Bleeding Other People’s Blood
Socialism, Neo-liberalism — are rarely the result of initially spontaneous mass movements. Rather, such eruptions are usually triggered by one or all of three classes of people:theory-ridden intellectuals for whom exalted but impractical ideas substitute for the real world of refractory human beings, ruthless opportunists intent on seizing power, and wealthy socialites and media types who like to play with forces they do not understand, expressing, in the words of Victor Davis Hanson, “a pathetic projection of their own elite tastes and guilty desires.” The damage they do is immeasurable but the detritus they leave in their wake has never deterred them from wreaking further havoc. For the political Left assumes that it represents the next step in human evolution. In reality, it embodies the next stage in civilizational decline.
So David Solway writes in an article of particular interest to us at PJ Media. He continues:
This “new” state of affairs will often manifest as a condition of reversion, whether to an idealized vision of the past, as in Rousseau’s natural state of man, or to a more primitive, tribal-like mode of communal association predicated on an ostensible harmony among its members. It’s a compelling and destructive dream world. …
With its manufactured emphasis on peace, brotherhood, and dialogue, its generic sympathy for the poor, the oppressed, the fugitive, and the marginalized, and its mainstreaming of social and sexual deviance as a species of cultural sophistication, the Left as we know it today manages chiefly to assuage its own bad conscience. For the most potent advocates of the contemporary Left, especially the Liberal Left, are generally privileged people — politicians, academics, newspaper editors, Hollywood actors and TV personalities, intellectual mandarins, social patricians — who feel they have a debt to pay for enjoying their own prosperity, exemptions, and perquisites.
Uneasy or embarrassed by favored status and determined to present themselves as lofty egalitarians, they will do everything they can to mobilize those whom they regard as the disenfranchised — the young, the working classes, the destitute, the “undocumented,” the “different” — while refusing to surrender their own prerogatives. They will treat enemies as friends so as not to have to deal with obstacles to their need for absolution. Inwardly crippled, they will feign magnanimity. They will labor to change the world, not from the ground up but from the top down. And in so doing, they will bleed other people’s blood.
Clearly, then, the empathy they profess for the socially disadvantaged and the strangers in their midst is almost entirely fraudulent. There is a deep lesion between the rhetoric and the reality. They will embrace Rousseau’s argument in A Discourse on Inequality that “the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody”; in actual fact, they generally evince a distinct hankering for the fruits of the earth, which they guard jealously, and dispose of the earth as they see fit. Such is the operative “dialectic” of the socialist elite. Meanwhile, the dream must be protected in defiance of both concrete practice and ensuing results.
Thus, the poor are kept at a distance in order not to depress property values. Peace is bought at the expense of appeasement, social tensions, and future conflict. The Humanities curriculum in the universities is devoted to the ephemeral, the fashionable, the deviant, the radical, and a host of social clichés, while the rigors of classical scholarship as well as the archive of the larger and sustaining culture are cast aside as colonial excrescences. Traditional wisdom is anathema. The pursuit of “social justice” on which the Left prides itself is just another cold platitude that the conduct and lifestyles of its adherents demonstrably invalidate. …
The desire to cut through the recalcitrant coil of man’s character leads only to eventual harm and mutilation, to which the demise of every socialist experiment on record abundantly attests. There is no such creature as the “New Man.”No matter. Our socialist utopians are convinced they will ultimately succeed and so continue to interpret every disaster they have inflicted upon their victims as a sign of inevitable future success.
Much of what David Solway perceives in the mind of the Leftists – their snobbery, hypocrisy, self-dissatisfaction, utopian idealism and the rest – and the effect of their ideology on the people they gain power over, is illustrated in the story told in L: A Novel History by Jillian Becker.
The following is an extract from the book, in which the political theory of the man who likes to be called just “L”, a philosopher of aesthetics who becomes a Communist tyrant, is summarized:
Revolution must occur in the soul of man, L demands and prophesies. Spiritual disintegration must occur so that “man can be remade from his essential particles, his very consciousness changed utterly, so that he becomes in every sense a new creature: not retrained capitalist man, but new-born communist man, as different from his predecessor as Homo Sapiens was from Australopithecus.” The transfiguration of each “member of society” (L eschews the use of the word “individual” whenever possible) will be coincident with, or soon follow, a “social revolution”, which will establish institutions to execute the “common will”.
The “salvation” of “each” will be his “dissolution in the human totality”, so that “each” will be redeemed from the prison of his separateness, and henceforth “know himself to be part of the superforce of common human endeavour”. The one will have become a part of the All. To do so is the only satisfaction for his otherwise insatiable longing, “the great hunger of being, the desperate want of a soul wandering in a universal desert”. The Community and God are identified here as the same – and the Community is by implication the merging of all beings in L’s own mystical universal Self.
Each will achieve his new birth through and by the sole aid of the leaders of the communist movement. To do so must be the “deepest desire of his being”. He must give “all his heart, all his soul, all his mind, and his very life” to the service of the Party. Although “only those capable of growing into the stature great enough for total commitment, strong enough for unquestioning obedience and self-renunciation” will be accepted into the Party. Since the Party will be “the perfect expression of the total will”, it can do no wrong. Whatever it does must be “morally immaculate”. It will in all its actions express “the deepest felt desire of the people”, with a “sureness that rational explanation could never infuse”. Its dominance will “conquer forever the desolation of man confronted by the nugaciousness of his own existence”. In the realisation of its ends lies “all purpose, all glory, and the mystical rapture of the universal consciousness”. The only cause is the cause of the Party. It is the “one sanctity”, and anything done to achieve it is therefore sanctified. Anything a Party member does to serve it is not only justified, but blessed.
There is no innocence but being guiltless of wishing to damage the Party, or undo the revolution, or in any way oppose, hinder or pervert the ends of the Party.
There is no loyalty but unquestioning devotion to the Party.
There is no morality but obedience to the Party.
There is no freedom but submission to the Party.
Since the end which all the Party’s means justify is the ultimate happiness of all mankind – its physical wellbeing, its emotional joy, its aesthetic perfection – any member “of the Party or the masses” who “becomes confused by the desirability of these ends into the mistaken belief that physical suffering, emotional distress or ugly actions should not be performed while the Party is still engaged on working through the processes of historical time to its goal”, fails to understand the nature of sacrifice, and must be “accorded the therapy that will enlighten him and restore him to the great river of human purpose”. However, such a person, who may “have to inflict great agony and terror and even destruction on his fellow beings”, will, if he does what he must do despite his “confusion”, be recognized as “classically tragic”. L goes on*: “The more deeply he feels a sinfulness, the greater his sacrifice to the Cause, and the more he is to be not merely exonerated, but exalted.” Thus the murderer and torturer may be tragic heroes.