It doesn’t take a genius to see that our society is becoming less and less tolerant and compassionate, and is becoming more strident and uncompromising.
At the end of WW II the United States implemented the Marshall Plan, which helped European nations get back on their feet after the devastation of the war. We also helped our former enemies in Japan to rebuild their economy. In the spirit of generosity and tolerance, we gave the Japanese technology that they used brilliantly to become one of the world’s major industrial powers. When Henry Kissinger went to China in 1970, the idea was to help the Chinese people enter the modern world. In a spirit of altruism (and good business practice) we supported the CCP’s entrance into the World Trade Organization in 1999. We transferred trillions of dollars worth of technology. Now China is the world’s most powerful industrial nation. Our experiment in China with the CCP backfired, but it was done with the hope that the CCP would reform and become a valued world trading partner, instead of the rapacious entity it has become. Nevertheless, the opening to China by President Nixon in 1972 was done in the spirit of goodwill. Generosity, tolerance, and the support for human rights, liberty, and “the pursuit of happiness” (no matter which party embraces it) are all hallmarks of classical liberalism.
We are a far cry from that now.
How did our society devolve into one in which rioters occupy the streets of our cities, murdering 73 year-old police officers, smashing windows, damaging property of small business owners, and shooting people? It happened because we’ve gotten away from the ideals of classical liberalism and embraced degraded, materialist ideas that promote nihilism and the desire to tear down society without putting anything good in its place. I call this Leftism (capital L) because the groups who practice it (Antifa, BLM) embrace Marxism-Leninism.
The modern Leftist has re-defined the word “discriminate.” The Merriam Webster dictionary defines ‘discriminate’ as follows: “1a. To mark or perceive the distinguishing or peculiar features of; 1b. Distinguish, differentiate. 2. To make a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit.”
The ability to distinguish, or discern, is a sign of intelligence. A person who cannot tell the difference between a horse and a house is probably insane. Subtle and nuanced thought is that sign of rational thinking. Irrational persons can’t distinguish, for example, between their own needs and desires and the needs and desires of others. They think in black and white terms, redefining everything into a duality of choices (one or the other) and disregarding the spectrum of nuanced thought, and the diversity of opinion.
An irrational person might (with no qualms) verbally assault another, or even violently attack another, thinking that the other person is just “in the way.” People who cannot discriminate cannot tell the difference between a totalitarian dictatorship, as in the CCP in China and the mullahs in Iran, and a democracy, as in the US and in Europe. Such persons will see evil, or bad, in everything.
This focus on evil is the basis for silly, nonsensical theories such as Critical Race Theory and Critical Social Justice Theory, in which EVERYTHING is criticized. This is clearly irrational, but not to a Leftist. A Leftist sees society itself as something evil and discriminatory, and regards successful persons as racist or “wrong” because they must have cheated or taken advantage of the system to get ahead. No consideration is given to a person’s natural abilities or their desire to work hard and persist on a path. Victims are defined as “good” because they can be used in a “class struggle” against the inherent evil of “the system.”
Leftists are obsessed with the second definition of ‘discriminate’ above.
Leftists have re-defined the second definition of discrimination in racial or “social justice” terms. Discriminate, to a Leftist, means to favor one race of people over another race, or to favor one gender over another. This re-definition regards people as mere meat bodies, and is based on the nihilistic idea that nothing in life means anything.
What is nihilism? According to Wikipedia, “The nihilist movement was a Russian movement in the 1860s that rejected all authorities. The word nihilism derives from the Latin nihil, meaning ‘nothing.’ After the assassination of Tsar Alexander II in 1881, the nihilists were known throughout Europe as proponents of the use of violence in order to bring about political change.” Sound familiar?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, nihilism is
1a: a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless.
1b: a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths.
2a: a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility.
b: the program of a 19th century Russian party advocating revolutionary reform and using terrorism and assassination.”https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nihilism
Let’s take an example from Critical Race Theory (CRT), as told by James Lindsay, mathematician and political commentator.
You are a store owner. There are two people in your store, a black guy and a white guy. If you help the white guy first, CRT says you are a racist because you ignored the black guy. But if you serve the black guy first you are still a racist! Why? Because by serving the black guy first you are trying to get him out of the store faster.
“But the storekeeper has only two choices,” you say. “What is he or she supposed to do if anything he/she does is wrong?”
You now understand how a Leftist thinks.
This is clearly a form of insanity. Yet it is being taught in many of our universities.
The goal of the Leftist is simply to tear down society, but such persons have no plan to make things better. Why? Because Leftists are essentially nihilists.
Nihilism is the philosophy that nothing matters; that life is empty and meaningless. If this is so, then there are really no distinctions between anything! A totalitarian dictatorship is no different than a democracy. Why? Because there is evil in both systems, both must be destroyed. There is no discrimination or distinction between the two governments, even though one system employs concentration camps and gulags, and engages in live organ harvesting. The injustices in a democracy are seen by Leftists as equivalent to the brutal repression of an entire population in a totalitarian dictatorship.
The lack of an ability to think clearly, or discriminate, leads to an Orwellian view of life. To a Leftist, slavery=freedom; intolerance=compassion; and ignorance=intelligence. This leads not just to a dumbed-down, black-white view of the world that has no discernment or nuance, but eventually to a world where there are no distinctions or discernment at all! A world like this would resemble what Antony P. Mueller wrote about in his excellent article, “The Great Reset”: a world run by technocrats and materialists, where human beings are just chips or apps that can be easily controlled. (See “From Lockdowns to the Great Reset” at https://mises.org/wire/lockdowns-great-reset
If you’ve seen the movie “Bladerunnner” you have the idea of the ultimate materialist, technocratic society, and the final evolution of Leftist thought.
The de-evolution of liberalism to Leftism has existed throughout history. The Nazis were socialists/communists, and had only contempt for the virtues of classic liberalism. 150 years ago, Fyodor Doestoyevsky wrote about the de-evolution of the Russian liberal in his book The Idiot, way back in 1868-1869. His character, Yvgeney Pavlovitch, says the following (italics are mine):
In the first place, what is liberalism, speaking generally, but an attack (whether mistaken or reasonable, is quite another question) upon the existing order of things? Is this so? Yes. Very well. Then my ‘fact’ consists in this, that Russian liberalism is not an attack upon the existing order of things, but an attack upon the very essence of things themselves—indeed, on the things themselves; not an attack on the Russian order of things, but on Russia itself. My Russian liberal goes so far as to reject Russia; that is, he hates and strikes his own mother. Every misfortune and mishap of the mother-country fills him with mirth, and even with ecstasy. He hates the national customs, Russian history, and everything. If he has a justification, it is that he does not know what he is doing, and believes that his hatred of Russia is the grandest and most profitable kind of liberalism. (You will often find a liberal who is applauded and esteemed by his fellows, but who is in reality the dreariest, blindest, dullest of conservatives, and is not aware of the fact.) This hatred for Russia has been mistaken by some of our ‘Russian liberals’ for sincere love of their country, and they boast that they see better than their neighbors what real love of one’s country should consist in. But of late they have grown more candid and are ashamed of the expression ‘love of country,’ and have annihilated the very spirit of the words as something injurious and petty and undignified.”Dostoevsky,, The Idiot.
Substitute United States for Russia in this quote and you have the present situation in the United States. TRUMP, for example, is pilloried for his “America First” policy by Leftists who dominate the mass media and who – to put it plainly – hate America.
To a Leftist, there is no difference between a totalitarian dictatorship and a democracy. Why? Because both are evil, just as both actions of the storekeeper are evil. They must both be criticized, and ultimately, destroyed.
Sadly, today’s conservatism is the “new” classic liberalism. Liberals have devolved so far left they have become Leftists (tyrants). In the past, conservatives were regarded as stodgy, stubborn troglodytes who defended the status quo at all costs. Conservatives, for example, created the War on Drugs and imprisoned drug users, instead of going after state actors like the CIA who manufacture and distribute drugs on a planetary scale. Conservatives mindlessly defended ALL aspects of society, both good and bad.
Yet today, with the ascendance of nihilistic Leftism, conservatives (mostly in the Republican party) are the only group left defending human rights, individual freedom, the nuclear family, showing up on time to an appointment (a sign of respect for others, but criticized by Leftists as an example of “white racism”), the scientific method (criticized by Leftists as an example of “white supremacy”), and a host of other rational and respectful memes that hold a society together. It shows how far we have devolved.
Leftists now call themselves “progressives,” in order to mask their tyrannical impulses. Talk to a progressive. Watch the Jimmy Dore show, listen to Cenk Ugyur. Almost all of their talk is critical. About EVERYTHING. Progressives masquerade as true classic liberals but are really Leftists. Their “Green New Deal,” for example, is just another attack on society, and would result in widespread economic and societal chaos. Hey, I’m all for a UBI, and healthcare for all American citizens. Instead of yelling and screaming at the “system,” a favorite pastime of Leftists, tell us specifically how you’re going to do it. Then we’ll vote for you. Until then, get a more positive attitude.
Low consciousness vs High consciousness; Dark vs Light
The astute reader will see that I have incorrectly framed this discussion into two phony categories: Left vs. Right, Conservative vs Liberal, Democrat vs. Republican. I have myself been guilty of Leftist thought (in order to illustrate my point), for the true distinction is between high consciousness and low consciousness, between dark and light, between freedom and tyranny. There are nihilists on both sides of the debate: the right wants to tear down leftism and smash liberal thinking; the Left wants to destroy the right, and society as a whole.
What is needed is more tolerance, compassion, and DIVERSITY. Diversity is defined by Leftists purely in meat body terms: a person’s race and sex, not their divinely endowed abilities and diverse points of view. Leftists have no room for opinions that differ from theirs. This intolerance is at the heart of “political correctness” and Critical Theory. I talked about this in a previous blog post.
In Communist China, for example, Catholics have been forced to take down pictures of Jesus and put up pictures of General Secretary Xi Jinping. To a communist (the ultimate Leftist) religion and spirituality are very dangerous, for they embrace nasty ideas like individual freedom and human rights, principles enshrined in the U.S. constitution. In communist China, the only God is the communist party, represented by Xi. To the ultimate Leftists in the CCP, only ONE line of thought is acceptable: the Party Line. Diversity of opinion is counter-revolutionary and reactionary.
Hive-mind thinking, and totalitarianism, is what happens when you embrace Leftist thinking.
Let’s make a distinction: tolerance, compassion, recognition of individual liberties, freedom, the family, and democracy, are ideas worth embracing. Violence, ignorance, intolerance, totalitarianism, and materialism are ideas we should all reject, no matter what “side” they appear on.