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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

CURSED LIBERTY

"When we try to discover what fascism, Marxism, and radical Islam have in common, the field shrinks to a single common theme: hatred of democracy."

Cracked Liberty
The origin of the word "liberal" is liberty, it is a term used by the founding fathers to define someone who loved liberty and fought for it. Liberals used to be the kind who struggled against oppressive government control and for freedom and individual choice in the world.

That's why I call people "leftist" when others use the word "liberal" because the word is misleading and an insult to real liberals when used by leftists to describe themselves. The closest group to old, original liberals today are modern libertarians. The problem with that term is it sounds more libertine than liberal - anything goes, you can't judge me, and so on. So the use of language is misleading today, and in the case of leftists, deliberately so.

Modern leftists aren't liberals because they reject many of the basic tenets that were so characteristic of liberals of the past. Instead of liberty they want bondage, but bondage that leads to a sort of specific end and purpose. Steven Dutch has written a terrific piece called Treason of the Intellectuals, vol 3 which shows how this works out in the modern world:
Democracy confronts radical intellectuals with a threat more dangerous than any censor, secret police, or religious fatwa - irrelevance. An intellectual working on behalf of a totalitarian regime can imagine himself as an agent of sweeping social change. If he ends up in a labor camp or facing a firing squad he can at least console himself that his work was so seminal that the only way the regime could cope with it was to silence him. He made a difference. A radical intellectual in a democracy, on the other hand, finds the vast majority ignoring him. They never heard of him. His most outrageous works go unknown or are the butt of jokes. He watches in impotent rage as the masses ignore art films and go to summer blockbusters. Worse yet, things that are noticed get co-opted, watered down and trivialized. Works that are supposed to shake the System to the core are bought by fat cats to decorate corporate headquarters or stashed in bank vaults as investments. Fashions that scream defiance of everything the society holds dear end up being the next generation's Trick or Treat costumes. Protest songs end up being played on elevators twenty years later.
In Democracy, the revolution isn't needed. All those lofty ideas that academics think up in isolation from the brutal reality of the world are rendered irrelevant by the liberty of democracies, rendering their concepts irrelevant. Or, as Dutch puts it, "Despite all the calls for 'Power to the People' from radical intellectuals, the reality is that no societies have ever empowered so many people to such a degree as Western democracies." He goes on:
The problem is that people in democratic societies usually end up using that empowerment to make choices that intellectuals hate. How can we reconcile the fact that the masses, whom intellectuals profess to support, keep making wrong choices? I've got it - they've been duped somehow. Those aren't their real values; they've been brainwashed into a "false consciousness" by society. If they were completely free to choose, they'd make the "right" choices. But of course we have to eliminate all the distractions that interfere with the process: no moral or religious indoctrination, no advertising or superficial amusements, no status symbols, no politically incorrect humor. "False consciousness" is a perfect way of professing support for the masses while simultaneously depriving them of any power to choose; a device for being an elitist while pretending not to be.
So you have to find a way to force people to get rid of those "false values" imposed on them by corrupt culture and reduce them to their inner struggling proletariat so the revolution can finally happen and academics end up in charge. How do you do that? Reeducation in schools, controlling entertainment to show your perspective and mock the opposition, political correctness to control speech and behavior, and continuous attacks on the established culture and tradition to tear everything down and start fresh to a glorious future utopia.

You see, they don't really want liberty or freedom at all. They want their ideal society, even if they have to take away all your freedom to get there. Because they know better; "When the enlightened elite want your opinion, they'll tell you what it is," as Dutch puts it.

The post-Soviet version of "false consciousness" is "internalized oppression." If you're a woman who opposes abortion, a black with middle class values, or a person with a lousy job who nevertheless believes in hard work, those aren't your real values. You've internalized the values of the white male power elite and allowed yourself to become their tool. You don't really know what you believe.

The old structures of logic, reason, empirical evidence, science, and conscience all get in the way of what they want to accomplish. When confronted with this, the left's response was not to realize maybe they're mistaken but to decide that logic, reason, evidence, science, and conscience must all be wrong, even false constructs. After all it gets in the way of their idealized version of reality conceived with like-minded people isolated from the real world.

So along comes relativism, deconstruction, evolutionary theory, freud's psychological theories, and the rest of the trappings of modernism and post modernism that lets the left replace everything with a structure that works better for their schemes and dreams. Who cares if it makes sense; they have a higher truth in mind, a greater goal, a noble future. The ends justify the means, and they're so smart, capable, and enlightened that any damage that's done they can easily fix, once the revolution has taken place.

Dutch gives an example of how this works out:
Most of these folks simultaneously demand government programs to alleviate poverty and hunger, mass transit so the poor can get to where the good jobs are, and international aid to the Third World. In short they want structured, paternalistic programs that address needs defined by the intellectual elite. They are bitterly opposed to innovations that merely give the masses more goods, food, or money and leave the decision making to individuals.
  • First, the money has to be taken by force from the wealthy. Voluntary contributions don't count. Taxation at a level that the wealthy will consent to doesn't count. Any approach that recognizes the wealthy as having rights is unsatisfactory. Even worse is any recognition of philanthropy and the idea that some of the wealthy have social consciences.
  • Second, the programs can only address needs defined by the intellectual elite. We won't provide cheaper cars; we'll force people to use mass transit. One volunteer aid group once did a study of Third World needs, concluded that one of the most pressing needs in Third World countries was transportation, then excluded automobiles from consideration because they felt that automobiles had a negative effect. When mass transit doesn't work in the low-density U.S., we'll try to compel people to live in higher density housing.
  • Finally, the distribution of resources cannot have anything to do with individual responsibility. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." In other words, if you're smart and industrious we expect you to work for no reward.
And in the end, all you get is misery, chaos, destruction, and failure. At the risk of being branded with violating Godwin's Law, this is exactly how Nazi Germany came about.

Intellectuals, thinkers, and academics thought the Fascists were brilliant at first. They were praised by men like H.G. Wells for their forward thinking genius, applying scientific principles and erasing the failed structures of the past to forge forward to a new, better future for man.

The principles of evolution were used to create a harsh eugenics program to help evolve the new man (Aryan, naturally). The principles of leftist economics were applied to markets and finance. The principles of leftist social engineering were applied to the culture, eliminating decadent and corrupt art, creating free housing and guaranteed employment, deleting religious influences from education, establishing free health care for all - and taking people who were a drag on the society's wealth because of their cost in health care and putting them in special camps where they disappeared conveniently.

It all seemed so wonderful to the leftist, in the 30s. Then that Hitler guy ruined it all by waging war on his neighbors, which was unfortunate, but the fastest way to spread enlightenment. The communist efforts of the early 20th century got the same broad and enthusiastic leftist support. The ideals were wonderful! The goals were noble! The experiment was beautiful, untainted by the failings of the founding fathers!

To this day, there are people who'll swear up and down the principles of communism are still beautiful and grand, but they just got messed up by the wrong people. More secretly there are those who think the same thing about fascism, although they never think of it by that name, because the effort to brand Fascism as right-wing has been so successful.

The left doesn't care for liberty. So they aren't liberals. They care for controlling you and shaping and reeducating you until you fit their schemes, no matter how much liberty they have to take away in the process. And if that means taking things away from you to give to others, well that's the price of progress.

Don't ever call a leftist a "liberal."

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