Some ideas have been percolating in my sub-conscious, as is their wont. A tweet from a friend brought them to the surface.
I am long winded. When I have thoughts, I have a long series of logical steps by which I reach my conclusions. I also have explanations for why I make those steps, and I have evidence for those reasons. By evidence, I rarely have anything that is actual proof, but I have events and statements that demonstrate someone holds those views. I know that’s vague, but a good example would be something like saying the Left wants to confiscate guns. No, not every single person to the Left of Jeb Bush wants to confiscate guns right now, but I can find prominent individuals on the Left who have stated that is an end goal, with little/no pushback from the Left for saying that. I consider that “evidence”, and can always provide a link to that sort of thing.
However, this time, I just wanted to share my view, so I didn’t go into all the steps, all the reasons, or even provide any of the evidence. I just wrote what I was thinking, somewhat free form. As such, there are logical leaps. Rest assured, the steps are still there, even if I didn’t write them here. Feel free to ask questions or challenge any of my leaps or assumptions.
I did some minimal editing to boost clarity. If you want to read the original, you can click on the twitter link above. Otherwise, my thoughts, gathered together, are below.
Let’s have a conversation.
Can I start my response off with what may seem like a tangent?
Most epic fantasies (and SF stories) that are set up as Good vs Evil seem to posit that the Good isn’t all that Good, but the Evil is horrible. If Evil wins, Darkness will rule everywhere. But if Good wins, Darkness is vanquished, but people still aren’t that good.
The one thing I got from Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever, was the notion that you can never defeat Evil. It’s always there. The flip of that is you can never really defeat Good, either. It’s always there. The difference between Good winning and Evil winning controls what 80% of society is.
The Soviet Union, and China since the 1800s, have been pretty much Evil: people look out for themselves, seek power to protect themselves and their closest loved ones from the vicissitudes of life, and screw everyone else. And get ahead *by* screwing everyone else. But there were still good people, and acts of charity and kindness. But mostly, people worried about and took care of only themselves, out of self-protection.
I’d like to say the US has been pretty much Good, but we had slavery. We screwed over the Indians. We had Jim Crow. But we had a system of govt that helped us to address and resolve those. And much of the US has not been racist/sexist, but rather live and let live: Good. Lots of charity, some evil.
But Marxist Ideology took hold around the turn of the last century. Everything got worse for everyone. It was a religion. It changed the way people thought of society, and the relationship of individuals to their govt, and to society.
Imagine/remember what it must have been like in the 1600s, where the big questions were whether your nation was going to be Catholic or Protestant. Would you have a Protestant (or even secular) King or one subordinate to the Pope?
Then actual representation in government became a thing with the US, growing out of representation in England (and maybe other spots). But that lasted less than 100 years or so (more, if you consider representation since the Magna Carta, say) before Marxism showed up.
Marxism was the religion of the Industrial Revolution. Aside: Maybe modern Leftism is the religion of the Information Age? But it grew out of Marxism.
And Marxism is a religion of governing large groups of people. Dealing with large groups of people as if they were naturally liabilities, and only assets if grouped and properly sorted.
Once you start thinking of people as their identity or the group they belong to, instead of individuals, you stop thinking of them as people, but more like cattle. Numbers. Abstract inputs into a wide-scale resource production and consumption system. Dehumanized.
“From each according to their ability, to each according to their need” Sounds nice, but notice that “each” is not named. It’s a faceless entity. And the only thing considered is production and consumption. Not desires, not needs, not fulfillment.
Marxism says that if you take care of production and consumption, people will find their own ways to be fulfilled. I think experience shows us that is bullshit. Marxism robs meaning of life by treating people merely as what they make and use.
And so when when people are grouped, sorted, assigned rights based on their groups, and reduced to what they produce and use, and ordered around based on all that, it ruins trust. It destroys social credit.
Due to Bell Curve distributions of ability, intelligence, drive, etc., *most* people will be in a competition with millions of others with similar abilities, with nothing to distinguish themselves from anyone else. Except luck and connections.
Pull strings to get to the front of the line for the education/job everyone wants, and you’re set for life. Don’t, and you toil in frustration, and see others who pulled the strings succeed without any advantage in ability, drive, talent, etc.
So people then compete, following the same rules, for a decreasing number of opportunities. No wonder people become vicious and selfish. No wonder people try to find ways to distinguish themselves in the coin of the realm: victimhood. You get stuff if you are a victim.
Being a victim means you can jump to the front of the line without connections (or ability, or drive, etc.) because Justice or something. But to be a victim, someone has to victimize you.
That results in people designated as oppressors who probably did nothing wrong, but now are pushed to the end of the line. Again, regardless of ability, talent, drive, etc. The unfairness of this causes people to prioritize self-interest, if only to make sure they aren’t designated as an oppressor.
The US system of governance was great about outlining how the govt wasn’t supposed to pick winners and losers. The problem is that every law and policy is only as good as its enforcement.
Judicial Review, for example, is not in the Constitution. It seems to have been an oversight. Or something they couldn’t agree on, so wasn’t included. But then that power was taken. There have been token moments of opposition (President Andy Jackson), but it is a power because everyone accepts it.
That’s why the Left is trying so hard to astroturf things like Trump’s Russia collusion, gun grabbing, illegal alien voting, dissolving the electoral college. They’ve proven (via things like Roe v Wade) that they don’t need to follow the US Constitution.
All they have to do is isolate and dishearten their socio-political opponents, and then get the right set of judges to rule, pressure the SCOTUS to not hear it, and it is now the Law of the Land. That’s how they got Abortion, Gerrymandering (although only allowed when it benefits them), SSM, widespread vote fraud, etc.
Okay, let’s try to draw this back to the original topic. I think that merely returning to Constitutional Governance won’t be enough. First, the Left wouldn’t let us do that. Second, social trust has eroded way too far.
Offhand, the only thing I can think of is maybe a new addition to the US Constitution, like a new Bill of Rights, but one that describes everything wrong with Alinsky’s rules and establishes methods of identifying and punishing its use.
But that won’t work, I realize as I type. We don’t need more laws. The more things are written down, the more people will find ways to violate the spirit of the law while adhering to the letter of it, and get away with crap that further erodes public social trust.
I guess I don’t know what the answer is, either.
One other idea, maybe, would be to clearly acknowledge that “religion = belief system”, so that society would have more tools to push back against Atheism and Leftism belief systems trying to eradicate competing belief systems, i.e. Christianity. Without establishing a specific religion, we should encourage religious belief that helps build and support social trust.
I’ve said before that Islam is a Leftist religion, for a lot of reasons I won’t get into now, and that those reasons explain why the Left allies with and protects/promotes Islam. One reason I will share is that both Islam and Leftism have pillars of faith that require mere words.
Left: You don’t personally have to have an abortion, you just have to support it being legal. Muslims can do that without violating their faith. Islam: You just have to say “There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.” Lefties can do that without meaning it.
You can’t be called a bad Muslim as long as you support the right things: the Pillars of Islam:
Faith is taken care of by just making a memorized statement. Charity by a tithe. Prayer requires commitment…when people are watching. The point is, the system can be gamed with rote actions and rote statements.
But if you do those 5 things, you can be a pedophile. You can murder infidels. You can even murder other Muslims in collateral damage. NO ONE CAN EXCOMMUNICATE YOU OR CRITICIZE YOUR MUSLIM-NESS. That was why Osama bin Ladin was a Muslim hero. He did the 5 Pillars of Islam
Likewise, you can’t be kicked out the Left as long as you support the right things, the Pillars of the Left:
abortion on demand
rights assigned by group
clean energy/climate change
…okay maybe those aren’t the main 5. We can debate.
But consider Bill Clinton, who was a Leftist hero despite being a sexual predator. He did the Pillars of Leftism. And note how easy it would be to mouth the pieties of one while actually believing (living) the other.
Western Leftism and Islam are compatible. Mouth the right words, support the right causes, and you can do what you want without fear.
Which is why they work together to destroy Christianity, because Christianity makes demands on your daily life that both cannot be easily gamed, and encourage the growth of social trust; and you can be excommunicated (or otherwise rejected) for disqualifying actions. Hypocrisy is a weapon used effectively against Christians because the inherent social trust of the religion. Hypocrisy rarely works on Islam or the western Left, because no one expects socially-admirable behavior: supporting the Pillars of their respective ideologies are Indulgences that allow you to purchase righteousness without giving up your sin.
And Leftism/Islam are totalitarian, allowing no separation between personal and political views. Too many people don’t want to let political entities have total control of over their daily life, so the Left has to create a void to fill it. If there is no social trust, then of course the government must regulate all interpersonnel interactions.
Social trust is being destroyed by the Left because the Left itself wants to be the method by which you deal with your fellow human, not trust.
Okay, maybe that’s pessimistic. Maybe that’s overly cynical. But it all fits.
UPDATE: I mention Christianity, religion, and belief systems a few times. I value the Christian belief system, but am not a Christian myself. I think Atheism works fine with Christian ethics. It doesn’t work so well with Atheist ethics. Meaning, atheists who were raised as Christians or Jews, but have left their faith without any resentment and rancor, can still act according to an ethical system that supports social trust. I don’t think someone raised as an atheist can do that as easily.
And even though I’m not Christian myself, and I know that Christianity didn’t stop the horrors of slavery and racism, I still think that those are examples of Christianity done wrong. When Christianity is done right, it is admirable, loving, charitable, enhancing…all the positive attributes. Leftism and Islam done right, however, aren’t necessarily giving, generous, etc., to anyone but their own…and even within their own groups, the focus is on their smaller circle of family and friends first, against all others. And when done wrong? Genocide.