Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Why is the Angry Left so angry?

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Why are so many leftists so often so angry?

Say something that upsets religious conservatives, and they pray for you. Upset the left, and you get angry, personal denunciations. Why the the difference? Why is the Angry Left so angry? …

 Robert Tracinski has a theory. His answer is surprisingly simple. Whereas the religious nut has his focus on his imaginary utopia upstairs, to change the world your secular leftist needs to change you, and you’re refusing to cooperate. You arsehole!:

    For the secular leftist, the end state is social and necessarily political. It is all about getting everybody else on board and herding them into his imagined utopia. There are so many “problematic” aspects of life that need to be reengineered, so many vast social systems that need to be overthrown and replaced. But the rest of us are all screwing it up, all the time, through our greed, our denial, our apathy, our refusal to listen to him banging on about his tired socialist ideology…
   If the whole focus of your life is on getting everybody else to agree with you on every detail of your politics and adopt your plans for a perfect society, then you’re setting yourself up to be at war with most of the human race most of the time.
    Which means an awful lot for the Angry Left to get angry about.

Commenting on Tracinski’s post, Jason Monaghan reckons the even deeper truth is that

their "ultimate truth" doesn't just put them at endless conflict with the non-conforming elements in society, it puts them at war with reality itself. Their ideas are beyond reproach so it is clearly human nature and the world around them that must be at fault.

“It's not just that their hoped-for Revolution depends on other people,” agrees Tim Sandefur,

it's that their whole reality depends on other people. They think that the evil in the world is the result of social structures (everything in [their] world is the result of social structures) that are ultimately within our control if only we'll exercise sufficient will power. Yes we can! sounds inspiring, only until it turns into Why won't you?! And it always does.
    For example, crime or discrimination are the result, for the leftist, of institutions, not spontaneous orders, and therefore are caused by somebody's sin. If you don't act to change things, therefore, you're part of the problem. Poverty? We can cure it by raising the minimum wage. Because poverty is caused by greedy people being stingy. And if you oppose us, you're helping cause poverty!

But as Sandefur says, if your whole political theory is essentially a classist conspiracy theory arguing human nature is endlessly at fault – “if you think politics is ultimately a conspiracy of the evil Koch Brothers against the People's True Path to equality -- then naturally you're going to be angry” –

if you're ignorant about justice and think inequality or unfairness are the same thing as injustice, then you're going to think that nature itself is unjust, since nature distributes her gifts unequally. If you go through life believing that reality is ultimately about other people instead of being ultimately about your interaction with nature, then you're going to think all the bad stuff is ultimately caused by other people, and that's going to make you hate other people, even while you profess to love humanity in the abstract.

Yet because their idea that reality is ultimately about changing people instead of changing things in reality—“what Rand called "social metaphysics" or "second-handedness"” – the leftist revolt against bourgeois virtues is ultimately futile.

Your goal as a leftist, then, is ultimately the transformation of all of actual society into something “equal” and “fair,” but since this is impossible and even meaningless [and ignores that human prosperity must actually be created], it's a perpetual exercise in futility. The leftist, understandably given his basic assumptions, assumes that this failure is caused by lack of faith. Yes we can! so Why haven't we?! Because we're evil, that's why.

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