Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lefist Modus Operandi

1. The leftist will brand conservative opponents as "right wing" - somehow fringe, extreme. The irony is that right and left are flavors of socialism - one fascistic and one communistic. So, anyone in the leftist's audience who accepts that conservatives are "right wing" is deeply confused. The leftist is able to drive the confused audience away from conservatism by depicting it as leftism in its fascistic flavor. The left-right spectrum is a trick of the leftist. It is incoherent as a depiction of the actual array of possible political positions.

2. The leftist will disparage the motives of opponents' argument as merely brute manifestations of economic forces. Marx's great success was to spread the tactic of depicting the opposition to leftism as merely the attempt of the wealthy and their deluded servants to protect the free market system. By depicting the opposition in this way the leftist persuades the audience that there is no need to examine the opposition's arguments. Better yet, he may be able to convince the audience that there are no such arguments. The point is that leftism inculcates a reluctance to analyze arguments which run counter to leftism. It does this by characterizing any such disposition as itself merely the tool of the capitalist and free-market system to protect monied interests. This is one of the reasons why college graduates of sociology, English, anthropology, and history are unable to think critically. They have been taught that criticism is merely the ascribing of causes to belief, rather than the analysis of reasons for belief. Marx was a great success. He severely debilitated the modern mind. This debility is part of the reason for the success of leftism, even after its 100 years of ghastly failure.

3. The leftist will over-regulate the economy, creating dysfunctions and crises. These will usually be precipitated by businessmen acting in their self-interest. Blame the crisis on the businessmen, take power, regulate even more. The 2008 credit mortgage insurance crisis and the current inefficiency of American health care are due to government over-regulation. Of course, where the businessmen precipitated the crisis one could make the case that this might have been prevented by more regulation. The naive will fall for this. What the Marxist has done in that case is to shift the game into his stadium where you're either on the big government team or the totalitarian team. Those who call for less government regulation have to cut through an entire frame of reference in order to make their case. What is required is a smart and educated public. If this is unavailable, the leftist wins.

4. The leftist will lie. Of course, all people are tempted to prevaricate and sometimes succumb. But Marx argued that all morals are mere manifestations of economic forces. He was a nihilist and he inculcated this stance in his followers. Lying poses no problem for such people. It is the rare leftist who simply wants to uncover the truth about political and moral issues. Leftism is political movement to a totalitarian state. It is not a set of ideas aimed preserving truth in political and moral beliefs. In that sense of "ideology", in which ideology turns on epistemic issues of truth and justification, leftism is not an ideology but a social movement. It is no accident that there is not a single formidable argument for leftism. Marx had none. Rawls had the best but it was very poor.

Of course, the common American liberal is only partly infected by leftist intellectual and psychological dysfunction. He adopts these modus operandi only partially.