Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Clinging to Utopia

 

The hysteria of the political Left seems to be growing and intensifying. Does anyone else believe this is happening? In my lifetime (although I’ve only followed politics for the last 20 years), I’ve seen the ranting of the Left rise and fall, but these times feel different. I’ve been thinking about the possible explanation for this phenomenon, and I’d like to hear your perspective. I’m going to begin by contrasting the conflicting views of the Left and the Right.

From my own observations, certain characteristics seem to be true for most of the people on the Left. A big part of their suffering comes from their holding to conflicting ideas and not recognizing their inconsistencies. For example, they are idealists and believe that all of society should strive for a Utopian existence, which has led them to embrace Marxist ideas (whether they admit it or not). We should all be treated as equals (unless we disagree with them), celebrate all cultures (except our own), and share society’s wealth with each other. Unfortunately, the Left also believes in not only the perfectibility of the world, but the perfectibility of men; they refuse to recognize that we are not only guided by reason, but we are emotional and unpredictable creatures. When we fickle human beings don’t cooperate with and participate in their endeavors, they become insulted and incensed.

Even though people are capricious, the Left believes they can straighten us out.

Their arrogance dictates that they are the ones who will lead us to their promised Utopia, and they celebrate personkind. The problem is that they detest people; they believe people are ignorant, naïve, selfish, greedy and difficult (and sometimes we are). Then they wonder why we resent their demands to adopt their belief system, not thinking how our “ignorance” or rebelliousness might get in the way. Finally, their lives lack meaning outside of their Marxian, superior worldview; they have faith in nothing and no one (except for others who endorse their doctrine and efforts), and rather than accept that we may have different ideas, they choose to demonize and denigrate the beliefs of the Right. And we have refused to join their crusade for this life-changing ideology.

In sharp contrast, studies show that people on the Right are happier than people on the Left. The Right accepts that we live in a free society with the freedom of expression; they realize that none of us is perfect, and ideally we realize that within the fold of conservatism is a diversity and range of views. The Right also realizes that the source of its happiness does not come from outside itself; it’s nice to be materially comfortable, have a lovely family and friends and opportunities to grow. But the Right knows that the sources of happiness or better stated, satisfaction with life, is an “inside job.” Many people on the Right identify with a religion; those who do not practice religion usually have a sound value system that mirrors the Right’s beliefs in equality of opportunity, traditional values and a deep appreciation of the benefits that the U.S. affords all of us. In place of the arrogance and pessimism of the Left, the Right holds overall optimism about this country and a level of humility about our good fortune to be living here.

Then the November 2016 election took place. The Left’s hysteria was frighteningly apparent. Their hopes for continuing the march to Utopia met a serious setback, if not a devastating blow. Not only were their dreams violated, but their myth of striving for Utopia was collapsing.

The political and bureaucratic leaders of the Left, however, have abandoned their dreams for perfection; they probably embraced their desire for power long ago, and they think the only way they have a chance to regain power is not only to stir the pot, but to terrify their supporters—and raise the level of demonization of the “enemy” to a new level. They will continue their efforts to inflame the madness to keep their supporters in line.

How do we fight this relentless, despicable and hateful onslaught of the Left and their leaders?

We must be persistent in pushing through the flood of insults and lies.

We must continue to prove their leaders’ betrayals of this country

We must speak the truth through those few on the Right who have the courage to act.

We must remember that no matter how vile, destructive and enraged the Left has been, their dreams are being destroyed. They may actually realize how empty and unrealistic their lives have been. They may even decide to view the world through a more realistic lens.

Stranger things have happened.

There are 53 comments.

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  1. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    I wish I had some insight to offer today. As someone who had gobbled up this clap trap for decades, you’d think I could offer up something. Other than to praise your insightful essay.

    This one sentence of yours was so beyond perfect: We should all be treated as equals (unless we disagree with them), celebrate all cultures (except our own), and share society’s wealth with each other.

    It expresses everything I have been attempting to explain to people. And it does so concisely.

    • #1
    • June 3, 2018, at 3:40 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    It expresses everything I have been attempting to explain to people. And it does so concisely.

    Thanks so much, @caroljoy. It was a challenge to figure out how to describe what I was experiencing without making them into monsters or suggest deep compassion, neither of which is appropriate. But I wanted to get a sense of where they must be in their thinking. It’s not a good place.

    • #2
    • June 3, 2018, at 3:45 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Marxian, not Marxist? Not a good start.

    • #3
    • June 3, 2018, at 3:48 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Marxian, not Marxist? Not a good start.

    For me or for them?

    • #4
    • June 3, 2018, at 3:52 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Marxian, not Marxist? Not a good start.

    It could be that Marxian is a hybrid of both Marxist and Mexican cultural thinking, which is exactly what everyone in Calif must publicly espouse as their belief set. (If they don’t wanna be denounced or tarred and feathered.)

    • #5
    • June 3, 2018, at 3:52 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    Marxian, not Marxist? Not a good start.

    For me or for them?

    For the language?

    • #6
    • June 3, 2018, at 3:54 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    It could be that Marxian is a hybrid of both Marxist and Mexican cultural thinking, which is exactly what everyone in Calif must publicly espouse as their belief set. (If they don’t wanna be denounced or tarred and feathered.)

    Nope. I looked it up. Marxian is acceptance of the exploitation that Marx talked about; Marxist is the ideology that follows out of it. I’ll get it fixed. And the date of the election, too!

    • #7
    • June 3, 2018, at 3:56 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Thank you to @basilfawlty and @functionary for catching my errors! I hope to have them corrected shortly.

    • #8
    • June 3, 2018, at 4:01 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. philo Member

    Susan Quinn: …[the Left] are idealists and believe that all of society should strive for a Utopian existence

    Perhaps more fun with the language? I believe there is a distinction between the utopian state (small “u”, largely undefined, the stuff of “Hope and Change”-type twaddle) the ignorant masses on the Left believe they are supporting and the Utopian State that the Ruling Class (of both parties) see themselves as delivering. Enter Mr. Christopher Hitchens:

    “Bear in mind, however, that Utopia itself was a tyranny and that much of the talk about the analgesic and conflict-free ideal is likewise more menacing than it may appear.

    “It is only those who hope to transform humans who end up by burning them, like the waste product of a failed experiment.” – Letters to a Young Contrarian, Page 32

    Upon further review, I cannot not add the paragraph I had highlighted along with the above passage EVEN if it leads me further off topic:

    “…only an open conflict of ideas and principles can produce any clarity. Conflict may be painful, but the painless solutions does not exist in any case and the pursuit of it leads to the painful outcome of mindlessness and pointlessness. …

    “Contrast this to the unashamed recommendations of the mindless that are offered to us every day. In place of honest disputation we are offered platitudes about ‘healing.” The idea of ‘unity’ is granted huge privileges over any notion of ‘division’ or, worse, ‘divisiveness.’ I cringe every time I hear denunciations of ‘the politics of division’—as if politics was not division by definition. Semi-educated people join cults whose whole purpose is to dull the pain of thought or take medications that claim to abolish anxiety. Oriental religions, with their emphasis on Nirvana and fatalism, are repackaged for Westerners as therapy, and platitudes or tautologies masquerade as wisdom.” – Page 31

    Mindlessness. Banal lecturing on unity. Faux-wisdom. So much in there hits the modern American Left, as it has congealed over the last decade, squarely in the nose.

    • #9
    • June 3, 2018, at 4:40 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    philo (View Comment):

    “Bear in mind, however, that Utopia itself was a tyranny and that much of the talk about the analgesic and conflict-free ideal is likewise more menacing than it may appear.

    “It is only those who hope to transform humans who end up by burning them, like the waste product of a failed experiment.” – Letters to a Young Contrarian, Page 32

    That’s okay, @philo; I’m getting used to being corrected. Still, the Left may think they’re talking about some vague “utopia,” but aren’t they really talking about Hitchens’ “tyranny of Utopia,” and they just don’t know it?

    • #10
    • June 3, 2018, at 5:05 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn: Even though people are capricious, the Left believes they can straighten us out.

    My reading of them is that because they know people are capricious and that is why they must be straightened out. And is that not the essence of Christianity too? Man is fallen and must be redeemed. How does one achieve redemption without God though? But is it all madness and futility?

    The very foundations of modernity are predicated upon the idea that men are better than they seems and because of this they can do better and be better than they are. Does the theme of progress not run through all the great endeavors of the last few centuries? And has progress not actually been realized? Isn’t that the Miracle that Jonah Goldberg talks about in his book? Perhaps we are to say that progress is done and now left without true mountains to scale the progressive spirit of the Enlightenment has turned on itself. But isn’t that what conservatives have been saying for centuries? It has yet to truelly run out of steam even while it sheds off various monstrous incarnations, that it must then battle against. But could we have had the good without the bad in a fallen world? 

     

     

    • #11
    • June 3, 2018, at 6:59 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. Sash Member

    I just get so sick of being lectured by people who failed at the very things they lecture us about.

    I’m fine that they got their 8 years of Obama… but he accomplished nothing good. He may have had the best of intentions, but they didn’t achieve anything that makes even one life better. So why do they lecture me.

    Sure Trump’s not a great looking role model of a President. But he’s got real things done. So why do they keep lecturing? I don’t get it.

    In the post racial world Obama didn’t usher in– Roseanne said a nasty thing as nasty women tend to do… and then they said it was a teaching moment. Like the eight long horrible lecturing years of teaching moments that made race relations into what they are today. Trump didn’t do that. He is a symptom, not the cause.

    And this horribly imperfect man that is President now is actually making life better, for lots of people.

    I think the left is a lost cause, we can only hope those in the middle, the ones who actually choose our President, not on ideology, but with their gut… see it that same way I do this time.

    • #12
    • June 3, 2018, at 8:56 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. Rodin Member

    @susanquinn, you have penned many good posts, but this one is special. 

     

    • #13
    • June 3, 2018, at 9:45 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Henry Castaigne Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment): It was a challenge to figure out how to describe what I was experiencing without making them into monsters or suggest deep compassion, neither of which is appropriate.

    I disagree with your use of the word compassion. I think you meant that deep sentiment is appropriate.

    • #14
    • June 3, 2018, at 10:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Jon1979 Lincoln

    One of the things about the angrier parts of the left is their ego and self-worth is tied up in thinking they’re The Best and the Brightest, and therefore should be able to tell everyone how to run their lives. And it annoys them both when people refuse to obey their demands and when people do obey their demands and things still go wrong, where at that point they begin pointing fingers at others for having somehow sabotaged their plans, which takes you back to the ego and self-worth part.

    If their plans fail on their own, then they’re really no smarter than the unintelligent masses. It’s how you go from people who may have been more altruistic than hungry for power in the first place, to people who refuse to give up power because they know their great ideas are failing only because evil forces are causing them to fail. That’s when you get to the “Round up the usual suspects” part of progressive governance, which has shown up elsewhere in the world, but not here yet.

    • #15
    • June 4, 2018, at 1:53 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. RufusRJones Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    My reading of them is that because they know people are capricious and that is why they must be straightened out. And is that not the essence of Christianity too? Man is fallen and must be redeemed. How does one achieve redemption without God though? But is it all madness and futility?

    Two issues:

    Does it take government force and central planning (taking their stuff and reducing their liberty to “improve” <fill in the blank>)? How do you do this? Answer: by electioneering and giving money to K Street.

    Classical liberals say you can learn to be “good” by observation. The alternative view is, you can only get this from the concept of a judging God.

    My view: the first one is an inevitable disaster and way too many GOP don’t get that this is why our political system has gotten so weird. i.e. Trump and Bernie are popular. Tom Nichols, Bill Krystal, and Mona et. al. want this crap to “work”.

    The second one is a harder topic, but I buy Dennis Prager’s view that you need more citizens with a belief in the Judaeo-Christian God as a practical matter. My proof is, we would be much further along on the

    Government Is How We Steal From Each Other™

    trail than we are already, if we didn’t have that. The Founders were right about this. Centralization is killing us and far too many “conservatives” don’t give a whit about it.

    • #16
    • June 4, 2018, at 2:50 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. RufusRJones Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    One of the things about the angrier parts of the left is their ego and self-worth is tied up in thinking they’re The Best and the Brightest, and therefore should be able to tell everyone how to run their lives. And it annoys them both when people refuse to obey their demands and when people do obey their demands and things still go wrong, where at that point they begin pointing fingers at others for having somehow sabotaged their plans, which takes you back to the ego and self-worth part.

    If their plans fail on their own, then they’re really no smarter than the unintelligent masses. It’s how you go from people who may have been more altruistic than hungry for power in the first place, to people who refuse to give up power because they know their great ideas are failing only because evil forces are causing them to fail. That’s when you get to the “Round up the usual suspects” part of progressive governance, which has shown up elsewhere in the world, but not here yet.

    I love this. 

    Central planning is stupid. Don’t do it unless there is no other option. 

    • #17
    • June 4, 2018, at 2:55 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Steven Seward Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: Even though people are capricious, the Left believes they can straighten us out.

    My reading of them is that because they know people are capricious and that is why they must be straightened out. And is that not the essence of Christianity too? Man is fallen and must be redeemed. How does one achieve redemption without God though? But is it all madness and futility?

    I don’t see that the Left sees people as being basically capricious (except for the way they see Conservatives). I generally get the feeling that people on the left see man as being born basically good in his natural state, and that society eventually ruins him. This would be the opposite of the Judeo-Christian view of mankind.

    A corollary to this is that people on the left have trouble understanding truly evil people. That is why they are always blaming the victims of Muslim violence rather than the perpetrators, for “how could anyone in their right mind commit gruesome acts of terror unless they are provoked into it?”

     

     

    • #18
    • June 4, 2018, at 4:10 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. RufusRJones Member

    You must submit to the RINOs and Democrats! 

    What is politically defined as economic planning is the forcible superseding of other people’s plans by government officials. -Thomas Sowell

    Or you can have Trump get your cut of this stupidity. 

    • #19
    • June 4, 2018, at 4:23 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. I Walton Member

    Listen to podcast at Powerline on the new Book Fiery Angel, on the impact of Critical Theory on the sixties generation and on our academic establishment. It’s cultural marxism, and leads to an empty nihilism and rage. He said anyone with a two year old knows what rage is. You may be giving these people credit for having ideas and thoughts where there are none. The leaders use it for power because a nation full of angry two year olds is easy to dominate.

    • #20
    • June 4, 2018, at 4:28 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  21. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    My reading of them is that because they know people are capricious and that is why they must be straightened out. And is that not the essence of Christianity too? Man is fallen and must be redeemed. How does one achieve redemption without God though? But is it all madness and futility?

    Thanks for commenting, @valiuth. First, I’m not Christian. As a Jew, I am responsible for making the world a better place, but it’s not my job to literally change or improve other people. I can try to do things that create an environment whether others can change, but it isn’t my job to force them to do so. I like to think I’m carrying on G-d’s creation. It isn’t all madness and futility: we all have the free will to do what we can to make the world a better place–or not.

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    But could we have had the good without the bad in a fallen world? 

    No. But we can do our best to transform the bad to the good. But it’s not up to the progressives to tell me how to do that or why I should do it. That’s G-d’s job to tell me and guide me.

    • #21
    • June 4, 2018, at 5:52 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Sash (View Comment):
    I think the left is a lost cause, we can only hope those in the middle, the ones who actually choose our President, not on ideology, but with their gut… see it that same way I do this time.

    Thanks, @sash. I agree with all you say. The latest Obama observation is that he was President too early; we weren’t ready for him. My hope is that we never, ever will be.

    • #22
    • June 4, 2018, at 5:54 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    If their plans fail on their own, then they’re really no smarter than the unintelligent masses. It’s how you go from people who may have been more altruistic than hungry for power in the first place, to people who refuse to give up power because they know their great ideas are failing only because evil forces are causing them to fail. That’s when you get to the “Round up the usual suspects” part of progressive governance, which has shown up elsewhere in the world, but not here yet.

    A frightening thought, isn’t it @jon1979? But I’d say that is precisely what they are trying to do with the Mueller investigation. I heard Andrew McCarthy and David Limbaugh on Mark Levin’s show last night on Fox agree that the Mueller investigation is all about impeachment. Now that’s scary.

    • #23
    • June 4, 2018, at 5:59 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Steven Seward (View Comment):
    I don’t see that the Left sees people as being basically capricious (except for the way they see Conservatives). I generally get the feeling that people on the left see man as being born basically good in his natural state, and that society eventually ruins him. This would be the opposite of the Judeo-Christian view of mankind.

    Good points, @stevenseward. I believe people are born with both inclinations–good and evil–in them. And they have choices about which to embrace. The Left does love to blame others for problems, though, don’t they? They should take a closer look at themselves.

    • #24
    • June 4, 2018, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    I Walton (View Comment):
    You may be giving these people credit for having ideas and thoughts where there are none.

    I don’t know about that, @iwalton. Their ideas may be simplistic, foolish and evil, but I don’t think we can say they have no ideas. I will agree that ideas that grow from rage are destructive and arrogant.

    • #25
    • June 4, 2018, at 6:05 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    @susanquinn, you have penned many good posts, but this one is special.

     

    Thanks, @rodin. I consider that high praise coming from you.

    • #26
    • June 4, 2018, at 6:06 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Ralphie Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    If their plans fail on their own, then they’re really no smarter than the unintelligent masses. It’s how you go from people who may have been more altruistic than hungry for power in the first place, to people who refuse to give up power because they know their great ideas are failing only because evil forces are causing them to fail. That’s when you get to the “Round up the usual suspects” part of progressive governance, which has shown up elsewhere in the world, but not here yet.

    You are right. Anyone who disagrees with them are held in contempt, are despised for ruining the only thing they have been born to do, and eventually dehumanized. All the while they become more arrogant and bold.

    • #27
    • June 4, 2018, at 6:10 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Susan Quinn (View Comment)

    A frightening thought, isn’t it @jon1979? But I’d say that is precisely what they are trying to do with the Mueller investigation. I heard Andrew McCarthy and David Limbaugh on Mark Levin’s show last night on Fox agree that the Mueller investigation is all about impeachment. Now that’s scary.

    You can get a good idea of what the future holds by looking at what the angrier people on the left were angry about the last time they lost full power. In the 1993-94 period, with Bill Clinton in the White House and the Democrats controlling both houses of Congress, the regret after the midterms was not prioritizing health care, and allowing HillaryCare to peter out and be quashed by the midterm elections. So doing that was moved to the forefront in 2009-10, when the Democrats controlled Congress and Obama was in the White House.

    This time, the lament from the angriest quarters on the left was that Obama hadn’t brought Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld up on war crimes charges and used the power of government to silence conservative outlets when Obama first came to office (not just talk radio and Fox News, but also the budding conservative site of the web). The fact that the more irate progressives saw that as a primary goal in 2009 drives what they want to do the next time they control both Congress and the White House, but the Muller probe simply has sped up their timetable on criminalizing political disagreement (i.e. — they were hoping Mueller would find some Russian skeleton in Trump’s closet, but if not, they’ll settle for a lot less).

    A Democratic takeover of the House in 2019 will make impeachment about the only thing they’re concerned with for the next 22 months, until the 2020 election, despite what Nancy Pelosi may be saying for public consumption.

     

    • #28
    • June 4, 2018, at 6:25 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  29. I Walton Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):
    You may be giving these people credit for having ideas and thoughts where there are none.

    I don’t know about that, @iwalton. Their ideas may be simplistic, foolish and evil, but I don’t think we can say they have no ideas. I will agree that ideas that grow from rage are destructive and arrogant.

    Wanting power and sources of rent isn’t an idea, what they say they believe changes with whether it weakens an enemy or advances their power. Some academics and some of the super wealthy in high tech who simply don’t understand much outside of their business and technology may have ideas, i.e. a vague cultural Marxism and they see the world in mechanical terms which is utopian as you say and foolish and even evil among other things, but the political leaders and media, or people like George Soros? Of course you’re right we can’t know, but the speed with which the spin changes, raises doubts that there is anything other than the quest for power and wealth behind them. I see them more like I saw the FARC in the Colombian rain forests; their marxist rhetoric was part of their creation myth and justification for kidnapping, murder and the drug business, but what they cared about was their violent sub culture which was in its third generation of violence. Only a tiny hand full, had been around from the beginning, many were born in the jungle or kidnapped as kids. None had read Marx or even marxist anti colonial screeds, their creation myths came as stories they told each other around the fire like primitive tribes discussing the days hunt.

    • #29
    • June 4, 2018, at 6:42 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. MichaelHenry Contributor

    Well-written, SQ, and well-reasoned. 

    • #30
    • June 4, 2018, at 6:43 AM PDT
    • 2 likes

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