The Wright Perspective: On Virtue

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In two senses of the word it is absurd for Leftists to spread the idea, or Conservatives to entertain the idea, that the Left somehow occupy the moral high ground rather than, say, a moral sewage sump. It is absurd in the sense of being logically incoherent; and absurd in the sense of being sufficiently risible to provoke the grim mouth of Hell itself to laughter.

Because of their rejection of the idea of truth, even Leftists who might otherwise admire virtue must oppose it and promote vice. Allow me to explain.

A conservative will assume men are imperfect, or, to use the correct term, Fallen. He says that the guilt we feel when we sin is because we fall short of the standard virtue sets, and therefore we must try ever harder, with the help of good laws and good customs, to achieve virtue. Some conservatives say this is the point of civilization.

A progressive will assume men are always growing more perfect. He says the guilt we feel is a hindrance to happiness, if not a psychological disease. Therefore we must try ever harder to abolish taboos and guilt complexes and hang up, that is, to eliminate modesty, decency, shame, and lower the standards of virtue. The progressive dismisses traditional standards of virtues as being meaningless (hence the word “taboo”) or unhealthy (“guilt complexes”) or irrational (“hang up”). The elimination of virtue is to be done with the help of social engineering by ever more intrusive experts granted ever more intrusive powers over our lives, eliminating law and custom and replacing it with experts armed with arbitrary powers. Some progressives say this is the point of progress.

In sum, the conservative think we should avoid guilt by adhering to a standard of acting virtuously; the progressive thinks we should eliminate the guilt by eliminating the standards, and then acting in any way we damned well please, and the consequences are someone else’s worry.

Now, I have made an outrageous assertion: not that Leftists are indifferent to virtue, but are openly hostile to virtue.

Outrageous, perhaps, but there is no difficulty in proving the point…

Read, as they say, the rest

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