Saturday, August 31, 2002

(Under the heading: "LEFTIST RACISM")

And it must be noted that Muslim fundamentalists are very much like the Greens and the Left in their dislike of the modern capitalistic world and in their dream of turning us all back to some sort of an idealized primitive past. No wonder so many Leftists condone Muslim terrorism! And if the Muslim fundamentalists want to return us all to a feudal state, the various Communist regimes actually did. Stalin, Mao, Kim Il Sung etc were as much God-kings in their time as any Pharaoh of Egypt ever was.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

(Under the heading: "LEFTISM AS A RELIGION")

From a Christian point of view, of course, one could well see the Left as the Devil�s religion. It denies God and wears the compassionate clothes of Christ to cloak the black and hating heart that its destructive deeds reveal.

Tuesday, August 27, 2002

26 August, 2002
(Under the heading: "LEFTISM, RACISM and HISTORY")

It is also a matter of historical record that, after the Nazi-Soviet pact, Communists worldwide immediately became vigorously pro-Hitler. So Leftist �principles� are obviously very flexible. It is reasonable to conclude therefore, that, if Hitler had won and Stalin lost the war, Leftists would now be justifying their constant clamour for change and their bids for power as furthering Nazi ideals rather than �humanitarian� ideals.

25 August, 2002
(Under the heading: "PSYCHOLOGICAL LEFTISM")

The Leftist's passion for equality is really therefore only apparently a desire to lift the disadvantaged up. In reality it is a hatred of all those in society who are already in a superior or more powerful position to the Leftist and a desire to cut them down to size.

This explains the common puzzle of why it is that modern-day �liberals� are still indulgent about the old Soviet system. As Amis (2002) points out, the many people in literary and academic circles today who once supported Stalin and his heirs are generally held blameless and may even still be admired whereas anybody who gave the slightest hint of support for the similarly brutal Hitler regime is an utter polecat and pariah. Why? Because Hitler�s enemies were �only� the Jews whereas Stalin�s enemies were those the modern day Left still hates -- people who are doing well for themselves materially. Modern day Leftists understand and excuse Stalin and his supporters because Stalin�s hates are their hates.

Much the same explanation applies, of course, to the similar puzzle of why the French military dictator, Napoleon, is to this day generally regarded as a hero even though practically every family in the France of his day lost a son in his wars. The figures for Napoleon�s Russian campaign alone are horrendous. He took 600,000 men into Russia but brought back only 70,000. In terms of loss of life, Napoleon�s wars were every bit as bad for France as Hitler�s wars were for Germany but Hitler is universally (and justly) reviled whereas Napoleon is still admired! Napoleon, however, justified all his actions as extending the French revolution to other lands and this explanation still resounds favourably with today�s Left-leaning intellectuals.

24 August, 2002
New Subheading -- immediately following �GUILT�)


For some people, Leftism appears to work as a sort of religion for atheists. There would appear to be a strong inborn need for religion in human beings. Even in the present skeptical, scientific and materialistic age about half of all Americans are churchgoers and years of indoctrination into atheism by the Communists seem to have left the Church stronger than ever in Russia and Poland. And even among people with no formal religious affiliations, very few are outright atheists. Christians such as Billy Graham sometimes say with some cogency that there is a �God-shaped void� in people. They would have to admit, however that some pretty Satanic things can get packed into that void sometimes.

So Leftism could be seen as a Godless religion -- something that meets the religious needs of those who for various reasons are dissatisfied either with other religions or with supernatural ideas in general. Not all religions have a dominant God or father-figure at their centre (e.g. Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto) and a religion that dispenses with the supernatural altogether does not therefore seem impossibly paradoxical. The identification of Leftism as a religion has often been made and the ability to believe in things that sound good but have very little supportive evidence would certainly seem to constitute a common core between Leftism and other religions. Both Leftists and the religious could, in other words, be seen as the wishful thinkers of the world: A very large throng. And, as a religion originally emanating from the economically successful "Western" democracies, Leftism is typical in being very proselytizing and intolerant of competing religions.

And, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, some might argue that Leftism is now more than ever a secular religion. In other words, now that it is crystal clear how awful really Leftist governments are, only faith could keep anyone still believing in the desirability of Leftism.

And anyone who has spent much time among Leftist intellectuals (As I have. I spent 12 years teaching in a School of Sociology at a major Australian university) will be aware of how the writings of Marx are treated as a form of holy writ. Leftist thinkers constantly involve themselves in nitpicking debates about �What Marx really said�, just as Christian sectarians constantly argue about �What the Bible says�. In our universities, Marxism is undoubtedly a form of theology. So Leftism can even meet people�s need for theology! And anyone who knows their mediaeval history or the history of the Byzantine empire will know how overwhelmingly important theology can sometimes be to human beings.

Interestingly, the most powerful form of Leftist religion would appear to have been Nazism. Nazism was Leftist in that it was explicitly socialist, in that Hitler justified everything in the name of �the people� (Das Volk), in that the Nazi State was all-powerful, in that the Nazi party supervised German industry minutely and in that Hitler and Stalin were initially allies (It was only the Nazi-Soviet pact that enabled Hitler�s conquest of Western Europe. The fuel in the tanks of Hitler�s Panzers as they stormed through France was Soviet fuel). And like any Leftist, Hitler did not like sharing power with the churches or anybody else.

But Hitler was smart enough to make good use of people�s religious inclinations rather than simply oppose them. He did this in two ways: He eventually made peace with the churches as long as the churches did not visibly oppose him. His concordat with the Pope is of course famous in that connection. His own Catholic education and often-expressed Christian beliefs obviously helped with that. So you could eventually be both a good Catholic (for instance) and a good Nazi. And secondly, Nazism itself was also self-consciously religious in that it promoted its celebrations of �Germanic� traditions as an improvement on and alternative to the churches.

And it did that well: Hitler often appealed to God so that was no cause for alarm (unlike atheistic Communism); Nazism had its holy book in the form of �Mein Kampf�; It had saints such as Horst Wessel; It had magnificent religious ceremonies such as its constant torchlight parades, huge rallies and impressive loyalty oath ceremonies; It had inspiring marching songs by way of hymns. It had its Messianic and undoubtedly inspiring leader in the person of Hitler. And the way the Hitler Youth and the Volksturm fought to the bitter end in Berlin is certainly the sort of committment that most churches could only envy.

23 August, 2002
(New subheading -- immediately following �THE CHURCH�)


Whether Jesus was of what we would now call the Left or the Right is of course very much an old chestnut. As Leftists are usually anti-religious in general, however, the argument usually goes by default to the conservatives. The Leftists do not want anything to do with any religious figure so conservatives claim Jesus as one of their own with little opposition. And that claim is not without reason: Jesus did after all say, �For ye have the poor always with you� (Matthew 26:11) and he did make a point of dining with rich businessmen (Luke 19:1-8) and he did praise entreprenurship and profit (Matthew 25:14-30). And he did rebuke his disciples for proposing to sell their luxury goods and distribute the proceeds to the poor (Matthew 26:10). He denied being a revolutionary (Matthew 5:17) and preached obedience to the law (Matthew 5: 19; Mark 12:17). He preached compromise (Matthew 5:25) and opposed divorce (Matthew 5:32). And Jesus did of course inherit the Jewish view that mankind is in a �fallen� and imperfect state and preached that only faith in him could correct it (Luke 19:10; John 8:7, 32).

On the other hand he did say that it was as hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven as it was for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle (Matthew 19:24) and he did tell a seeker after holiness to first sell all his wordly goods (Matthew 19:21). He did advise �giving freely� and advised against accumulating both money and worldly goods (Matthew, 10: 9,10; 6:19 and 6:31-34). He preached equality among the faithful (Matthew 20:25-28). And he was very much a pacifist (Matthew 5:39). All these latter references, however, clearly have more to do with spiritual guidance than with advice about how to run the affairs of the world.

Nonetheless, the fact that Jesus opposed selfishness and materialism and preached compassion could be seen as consonant with what Leftists advocate. And undoubtedly it is. That is why Leftists advocate it. We are most fortunate that the teachings of Jesus have become deeply ingrained in our culture so that they form at least a large part of the ideals that most of us aspire to even if we often fall far short of living up to those ideals. So if the change- and power-seeking Leftist wants to sound persuasive, the easiest way to do so is to place his appeal squarely within the existing ideals of the society. If we still lived in the pagan world of our ancestors as described (say) in �Beowulf�, he might instead justify his cries for change in terms of what would lead us towards greater glory and fame. But in neither case could we safely conclude that what he says represents his real aims and values. And we can most certainly not conclude that those who preach compassion etc will therefore also practice it when they have the power to do so.

22 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �WHY IS IT?�)

The appeal of Leftism to the average person is simple: The Leftist offers something for nothing. And that is always hard to resist -- fraudulent though it usually is. If the Leftist offers to redistribute somebody else�s wealth into your pocket, that is one hell of an appealling scam. So before considering what it is that causes a person to be a Leftist it should be well noted that a person who votes for a Leftist party may not necessarily himself be much of a Leftist. He may vote for the Leftist party simply because the Leftists appear to offer him personally a better deal. The Leftist's constant hypocritical preaching of equality does sometimes succeed in creating the impression that the Leftists will manage to give poorer or working class people a bigger slice of the national cake -- and poorer people must obviously find that at least initially appealing.

21 August, 2002
(Under the heading �LEFTISM, RACISM and HISTORY�)

Nonetheless, the way contemporary �Western� Leftists constantly hurl the labels �Nazi� and �Fascist� at anybody they disagree with suggests almost an obsession with Nazism. Such an obsession is also suggested by the way TV programs about Hitler and Nazism always seem to be available from our Left-dominated media. Programs about Stalin�s Russia are as rare as hen�s teeth by comparison.

This continuing Leftist obsession with Nazism might make some sense if Nazism were uniquely evil but, horrible and massive though the Nazi crimes were, they were anything but unique. For a start, government by tyranny is, if anything, normal in human history. And both antisemitism and eugenic theories were normal in prewar Europe. Further back in history, even Martin Luther wrote a most vicious and well-known attack on the Jews. And Nazi theories of German racial superiority differed from then-customary British beliefs in British racial superiority mainly in that the British views were implemented with typical conservative moderation whereas the Nazi views were implemented with typical Leftist fanaticism and brutality (cf. Stalin and Pol Pot). And the Nazi and Russian pogroms differed mainly in typically greater German thoroughness and efficiency. And waging vicious wars and slaughtering people �en masse� because of their supposed group identity have been regrettably common phenomena both before and after Hitler (e.g. Stalin�s massacres of Kulaks and Ukrainians, the unspeakable Pol Pot�s massacres of all educated Cambodians, Peru�s �Shining Path�, the Nepalese Marxists, the Tamil Tigers and the universal Communist mass executions of �class-enemies�). Both Stalin and Mao Tse Tung are usually �credited� with murdering far more �class enemies� than Hitler executed Jews.

It seems an obvious conclusion, then, that the constant Leftist excoriation of Hitler and the Nazis stems not from the unique horribleness of Nazism but has as its main aim an effort at camouflage -- an effort to disguise or hide from public awareness the real kinship that exists between Nazism and other forms of Leftism. They just cannot afford to have people realize that ALL the great mass-murders of the 20th century were the product of Leftism.

20 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �LEFTIST RACISM�)

That racism lurks just beneath the surface in Leftists is also shown vividly by their constant adoption of double standards when speaking of populations of European and non-European origins. There is always an acceptance of barbarity among non-Europeans and a corresponding expectation that people of European origin �should know better�. For instance, Leftists constantly cast up the undoubted evils of (European) Nazism so that there can hardly be anyone in the Western world who is unaware of those evils. But how often do Leftists excoriate the simultaneous and arguably greater Japanese atrocities against the Chinese? I have never heard a single Leftist do so. And Western countries are often criticized by Leftists for their �harsh� treatment of illegal immigrants (treatment which rarely leads to any deaths) but we hear hardly a word about the mini-holocausts that are occurring all the time in Africa. Certainly no Leftist that I have ever heard condemns such holocausts. If they do it is nothing compared to the attacks that they mount on the much more benign countries of European origin. Clearly, Leftists have an underlying view of the difference between the �civilized� and �savage� races that is little different from the views of such heroes of past British Imperialism as Rudyard Kipling.

18 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �LEFTIST RACISM�)

A more general point in this connection is made by Dalrymple (2002): �Socialist and anti-Semite alike seek an all-encompassing explanation of the imperfection of the world, and for the persistence of poverty and injustice: and each thinks he has found an answer. There are other connections between left-wing thought and anti-Semitism (usually believed to be a disease of the Right alone). The liberal intellectual who laments the predominance of dead white males in the college syllabus or the lack of minority representation in the judiciary uses fundamentally the same argument as the anti-Semite who objects to the prominence of Jews in the arts, sciences, professions, and in commerce. They both assume that something must be amiss � a conspiracy � if any human group is over- or under-represented in any human activity, achievement, or institution.�

17 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �PROCRUSTES�)

Thankfully, Leftists in the economically successful "Western" democracies have never gained the power that Stalin had. Just as the anarchic savagery and bloodlust of the French revolution made the idea of revolution obnoxious throughout the rest of Europe for over 100 years (until 1917), so the murderous brutality and oppressiveness of Lenin and Stalin immediately fostered great and reasonable distrust of Leftism in aware populations worldwide and thus placed some limits on further Leftist access to power. Its inherent destructiveness makes Leftism self-limiting and self-defeating in many ways -- but only if people take note of what Leftist ideas actually lead to.

Despite that, however, Leftists in the �Western� world are still numerous and vocal and thus still do an impressive Procrustean job in many ways. Perhaps the best known example of that is the way they have succeeded in "dumbing down" our educational systems.

More generally, their constant refusal to acknowledge any differences between people or groups of people tends to obstruct society from dealing in any way with those differences, no matter how important they may be. This constant lack of realism makes Leftists significant enemies of rationality.

A rather clear example of the current insane pursuit of at least nominal equality is the way that almost all students in some places now pass their final high-school examinations. In Britain in 2002, for instance, 94% of A-level students passed and the UK educational authorities, far from being embarrassed, asserted that they hope soon to get 100% of students passing (BBC Thursday, 15 August, 2002, GMT 04:29). This does of course achieve the Leftist ideal of Procrustean equality but at the expense of making an A-level pass completely uninformative, meaningless and useless. Despite such cosmetic and obscurantist nonsense, reality still asserts itself of course. As the bare certificate has now become meaningless, students subsequently have to be assessed in more difficult and complicated ways -- either by use of additional tests or by use of the relative marks each student got within the examination.

16 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �LEFTISM, RACISM and HISTORY�)

There is much more in history that is very interesting for the light it throws on the Leftist attitude to race:

Before World War II, anti-racism was certainly NOT the mainstay of Leftist doctrine that it is today. Who was it who said: "What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money."? No. It was not Adolf Hitler but Karl Marx himself (Marx, 1844). See Blanchard (1984) for a full discussion of Marx's antisemitism.

And from 1901 to 1966 the Australian government had an official policy known as the �White Australia� policy -- a policy which forbad non-white immigration into Australia. In other words, for most of the time that �slegs blankies� ruled as the guiding policy in South Africa, its English equivalent (�whites only�) ruled in Australia too. And who were always the most ardent supporters of that policy? The Australian Labor Party -- Australia�s major Leftist party. It was an Australian Labor Party leader (Arthur Calwell) who became famous for his remark that, "Two Wongs don't make a white". The policy was eventually abolished by a conservative government under Harold Holt. So Leftists can be as racist as anyone else if it suits them.

14 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �HUMAN NATURE�)

This conservative (and scientific) rejection of the Leftist idea that human beings are infinitely malleable does of course pose a major threat to the Leftist's assumptions, theories and programmes and it is one that the Leftist cannot really rebut so the usual Leftist response is simply an ad hominem one: To abuse and demonize conservatives for lacking "compassion". Abuse takes the place of argument (Krauthammer, 2002).

12 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �THE CHURCH�)

Amusingly, the normal Leftist rejection of conventional Western religion does not seem to apply to primitive religions. American Indian beliefs, for instance, are normally treated with great respect and held up as wise by Leftists. Why? Presumably as just another way of attacking the churches. We are asked to believe that the Protestant Christianity which created the modern world is somehow inferior for some unknown reason. Powerful religion has to be attacked but non-threatening religion is OK.

10 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �RACISM NORMAL?�)

Edmund Burke (1790) has some claims to being the founding theoretician of conservatism and he claimed that loyalty to one's group, tribe, nation etc is a basic human instinct. And the famous military theorist, Von Clausewitz (1972) noted over 150 years ago: that "Even the most civilized of peoples, in short, can be fired with passionate hatred for each other" (p. 76). So what does modern social science tell us?

Let us look initially at the literature of academic psychology in particular: Brown (1986) surveyed the large body of extant psychological research on the question and concluded that group loyalty and group identification are rooted in "universal ineradicable psychological processes". In other words, group loyalty is not only normal but universal. And another psychologist particularly active in research into feelings of group identity concluded: "Not only is ingroup favouritism .... not related to outgroup dislike, it also does not seem causally dependant on denigration of the outgroup" (Turner, 1978, p. 249). See also Brewer & Collins (1981, p. 350) and Brown, Condor, Mathews, Wade & Williams (1986).

And this is moderate compared with what can be found elsewhere in the social science literature. For instance, Hechter (1986) claims that all racism is rational while the prominent French anthropologist Levi-Straus (1983) not only claims that ethnocentrism is universal and inescapable but also claims that it is desirable -- on the grounds that it promotes cultural diversity. And the sociobiologists, of course (e.g. Mihalyi, 1984/5; Van den Berghe, 1981) regard ingroup favouritism as universal not only to man but to all social animals. Perhaps most extreme of all, Volkan (1985 & 1988) says that we all actually NEED group enemies and allies.

8 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �LEFTIST DOCTRINE�)

But how do we explain the fact that it only in relatively recent times that anti-racism has become a mainstay of Leftist agitation? Again some history helps: The "Levelling" idea that has always characterized Leftists had a very long history before Marx espoused it. Such different people as the Christian fundamentalist �Levellers� in Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army and the slave-owning gentlemen who framed and espoused the American Declaration of Independence were attracted by the idea of equality. The latter therefore even incorporated into their Declaration an assertion that it was an obvious truth that "all men are created equal".

"ALL" men? So blacks and whites are equal too? No. Believers in equality have always had to be good at ignoring reality and the American declarers had little trouble in reconciling equality with slavery -- with what most people might think was its diametric opposite! How did they and others after them do it ? They did it quite easily: Long before Hitler made it his central policy, the people of the world were for many thinkers divided up between "Menschen" (men) and "Untermenschen" (sub-men) and equality obviously did not apply to "Untermenschen". So when the Hitlerian catastrophe thoroughly discredited and made obnoxious the idea of classifying certain races as being sub-human and hence outside the magic circle of "equality", Leftists found it expedient to hop on to the anti-racist bandwagon -- no doubt with some relief. It did make their advocacy a lot simpler.

Clearly, however, their anti-racism is nonetheless mere opportunism: History shows that they have no intrinsic committment to it. When racism was generally regarded as sound and reasonable they were for it. Now that Hitler has made the very word obnoxious, they are against it.

6 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �WHY EQUALITY?�)

First, a little history: The Bolshevik revolution of 1917 under Lenin has had immense significance for politics since then but there were also three prior political revolutions that still have some modern lessons, The English revolution of 1642, The American revolution of 1776 and the French revolution of 1789. The British and American revolutions were essentially "conservative" revolutions designed to preserve traditional democratic rights and liberties and remove tyrannies but the French revolution was very different:

The French revolution is probably the earliest clear example of Leftism at work -- a vast social change that attempted to destroy all that went before it (even the traditional calendar!) and replace traditional arrangements by totally new ones that were grounded only in theory and which in fact very rapidly turned out to constitute a new and terrifying tyranny. Certainly the French revolution is the earliest clear example of high-minded ideals being used in some almost incomprehensible way as an excuse for a long and bloodthirsty reign of terror -- a reign of terror that consumed not only the enemies but also many of the friends of the revolution.

And "equality" was of course one of those high-minded ideals. The French revolutionaries would appear to have the distinction of being the first to show that in some mysterious way one can at the same time believe in equality and practice tyranny! And, in an omen of Lenin and Stalin to come, that great child of the revolution, Napoleon, saw no contradiction in running a vicious police state while at the same time going to the trouble of actually enshrining in law the principle that all men are equal!!

4 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �THE NEW LEFT�)

Less of a laughing matter is the way political correctness can actually endanger lives. Take, for instance, the case of a UK surgeon reported in the UK Daily Telegraph of July 23rd, 2002 who had to stop in the middle of surgery because the immigrant nurses employed by Britain's cash-strapped National Health Service could not understand enough English to follow his instructions. He filed a complaint claiming that patient's lives were being put at risk by nurses who do not understand English. The immediate result? A threat of disciplinary action against the surgeon for racism!

2 August, 2002
(Under the heading: �THE CHURCH�)

But moral codes are onerous and Communism offered an escape from them. If all men were to become brothers and all resources were to be shared freely, fathers would not be needed for anything more than the act of procreation itself. This vision was of course a great attraction for both men and women and Leftists were always in the vanguard of sexual liberation. Sex sells and it certainly sold Leftism to many.

Thus Leftists were well-prepared when the advent of the contraceptive pill kicked away the practical foundations of conventional sexual morality. They were ready to justify what had just become practical -- irresponsible sex. So they seemed to have come into their own at that time (in the 1960s).

The pill soon caused libertinism to spread very widely, however, and sexual permissiveness soon therefore ceased to be characteristically Leftist. The longer term effect of the pill was in fact to deprive Leftists of one of their strongest sources of appeal. They are no longer the only libertines. Effective contraception has in fact changed social mores so much that it is now permissiveness which is conventional.

30 July, 2002
(Under the heading: �THE NEW LEFT�)

If Leftists were sincere in their advocacy of the interests of the poor, they would in fact be urging MORE globalization. The biggest single remaining barrier to globalization in the world today is agricultural protectionism -- preventing farm products being imported by way of tariffs, subsidies and other barriers. Such protectionism is practiced principally by rich countries (Japan, the USA and the European Union) and hurts most the poor countries of the world who rely principally on primary production and exports for their livelihood. One of the few ways poor countries could get richer is by producing and selling primary products to us but it is the LACK of globalization in agriculture which prevents them from doing so. But when did we hear Leftists arguing for more globalization? That they do not shows the hypocrisy of their claim to care about the poor.

It also shows something of Leftist motivation that their opposition to free trade generally puts them in league with big business and conservative farmers -- groups that they would normally anathematize. Obviously, being protestors matters more to Leftists than whom or what the protest is in aid of.

28 July, 2002
(Under the heading: �PSYCHOLOGICAL LEFTISM�)

Envy is a very common thing and most of us have probably at some time envied someone but, for someone with the Leftist's strong ego needs, envy becomes a hatred and a consuming force that easily accounts for the ferocious brutality of Communist movements and the economically destructive policies (such as punitively high taxation, price controls and over-regulation generally) employed by Leftists in resolutely democratic societies. So the economic destruction and general impoverishment typically brought about by Leftists is not as irrational as it at first seems. The Leftist actually wants that. Making others poorer is usually an infinitely higher priority for him than doing anybody any good. One suspects that most individual Leftists realize that no revolution or social transformation is ever going to put them personally into a position of wealth or power so the destruction of the wealth and power and satisfaction of those who already have it must be the main thing they hope to get out of supporting Leftist politics. For a fuller account of the enormously destructive nature of envy see Schoeck (1969).

26 July, 2002
(Under the heading: �GUILT�)

There is however one variation on the Leftist guilt theme that might have more weight to it: The idea that some people want to be compassionate or believe that they should be compassionate but know that they really are not. This could perhaps arise from pressures put on them during their upbringing or from formal and informal pressures exerted on them by those they associate with in (say) their churches. Knowing that they themselves lack compassionate feelings, they do the next best thing and advocate loudly that the State (i.e. the taxpayer) should be more compassionate and thus absolve them from having to do anything compassionate personally. They might also hope that by loudly proclaiming their "compassionate" political views, their lack of personal compassion will be overlooked. This could explain the Leftist politics of many clergy in the Church of England (and in associated Anglican churches worldwide). Some "limousine liberals" could also fall into this category.

There is some support for this idea in the survey finding that the Americans who give the highest percentage of their income to charity are the very rich whereas those who give least are Leftists and liberals (Cooke, 2002). But this should not be surprising. From the French revolutionaries to Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, Leftist "compassion" has never been evident in their deeds!

Anyone who thinks that claims of compassion necessarily indicate compassion might also consider the example of California's Rev. Jim Jones with his Leftist "People's Temple". The Rev. Jones was much opposed to racism and devoted to equality and compassion for the disadvantaged but still managed to massacre hundreds of his followers in Guyana ( ). Jim Jones' actions make no sense as indicators of real compassion but make a lot of sense as indicating a frustrated love of power: Very Leftist!

And the many Leftists, even US Leftists, who, in the name of "anti-imperialism", actually voiced approval for the murderous onslaught on New York's World Trade Centre on Sept. 11, 2001 certainly showed their degree of compassion clearly enough. The great influence that US culture undoubtedly has on the rest of the world is seen as sufficient to justify the murder of thousands of US citizens innocently going about their business. It is again clear that a hatred of any power but their own is what drives Leftists, not compassion.

22 July, 2002

And perhaps Britain's most famous conservative thinker of the 19th century, who was also one of her most notable Prime Ministers, was Benjamin Disraeli. It is he who is often credited with creating the modern British Conservative party and he certainly had a large role in causing his political party to be known as the Conservative party rather than the Tory party. He was a constitutional traditionalist, a great monarchist and imperialist and was responsible for declaring Queen Victoria "Empress of India". Yet he was a great friend of British working-class people too -- extending the vote to them in 1867, bringing in legal limits on how many hours per day they could be asked to work, limiting the age at which they could start work, bring in health regulations and for the first time giving some legal protection to labour unions. He saw his duty as Prime Minister as: "to secure the social welfare of the people." He saw his guiding principles as being not only to "maintain the institutions of the country" -- which he saw as an essential barrier to tyranny -- but also "to elevate the condition of the people". And despite often being accused of megalomania and mere opportunism, he refused both a Dukedom and burial in Westminster Abbey.

20 July, 2002
(Under the heading: �IN THE WEST�)

In summary, bitter experience has shown that Leftists in power are very dangerous and destructive people. Where their power is effectively unchecked, they generally seems to resort sooner or later to mass murder (as in the case of the French revolutionaries, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Jim Jones and many Communist regimes and movements worldwide) and where they are partially thwarted by strong democratic traditions and institutions, they at least bring about large-scale impoverishment (as in post-independence India and pre-Thatcher Britain). By contrast, conservatives just muddle along with piecemeal reforms that don't require them to murder anybody. So giving any power to Leftists is a most dangerous thing to do and working to prevent that happening is a matter of no small importance.

18 July, 2002
(Under the heading: �MILITARY DICTATORS?�)

Historically, most of the world has been ruled by military men and their successors (Sargon II of Assyria, Alexander of Macedon, Caesar, Augustus, Constantine, Charlemagne, Frederick II of Prussia etc.) so it seems unlikely but perhaps the main point to note here is that the Hispanic dictatorships of the 20th century were very often created as a response to a perceived threat of a Communist takeover. This is particularly clear in the case of Spain, Chile and Argentina. They were an attempt to fight fire with fire. In Argentina of the 60s and 70s, for instance, Leftist "urban guerillas" were very active -- blowing up anyone they disapproved of. The nice, mild, moderate Anglo-Saxon response to such depredations would have been to endure the deaths and disruptions concerned and use police methods to trace the perpetrators and bring them to trial. Much of the world is more fiery than that, however, and the Argentine generals certainly were. They became impatient with the slow-grinding wheels of democracy and its apparent impotence in the face of the Leftist revolutionaries. They therefore seized power and instituted a reign of terror against the Leftist revolutionaries that was as bloody, arbitrary and indiscriminate as what the Leftists had inflicted. In a word, they used military methods to deal with the Leftist attackers. So the nature of these regimes was only incidentally conservative. What they were was essentially military. We have to range further than the Hispanic generals, therefore, if we are to find out what is quintessentially conservative.

14 July, 2002
(Under the heading: �GERMAN ORIGINS�)

The important thing here again is to see things with an historian's eye and realize that recent times are atypical. Right up until Bismarck's ascendancy in the late 19th century, Germany was remarkable for its degree of decentralization. What we now know as Germany was once always comprised of hundreds of independent States (kingdoms, principalities, Hanseatic cities etc.) of all shapes and sizes: States that were in fact so much in competition with one another in various ways that they were not infrequently at war with one-another.

And it was of course only the fractionated and competing centres of power existing in mediaeval Germany that enabled the successful emergence there of the most transforming and anti-authority event of the last 1000 years: The Protestant Reformation. Despite the almost immediate and certainly widespread popularity of his new teachings among Germans, Luther ran great risks and would almost certainly have been burnt at the stake like Savonarola, Hus and his other predecessors in religious rebellion had it not been for his (and our) good fortune that he was a Saxon. His Prince, Frederick III ("The Wise") of Saxony gave him constant protection. As one of the Electors of the Holy Roman Empire, Frederick was strong enough and independent enough to protect Luther from Pope, from Emperor and from other German potentates.

10 July, 2002
(Under the heading: �DENIAL OF REALITY�)

"The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind." (H.L. Mencken)

There would seem to be some possibility that excess ego can be curbed. The traditional Christian preaching of humility certainly assumes that. It is doubtful, however, that another underpinning of Leftism can be much influenced: Denial of reality.

Denial is perhaps best known through the work of Sigmund Freud as a classical neurotic symptom or coping mechanism. Instead of dealing with uncomfortable truths, the neurotic acts as if those truths simply do not exist. This is, of course, very maladaptive and creates at least as many problems as it solves.

Sadly, however, it would seem that reality denial is far from limited to psychiatric cases. Denial would appear to be in fact much more common even than excess egotism. Human beings generally do not handle reality well. That is why humans are such a drug-using species. Whether it be alcohol, cannabis, opiates, Khat, cocaine, nicotine or merely caffeine, few of us seem able to face life without chemical crutches. Straight reality is generally too much for us.

Religion too is essentially a reality denying exercise. As Marx famously said, it is the "opium of the people". Those of us with ultimately Judaic traditions delude ourselves into believing that somewhere there must exist some real counterpart to the omnipotent and benevolent father we thought we had in our early childhood and those of us influenced by Eastern religions generally believe that our elder family members continue to be able to help us even after death. We invent imaginary helpers and benefactors to replace the lack of real ones.

But WHY are human beings so uncomfortable with reality? Why do they use so many means to "escape" it? Again it probably goes back to more primitive times when reality was very oppressive and dispiriting. Only those who could escape reality in some way had the heart to carry on. So a talent for ignoring unpleasant truths was adaptive. In the modern world, however, reality is much more benign and, as Freud saw, denying it can easily descend into the psychopathological.

So any attack on the reality-denying habits of Leftists would appear doomed to failure. Even such an overwhelming reality as the utter collapse of the world's 70 year experiment with Communism caused them not at all to abandon their equalitarian mania but only to change their focus somewhat.

The blog entries above are all incorporated into a larger story as they are made. The larger story is a comprehensive article about the psychological roots of Leftism. If you like the individual blog entries, you may like to read the larger whole of which they form part. This larger whole is to be found in two parts (of about 25 pages each) at: and
If you want to see where a particular blog entry fits into the full article, you should find the headings given in the blog helpful. Otherwise, use Ctrl+F to do a search for the text you want. Happy thinking!

Correspondence on any matter raised above is very welcome.

List of relevant sites: (This site) (
The full theory, part 1) (The full theory, part 2) (Many earlier papers by John Ray) (A supplement on Elitism by another writer) (A picture of John Ray -- not for the fainthearted) (The most comprehensive published version of the theory) (A much briefer and more �academic� presentation of the basic theory)

Other interesting sites:


Ring of Conservative Sites Ring of Conservative Sites

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