Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Thought Processes, or Lack Thereof, of Lefties

Here's a rather lengthy exposition on lefties. I'll be honest here--I agree with quite a lot of it.

Now, I know the lefties will chime in with, "You can say exactly the same thing about conservatives." Well, you might, but I don't.

Leftism, and liberalism, and progressivism, and etc-ism. are not merely simple politics for most of these people. Their politics to them are a core part of their identity, and, more importantly, a central support propping up their egos. They are enlightened because they believe these things; someone who does not believe these things, and yet who, superficially at least, appears to be about as smart as they might be, represents a threat to their egos. The foundation upon which a crucial structure of their sense of self-worth is undermined if they discover that there may be people who can pass as normal and intelligent and yet do not believe as they do.


Yep.

This tends to make the left more emotional and, well, angry when debating issues. It's all well and good to discuss a purely theoretical issue. But when you have a strong emotional investment in it -- when you have skin in the game, as it were -- it becomes not an academic debate but a heated argument. Whether the oil companies should pay windfall taxes is, for me, a theoretical discussion about which I have an opinion but find difficulty becoming emotionally animated about. On the other hand, whether or not someone should be allowed to punch me in the face is a debate about which I might just become a little more heated.


Yep.

Because there is so much ego involved in the self-definition as progressive, the need for intellectual conformity becomes stultifying. For, if one can believe something different than you -- even if they are, on balance, progressive -- this represents a direct challenge to your own self-valuation as an intellectual worthy. Conservatives have sometimes heated debates about what the right position is, but they're not debates about whether or not someone is worthy or intelligent. Whether or not someone is a "good conservative" is sometimes argued, but that argument is not simultaneously about whether someone is a good human being. Lefitsts, sometimes by their own surprisingly honest self-admission, acknowledge that they are sometimes too eager to define and, worse still, enforce a group-mediated orthodoxy on the wider church, and excommunicate those who are deemed heretical.


Yep.

Leading lights of leftism have a powerful psychological tool for enforcing their own preferred orthodoxies. It's one thing to tell someone he's wrong on an issue; it's another thing to tell him, impliedly, that he's evil or stupid because of his stance on an issue.


Yep. We conservatives are racists, fascists, hatemongers, homophobes--and we drink the blood of infants and grandmothers.

Why is humor and irony so common on the right and so hard to find on the left? Humor and irony require emotional distance from a subject-- something I would contend the left is in of rather short supply.


Yep. As I said in my bumper sticker post, lefties usually aren't funny. Jon Stewart can be funny, but he's an exception.

Pre-Emptive Rejoinder: Please, Larry the Urbanite, do not tell me you are angry because you "care" so damn much for this country. I care about this country too; not to get into a contest about it, but I'm pretty sure I care more about America itself (as opposed to "America and the rest of the world which is also, in a way, America") more than you do. Your anger cannot be explained as simply "caring" more. I grant you-- you do seem to be more emotionally invested in these debates. But the question remains: Why? Not because you care about America. There must be a more personal reason for the perpetual fury.


Hear hear!!!

8 comments:

40 said...

A progressive isn't funny to you because they are usually laughing at YOUR expense. Sorry.

Darren said...

Back at'cha.

And what's with this progressive term? I view government control of everything as REgressive, since that's how governments ran until the US Constitution was created.

Anonymous said...

“There must be a more personal reason for the perpetual fury.”

The problem here, Darren, is that you just don’t get it.

For some, liberalism IS their religion. In some cases this is because they have been rejected by the evangelical community and have sought a new secular religion. This is particularly true of the homosexual community, but others as well.

What I find disconcerting is that you describe cult like behavior, and never make the intellectual leap to say, “Hey, maybe this IS a cult.”

I have noted from time to time you giving a pass to intolerant and illogical behavior that the evangelical community exhibits from time to time since they are expressing their religious beliefs. Fair enough. However, in dealing with “firebrand liberals” (for lack of a better term) like this in the future, make an attempt to extend the same logic. For many people disconnected from the mainstream religious communities, this is their religion.



This doesn’t apply to me personally, of course, since I am such a nonconformist that I refuse to conform to their nonconformity. As a member of the freethought community, freethought means just that, being a free thinker.

http://www.rthoughtsrfree.org/

Since you recognize the plurality within the conservative movement, please realize that the other side of the political spectrum is a broad tent as well.

Anonymous said...

“I view government control of everything as REgressive, since that's how governments ran until the US Constitution was created.”

Is this a fair characterization of the Articles of Confederation?

Darren said...

Where have I given a pass to illogic from evangelicals?

Darren said...

Articles of Confederation? Is that the best nit you can pick about what I said?

I accept your intellectual surrender.

EllenK said...

If the anonymous poster above thinks that government control is bad, then is he really a "progressive"-which generally means Big Government proponent? Or is he or she in fact an Anarchist, which is one who eschews any form of organized government, i.e. Welcome Back to the Cave, Man? What I find amazing is this weird dilemma where so-called Progressives "fear the government" when it's not under their direction, but seek to expand government control over more and more of the private economy via higher taxes, more price controls which limit profits and generally more intervention into the daily lives of everyone through a government that seems to be composed of self-righteous busybodies. It's great to have goals, but I don't want someone taxing the one Dr. Pepper I have a week or the one cheeseburger or pizza I order simply because they think its "bad." Similarly, if there were conclusive proof that some drugs weren't harmful, I would seek to have them available much in the same way that alcohol is dispensed. But I would want harsher penalties for abuse. I guess this makes me a Pragmatist.

Darren said...

"What I find amazing is this weird dilemma where so-called Progressives 'fear the government' when it's not under their direction, but seek to expand government control over more and more of the private economy via higher taxes, more price controls which limit profits and generally more intervention into the daily lives of everyone through a government that seems to be composed of self-righteous busybodies."

EllenK, truer words were never spoken. I say it over and over and over again on this blog--consistency is not a strong suit of the left.