The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Egalitarianism Triumphant

Posted on | January 12, 2014 | 25 Comments

“In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.”
William F. Buckley Jr., Up From Liberalism (1959)

Exposing the falsehood of egalitarianism has been a persistent theme here. Americans have been so miseducated for so long that many people seem to think that the document promulgated by the patriot Congress at Philadelphia in 1776 was the Declaration of Equality, rather than the Declaration of Independence.

It is self-evident that universal liberty must result in vast inequality, and that a coercive program to impose equality can only be attempted at the expense of infringing liberty. Notice I said “attempted” — equality can never actually be achieved, and the radical fanatics who urge us to pursue equality (or “social justice”) as a goal are only leading doomed fools down a Road to Nowhere.

Minds hypnotized by the repetition of glittering generalities — Progress! Rights! Democracy! — cannot think clearly about facts, and find themselves incapable of refuting sophistry, a point I sought to make in a November 2008 American Spectator column:

If homosexuality is a right, and denying legal recognition to same-sex marriage is a violation of that right, then the rage of gay activists against their opponents is entirely justified. Proposition 8 does not deny tolerance, safety and freedom to gays and lesbians, whose right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is as secure in California as anywhere in the world.
Tolerance, safety and freedom are not the same as equality, however, and equality is the freight that liberals seek to smuggle into arguments via “rights talk.” Gay activists do not construe their “rights” in terms of liberty, but in terms of radical and absolute equality. They insist that same-sex relationships are identical to — entirely analogous to and fungible with — traditional marriage.
Common sense resists this assertion, perceiving something fundamentally false in the gay marriage argument. Yet it seems common-sense resistance can only be justified by resort to religious faith, through the understanding that men are “endowed by their Creator” with rights. Eliminate the Creator from discussion, and it becomes impossible to refute the activists’ indignant demand for equality.

Egalitarianism is a ravenous monster. We cannot feed it and keep it as a pet. Bob Belvedere perceives the fundamental problem:

We have to face the very uncomfortable fact that most of what we have been told and what we were taught our whole lives is simply not true.  We have spent our whole lives absorbing and processing knowledge that has been filtered through the funhouse mirror of Leftist Ideology.

Read the whole thing.

 

 


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Comments

  • Montesquieu

    Certainly, the notion of human uniformity is one of the key superstitions of marxism. If not the core premise upon which the others rest.

    Without the notion of human uniformity, it’s impossible to reach one of the core conclusions of marxism (and today’s liberalism) – the notion that “society” is somehow responsible for enslaving hominids in a permanent class system, from which “freedom” is only possible through complete destruction.

    The quasi-religious ideology of marxism, pervasive today in its current form of “liberalism”, is truly organized evil.

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  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Thanks, Breeze – linked you back.

  • Steve Skubinna

    Whenever our self appointed elites speak of equality, it’s meant to be a wedge to drive us apart, and in fact set us against each other. A moment’s reflection will reveal that the word, used by a government, is cover for coercive redistributive policies. Equality means the guys with the guns take your stuff and hand it over to somebody else.

    But we’ve known this about Obama since 2008. Perhaps now, since he doesn’t need to run again, it is no longer racist to point this out.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Hindsight being so sharp, this was the foreseeable result of ever-increasing government control of education at all levels. From the first time they open a history book, our public school students are introduced to a country quite different than the one which became the oldest continuous Republic in the world.

    Far left values are taught and reinforced through every grade and nearly every subject from elementary grades through graduate school. Is it any wonder these perverse values are now so widely accepted without question?

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  • Matt_SE

    “Eliminate the Creator from discussion, and it becomes impossible to refute the activists’ indignant demand for equality.”

    Not in the case of same-sex marriage, where biology dictates the terms of procreation, not equality. The consequences of messing with the natural order are already manifest in collapsing birthrates across the developed world.
    Coupled with this are the numerous studies that show family structures different from man-woman result in sub-optimal results, in terms of all sorts of risks for the children.

  • NeoWayland

    Irony.

    Their solution is that you must submit totally to their beliefs.

    Your solution is that they must submit totally to your beliefs.

    The argument is who gets to call the shots. Over who will rule and who will be ruled.

    “In every generation there are those who want to rule well – but they mean to rule. They promise to be good masters – but they mean to be masters.”
    — Daniel Webster

  • La Pucelle

    That’s a bit of a false dichotomy. To wit: leftism is about varying degrees of control. Many of them seem to know this doesn’t generally go over well, so they have to obfuscate it and/or outright lie. Even the extreme far-right — total anarchy — is not diametrically opposed to it.

    However, as Madison points out, men are not angels, so there is some need for government control. Where conservatism and libertarianism are at odds is that degree (it could be said that conservatives are the true moderates and libertarians are the true right). Daoist- style relativism doesn’t really work here.

    Unless you’re referring to “compassionate conservatives” whose argument seems to be “We’ll shove just as much big government down your throat, but we run it more efficiently!” Trust me, so self-respecting conservative buys that line. I can really only think of three things off the top of my head that conservatives consider falling under government purview. With the left, it seems to be those three issues that the left magically thinks do not. It’s almost as if they’re merely contrarians…

  • NeoWayland

    In this thread alone, there are three obvious assumptions about “conservative” control. One, that there is a god and that certain Christians have a direct link to the Divine will as it affects everyone who doesn’t toe the line. Two, that there was an (imaginary) time when everyone did exactly what was expected and goodness and light prevailed throughout the land. Third, that human sexuality conforms to a carefully defined norm.

    It wasn’t true then and it’s not true now. Those assumptions are just as much about control as anything the progressives have produced.

    In my eyes, the chief virtue of conservatives is at least they are honest and upfront about what they are working towards. It’s why I prefer dealing with them.

    Your definitions of libertarianism and anarchy could use some work. I only know of a very small handful who would describe themselves as “far-right anarchists.” Most anarchists would be offended to be called extreme far-right and would write long screeds why they aren’t.

  • La Pucelle

    One, your definition of Christianity needs work. Second, no one that I can recall has ever believed in a “golden age”; that’s kind of the whole point. (I don’t think even Glenn Beck has argued that) As I said earlier, Madison correctly pointed out that men are not angels. What this means is that men are fallible, hence the need for at least some government. Leftists go overboard and treat government as the solution to everything, trying to force equal outcomes. Conservatives, on the other hand, generally wish to preserve the framework that already exists, hence the label “conservatives”.

    You’re right, so I don’t get where you thing subscribing this to conservatives makes any sense.

    i.e., Less control, which doesn’t mean “I just want to be in charge”, and I’d advise spending some time on Ace’s blog to disabuse you of that notion. As I said, it becomes a question of “How much control is acceptable and within the framework of the Constitution?” Obviously some government control is necessary, unless you like living in Haiti or Bosnia. After that, it becomes a question of whose morality is going to be the common basis for law? Most conservatives — even atheist ones — generally agree that the best foundation is a Judeo-Christian one for many different reasons outlined here. Obviously the atheist does not believe in the sinful nature of man, but he does at least recognize the need for some kind of standard. And that’s pretty much the entire argument that Christians have: not that anyone thinks that belief should be mandated, but it’s the standard that’s been proven to work.

    Lastly, of course they would, because they have no real understanding about the political spectrum. Ignorance of that spectrum is not my problem, and I’m not going to change what it really is because some angry white rich kid gets the vapors. Many self-described “anarchists” are nothing of the sort. They still subscribe to this “equality of outcome” fantasy that is a defining characteristic of the left, where the only supposedly “impartial” agent is the government. In reality, they are merely yet another virulent strain of Marxist special snowflake.

    On the other hand, libertarians are not anarchists; generally they simply want to strip down the government to its defined core functions outlined in the Constitution. Because they likewise believe that some government is a necessary evil, they aren’t anarchists.

  • NeoWayland

    I didn’t talk about Christianity in general, I specifically talked about the unspoken assumptions that shaped what people wrote on this thread. Why else introduce “the Creator” into a discussion on public policy unless you want a way to trump opposition?

    It’s none of my business what people believe unless they demand those beliefs control my thoughts and actions.

  • NeoWayland

    Do I think that progressive values or conservative values should be taught in public schools? I don’t think there should be public schools. Do I approve of the “progressive stranglehold” on the media? I think the media is discrediting itself and people are turning to other decentralized ways of getting information.

    Do I think that gay marriage should be allowed? That’s a religious question and I will follow it up with another. Why should a religious ceremony and commitment be enshrined in public law? Doesn’t that make the religion subservient to the law?

  • NeoWayland

    Exactly how much government should we have? That’s a discussion I would love to have. I think that 80,000 pages of regulations is just a bit much. That’s framework that should not be “preserved.”

    Every single one of the Imperious Leader’s “achievements” has it’s precedent in bad law passed years before. Even if it were all reversed tomorrow, the framework would still exist.

  • NeoWayland

    Ah yes, the “moral basis” for law. I’d argue that our notions of property rights and uniform law have roots in commerce and not religion, but I’m not sure if you want to have that discussion.

    Again, this isn’t an attack on Christianity. I do condemn using faith to control others. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christianity, anthropogenic climate change, or a Faith Based Initiative.

    I’m not going to debate you on libertarians and anarchists, I see you have your mind made up already.

  • La Pucelle

    To keep it short…

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

    Mention of a “Creator” does not mean religion by default. In this case, it’s merely an agreed-upon moral underpinning.

  • La Pucelle

    On those we can agree. But that’s it in a nutshell: degrees of government control. Generally conservatives might be all over the place on the last one, though the current feeling seems to be “states rights issue”. Honestly, that’s where the problems have started — too much of the Constitutionally-mandated state powers have been usurped by the federal government.

  • La Pucelle

    Honestly I’m finding that I’m not disagreeing with you at all.

    Forget about the side issues for a second and just focus on the core argument from the Tea Party. The singular question is: “Is government too big and hence need to be reduced?” My understanding of conservatism is that even if the “right people” are in charge, the size and scope of the government is still the real problem. Heck, Michelle Malkin even said on Twitter today, “Good news: More & more entrenched Beltway barnacle Democrats are retiring. Dear GOP Beltway barnacles: Please do same.” I can only guess that what’s considered “conservatism” has been infested with too many establishmentarians that it’s poisoned the “brand”, but I’m not certain I can really call the establishmentarians “conservative” in the first place, not when they basically have the same answer as leftists do.

    Many more people are unhappy with D.C. as a whole and want the whole thing stripped down and the career politicians gone. Somehow, this is considered “extreme”.

  • La Pucelle

    Yes and no. Peasants rarely worked land that actually belonged to them, but the economies of those societies plodded on. In truth, it was probably a little of both, with a Creator being the necessary external moral agent. How do you decide on which moral code to use, when everyone seems to have their own ideas about right and wrong? I’m not arguing for a theocracy here, just the practical matter of what determines an appropriate basis for law when no one can absolutely agree on what is a moral stance. Even the Founders themselves had many different ideas of what those were. That hardly means anyone is mandated to believe in the moral basis for those laws, only that they respect them. That’s what I’m trying to get at here.

    I made up my mind based on the political spectrum of Totalitarianism<–Big governmentSmall government–>Absence of government/anarchy. The usual questions I get are “But where is nationalism on the scale? What about the fascism/communism rivalry?” My answer is “What do these have to do with the price of tea in China again?” Since these issues don’t have anything to do with the degree of government control. (Not to mention Soviet Russia was pretty darn nationalistic, and rivalry does not mean “to the complete opposite of”) So someone can call themselves an “anarchist” and believe in “smashing the institution” because he wants to erect his own version in its place, that isn’t anarchy, that’s garden variety Marxism. And according to the political spectrum, if he believes in eliminating government altogether, that’s near the dead end of the right side of the spectrum. I don’t know, it just seems self-evident to me, personally.

  • NeoWayland

    Except I didn’t agree. And not just me.

    To many Jews, the phrase “Judeo-Christian heritage” is offensive.

    The Diné, commonly called Navajo, have a whole group of creators and multiple worlds as well. Which did you plan on using?

    Is an atheist less moral because he doesn’t think a creator exists?

    If morality and rights depend on me acknowledging your particular god, then we have a problem.

    Will you seize freedom from those who do not bow before your Divinely sanctioned moral underpinning? Wars have been started for less.

    Is it really your liberty if someone else pays the price?

  • NeoWayland

    Government is NOT an inevitable necessity. I believe that people can find ways to agree and live together without government intervention, without government supervision, and without government permission.

    I believe that government is an absolute last resort that should be starved and then banished as soon as possible.

    Individual freedom must trump government power. Or what is the point?

  • NeoWayland

    The Tea Party doesn’t go far enough.

    Government is not your friend.

  • NeoWayland

    Peasantry started when government took more economic control. Just something to think about. It was certainly expanded by certain institutionalized religions (whistles innocently), and exploited by “nobles” and an entrenched priesthood. That discussion gets really complicated really fast and is probably far beyond what we are talking about here.

    If you’re really interested, you might want to start with The Mystery of Capital by Hernando De Soto.

    I disagree that adults need an external moral agent. At the very least, I believe that the Divine expects us to take responsibility. We won’t always do it right, but we’ll learn and do it better the next time.

    There are alternative political spectrums you may want to examine.

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