Perhaps leftists aren’t the hopeless idealists I thought they were…

 

Many conservatives view the collectivist Utopian fantasies of the left as evidence that leftists are out of touch with reality.  Well-meaning, perhaps.  But fanciful.  If the horrifying real-world consequences of the application of their Marxist fantasies doesn’t jerk them back to reality, then they’re just hopelessly idealistic.  Conservatives are more grounded in reality, right?

But then I consider the fantasies of the right.  Conservatives tend to be more comfortable with their daughters playing with Barbies or their sons playing with ‘action figures’ that are completely unrealistic fantasies about female and male physical ideals.  The Christians among us acknowledge that Jesus was the only perfect man who ever lived, and then we seek to emulate him, which is obviously impossible.  We prefer less government intervention in our lives, while aware of the fact that the baser aspects of human nature might benefit from guidance or perhaps even forced compliance from time to time – we have faith in human nature, while distrusting it.

So who has their heads in the clouds?  Those who trust people to take care of themselves and others despite their horrifying character flaws?  Or those who think that anyone as dangerously selfish and impulsive as humans should be very carefully controlled?

The only explanation for atheism that has ever made any sense to me is this:  “If there is a perfect God, how could He love someone as horrible as me?”  I take a different view, since my parents love me despite my gaping personality flaws imperfections.  But still, I understand their point.

I think a version of this rationalization of atheism may partially explain those who empathize with the Palestinians over the Israelis.  The Israelis view themselves as civilized, and hold themselves to a higher standard of behavior.  When they are attacked with rockets launched from an elementary school in Gaza, the Israelis drop leaflets in the area warning everyone to get out before they launch a counter-attack.

Meanwhile, Palestinian invaders sneak into Israel on a religious holiday and then go door to door in Jewish residential neighborhoods and torture children to death in front of their parents.

The civilized among us – those who hold ourselves to a higher standard – can’t even look at pictures of such things without revulsion.  But those of us who view humans as nothing more than animals with high IQs tend to be less critical of such behavior.

As a Christian, I believe that all humans are children of God.  We’re not just animals.

But suppose that is not true.  Suppose I’m wrong, and there really is no God.  Ok, fine.  But I still hold myself to a higher standard of behavior than the animalistic norms of territoriality and self-preservation.  I refuse to accept that I am just an animal doing whatever I want.  Even if I really am just an animal.  I refuse to accept that, even if it might be true.

I’ve written before about the primitivism of modern leftists.  So have many others, going back to Rousseau, and moving forward to thinkers like Paul Ehrlich, Pete Buttigieg, and Greta Thunberg.  Leftists distrust the trappings of modern humanity, and seek to return us to what they consider to be a more ‘natural state’.

This may be partially because they feel selfless and virtuous when they profess to be more concerned about the well-being of Mother Earth over the interests of their fellow humans.  But I think part of it is simply that they view humans as animals.  The ‘natural state’ is where we belong, and any effort to move beyond our baser impulses is unnatural and hypocritical.

Christians, Jews, and Western Civilization going back to Aristotle – much of their thinking is simply an effort to become something greater than what we actually are.  I view such efforts as admirable, even if they sometimes fail.

Leftists resent such lofty goals, preferring to remain comfortable in a judgment-free zone, where they are free to follow the pagan guidance of Aleister Crowley:  ‘Do What Thou Wilt’.

The left prides itself on Keeping it Real.  I try to do better than that.

Which, I guess, means that the hopeless idealist is me, rather than the leftists I often criticize.

And I’m good with that.

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  1. Ignore This, Pal! Member
    Ignore This, Pal!
    @OldDanRhody

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Keith Lowery (View Comment):

    “If there is no God, everything is permitted.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

    “With God, all things are possible. Without God, all things are allowed.”

    I quite agree, but these two all things move in opposite directions.  It calls to mind G.K. Chesterton’s works on the subject, my favorite being the little book, The Man Who Was Thursday.

    G.K. Chesterton, the man who would confound the Puritan and the Libertine alike by saying Grace before lighting a cigar.

    • #31
  2. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    If Israel were at war with Britain or Sweden, the left would have a much harder time choosing sides because the combatants would all be functional, non-victim nations by modern definition.  Which white people are the bad guys?

    In contrast, the primitive savagery, the sick worship of a death-loving god, the gross economic and social dysfunction, the inability to take responsibility or perform self-critical examinations of conscience, and the sheer irrationality of  Palestinians invite the protection and intervention of morally superior beings.  More importantly, Palestinians claim to be victims of a westernized civilization.  So in effect, their appalling behavior, degraded values, and generally repulsive culture make them more appealing to the left.  They are clearly not bourgeois white people like the parents of the enlightened.

    Nobody noticed that in the 1960s when the Age of Aquarius meant the end of bourgeois morality that trying to pick and choose which parts of morality are acceptable establishes a reversal, triumph of narcissisim–we get to judge the moral code, not be judged by it.  That leads inexorably to a world in which all that matters is power.  And so in 2023 we are stunned that a dubious political narrative about victimization of a primitive people overides any (used to be normal human) moral claims objecting to indiscriminate torture and murder.

    • #32
  3. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Nobody noticed that in the 1960s when the Age of Aquarius meant the end of bourgeois morality that trying to pick and choose which parts of morality are acceptable establishes a reversal, triumph of narcissisim–we get to judge the moral code, not be judged by it.  That leads inexorably to a world in which all that matters is power. 

    Yes!! “You will be as gods. . .” Satan may be evil, but he’s not stupid.

    • #33
  4. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    TBA (View Comment):

    If they convince us, they won’t enjoy finding out the kind of animals we would become.

    Yeah. I keep trying to read Blood Meridian, but I can’t seem to get past the first thirty pages or so.

    • #34
  5. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    If they convince us, they won’t enjoy finding out the kind of animals we would become.

    When leftists finally succeed in destroying Western Civilization, I don’t think they’ll like what replaces it.

    The saddest thing is that we will all be gone; our children living under that savagery or brutal totalitarianism will think that that’s all there is, or ever was.

    • #35
  6. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    If they convince us, they won’t enjoy finding out the kind of animals we would become.

    When leftists finally succeed in destroying Western Civilization, I don’t think they’ll like what replaces it.

    they have tried this a number of times

     – French Revolution

    – Soviet Union

    – Mao’s great leap forward

     

    All of has gone really wrong. 

     

    • #36
  7. No Caesar Thatcher
    No Caesar
    @NoCaesar

    I’m not the first to say this, but it seems to me that the reason Jews are especially targeted throughout history is because they are God’s Chosen People.  Satan is real in the world and he holds a special enmity for them because of that designation.  As individuals they are as imperfect as any other human, but collectively they are the target of that special enmity. 

     

    • #37
  8. BDB Member
    BDB
    @BDB

    Incidentally, before I got all cranky and fired up last night, I had meant to LIKE the post and agree with the basic thrust (or at least this portion of it) that perhaps the idiots who are winning are not the delusional ones.

    • #38
  9. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    BDB (View Comment):

    Incidentally, before I got all cranky and fired up last night, I had meant to LIKE the post and agree with the basic thrust (or at least this portion of it) that perhaps the idiots who are winning are not the delusional ones.

    Very kind of you to say.

    And although I wasn’t clear about my rather sloppy generalizations, I meant no offense.  I apologize if I caused any.

    • #39
  10. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    Dr. Bastiat: Leftists resent such lofty goals, preferring to remain comfortable in a judgment-free zone, where they are free to follow the pagan guidance of Aleister Crowley:  ‘Do What Thou Wilt’.

    Not so sure.  Have you ever mixed your recyclables in front of a leftist…..?

    • #40
  11. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Leftists resent such lofty goals, preferring to remain comfortable in a judgment-free zone, where they are free to follow the pagan guidance of Aleister Crowley: ‘Do What Thou Wilt’.

    Not so sure. Have you ever mixed your recyclables in front of a leftist…..?

    They do what they wilt.

    Not you.

    • #41
  12. BDB Member
    BDB
    @BDB

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Incidentally, before I got all cranky and fired up last night, I had meant to LIKE the post and agree with the basic thrust (or at least this portion of it) that perhaps the idiots who are winning are not the delusional ones.

    Very kind of you to say.

    And although I wasn’t clear about my rather sloppy generalizations, I meant no offense. I apologize if I caused any.

    Thanks, no problem — I certainly didn’t feel called out by name.  Just been getting a snootful from a couple of different channels.

    And shame on me for being a bit tense anyway.  I tell you, this Israel thing actually has my (slight case of) PTSD lit off.  but that’s another story.

    • #42
  13. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    Take the lowly mutt, the ubiquitous big brown dog, the one who loves everyone he has or will ever meet.  Then take the wolf.  These animals are genetically identical.  One will kill for kicks, the other, would not harm a flea,  but will defend his master to his death.  People are like that as well.  The one is a product of a civilized society, the sum of generations of selective breeding, training, cooperation and rules. And the other, is pure nihilist, feral and motivated entirely by survival, where ferocity, strength and nominally, cooperation, are paramount.  Religion and politics play an outsized part in defining the rules, of what is encouraged, permitted and taboo.  The Judeo-Christian tradition of republican democracy and liberty creates big brown friendly dogs and a humanitarian society.  The Islamic, authoritarian, theocratic, nihilistic society, not so much.

    • #43
  14. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Leftists resent such lofty goals, preferring to remain comfortable in a judgment-free zone, where they are free to follow the pagan guidance of Aleister Crowley: ‘Do What Thou Wilt’.

    Not so sure. Have you ever mixed your recyclables in front of a leftist…..?

    Or driven an SUV, or worn a MAGA hat, or gone out in public with 8 children in tow?

    • #44
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