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No Place at our Table

October 7th, 2010 by Jim May · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

Over at Chicagoboyz, Shannon Love pens this jawdropping piece of shallow fluffery entertaining the laugh-out-loud delusion that the Left needs to have its own version of the Tea Party.

The Right in America consists of two incompatible elements: religious theocracy, and Americanism (a general term which includes Objectivists).  The Tea Party is an uprising of the latter group; it is a revolt, however incomplete, against the expansion of government power.  As such, it has caused great consternation on the part of both the Left and the Right, religious and/or conservative.

The Left’s essential characteristic, on the other hand, is the expansion of state power at the expense of individual rights.  There is no exception to this pattern in their history (the usually cited counterexamples do not pertain to Leftism, but to liberalism; don’t be confusing the two.)  From the Progressives to Obamanation, the Left’s sole purpose in politics is to present government power as the solution, no matter the issue.  They are manifestly anti-American to the core, and philosophically monolithic.

How, then, could the Left have its own version of the Tea Party?  Where would such a movement originate?  What would be its ideals and goals?

What would an anti-Leftist Leftist movement look like?  Like nothing anybody has ever seen, or will ever see: contradictions do not exist.  The Tea Party could only ever have arisen from the Right.

The error underlying Love’s delusion is one that is unfortunately very common among mainstream centrists and moderate rightists: a Pollyanna-ish overgenerosity that leads them to insist, despite all evidence, upon treating the Left in America as being legitimate participants in the national dialogue, who merely have a different take on things in America.  Of the many mainstream myths, this is one of the most dangerous.

In any discussion or dialogue concerning how to achieve a particular goal, the enemies of that goal have no place.  The KKK has nothing to contribute to any discussion of achieving racial harmony.  Criminals have nothing to contribute to a town hall meeting on reducing crime.

For the exact same reasons, Leftists have no place at the table of a country like America.  At best, the Left’s fluffy, empty protestations of fealty to America can be fisked in a matter of minutes; on average, they act like petulant children under color of adulthood; at worst, the childishness and intellectual fluffery falls away when they bare the contents of their souls and confess the truth of where they always meant to take us all along.

5 Comments so far ↓

  • Mike Bahr

    I like your argument about how people holding certain beliefs are ipso facto worthless in the sense of addressing the opposite position of theirs on an issue. I would push it further:

    In order to vote in favor of the redistribution of wealth, one of three things must be true:

    1. You expect to get back more than you put in, which means you are a thief;

    2. You expect to gain power or some corollary benefit by way of the existence of the redistributionary scheme, which makes you a con man; or

    3. You choose to support the expropriation of wealth from one person to give to another by virtue of your altruist premises. Either you’re a leftist whose heart bleeds for the needy, or you’re a leftist who hates achievement, or you’re a superstitious (religious) person who believes an imaginary entity commands it, and so on. People who would engage in wholesale violations of the rights of others in order to make themselves FEEL BETTER (which is what it boils down to in any event) are people who put their own emotional satisfaction over a respect for the rights of individuals in reality. By definition, a person who expects their own emotions to have primacy over the rights of others is a child (mentally, if not physically).

    If you are a thief, a con man, or a child, you have no business discussing OR VOTING on anything. It is a conflict of interest.

    I think this line of reasoning might be something that could set the table for some kind of Constitutional amendment. On the assumption that the world will not spontaneously embrace Objectivism, the poison of socialism must instead be turned back one stinger at a time. I envision an amendment that states:
    “A citizen who receives an individual welfare forfeits his or her right to vote until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.”

    Individual welfare is redistributive government services. Examples would be Medicaid, WIC, EIC, and SSI. This stands in contrast to the “general welfare,” which the Constitution rightfully states is the duty of government: to provide for the protection of the individual rights of all citizens. Examples of general welfare would be the military, the police, and the courts.

    Such an amendment would also make it easy for a person to get his or her voting rights reinstated: go at least two years without being on the dole.

    Best of all, nobody would get to vote themselves largesse at taxpayer expense.

  • madmax

    There is no exception to this pattern in their history (the usually cited counterexamples do not pertain to Leftism, but to liberalism; don’t be confusing the two.)

    The Left sells itself as the movement which is fighting against discrimination and “inequality”. It sees itself as the cultural phenomenon responsible for the fight against racism, sexism, gay-bashing, etc.. In this way, it has insidiously linked itself with Classical Liberalism.

    It is true that there has been a massive paradigm shift in American culture over the last century. The culture of today is radically different from the one that existed pre-1950s (alot of that is good but some of that is very bad). But the Left is taking credit for the phasing out of old-school racism, paternalism, sexual prudery, etc.. I think it is really the legacy of individualist liberalism that was responsible for those things. It was Leftism which actually corrupted the move away from religion and traditionalism; giving us that false alternative of religious morality vs. whim-worship or traditionalism vs. nihilism.

    Everything the Left does today seems oriented around making this exact point; that the Left is the only group fighting against racism and oppression and the corrupt forces of white, capitalist prejudice. So many of Hollywood shows are dedicated to this. Madmen is a leading example. The Left is absolutely livid over this new movie Secretariat because of its positive portrayal of the non-nihilist, “middle-class values” cultural elements that still existed in the 1970s.

    If the Left is to be defeated as a cultural force, somehow it is going to have to be shown for what it is: a collectivist movement aimed at an authoritarian society. Its doubtful that this can be achieved until altruism is at least questioned as a moral ideal.

  • L-C

    Leftists very much enjoy the package deal that is the political Right, that is, advocates of Capitalism being bunched together with Conservatives and the conveniently named “right-wing extremists”, i.e. neo-Nazis and nationalists.

    Observe how the “right-wing” Hitler is brought up as the opposite of democracy (itself presented as being responsible for everything that is good in the world), thus sealing the choice between tyranny of one and tyranny of many. Stalin might be mentioned in passing if at all.

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