Friday, December 21, 2012

Postscript on a Madhouse

I had a private exchange with a friend who remarked,
I had a thought about the Left’s abhorrence of guns. I wonder if part of it stems from a rationalist “principle” of “all killing is bad.” So, it’s not just the murder of innocents that’s evil, but killing in self-defense is really just as bad--and from that contradiction flows all manner of additional craziness.
The subject was the madness within our modern society. He quoted Galt in Atlas Shrugged, who said,
"I have said that faith and force are corollaries, and that mysticism will always lead to the rule of brutality. The cause of it is contained in the very nature of mysticism. Reason is the only objective means of communication and of understanding among men; when men deal with one another by means of reason, reality is their objective standard and frame of reference. But when men claim to possess supernatural means of knowledge, no persuasion, communication or understanding are possible. Why do we kill wild animals in the jungle? Because no other way of dealing with them is open to us. And that is the state to which mysticism reduces mankind—a state where, in case of disagreement, men have no recourse except to physical violence."
I replied (dovetailing my last post the other day, It's a Madhouse):
It's true that mysticism reduces mankind to the state where disagreements can only (ultimately) be resolved with force and / or violence, but in our society the practical expression of mysticism is self-sacrifice, and I think this is the best starting point to understand the spread of psychosis in our world.

For many on the Religious Right, sacrifice takes a relatively simple form -- God, Country, Charity, etc. But generally, they kind of let you keep half your soul and half your happiness. That's enough to keep most (religious) people grounded enough in reality to survive.

The Left takes self-sacrifice more seriously, though. The root of this, I think, is that they are neurotically driven to seek any gospel that gains them moral superiority over others. Why they are so neurotically insecure about themselves is a different topic (it's much like a rat eating its own tail because it's both taught and reinforced in school and society), but I think the leitmotif of the Left culminates in a neurotic insecurity that becomes driven by the Creed of Self-sacrifice.

The pain of this neurotic self-doubt is compensated by only one thing: power lust. Their desire to control others is rationalized by projecting it through the demands of society, and the really scary part is their unadmitted desire for a dictator to rule them.

Morality, via self-sacrifice, is their kool-aid. The means to control people while inflating their own pseudo-self-esteem... moral superiority = higher perceived self-value. An illusion of self-worth created by the drug of self-sacrifice, because *anyone* can easily find ways to ask *others* to sacrifice. The method comes courtesy of Karl Marx, Immanuel Kant, and every religious huckster for the last 30,000 years of human existence.

The more they call for methods of self-sacrifice, the more superior they are, and the addication grows with the number of laws and lobbyists in Washington.

Psychologically, their neurosis leads them to seek out every form of self-sacrifice. Gun control, saving the whales, the planet, the furbish lousewort, sacrificing for racial equality via racism, sacrificing Western Civilization to every barbaric civilization (Islam or any random tribe of indians), even giving up any kind of food that is tasty in the name of any kind of diet that isn't (eg, vegetarianism), prohibiting any modern convenience in the name of technological abstinence -- or the technology that makes conveniences possible, like coal, oil, nuclear, in favor of any quackery that is more costly (wind, solar, etc). And the self-sacrifice is all couched as unchosen duties to thy neighbor, village, city, state, nation, planet, even your own body (don't eat salt!), which is treated as somehow not your own. Ad infinitum.

At the deepest level, they sacrifice reason and reality to any irrational notion they care to concoct out of thin air and turn into a cult or a fiscal policy or foreign policy or a university curriculum. But again, it's all unchosen duties and unchosen "responsibilities" (a word they prefer because it requires less self-examination and allows more equivocation between the chosen and the unchosen) because they want to sacrifice individual judgment, individual values, individual choices to the herd or to the worship of unhuman or inanimate objects.

In an important sense, the Left is that part of human civilization that never stopped worshipping bulls and figurines and sun-gods and other icons; they just reified them in the form of abstractions -- "society", "the planet", and most abstract of all, any floating, disconnected nothingness conceived by an ivory tower academic living off government subsistence, especially those ideas pertaining to human behavior, human psychology, human interactions. Though of course, today it goes far beyond that, right into the "hard" sciences. Any abstract nothingness is in the pantheon of their gods.

As Galt said, they worship the Zero, because that's the ultimate form of self-sacrifice. Zeroes worshipping every Zero, trying to claim a Zero is something because they worship it. Exhibit A: Barack Obama.

Gun control plays into all this, cause it's the sacrifice of innocent victims to armed killers, and the sacrifice of innocent citizens to the government. It nicely plays into their need to control people with a straitjacket of regulations and permissions. You didn't build that, but if you did, we'll tax you out of existence and take credit for it.

Sacrifice of the individual to society embraces most things the Left advocates, though the aberration of environmentalism took that concept a step further to advocate the sacrifice of the individual to even things outside society -- by anthropomorphizing the planet or nothingness (there have been calls to end the littering of space with our "junk").

There's nothing connected to reality in any major agenda of the Left. The only common theme is the unquestioned irrational pursuit of self-sacrifice. It's all insane, and it has to breed insanity. As Galt also said,
"Death is the standard of your values, death is your chosen goal, and you have to keep running, since there is no escape from the pursuer who is out to destroy you or from the knowledge that that pursuer is yourself. Stop running, for once—there is no place to run—stand naked, as you dread to stand, but as I see you, and take a look at what you dared to call a moral code."
To paraphrase, psychosis is the standard of their values, psychosis is their chosen goal... take a look at what they dare to call a moral ideal -- the creed of self-sacrifice.


  1. To me it seems that the Left has taken altruism and made it a secular civic religion. But I think that it is a different version of altruism that traditional Christianity advocated. Christianity argued for the sacrifice of worldly pleasures for the sake of the salvation of your individual soul. Leftism argues for the sacrifice of your worldly pleasures, except sex which is interesting, for the sake of EQUALITY of outcomes and results especially as between victim groups; ie blacks and women.

    The Christian Conservatives are altruists but they are not really egalitarians. The Leftists are both altruists AND egalitarians. Sacrifice for equality is their moral high ground. And non-judgmentalism is their essential approach to morality. Relativism is their epistemology. Nihilism is where the end up.

    They are an evil bunch. They are several orders of magnitude more evil than Conservatives. Its not even close. Yet up until recently all you heard from Objectivist circles was "imminent Christian theocracy" crap. I don't think the Objectivist movement as a whole really understands how evil the Left is. Which is odd as all of Ayn Rand's novels have Leftist villains. There is not a Conservative villain anywhere to be seen.

    Doug Bandler

  2. 'The root of this, I think, is that they are neurotically driven to seek any gospel that gains them moral superiority over others.'
    It is because they are disintegrators rather than misintegrators and so rather than aspiring to an incorrect principle they aspire to no principle. Their philosophy is one of nihilism rather than mysticism.


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