascists’ and the people who are being accused of ‘fascists,’ who are not fascists, are not going to want to take your overtures seriously. Nor can they afford to do so, since it is generally the case that one chooses ‘allies’ who can bring something to the fight. Your ‘good liberal’ who wants to ally with ‘good conservatives’ still walks around with a strong elitist streak that is still infused by many of the ideas I’ve discussed as having ‘gone wrong’ in this series. The ‘good liberal’ still believes that the people he ostensibly wishes to ‘ally’ with are, if not actual racists, bigots, sexists, etc, advance policies which are racist, bigoted, sexist, etc.
Which is excrement.
Since liberalism has thrown off its emphasis on individual liberties (negative rights; see part 3) and has effectively flipped over to emphasize liberties that the STATE must secure for people, it is going to continue to be susceptible to all of the nasty elements which is taking the left into oblivion. ‘Good liberals’ are going to have to find new philosophies to justify their liberalism which are immune to the deficiencies which have brought us to identity politics, etc. Good luck with that!
In the meantime, and as part of that process, the ‘liberal-minded’ should:
1. Abandon the Democrat party and completely disavow it.
2. Abandon the label ‘progressive’ and completely disavow it.
The Democrats are completely compromised, morally and intellectually. The progressives have some sincere folks who aren’t merely tyrants in training, but it is a flawed and failed paradigm which hurt innumerable individuals in the past (eg, compulsory sterilization) and will only continue to do so. It is pointless to try to repudiate such tyrannical measures that have occurred in the name of ‘progressivism’ as though you, as a progressive, would reject. The entire movement remains about making things ‘compulsory’ or ‘mandatory.’ None of their ideas work, unless everyone participates!
So, no. GET OUT OF THE SINKING SHIP.
3. Develop and form an entirely new ideology and a corresponding political party which is not only independent from the Democrats and Progressives (and Antifa, and so on), but is ideologically independent. The Malthusian, Marxist, utilitarian, etc crap, must go!
Like I said, good luck.
But, the thing is, the Democrats and progressives are going to end up eating their own on their way to eating everyone else. If you wish to ‘ally’ with ‘everyone else,’ it must be possible to distinguish you from them. Nay, you need to be able to distinguish yourself from them. Right now, it is ridiculously difficult to tell a ‘good liberal’ apart from all the rest. The only thing that seems to separate the tiny tyrants from the ‘good liberals’ are the intentions and personalities of individuals. The ideas, at present, are held in common.
GET OUT. FIND NEW IDEAS. ASAP.
Yes, this will marginalize you in the short term. Your tiny schism might lead to the split of votes, which might lead to people you don’t like getting elected. But, after the Left finishes its kamikaze run, at least you will still exist. People like you will have a place to go, whereas right now there aren’t much options…
Of course, you could become a ‘conservative.’ 😉 I understand how difficult that is. I was born and bred a liberal and it took from 1991 to 2001 for me to shake it off. I had deeply personal reasons for hating the Republicans, and the Bush’s in particular. I really did not want to be associated with the GOP. Even to this day, I prefer the Constitutionalists, or the ‘tea party.’ But, in principle at least, I recognize that the GOP has values that will preserve freedom. The struggle is real. I get that. Still, maybe the option should be on the table.
The reader may wonder if I’m going to have a series on “how the right went wrong.”
No, I won’t. Because, in the main, it hasn’t.
Part of this goes to a confusion that exists about the ideological spectrum, which will be subject to a later series. In fact, one of the reasons I wrote this series was so that I could be better understood when I write that series.
So, for example, when people think about an example of the ‘right’ going wrong, they think of white supremacists or white nationalists, etc. This is absurd. And since many people on the left have the critical thinking ability of a gnat (they rely mostly on their intentions and their conditioning, which they accept), it is impossible for them to separate out the white supremacists from limited government advocates, which, in common usage, are both on the ‘right.’ Except they are not at all on the same spectrum. They aren’t even in the same category.
But, by this absolutely stupid reasoning, limited government advocates are presumed to lean towards racism, since they are considered on the ‘right.’ And, the ‘far right’ is racist. Except ‘white nationalists’ are very happy with big government. That’s their whole point: to have a big government, and have one which places whites in a place of prominence. How, then, can someone who is ‘big government’ be considered in the same category as a ‘small government’ advocate? They can’t. It is absurd.
Another example of this stupidity is manifested right now in the situation in Venezuela. By any metric, Venezuela is a pure socialist state. A failed one, to be sure… pardon the redundancy. Ten years ago or so, it would have been simply accepted that Venezuela is ‘leftist.’ This was the case, ironically, despite the fact that Venezuela was lead by a dictator (Chavez) and is again today (Maduro.) Now, on the tortured logic (such as it is) of leftists, if a regime is ‘authoritarian,’ why, it must be ‘right wing.’ Bizarrely, we had a country that was undeniably left wing where the fact that its authoritarian nature was simply ignored. It is impossible to call Venezuela a bastion of ‘far right’ authoritarian politics… but if leftists were consistent, that would be exactly what it is. And that would be absurd.
Unless you’ve missed the point here, it is general usage to classify authoritarianism on the ‘right’ and ‘white nationalism’ on the ‘right’ and also libertarians and also strict constitutionalists and also fierce limited government advocates. This is one contradiction after another, and yet they are all classed as the ‘right’????
How one can seriously suppose that a libertarian is on the same side of the left-right spectrum as authoritarians is beyond me. And yet, that’s basically the leftist outlook. My future series will explain all this and generate some new labels. Suffice it to say, the mashing together of all these foes into a single category of the ‘right’ is just one more tactic.
Our modern leftists rely on tactics. Never forget that. To them, the ‘right’ is just a catch all for anyone they disagree with, and any charge they ascribe to one group in the ‘right’ they say applies to any other group in the ‘right.’ By means of this ‘tactic,’ they wish to silence their opponents. They may not believe their own line, but they will still say it–because as a tactic, it has worked for them.
I had a whole post where I talked about the worthless ‘nice’ liberals. Are there not worthless ‘nice’ ‘conservatives?’
Indeed, there are.
But there is a categorical difference between ‘nice’ statists and ‘nice’ anti-statists.
A ‘nice’ anti-statist has a view which predisposes him to MIND HIS DAMN BUSINESS.
Not so, the ‘nice’ statist. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Setting aside the actual racists, who do not belong on the same side of the political spectrum as proponents of small government in the first place, there is very little damage that someone on the ‘right’ can do, because, in principle, by the laws of simple logic, their whole goal is to keep to themselves, and all they want in turn is to be left alone.
It is also not the case that, while wanting to be left alone, they will be indifferent to the plight of others. As I document in my essay on this very subject, ‘conservatives’ were in fact very generous with their money in helping people who needed to be helped. So much, so, that in fact, progressives complained that people who ought to have been allowed to die (or at least, not reproduce), were getting helped. Margaret Sanger literally has an entire chapter devoted to this ‘problem’ in her book The Pivot of Civilization. (Actual title of the chapter: “The Cruelty of Charity.”) And she was not by any means the only person to make that argument–as she notes. This is a battle that the progressives won. Government was given the role of Charity.
Objecting to having the government be the entity in charge of Charity is not the same as objecting to Charity. If the role of providing Charity falls again on individuals and communities, they will certainly resume doing so. And they will certainly do a better job of it, too.
If there are ‘liabilities’ on the side of conservativism, they are not primarily domestic, but related to foreign affairs. That is something which perhaps I will discuss some day. But, think about it. Limited government advocates tend to be limited government advocates precisely because they are worried about people hurting other people, leveraging their power and position to do so. Thus, they intentionally attempt to erect extremely robust checks and balances, precisely because they know that people–conservatives included–can, nay, will, abuse their power and position. The government, which is composed of people, but having maximum coercive reach (eg, it can imprison or shoot you if you don’t comply), requires even more checks and balances.
Or, to put it another way, small government advocates believe that human nature is such that people are intrinsically wicked. They plan accordingly. Liberals tend to believe that humans are intrinsically good. They also plan accordingly. When people abuse their power, the liberal’s big idea is to give even more people even more power. The assumption being that the problem was the system, not the people. But what if they are wrong and the ‘conservatives’ were right? Then, you’ve just given intrinsically wicked people even more power which is even harder to keep in check. Brilliant!
History and experience tells us that limited government advocates are right on this score, and liberals are wrong. Very wrong.
The whole hope that the ‘Government’ can secure the liberty (positive ‘rights’) of the citizens operates on the assumption that the Government is composed of Omni-Benevolent Philosopher-Kings who can be relied upon to do the right things for the right people, on a scale surpassing hundreds of millions and even billions of diverse individuals. History and experience tells us that the Government is like every other sphere of human existence: populated by people; thus, populated by people with selfish ambitions who are as likely to be stupid as anyone else.
If I were looking to create an independent foundation for my liberal ideas, this is where I would start: a re-evaluation of the real nature of humanity.
Of all the places to get reality wrong, that is the worst place to do so.