Saturday, March 29, 2014

John C. Wright has done it again

As regular readers know, I occasionally find that, when my own wellsprings of inspiration are at low ebb, the sci-fi writer and blogger John C. Wright has a post that is better than anything I could possibly write under the circumstances, so I link that instead. So it is this week. I am in the midst of researching a paper on God and time (a fascinating subject) and am trying not to get involved in much on-line controversy. I'm also not forcing myself to write new blog posts filled with my own material. So head on over and read this polemical gem on the leftist worldview from Wright. As always with Wright, it's long, not to say wordy, but it's really a beautiful thing. Here are a few quotes. (If you don't find that the first quotes I give "do it for you," skip to the last one. It's the best.)

By their theory, no fact and no conclusions of common sense are neutral. All are tainted by the original sin of bias and bigotry. The act of bringing up a fact is never, never an act done in the impersonal pursuit of truth. For them there is no truth, and even if there were, there is no impartiality. The act of bringing up a fact is always an act of aggression, an imposition, if not an attack.
This explains our first paradox. They are decent and honest people. Their motive for avoiding reason is compassion, because they wish not to be tempted by hate, bigotry, or thought crime. However, once reason is forbidden, facts, common sense, and evidence, likewise are as meaningless to them as to a Buddhist to whom all the world is illusion.
A man who claims to be a faster runner can be put to the race; a man who claims to be the greater poet can be asked to read his sonnet; but a man who claims only superiority in an invisible and imponderable spiritual realm can be put to no human test.
In short, because Leftism is the theory that truth is impossible, and reason is a hate-crime, it requires self deception. Because self deception provokes guilt and humiliation, the self esteem of the Leftist is continually uncertain. Because it is uncertain, it must be uplifted. The only emotion loud and broad enough to smother the powerful emotions of guilt and humiliation is the uplift of sanctimonious pride, pride in one’s own perfect righteousness.

At this point, you may be wondering why, if they only judge by intentions and not by results, the Liberals are not sometimes helpful to those they wish to help? Surely raising the minimum wage sometimes produces a raise in real wages instead of producing more unemployment? At least once? Surely sometimes putting honey and water in the gas tank instead of petrol will create good gas mileage? At least once? Surely sometimes, by accident, they get it right? Even a stopped clock is right at least twice a day.
So the fact that they judge by intentions and not by results is not a satisfactory explanation. Why are they predictably, inevitably, and always wrong?
They are always wrong because their theory of morality springs out of their theory of epistemology. Their theory of epistemology is that there is no truth. Hence, their theory of morality is that there is no right and wrong.


All rules by definition are crooked, part of a con game. Any attempt to excuse, explain or defend the rules is either misguided or malign.
The only success under crooked and malign rule is by definition a crooked and malign success. It is a successful crime. 
Hence the Leftist must punish success.
This means not just monetary success but imponderable success. The Leftist must not only take money from the rich, he must take fame from the famous and glory from the glorious. Just as he must give money to the poor out of restitution for the crooked roulette wheel of life, so too he must give fame to the infamous and glory to the shameful.


If the rich and powerful tilting the wheel of life is the only explanation for life’s miseries and sorrows and failures, they are always to blame for everything. Everything. These days, the rich men and rich nations are blamed for warm weather.
Here is the explanation of the third paradox: If life is a game of pure chance, then the winners of life, the happy people, the rich, the famous, the saintly, all of them must have somehow rigged or twisted the institutions, laws and customs, and all the rules of life to their own advantage. Since all property is theft, all property owners are thieves.
Hence, all life’s winners, heroes and captains of industry and saints and famous artists, everyone worthy of admiration for any reason, all of them, all the winners, the theory demands they be nothing but outrageous cheats.
Also, they must be outrageous liars for denying that they are cheats. Worse, they are all con men for deceiving their victims into playing.
The logic applies to wealth as well as to power and virtue, including such things as applause and glory and dignity. Hence, combined with the pathological and neurotic smug self-sanctimony, the Leftist, as long as he be true his theory, must demean whatever is worthy, true, successful, and good, and reward and praise whatever is unworthy, untrue, unsuccessful, and bad.
Let us call this the Principle of Inversion. The Principle of Inversion says that whatever or whoever Reason calls good and decent is in fact bad and wretched, and whatever Reason calls bad is in fact good.


The Leftist theory of economics produces poverty.
This is the precise and diametric opposite of the prediction made by the theory. A more fair and even distribution of the winning numbers of life’s spinning wheel should have produced more wealth for everyone. The super-genius five-year central economical planning of the Soviet Union should have outproduced the gross inefficiencies of unplanned capitalists America by an order of magnitude. Instead the Soviets ended up eating each others’ heads in starvation, and the Americans grew overweight. The theory not only failed, it failed in a remarkable, spectacular, astounding, astronomical way.
The same result obtains for the application of their theory wherever it is applied.
The Welfare State should not have abolished the family structure among inner city blacks and, even if it did, the loss of the family should not have malign side effects on child rearing.
Turning all the inmates of insane asylums loose on the streets for some reason not named should not have lead to an increase of the number of insane street people. Being lenient on criminals should not produce an increase in violent crime. Disarming the victims should not encourage attackers. Surrendering a war should produce victory, not defeat. Rewarding Jihadist violence by praising and funding them should decrease Jihadist violence. Socializing the student loan industry will lower costs. Socializing the medical insurance industry will not only allow you to keep your plan and your doctor, your premiums will actually go down. and more people, rather then less, will be covered by health care the moment less health care is available to them. Goods can be rationed without rationing. And so on and so on and so on. 
In each case, the theory fails in the most remarkable and jaw-droppingly spectacular fashion possible.

The Leftist has only two choices here: accept reality, in which case he is no longer a Leftist, or deny reality, in which case his loyalty to the ideals of Leftism becomes rarefied and refined, and he become of their Cathari, the Pure Ones, an arhat of enlightenment.


And here is the best of all, a handful of sentences which could have come from Chesterton:

Anything that reminds them of innocence or truth is abhorrent to them. It makes them uneasy, lest their master raise his whip of iron and punish them. Therefore the very people and things the addicts of self righteousness hate the most are saints, women like Mother Theresa, and heroes, figures like George Washington, and captains of industry, men like Henry Ford. The things they hate most are ideals like Justice and Mercy. And they despise and hate the innocent most of all: the greatest part of their fury and destructiveness is turned against those two figures which, for all times past, were the symbols and embodiments of purity and innocence: the virgin and the child.

Wright continues,
If the reader doubts that Leftist hate virgins, let him inspect any dozen Hollywood movies taken at random, or visit any dozen college campus dorms at random after hours, or read any two dozen essays by feminists. If the reader doubt that the Left hates children, let him read the account of what goes on in an abortion mill, or read how the British Health Service disposes of the tiny corpses.
Indeed, and if anyone doubts that the leftists hate virgins, let him read perverse postmodern theory with its glorification of every sort of perversion. Or let him contemplate the cesspool of sex education in the schools, which attacks children and virginity at one and the same time, destroying the mental innocence of the young and moving them toward destroying their own physical innocence.

We wrestle against great evils. Polemics like Wrights can assure those who find themselves isolated and fighting on the side of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful that it is indeed the world that is insane, having accepted an insane philosophy. This can, in turn, hearten us not to compromise with this evil but to fight it consistently wherever we are called upon to do so.

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