A reader recently asked my opinion on this issue. Since this article from January of last year is already written and at hand, I thought it simpler to reprint it.
Defining the Indefinable, Defending the Indefensible
In reference to this essay here (http://www.scifiwright.com/2011/01/gnosticism-in-action/), a reader asks:
“This may be an odd point to ask this, but how are you defining ‘leftist’? For example, are you describing a garden variety member of the Democratic party or something else?”
This is not odd at all. A call for a definition is always in order, since most disagreement is based on improperly defined terms.
Alas, I am not defining the word Leftist. I cannot. They have spent so much of their time and effort to avoid, elude, evade, and weasel out of defining themselves, that no mere mortal has any ability to find a label that can fit on them.
I do not think the movement, for which I have no satisfactory name, can be defined.
We cannot call them “Progressives” since they oppose the progress of industry and human rights, and positively seek the regression of the fine arts to sub-barbaric levels.
And, at the moment, they are wedded to the failed political-economic policies of half a century or more ago. The New Deal of your grandfather’s day is rather old and gray. The irony of calling these antique reactionaries “Progressive” is too great to bear.
We cannot call them “Liberals” because they oppose liberty in every area except sexual incontinence, and the socialist Liberals of the Twentieth Century sought the direct opposite of the goals of the classical Liberals of the Nineteenth.
Where the classical Liberal sought to expand the franchise of voting to the lower classes, blacks, and women, the socialist Liberal sought to abolish the franchise except for a ritual casting of One Party Votes for the office of President-for-Life. Where the classical liberal sought to decrease the intrusion of the Monarchy into private life, the socialist sought to decrease private life, private property, privacy, and (to judge by resultinf Democides) sought the end of life itself.
Even the non-violent versions of socialist Liberals, the Fabians, support the expansion of unelected bureaucracies over increasingly detailed control of the populatoin, support eugenics and euthanasia, birth control, aborticide, and almost as if they seek to equal the death-score of their more violent Communist and Fascist brethren: but a private holocaust rather than a public one.
It is misleading even to call them “Leftist” (as I have done here) because the Left-to-Right spectrum as it is normally described runs from International Socialists or Communists on the Far Left through mild socialists like Fabians and New-Dealers in the middle, and the on the Right are Monarchists both limited and absolute, Imperialists, Plutocrats, and National Socialists or Fascists.
This spectrum is oddly deficient in its main point. There is no place on it anywhere to put the party of limited or federalist forms of government, where individual rights are protected against the encroachment of the state, where power is local and individual, and a man has a right to bear arms and speak his mind. Since the Monarchy of Great Britain was just as much a foe of the limited federalist government of the Americans as the National Socialists of Germany, it is particularly misleading — indeed, it is a insolent lie — to use a so-called spectrum of political opinion that mashes together all the foes of Marxism as one group. The only purpose of this so-called spectrum is to allow demagogues to call Republicans “Nazis.”
Other terms to describe the indefinable social and political movement are equally awkward. One can call them “Secular humanists” except that the atheists are a minority within the movement, and of them, most are not atheistic for sound and rational atheist reasons, they are atheist because of anger against God, and they make real atheists look bad. One cannot call them “brights” because they are, at least when it comes to one topic, quite dim.
One could use an accurate but obscure term, like “nihilist”, “postmodernist” or “laicist”, but such terms lack application to all members of the movement, and have other and technical meanings.
One could invent one’s own term for them, as I have on occasion, calling them Morlocks and Dehumanists. This is amusing in a petty way, but it can only be used amid a small circle who share the same secret vocabulary.
That exhausts the possibilities. I left with calling them “Leftists” even though the term is inaccurate, because no other word can serve.
I am not necessarily describing a Democrat party-member.
There are political Leftists who are not socialists but who accept the axioms on which socialism is based, and they promote ‘Interventionist’ or ‘Mixed Economy’ or ‘Regulated Economy’ policies without realizing (or caring) on what axioms their policies are based, or what results follow.
There are social Leftists who accept the axioms of the post-Christian world view, and who, like Marxists, analyze all human relationships and institutions in terms of power struggles between homogeneous power blocs, men versus women, Whites versus Blacks, Rich versus Poor, to the exclusion of anything else. Again, they are mostly unaware or unconcerned with the axioms of their thinking, but their policies and actions are (as logic dictates they must be) exactly in line with what a self-aware Marxist seeking to dismantle Western society would promote. But these innocent fellow travelers are not Marxists, merely “Useful Idiots” useful to the Cause.
There is an even larger group who are “Leftists” only the most general sense that they consider life to be a conspiracy of Ins against Outs.
In this political myth, the Ins are the “Haves,” imagined as overweight white Protestant cigar-smoking males in silk top hats who vote Republican, and who write the rules of the world to suit themselves. The Outs are the “Have-Nots,” the Dispossessed, the marching proles, and this includes everyone with a real or an imaginary grievance against the institutions and traditions of civilization. The Outs deem the rules of the world to be written to benefit the Ins and therefore imposing on them the no-win choice between obeying the laws or obeying their interests and consciences. Most adopt a rebellious attitude, but stop short of rebellion.
In the Twentieth Century, there were four political groups of “Outs” — 1. the Fabians, who seek (through peaceful means) to rewrite the “In” rules for the benefit of the Outs, and who therefore seek continuously to expand the role of government; 2. the Browshirts, who seek to enslave the “Ins” and exact a horrible vengeance upon them (the “Ins” are imagined (for the most part) to be Jewish bankers); 3. those who raise the Red Banner of Communism, who seek utopia by killing the “Ins” and abolishing all the laws and institutions the “Ins” have made, including the price system and the law of cause and effect; and 4. those who raise the Black Banner of Anarchy, who seek merely to destroy the institutions of the world, abolish Church and State altogether, foreseeing that the only way to prevent the “Ins” from capturing the laws is to do away with laws per se.
Brown, Red and Black have been thankfully reduced to insignificance in Europe, but the Fabians have grown to the point where even the so-called Rightwing embraces (or, at least, fails to oppose) Fabian policies, such as Social Security measures, wage and price controls, environmentalist measures, confiscatory levels of taxation, race quotas. All these policies have in common only that they are meant to help the “Outs.” Whether they are productive or counterproductive of that end is a question for another day.
But no particular member of the “Outs” is out for the same reason. A black Southern Baptist preacher who believes in strong families and opposes the normalization of sexual perversion is “Out” because he is black, and he sees an ingrained and institutionalized racism, either open, as in Democrat-backed Jim Crow laws, or hidden, as in the Good Old Boys networks that exclude him. His interests are quite different from a Jewish film-maker who is “Out” because he is not a Christian, or a New York lawyer who is “Out” because she is a woman bumping her head against a glass ceiling, or even a Catholic priest who is “Out” because he is a creepy pedophile.
The membership is not fixed. The Irish and the Italians used to be “Out” because they were not Anglo-Saxons, but in the modern day, they are considered White and therefore are “In” whereas Spaniards and Portuguese are “Outs” because they are non-White, or, at least, non-English-speaking. Why Spain is not “White” but Italy is, this I cannot fathom. The position of Orientals and Indians is ambiguous or, at least, I know of no public figure akin to Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson speaking up for Hindus and Sikhs and demanding reparations, and I know of no political parties akin to La Raza demanding the annexation of California to the Empire of Japan, and marching under the flag of the Rising Sun. The relative success of these minorities in America gives them at least some of the qualities of “Ins” albeit, as the Jews do, most would still tend to vote Democrat.
And the vast majority of all these folk have no concern and no interest in the deeper philosophical issues or axioms that under-pin the goal and direction of the general movement in which they move.
For example, a group of concerned but economically-illiterate citizens who want to see the poor workingman receive a decent living wage will support a minimum wage law, unaware that this increases unemployment, and unconcerned that it intrudes a Federal power into local or individual affairs. There are social conservatives who favor progressive goals or “New Deal” interventions in the economy; and contrariwise there are libertarians on social issues who are conservatives on economic issues (witness, for example, Robert Heinlein, who was the author both of STARSHIP TROOPERS and STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND). And the vast majority of voters merely follow their local interests, the local Good Old Boys network, or vote as their parents voted. They certainly do not seek the dissolution of civilization!
But, as economic policies go, interventionism requires inflationary policies, which promote capital decumulation, which weakens the free market, creates misery, destroys wealth, and makes the common people prey to demagogues and would-be dictators, in addition to emptying the war coffers and destroying the civic spirit and public morale necessary to maintain civilization, decency, order, and law.
Those who think I exaggerate are welcome to examine the condition of Germany between the wars, and note how rapidly that great nation fell from civility and rule of law to barbarism, and note as well the role of intervention and inflation in the downfall. The thread leading from the well intentioned fool who votes for minimum wage laws all the way to the downfall of nations and peoples is long and convoluted as Ariadne’s thread leading through the Labyrinth, but rest assured that this thread is unbroken.
The Democratic Party can be imagined to consist of three smaller parties: an intellectual elite whose main purpose is antinomian, merely the disruption of traditional notions of decency and modesty, the corruption of language; a middle body of progressives, who want the state to check the excesses of industry, protect the environment, feed the poor, and make peace between the races; an even larger body forming a base of workingmen and pro-Union men who seek protection for themselves and their families against the shocks and uncertainties of the free market, as well as bureaucrats, teachers, trial lawyers, and other primarily dependent on the government for their status and employment.
(I should mention that the Republicans have a similar three fold structure: an elite of Laissez-faire economically conservative intellectuals; a main body of pro-military and pro-industry supporters; a larger base of social conservatives and populists, mostly Christians, disgusted with the corruption of morals and manners. The elite of each party is the direct foe of the base of the other.)
So imagine an army that has both regular and irregular troops, both a civilized and disciplined militia, who march in rank and file, and also a larger cloud of barbarian auxiliaries who merely snipe and harass when and where they would, but who do indeed aid the military effort of the regulars.
Imagine further that the troops and auxiliaries are an alliance of three different princes with different goals and war-aims, and that they march together for some purposes and for others, they do not: Antinomians, Progressives, Unionists.
So we are dealing with a crowd or cloud of people, a fog with no defined edges, a crowd that some individuals enter and some individuals exit, and whose specific movements from moment to moment contain counter-currents and back-eddies.
The primary thing to keep in mind is the role of philosophy in this movement. Only the elites of either side are concerned with intellectual justification or logical consistency of the justifications for their policies. However, since the general mass of either party follows the consensus opinion and adheres, without deep question, to the general moral atmosphere of their peers, the articulate philosophy of the elite of one generation becomes as if by osmosis the inarticulate background assumptions of the general mass of the next generation.
One irony is the role of mental and moral superiority in the justification. The elite of the Left claim a moral and mental superiority, a scientific clarity, as a core of their justification: the Nazis and Commies are allowed to kill lesser beings (Untermenschen, Bourgeoisie) because they are smarter than them. When, as a natural action of the articulate philosophy of one generation becoming the inarticulate moral atmosphere of the next, the common man of the Left soon comes to believe that he also is intellectually superior, because this is an assumption of the elite.
Soon large numbers of young men are strutting around as if they are scientists, scholars and philosophers who have never done any independent thinking on any topic, nor having the capacity for it: the lesser minds merely adopt the pose of their intellectual leaders and progenitors, and if the leaders are elitist snobs, the commoners become elitist snobs too.
The elite of the Right, having not yet wholly abandoned their Christian world view, do not use an intellectual superiority to justify inroads against tradition. This phenomenon of a pose of intellectual snobbishness by aggressively unintellectual know-nothings, the pose of moral superiority on the part of those whose only claim to morality is their loyalty to sexual perversion and drug abuse, is (at the moment) an uniquely Leftish phenomenon.
Despite all these generalities and all exceptions and counter-currents, the general flow of the modern thinking has, since the middle of the Nineteenth Century, been in one direction and directed against one object: the overthrow of Christendom and the Christian world-view, the overthrow of traditional institutions and virtues.
This movement is philosophical. It promotes nihilist metaphysics, non-Aristotlean logic, subjectivist morals and relativist ethics, socialist politics, absurdist aesthetics, and atheist theology.
The reason why the rebels against tradition (I am tempted to call them rebels against civilization) have no name is that they do not have in common anything other than their enemy. What they mean to erect in her place once Western civilization is done for, they cannot agree.
On the one hand, some are radically individualist, even to the point of saying, some of them, that every man can decide the nature of reality for himself; on the other, some are radically collectivist, even to the point of saying that the interests of all members of one race, one sex, or who participate in one economic activity are the same; some few urge the collective ownership of all factories and farms; most agree on collective entitlements to goods and services produced or provided by others, such as medical care and savings against retirement.
Despite the powerfully anti-clerical and anti-religious tone of their world-view, many are themselves religious, but regard religion as a private opinion not as a public institution, as if a person can be Catholic but not a nation. Those who are not outright atheists will say they place a very high value on “spirituality” particularly oriental-sounding or occult or theosophist fads, provided only that the spiritualism places no moral demands on the conscience or on society. I have never heard a person who calls himself “spiritual” say that adultery is bad, for example.
In the current world, the coalition or alliance against civilization has been joined by the Jihad. These violent troglodytes preach all the most conservative imaginable policies, hearkening back to the Seventh Century AD, including Theocracy and Holy War and conversion at swordpoint, including chastity to the point of murdering rape-victims, and piety to the point of killing Jews with suicidal bomb-vests strapped onto their own austic children.
The Jihadists believe in absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing that the Left believes. And yet, oddly, impossibly, the Left uniformly closes ranks and steps in to defend the Jihadists, and calls anyone who does not love the Jihad a racist.
The Jihadist are not “Out” because do not come from Western civilization at all: they are the heirs of the Umma, which is and always has been the violent, vehement, and devout enemies of Christendom. They have always been an outside invader, not, as the Left portrays all conflicts, a rebellion by the oppressed “Outs” against the oppressive “Ins.”
Rebels come from within one’s own land. Invaders come from without. The claims of the Jihadists to be the victims of race prejudice are laughable, if only they were not being taken so seriously and with such damaging effect.
With blithering historical ignorance, most moderns do not even realize that North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia Minor were once Christian lands under the Emperors of Rome then of Constantinople. These Eastern Christians have traditions as old as those of the Catholics, and far older than those of the Protestants, and have suffered martyrdoms and persecutions for over a thousand years, and which have been renewed with vehemence in the modern day, mostly notably and most shamefully in Serbia and Iraq.
Far from being the “Outs” on the oppressed and dispossessed margins of Christian civilization, the Christians were the ones invaded, raped, burnt, and left alive as dispossessed and hated underlings and serfs, and not just for decades and centuries, but for over a millennium.
The idea that Oil Sheiks or harem-born heirs of the Turkish Sultans lolling on the divan amid opiate fumes and the glittering wealth gathered from corsairs or the African slave trade would browbeat the Western powers for their racist oppressions is risible.
After the Battle of Lepanto, the emergence of Europe as a predominant seat of world power for a century so overshadowed the Middle-Eastern civilization that, for the first time in history, the conflict receded from the pages of history. The main conflict of the Twentieth Century was between Christendom, the Democracies, and the heresy of socialist Totalitarianism. We were so preoccupied with this civil war between totalitarian Eastern Europe and democratic Western Europe, that the eternal war with the Middle East receded into oblivion.
Now that the heresy of socialism has been soundly defeated in Eastern Europe, this secondary war is moved from the back burner to the front. The remnants of the socialists and the fellow travelers and useful idiots in the West have made, impossibly, an odd alliance with the Jihad, and the Progressives and Secular Humanists and others beholden to the Useful Idiotic Cause have followed suit.
This is not impossible nor odd at all, however, one we see the common thread or common principle behind the lunacy of the Leftist mind. They are not really “for” anything; they are merely against Christ.
You can see that they are not “for” what is called women’s rights, or else the Left would be in the forefront of protest against honor killings, genital mutilation, and the wearing of the veil. They would be demanding the vote for women in the Middle East. The Left would applaud rather than condemn flicks like SEX IN THE CITY 2, which had a scene where a modern, sexually-liberated demimonde berated the Muslims for their sexual conservatism.
The Left are not “for” democracy, or they would be marching and rioting in protest against the totalitarian theocracies and dictatorships in the Middle East, rather then offering themselves as human shields to stop Western bombs.
They are not even “for” homosexual rights, or else they would be in the forefront of protests, not against Mormons who want to keep traditional marriage in tact, but against Muslims whose tradition is to penalize sodomy by throwing the victim off a rooftop to a grisly death.
The main reason given, and endlessly repeated, for the alliance with the Jihad against civilization is a high-minded preoccupation with the principle of separation of church and state, or an even higher-minded preoccupation with combating race-hatred.
Since the Jihadists are all Mohammedan, and since, like the Christianity it is copying, the heresy of Mohamed is a universal and impartial religion, the preoccupation with race-hatred is a red herring. Cat Stephens and Cassius Clay are not members of the same race, even though they share the Muslim faith, and since not all Muslims are Jihadists, one would think that the Left would welcome strong and rigorous action against the Jihadists in order to protect Muslims from the violent zealots among them.
But no: every concession and every propaganda victory that can be handed the Jihad in the name of racial amity is awarded them. Race has nothing to do with this, and everyone knows it, including those embarrassingly unselfconscious Leftwingers most vehemently red-faced in screaming about racism. Their screams are about a well-meant and serious as those of the comedian Sam Kinison.
The lack of resistance to the creeping imposition of Sharia-compliant financial institutions and to Sharia law being allowed, for example, in Great Britain to govern Her Majesty’s subjects, and the dull silence and lack of protest or even comment from the Left makes a mockery of the notion that a concern for the separation of Church and State is of any concern.
The Left are working busily as beavers to remove microscopic crosses from images of Spanish missions on the city seal of Los Angeles, vandalizing crosses on World War One veteran memorials, and tearing down displays of the Ten Commandments in Court Houses, trampling the crucifix, spitting on it, dunking it in urine in the name of fine art; this leaves them with no time to be concerned that courts of law, including bankruptcy courts, and state-owned public institutions, such as Banks now owned by the Federal government, must comply with the rulings of foreign Imams according to the code of Sharia’s rules on usury.
The pattern is clear. The Movement, whatever we call it, favors gay rights when and only when the promotion of those rights harms the Church. If the promotion of those rights irks the Jihad, the Movement is silent, because at the moment the Jihad is a stronger weapon against the Church.
The Movement favors the rights of women to abort their children but not the right of women to remain the wives of unfaithful men seeking younger trophy wives. What is the pattern? The death of infants and the desecration of life offends the Christian world view, whereas the trivialization of the sacrament of marriage does also. The contempt of silence bestowed on veiled, battered, stoned, genitally mutilated and honor-killed women of the Middle East, who now suffer the same slavery in Europe (and cases have begun to emerge in America). This shows that the feminists are more concerned with aiding the Jihad against Christ than they are concerned with the conditions of women.
The Movement favors the rights of the poor, the needy, and the oppressed except when and where a Church is running a free hospital or a orphanage. Then, if the hospital refuses to perform abortions or distribute condoms or the orphanage refuses to place orphans with two men living together practicing sodomy, the Movement urges the state to shut down those institutions, and poor and the orphan can be hanged. The Movement wants the state, and not the Church, to care for the poor, and greets the idea of “faith-based” charities with frantic scorn and hate.
Most damning of all, the Movement favors whoever and whatever is the enemy de jour. The Movement favored slavery in the South. The Movement favored the Nazis until the day and hour of Hitler’s betrayal of the pact with Stalin, whereupon, with admirable party discipline, they performed an abrupt about-face. During the Cold War, the Movement was firmly on the side of the atheist Communists; during the Jihad War, on the side of the Jihad.
The Reds and the Terror-Masters have nothing in common, no common goals, no common rhetoric, no common values. The only thing in common is tactics, which include propaganda and political terror, and self-righteousness. But the Movement gives enthusiastic backing to political terror issuing from the Middle East, the same it gave during the Cold War to the Reds, and using the same rhetoric: To seek to persecute a serious war against the Terror-Masters is the new McCarthyism.
And here we come, finally, to the mystery of evil. Since it is insane for any man to work for the destruction of his own civilization, the death of himself and his loved ones, what can we conclude about the Movement?
Speaking to most members, one quickly realizes, if one can patiently shovel trough their double-talk and smugness and anger, that not one of them seems to know what he is doing or where the policies and values he supports are leading. They certainly are not being coordinated by any centralized conspiracy of Illuminati or taking orders from the Kremlin.
All they have in common is a world view that places the self above the community, the passions above the reason, Earthly things above heavenly things, and self-satisfaction above all. They have a right to everything, and Caesar, and reality itself, must bend to serve them: and they owe duties to none, honor to no one, not even their own predecessors. Thou Art God. It is all about you, Baby!
This commonality is enough to lead them, as a whole even if not each individual is so led, in the same general direction: against tradition, against law and moral norms, against objectivity, against reason, against nature, and against Christ.
The only common element I can see among the contradictions and conflicting interests of the general alliance, and the only consistent movement I can see over the century and a half since the Civil War days in the modern philosophical mind is what might be called antichristianism.
But very few, almost none, of the members of this vast modern social movement called themselves Antichrists. Even to this day, the self-proclaimed New Atheists pretend an indifference to all religions, as if they are not singling out one in particular for their enmity, and so call themselves a-theist, against gods, not anti-Christ, against Christ.
I am led to believe that they know not what they do. I do not think the march of the Movement is deliberate. I think they do not see the cliff and do not know or do not care that the long slow stampede of the modern Century is heading us all over it.
So, alas, I must call the Movement by some term, “Leftist” or “Modernist” or “Morlock” because the only real term that fits, “Antichrist,” is absurd, because not one of them is deliberately moving the Movement in that direction.
The Judas Goats are leading the innocent sheep, baa-baaing with their high minded oh-so-goody good intentions, down a well traveled and nicely paved road that descends by easy and unsuspecting gradual drops, without signposts, to the gates of Hell, where their abattoir awaits. But it would be nonsense to call this modern social and political movement or set of movements with their many dimensions and myriad factions by the name “Hell-bound” or “Pro-Hell” even if that is the only common chain linking all their fetters.
We must call them “Leftists” because there is no other word. Not all Leftists are in the Movement, and not all members of the Movement are on the political or social Left. Some, like the Jihadists, are not members of Western civilization at all, and are not on our political spectrum, Right or Left.
And we must keep in mind that those on the so-called Right, the Pharisees, the pedophile priests, the Dives who allow Lazarus to starve at their gates, the militarists who live by the sword and curse the peacemaker, the Patriot who tramples the Cross in order to raise the Flag, all of those who consume the widow and the orphan, the money-changers in the Temple, and all who praise God with their lips only and keep Him far from their heart, the Proud, the Envious, the Scornful, these damned souls are also bound for the hungry gates of Hell, and at an even more rapid march, but without the excuse that they do not know what they are doing and do not believe in Hell.
Let no one think that because condemn the Left as the tools and fools of Moloch and of Mammon that I do not condemn the Right as Pharisees and faithless.
If the Rightwing in America were serious about their principles, Abortion, that abominable crime which would make even Aztecs blush and weep, would be abolished from this nation in a single election cycle. If the Christians in this nation were Christians, the divorce rate among us would differ from the divorce rate of the pagans we live among.
If the Conservative Christians believed in Christ, they would believe what He said, and would know that the Leftwing here on earth are not our enemies. We do not fight against flesh and blood.
The Left is not the enemy. By and large, they are ignoramuses. Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.
O my fellow Christian and conservative Gentlemen, know ye that the Leftist pagans are our fellow inmates on Death Row, and only a call from the Governor who governs the universe can grant us a pardon.
The are our fellow inmates in the Terminal Ward of the hospital, and neither they nor we shall be healed save by the that Great Physician who heals with a word.
Our fate is no different from theirs, if we despise the source of our salvation.
I am a supernaturalist. I hold that human affairs are influenced, interrupted, and governed by spiritual entities superior to men in intellect and foresight: thrones, powers, principalities, dominations, archangels, angels, both fallen and unfallen. It is against them and only against them the real wars of this world, and the next world are fought.
In that sense, all war is The War in Heaven.