Thursday, March 13, 2014

Conceits Of The Left

I was going to continue on with the "Money and Currency" series -- apologies to those of you bored by such subjects, but it's one of particular importance at this time in history -- until I saw this article, courtesy of the esteemed Sara Noble:

SANTA BARBARA – A department of feminist studies professor has been accused of going berserk after coming across a campus prolife demonstration that used extremely graphic displays, leading a small mob of students to chant “tear down the sign” before grabbing one of the signs, storming off with it, then allegedly engaging in an altercation with a 16-year-old prolife protestor who had followed the educator to retrieve it.

Much of the scuffle was recorded on a smartphone by the 16-year-old, Thrin Short. The yet-to-be-released video is now in the custody of Santa Barbara law enforcement officials, who are investigating the March 4 incident.

The professor at the heart of the controversy is Mireille Miller-Young, an associate professor whose area of emphasis is black cultural studies, pornography and sex work, according to her faculty webpage. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday by The College Fix.

The entire article is worth your time. Also, please take a quick glance at miss Miller-Young's faculty webpage, as linked above. She's everything you would expect a pro-abortion "feminist studies professor" who focuses on "black cultural studies, pornography and sex work" to be -- including violent.

A few questions to ponder:

  1. Do you expect this...person to have any regrets about the incident?
  2. Do you expect her to be penalized for her violent acts toward a student?
  3. What position do you expect the authorities of UCSB to take?

Don't all rush at once, now.

On yesterday evening's segment of Fox News's popular show The Five, Bob Beckel ranted about his opposition to the death penalty, in connection with a Louisiana man who had just been released from death row by exculpatory evidence. The rant was, as has become common in such cases, largely about racism: the condemned man was black, and the jury that condemned him was white. But Beckel was unsparing in his denunciation of capital punishment as such, under the usual rationale: there's no way to make good on a mistake.

That's a commonplace objection to the death penalty. Moreover, it has a lot of substance, which is why I favor the restriction of the death penalty to those convicted on the basis of unimpeachable eyewitness and forensic testimony. Yet I would still argue that some persons must be executed on the grounds, as H. L. Mencken put it, that their continued existence is incompatible with the reasonable safety of the rest of us. Apparently most Americans are inclined to view the matter approximately that way.

But as Greg Gutfeld pointed out immediately after Beckel had run down, if you're absolutely against the death penalty on moral grounds, as so many persons -- mainly on the Left side of the political spectrum -- claim to be, you had better be pro-life on other issues. That, of course, raises the hair on Leftists' necks. Abortion is their sacrament, very nearly the "entrance exam" for a woman who wants to call herself a "progressive." You say you haven't had an abortion yet, Miss? Sorry, back of the line for you; the canapes and white wine are reserved for those who've "made their bones"...with their own bones, that is.

No card-carrying "progressive" would dare to publicly defend abortion on moral grounds after having come out against the death penalty on such grounds. The contradiction between their stances is too stark to efface.

This is only the most dramatic of the contradictions generated by the conceits of the Left. It arises from what Frederick Crews called "Left Eclecticism:" the grab-bag nature of the stances the Left adopts, every one of which is deemed mandatory for anyone who wishes to describe himself as a "progressive activist." Those stances don't need to be logically or morally consistent with one another. Indeed, it might well be a feature, rather than a flaw, that they're not: to argue openly and passionately for positions that openly contradict one another is evidence of the willingness to exercise what George Orwell called doublethink, specifically in service to the Party.

He who exerts doublethink on command can be relied upon to chant what the Party tells him to chant, to march where the Party tells him to march...and to shoot whomever the Party tells him to shoot. He'll willingly suppress his own intellect, and whatever moral precepts he might still respect, in service to the Party. However, not all persons who regard themselves as politically on the Left are quite that biddable.

I've maintained for years that the Left is striated in a fashion of critical importance to the battle we in the Right must wage for the future of our country:

  • Bottom level: Private citizens of a non-activist bent, who generally espouse "progressive" positions, vote for Democrats, and are discouraged from "over-thinking" their stances.
  • Middle level: Activists, generally as unthoughtful as the Bottoms, but more useful for the "ground game" of practical politics: electioneering, letter writing, protest meetings, and similar activities that require greater energy and commitment.
  • Top level: The vanguard, where all strategic and most tactical decisions are made, and at which positions on various issues are decided, to be decreed to the levels below.

Persons at the Top of the Left are utterly amoral. They're concerned exclusively with the acquisition and retention of power, and therefore cannot be persuaded away from their positions, which are merely means to an end. Arguing with them, even when they claim to be open to debate, is a waste of time and energy.

Persons in the Middle are Cause People. Their lives are given significance -- to them, of course -- by their political activism. As they identify themselves with their Cause, they cannot be reached with reason or evidence without destroying a large part of their self-concept and self-worth. Very few ever abandon a political attachment, once it's been formed.

Persons at the Bottom are likely to be unreflective at worst. Their attachment to "progressive" positions might be inherited, acquired from admired others, or adopted out of a desire for admission to some circle. Most of them can be reached, but one must remember that beneath a political affiliation often lies a deeper and less alterable desire that must be respected.

Apropos the incident at UCSB: In which level would you put Mireille Miller-Young? Would you expect any amount of evidence or brilliance of reasoning to persuade her away from any position she might hold? And what is her probable impact on the young persons who come under her influence?

The battle for America's future has been fully joined. The demarcations are clear. The forces have rallied to their respective banners. There will be no neutral ground and no non-combatants remaining when we reach the crux.

The critical consideration is the cleavage that divides those to whom the conceits of the Left are integral to what they most desire -- power or some conception of themselves -- from those that remain open to evidence and reason. Perceiving which Americans are on which side of that gulf will become ever more important as the elections of 2014 and 2016 approach.

1 comment:

Moe said...

Hyphenated last name and/or cornrows are a sure sign the Liberal is going to be a problem.