Thursday, March 5, 2009

Here be Dragons II

I realise I'm tresspassing on the territory of our esteemed JR somewhat, but as promised, here is a run down on what has been called Evan Sayet's Grand Unified Theory of Modern Liberalism (Liberalism in the American sense - in other words what we would call a hard core leftist).

Sayet calls himself a 9/12 Republican. It wasn't so much the attack on the WTC itself as the reaction to the attack - a day later - by his leftist friends (and fellow Democrats) that caused him to re-think his assumptions. He finally realised: They (Americans of the modern left) really do hate America. Why is that?

Looking at a whole raft of issues he saw that the Modern Left seemed always to support "Evil, failed and wrong". Evil people. Failed policies. Wrong ideas. Examples are legion.

And yet, judging from his leftist friends (and relatives), he can see that they themselves are neither evil nor stupid. So what's the deal? Why do good and smart people support "evil and stupid"? Here's why...

We look over history and see that cultures have established their own religions, philosophies and practices, and each culture in turn has believed their own religion philosophies and practices to be true and right. 'Others' are barbarians. The Modern Left targets this 'bigotry of belief' as the cause of conflict with other cultures of different religions and practises. These conflicts become the wars and injustices that have always been evident in history, up to and including the present. It is therefore the attempt by people to be right, to find 'the one true way', which is the cause of conflict with others, and hence it is this attempt to be right which is the cause of humanity's problems.

The solution presents itself: Stop attempting to be right; stop striving after the one true way; recognize that all supposed knowledge of good and evil is little more than bigotry imposed by variable cultural factors. Instead, imagine that no one believed they were right and others wrong; that no one believed that they alone held the truth and that others were mistaken. There would be no need for conflict. There would be no need for war. No need for injustice. In short, imagine nothing to fight and die for, and no religion, too. It's easy if you try.

All that is required is that we eschew the singular evil that is 'discrimination'.

Given that we cannot/must not discriminate – categorizing some (people, cultures, behaviours) as evil or wrong, and others as good or right – how do we then explain the success of some people/cultures/behaviours and the failure of others?

Given the premise of non-discrimination – there is no 'right' and no 'wrong' – there can only be one explanation: Somehow, the successful ones cheated. Maybe the successful ones stole from the unsuccessful ones; for example, they stole their oil, or their land? The big successful countries became big and successful by stealing from the poor and the unsuccessful. It is the only explanation consistent with the basic premise of non-discrimination.

So, the unsuccessful cultures are the victims of the successful cultures. Therefore, any evil done by these unsuccessful cultures is proof, not that they are evil, but that they are victimized. And the greater the evil they do, the greater must be their victimization. How victimized must the people in the Gaza strip be, that they celebrate in the streets - handing out sweets and dancing on cars - over the deliberate mass murder of Israeli school children?

Thus is maintained the following world view: (1) We are virtuous because we don't discriminate, and because we side with the victims of discrimination, and (2) conservatives/Republicans/etc are evil because they engage in the only true evil (discrimination) and side with the victimizers.

To help promote this world view it is useful to muddy the distinction between the successful and the unsuccessful; to lift up and promote the unsuccessful, and to tear down and degrade the successful. We need to show that the results of discriminating thought, of the striving to be right, though they may appear to be good and successful (America) are actually failed and bad (Ameri-kkk-a). We need to show that unsuccessful groups are not unsuccessful because they adopt inappropriate behaviours (there are no "innapropriate" behaviours), but because they are the victims of discrimination. The schools, the movies, the courts, the media are used to push this line at every opportunity: (1) discriminating thought used to strive after the right and true fails, and (2) the refusal to discriminate, the refusal to judge some good and others bad, succeeds. Lift up the evil, failed and wrong and tear down the good, successful and right until it is all a wash; until there is no 'good' and no 'bad'; until there is nothing to discriminate between.

This is the core belief (non-discrimination) and the ultimate motivation (prove it works) behind all policy that can be characterised as Modern Left (note: not all (or even most) policy by those on the left, and not that of "old time" leftists). And it is why Modern Left policy is always wrong. Not usually wrong but sometimes right, like a stopped clock. Always wrong. It is designed to be wrong. It is designed to promote the wrong and to degrade the right; to prove to you that discrimination is the ultimate evil and that non-discrimination is the solution.

Here be Dragons

Most people look at refugees from a particular country who don't (or won't) assimilate and say “Let's try refugees from a different country instead.” The Modern Left looks at the same situation and says “No, let's get more refugees from the same country”. This scenario played out here in Australia recently, although fortunately some sort of common sense prevailed in the end. But the question lingers: Why was the counter-sensical approach the virtual reflexive response of the left?

I've seen a few people tackle this question. For example, the thesis of Evan Sayet (formerly of the left himself) is based on the idea that the left have made a fundamental axiom of the idea that "discrimination is evil". I'll go into that another time, but I came across another, more psychological, approach recently via the great Kathy Shaidle. This from Jamie Glazov who saw Soviet oppression first hand and through his family.

“The typical leftist,” Glazov explained, actually “wants to shed himself of his unwanted self and melt into a totalitarian blur. He wants to fit in. And he wants to create a disinfected earth where he doesn’t have to face the challenges that come with freedom. That disinfection demands destruction. It demands Ground Zero, so that the earthly paradise can be built on its ashes. Radical Muslims perpetrate the destruction against free societies that the leftist is dreaming of and supports. Both sides want to create paradise on earth and they cannot accept man for who and what he is. Because of that, every time they try to create heaven, they engender hell. And there is nothing baffling about this alliance. It makes total logical sense.”

"Objectively Desireable Ends"?

My comment on ChicagoBoyz:

It’s not in fact trivial to define “objectively desireable” ends. ‘Preserving the environment’ is not a complete description of an end. For example: one way to preserve the environment would be to release a virus that kills every human on earth. Hey presto, greenie heaven. So, to be complete, the cost must always be defined when stating a goal. Of course then we get into an argument as to how much we want to spend on ‘preserving the environment’. Thus it becomes a matter of subjective opinion again.
The key feature of the market is the way it generates prices. Prices give us an informed/rational basis for decisions about ‘preserving the environment’. That is they let us know how much a certain amount of ‘preserving of the environment’ is worth to us in terms of other things that we like.
On the other hand, politicians like to talk in terms of un-costed absolutes: they’re potential blank cheques signed by the taxpayer.
So at face value we are comparing a process where costs are unknown/irrelevant (politics) to a process where costs are known to a more or less exact degree. On its face which process is more likely to succeed in reaching a goal? (keeping in mind that a goal must be costed to be a real goal).