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Reader’s comment: The good, the bad and the modern Lefties

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In response to Will Jones: Swinson, the eco-loons and a total contempt for democracy

Peter Evans wrote:

I’m sure Ms Swinson is a nice young woman, and may be kind to kittens and fond of wildlife reserves. If you’re expecting a ‘but’ after that sentence, you’re right, and it seems to me to be this:

Leftism, once upon a time, placed its emphasis on improving working class living standards and working conditions. I find that, as a former youthful far-Leftoid and now aging Burkean conservative, this is an aspect of conventional, sane Leftism that I can still adhere to.

This isn’t the Leftism to which Ms Swinson and her progressive ‘liberals’ subscribe, however: my impression is that the reason she can cheerfully disregard the will of the people is that she is a neoLeftist, a femiStalinist-multiculti-sex-revolutionist Leftist – the insignia and sine qua non of prosperous, upper middle-class Leftism. The kind of modern Leftist, in other words, who despises the lower orders as a rabble of ignorant, racist, misogynist, thick-as-mince gammons.

Needless to say, conservatives are beyond the pale in this ideology of puffed up self-righteousness; they’re instantly dismissed as atavistic backwards-looking reactionaries who irrationally loathe foreigners and ultimately want them rounded up into camps. From this perspective, conservatives are simply N@zis in disguise.

Despite its manifold flaws and falsehoods, I confess to having a certain fondness for some aspects of psychoanalysis; Freud may have been flirting with madness with some of his ideas, but his concept of psychological (and group) projection has stood the test of time. To dismiss the electorally-mandated will of the people as invalid if that will goes contra to modern Leftoid progressivism (a term that actually means globalist economic neoliberalism), to do this while maintaining the fiction of one’s own unimpeachable virtuousness, is to exemplify Freud’s theory of projection perfectly.

If we accept the Christian view that we are all sinners, righteousness means an awareness of one’s own vices and the ongoing struggle to avoid yielding to them. It doesn’t mean an absence of vice; it means the ceaseless effort to sustain ethical freedom by refusing to be enslaved by one’s own temptations toward sterile hedonism, especially if that involves treating other human beings as mere means to one’s own pleasure-driven ends. My personal view is that no mortal human being is immune to these temptations, which of course have virtually infinite forms, and all have a duty to refuse them if they wish to live as ethical and free people.

Progressive Leftoidism of the kind Ms Swinson seems so enamoured by is radically different. It takes the view that the struggle is not an inner one, but occurs instead between inherently purely good people, and inherently wicked people. Or as Freud would put it, the narcissistically self-righteous amongst us attempt to project their violent, cruel and sadistic tendencies on to others, reserving for themselves an entirely spurious self-image of impeccable virtuousness.

This is exceedingly dangerous, even if it delivers massive dopamine hits for its narcissistic adherents. Projection is a fantasy; it doesn’t work. The rejected violence, cruelty and sadism continues to exert its influence inside the mind of the person seeking to evacuate it. It doesn’t go away; it just festers and seethes beneath the surface, and must be kept at bay by ever more drastic enactments of self-righteousness (if you’re ostentatiously self-righteous, the one thing you’re not is truly righteous, because the truly righteous are painfully aware of their own flaws).

If your political policies are above reproach because they are morally immaculate and flawlessly benevolent, then anyone who raises doubts about them, anyone who says ‘You’re basing your policy purely on the best case outcome scenario that exists only in our imagination and you’ve wholly ignored the worst case possibilities if and when it goes wrong’ will immediately be designated as evil.

And because the Utopia will never arrive, and will recede further with every step taken toward it because it is impossible, Utopian ‘liberals’ can endlessly pursue their righteous delusions, blaming repeated failure and ever-rising immiseration (caused by, say, Swinson favourites like forced equality of outcome between fundamentally and irremediably unequal people, forced ethnic hyperdiversity, etc) on saboteurs and reactionaries and homophobes and sexists and racists. And because they are acting for the impossible-to-attain earthly Paradise, they can easily convince themselves that they ultimately have a duty to eliminate the evildoers who stand in their saintly way.

Hegel put it more succinctly than me: ‘Evil resides in the very gaze which perceives evil all around itself.’

I’d prefer Ms Swinson to run a cat sanctuary rather than lead a political party, personally.

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