I am a liberal, and therefore am a conservative

 

I am linking you to a long and heartfelt article by a former American Democrat who, over the course of 25 years, has become inclined to vote Republican without any change in his political views. How can this be?

I think many people who once voted liberal or for left-wing candidates have experienced the same emotions and the same evolution. They may smoke dope; they may support abortion rights, limited or not; they may even sort their garbage and take global warming seriously, but they have one thing in common with me, George Orwell, and you, dear reader. They can smell the totalitarianism emanating from the political left these days, the “smelly little orthodoxies” as Orwell called them.

In the 1930s these virulent intolerances and dreams of social control were in some fashion channelled by the Communist Party and its near equivalents. After the fall of Soviet Communism, we found that the same human impulses to control and domination were liberated from the discipline, such as it was, of Marxist thought. Thus without the discipline of Marxism and the Party, leftist totalitarian behaviour and thought spread out of its Petri dish to infect wider and wider sectors of society. The impulse to grievance and victimhood remains, even as the theory that gave it a semblance of coherence lies rotting in its grave. Which only demonstrates the truth that Leftism is an urge of the soul and ontologically prior to Marxism, which was a particular economic theory seeking to justify the Leftism.

I quote from Brad Torgerson’s article (the one I recommend you read):

 

A good friend of mine, who also happens to be an outstanding author, once quipped, “If I am forced to choose a side, I choose the side which is not forcing me to choose sides.”

Seldom have I ever encountered phrasing more apt. Because that’s precisely how I feel. I’ve been feeling that way, for years now. It was not a sudden thing. It was a gradual realization. The slow clarity of an underlying sentiment, incrementally surfacing…..

And later in his essay –

And I have been reminded every single day, just how far I’ve been pushed away — by so-called progressives in this country.

Sure, some of that is me walking my talk. I am not exactly the same guy I was 25 years ago. And not because I don’t think some of the idealism of liberal thought is not worthy, or even evocatively beautiful.

It is.

Liberalism — the kind I was attracted to in my teens, and early twenties — mostly focuses on brighter futures with better choices.

Yet at many points over the past quarter century, that shining picture of what the Left supposedly stands for, has been undermined again, and again, and again, and again, by the behavior of self-styled Leftists.

Maybe it all comes down to the fact that I decided Alinsky’s ballyhooed rules are pernicious. Not once do they involve self-reflection, nor questions of higher moral obligation to a power or a need beyond simple political expediency. Like with the 2004 Washington State governors race, the ends justify the means. If you’re a Leftist and you have to lie to get what you want, then lie. If you’re a Leftist and you have to cheat to get what you want, then cheat. If you’re a Leftist and you have to hurt people to get what you want, or if you have to frighten people into not opposing you, then hurt and frighten people.

Never doubt that everything you — the Leftist — says or does, is done justifiably.

Everyone and everything is a fair target. Lash out. Incriminate. Slander. Punish. Make them quake in their boots. They deserve it, the jerks. “If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists!” Oops, Leftists excoriated Bush 43 for saying that. Now they themselves live it every day. “If you didn’t vote for Hillary, you’re with the KKK and the Nazis!”

Torgerson’s article speaks for itself. He joins a long list of people disillusioned with Leftist totalitarianism: if you are interested in the 1930s version I recommend “The God that Failed”, written by several important former European communists, and if the 1960s is your thing, you can try David Horowitz’ “Radical Son”.

I would say that, now, more than ever, we need an Orwell,  to remind us once again that patriotism and loyalty to one’s own people trumps (yes, that word) abstract professions of loyalty to the future, the road to which is made of human skulls.

 

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