The Seeds of Leftist Fantasy

Monday, February 04, 2013

On his mailing list, Harry Binswanger passes along an interesting link regarding how modern "liberals" think. (As you will see, I am using that last term so generously that  I could just about be accused of providing handouts.) In an interview at FrontPage Magazine titled "The KinderGarden of Eden", former leftist Evan Sayet describes his motivation for attempting to understand this perverse psycho-epistemology:

... What surprised me - and ultimately rocked my world - is what I metaphorically call "9-12."  That's the days and the weeks and the months and now the years after 9-11 and the Liberals' response to the attacks.  The idea that we deserved the attacks - that they were, in the words of Barack Obama's "spiritual mentor," Jeremiah Wright, "The chickens coming home to roost" - and that the way to prevent further attacks was to be nicer to the terrorists seemed to me to be nothing short of insane. Here we were, facing the most obvious case of good versus evil of my lifetime, and the people I thought were the good and the smart guys - the Liberals - were not only siding with the evil, but they were making the most obviously false and even hateful anti-American arguments in order to do so.
How on earth does this something like this happen? Sayet does a pretty good job of showing how the notion that no one belief system is any better than any other results in the modern leftist arriving at such a conclusion:
Since the Modern Liberal's policy on any given issue is the one that he is led to by his rejection of moral and rational thought - his indiscriminateness - anyone who takes a different position on any issue is not only "wrong," he is evil (or, in Thomas Sowell's words, he is "not merely in error, but in sin.") This is because the opposite of indiscriminateness is the evil of having discriminated: the hate crime of thinking.  One might discriminate because they're 1) stupid 2) bigoted 3) phobic 4) evil or 5) greedy, but, no matter what, the Modern Liberal has no other explanation for disagreeing with him on an issue other than one of these five things.  Sound impossible?  Take a second and try to name a single issue - even one - where one of these things isn't what the Modern Liberal says is the motive for not supporting their policy.  You can't.  Not one.
Sayet goes further, noting the kind of process that goes on once a leftist has noticed someone not agreeing with him, taking the success of modern Israel as his example:
There are only two possible explanations: either there is something exceptional about Judaism [or the rational, non-religious aspects of Israeli culture --ed] and these successes are the results of that or there isn't anything special about Judaism and the success of the Jews is not only unjust, but given their unparalleled success throughout history, they must be an unparalleled injustice.
Guess which of these alernatives is the "answer"?

Have you ever watched leftists call for blatantly submissive policies towards Islam? Or wondered why they tolerate everything except America? Or found yourself venomously attacked merely for having made your own mind up about something? If so, you will find value in understanding where this is all coming from, whether it be to disarm an intellectual opponent or even to diagnose one for what he is in the first place.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...


Limbaugh has been concretely mocking the left on this topic with his acerbic "self-characterization" as being a racist, paranoid, bigoted homophobe. He occasionally throws "white" in there too.

He does have some trouble though, if someone throws the "greedy" tag at him. To hear him attempt to defend "enlightened self-interest" without giving any credence to selfishness is to understand how the medievals could seriously discuss how many angels could squat on the head of a pin.

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


He would have trouble with that, which is too bad, for such accusations are often a great time to (1) show how the accusation is wrong (about the virtue of selfishness), (2) proudly accept the insult as the badge of honor it is, or (3) both.