Why are political discussions between Left and Right futile?
The short answer is that the Right bases their conclusions on facts, evidence, discriminating judgment, and seeks to discover, through debate, the least painful of the various imperfect options reality offers.
The Left, on the other hand, bases their conclusions on an oddly reckless flight from fact, a distaste for reality that can only be called hatred, and a suspension of discrimination, and that mental act which is the opposite of discovery, namely, the attempt to blank out or unlearn or reject facts of the world and of human nature known to all since prehistory.
As for debate, that is Leftist kryptonite. The Left are immune to facts. Why?
Let us not here address the question of whether Leftists are immune to facts during political debates and discussions. The examples are too numerous to list in a column this size. Instead, let us here seek only to account for it. This column is meant only for those aware of this absurdly common phenomenon. Those who are unaware, or who make themselves unaware, need read no farther, but are directed to the nearest history book.
We have a whole generation of people who seek the kind of thing people naturally seek from God (love, meaning, a moral compass, communion and companionship, self-worth) they are now seeking from politics.
That is why these modern Postchristian people â€” so overwhelmingly Leftist that in this column I use the terms interchangeably â€” are immune to facts during normal political discussions and debates: to them it is not a political discussion.
Rather, it is a religious discussion.
Let us distinguish: A political discussion is how best to arrange the laws to achieve peace and freedom. A religious discussion is always about what one must do to be saved.
How best to arrange the laws to achieve peace and freedom is partly a discussion of philosophical priorities, partly a discussion of jurisprudence, of economics, and partly a discussion of practical mass-psychology, that is, identifying correctly the expected results of human beings to various rewards or punishments. These are matters where reasonable people can differ in their judgments regarding the credibility to be granted certain evidence, or can differ in their priorities, but despite those differences, theoretical matters can be discussed rationally via investigating their logical coherence, and factual matters can be discussed rationally via investigating the facts. Therefore some basis for reasonable discussion always exists when the matters concern politics.
On the other hand, the different religions have different answers to the question of how to be saved.
To be saved means to be free from sin. If the Christian tone of that concise and clear language makes you allergic, I can state the same sentence in the imprecise and cloudy language modern thinkers prefer: No man is perfect, no man is free of deserving guild, no man is free of wrongdoing and doing wrong, no man is entirely happy. We all seek this happiness and moral cleanness, yet it does not exist here and now: Hence, we are discussing a future condition, a promise of paradise to come.
So the question of salvation is a question of which promises of which prophets or gurus or mystics to believe.
A promise is by definition a matter where current facts will tell you nothing, since you yourself have yet to see this promise fulfilled, so you take it on faith if you trust the prophet making the promise. That in turn depends on a judgment about the character and honesty of the prophet, and on his history of keeping promises given in the past.
But the matter is not one which can be discussed rationally by investigating the facts: one side can do nothing else but try to prove the prophets making the promise for the other side are false prophets, trumpet their history of fulfilled promises, and denigrate allegations of fulfilled promises of their opponents. This is not due to a moral or mental defect in the minds of the debaters, but rather to the state of evidence surrounding the debate: A debate about whether to trust a promise is and must be a debate about character.
For surely if a man is a prophet, a man of God, his speech is clean, his acts are righteous, and miracles surround his life; and his past sayings have come true. It is not only a legitimate test, it is the only test.
So what must one do to be saved?
The Christians say to be saved, you must be baptized, renounce the devil, rely not on your own good deed, but accept the generous offer of Christ to justify your sins.
The Postchristians say to be saved you must recycle, be tolerant, fight racism, and distribute the wealth, stop global warming by abolishing fossil fuels.
Equality will stop aggression, since equals have no reason to feel the sting of injustice or jealousy that provokes fights, therefore you must abolish masculinity in men and femininity in women by abolishing the sexual nature reflected biological reality.
Difference of opinion also creates conflict, so you must conform, obey the consensus of the rabbit-warren, and surrender preemptively to any complaint, regardless of whether it is rational or not.
The Christian dogma is that Adam’s Sin, disobedience to God, is what causes all the suffering of the human condition.
The Leftist dogma is that society’s sin, primarily irrational intolerance in the form of racism, sexism and homophobia (albeit some now add Islamophobia) is what causes all the suffering of the human condition, not to mention the greed of businessmen arising from the institution of private property.
The Christian dogma is that the Devil is the fountainhead of all evil.
The Leftist dogma is that the Oppressor (meaning the Commonwealth, or the Constitution, or the Capitalist or the Caucasian, or the Church) is the fountainhead of all evil.
Once a person is identified as an ‘establishment’ member, he is a bigot and a devil, and he cannot be reasoned with. His motives are irrational hatred and sadism, a hatred he will not even admit to himself.
Hence the Leftist dogma itself poisons the possibility of reasoning with the Left. Their ‘arguments’ consist of endless accusations and argumentum ad hominem. This is a not due to disobedience to their dogma nor a lapse of judgment: it is what their sole commandment commands.
The Christian dogma, aside from rigorous Calvinists, is that man has Free Will, hence he can and must choose between Heaven and Hell, Good and Evil, Life and Death.
The Leftist dogma is that bigotry is innate in the Anglo-Saxon race, that they receive a ‘White Privilege’ by whose grace the blood-guilt of all past crimes of the whites against lesser races is attributed to them, so that an Anglo-Saxon who never received any worldly advantage from being Caucasian, and never felt the slightest particle of hatred, fear, or bigotry against any minority whatsoever, is nonetheless as guilty of racism as Hitler himself.
Do you see how easy it is to be a Leftist? You can win the same moral dignity and applause you owe a trooper storming Normandy Beach because you are engaged in the same crusade, that is, fighting Nazi cruelty, but without exposing yourself to real bullets because all you need do is accuse an innocent and bewildered bystander of a thought-crime or word-crime that you decree to be akin to Nazism. It is heroism on the cheap. And if you confine yourself to anonymous screeds over the internet, you will never even be punched in the nose!
And the accused is born guilty, so he cannot even point to anything he did or failed to do to prove his innocence. That would introduce facts into the discussion, and Leftists are allergic to facts. Better yet, you need make no case: the raw accusation is sufficient unto itself.
In the Postchristian dogma, there is no choice, no free will: the White Devils are born with a guilt that nothing can sponge away. Blacks cannot be racist by definition because, according to Leftist dogma, racism is based on an imbalance of power relations.
Likewise, women, blacks, and sexual deviants are born justified and righteous and nothing they do or fail to do can mar their perfection. The only thing they can do to fall from grace is vote Republican.
In Christian dogma, all Sons of Adam are guilty of Original Sin by definition, the accuser as well as the accused. In Postchristian Dogma, the accuser, by leveling an accusation, is baptized and saved and becomes one of the Elect, and the accused, by a curious double predestination, is one of the Reprobate, and because he is a white male hetero Christian, he is damned.
Hence the doctrine of the Postchristians follows the Christian doctrine. In the Christian doctrine, to escape the wrath of God, one submits to baptism and follows Christ and obeys Him.
In the Postchristian doctrine, the Party is god, the consensus of the opinion-makers is god, the warren of rabbits taken as a collective whole is god, and one submits to think what one is told to think, and speak the verbal formulas one is told to speak, and one avoids the wrath of the rabbit collective.
The great appeal of this Postchristianity is that the verbal formulas have no relationship to reality.
If a man says ‘he’ rather than ‘he and she’ when referring to a person whose sex is unknown, then he is a sexist and an enabler of a rape culture. But if the rapist is a Leftist, such as Bill Clinton was alleged by Juanita Broaddrick to be, and if he abuses women by his adulteries and fornications and unnatural sexual acts, and abuses the powers of the office foolishly entrusted to him to demean his victims with a calculated series of lies and slanders to ruin the woman’s reputation, he is not a sexist and not a rapist, because he only performs the real act of rape, but does not overstep the meaningless verbal formula.
Do you see how easy it is to be a Leftist? Their collective god demands only lip service.
Don’t miss last week’s column: The Windrose of Reality.
John C. Wright is a retired attorney and newspaperman who was only once hunted by the police. He is a graduate of St. John College (home of Mortimer Adler’s “Great Books Program“). In 2004 he foreswore his lifelong atheism and joined the Roman Catholic Church. He has published over 10 SF novels, including one nominated for a Nebula award, and was described by Publisherâ€™s Weekly as “this fledgling centuryâ€™s most important new SF talent.” He currently lives in fairytale-like happiness with his wife, the authoress L. Jagi Lamplighter, and their four children.
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