Casting Out The Devil

Here’s something that seems to be in the air today.

Yesterday I added a comment to our Benghazi thread from a few days back. As usually happens as threads lengthen, the conversation had wandered off-topic toward the more general sort of ideological scuffling that is a constant attractor in any discussion of current events these days.

I was responding to a typical example of what self-styled “progressives” think conservatives are all about, to wit:

The Republican Party does “really stand for something.” It stands for a lot of things: tax cuts for high income households, subsidies for farmers, science denial, the criminalization of abortion, hostility to immigrants, indifference towards the environment, bans on gay marriage, favored treatment towards their favored industries, and so forth. You could look at the concatenation of Ayn Rand / Rand Paul / Paul Ryan and see a miserly and contemptuous worldview which would make Ebenezar [sic] Scrooge blush.

After I had responded to some of the other points the commenter had made, I ended with:

I will say this though, in a spirit of generosity: leaving aside professional political operatives of both parties, whose only aim is to seize and retain power, I think that both conservatives and well-intentioned liberals such as yourself want the same thing, which is to create and sustain a prosperous and well-functioning American society that maximizes opportunity and happiness, in harmony with our nature. What we disagree about is how best to achieve it (and I think this is due in large part to disagreements about the realities of human nature). It’s wrong of you to impugn our motives so, and I wish you’d stop doing it.

I had also added, but then deleted shortly after posting, an extra passage in which I pointed out an asymmetry between the ways conservatives and liberals view each other — namely that while conservatives generally think that liberals are misguided, and live in deep denial of obvious truths about human nature and the way the world actually works (as opposed to the way they think it ought to work), liberals view conservatives not just as misguided, but as morally evil. From there, it is easy to demonize and dehumanize them.

It may well be that our differences are truly intractable (indeed, I think they are), and that what we need is some sort of divorce, or disaggregation — but at the very least it would be nice to accomplish this without bloodshed, and if history teaches us anything at all, it teaches us that framing your political opponents not only as different, but evil, has a worrisome track-record.

Shortly after I posted this abridged comment, our reader Henry sent along a link to a column by Thomas Sowell, published just today on this very subject.

We read:

From the 18th century to today, many leading thinkers on the left have regarded those who disagree with them as being not merely factually wrong but morally repugnant. And again, this pattern is far less often found among those on the opposite side of the ideological spectrum.

The visceral hostility toward Sarah Palin by present day liberals, and the gutter level to which some descend in expressing it, is just one sign of a mindset on the left that goes back more than two centuries.

T.R. Malthus was the target of such hostility in the 18th and early 19th centuries. When replying to his critics, Malthus said, “I cannot doubt the talents of such men as Godwin and Condorcet. I am unwilling to doubt their candor.”

But William Godwin’s vision of Malthus was very different. He called Malthus “malignant,” questioned “the humanity of the man,” and said “I profess myself at a loss to conceive of what earth the man was made.”

This asymmetry in responses to people with different opinions has been too persistent, for too many years, to be just a matter of individual personality differences.

Although Charles Murray has been a major critic of the welfare state and of the assumptions behind it, he recalled that before writing his landmark book, “Losing Ground,” he had been “working for years with people who ran social programs at street level, and knew the overwhelming majority of them to be good people trying hard to help.”

Can you think of anyone on the left who has described Charles Murray as “a good person trying hard to help”? He has been repeatedly denounced as virtually the devil incarnate — far more often than anyone has tried seriously to refute his facts.

Such treatment is not reserved solely for Murray. Liberal writer Andrew Hacker spoke more sweepingly when he said, “conservatives don’t really care whether black Americans are happy or unhappy.”

Even in the midst of an election campaign against the British Labour Party, when Winston Churchill said that there would be dire consequences if his opponents won, he said that this was because “they do not see where their theories are leading them.”

But, in an earlier campaign, Churchill’s opponent said that he looked upon Churchill “as such a personal force for evil that I would take up the fight against him with a whole heart.”

In today’s Best of the Web James Taranto also picked up the same theme. Mr. Taranto commented on New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s harsh remarks about traditional conservatives (he said on TV the other day that they had “no place in the state of New York”) — an opinion that was quickly and enthusiastically seconded by Gotham’s radically left-wing Mayor, Bill de Blasio. Mr. Taranto wrote (my emphasis):

[T]here’s something a bit puzzling about the sheer viciousness of the governor’s and the mayor’s rhetoric. Liberals, after all, pride themselves on their toleration and open-mindedness, but often they sound like Michael Caine’s character in “Austin Powers in Goldmember” who said: “There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.” Cuomo and de Blasio, unlike Caine, don’t understand they’re the butt of the joke.

One explanation for this phenomenon comes from social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, author of “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.” Todd Zywicki, coincidentally on the same day Cuomo made his remark, summed up the relevant finding in a Volokh Conspiracy post:

Haidt reports on the following experiment: after determining whether someone is liberal or conservative, he then has each person answer the standard battery of questions as if he were the opposite ideology. So, he would ask a liberal to answer the questions as if he were a “typical conservative” and vice-versa. What he finds is quite striking: “The results were clear and consistent. Moderates and conservatives were most accurate in their predictions, whether they were pretending to be liberals or conservatives. Liberals were the least accurate, especially those who describe themselves as ‘very liberal.’ The biggest errors in the whole study came when liberals answered the Care and Fairness questions while pretending to be conservatives.” In other words, moderates and conservatives can understand the liberal worldview and liberals are unable to relate to the conservative worldview, especially when it comes to questions of care and fairness.

In short, Haidt’s research suggests that many liberals really do believe that conservatives are heartless bastards–or as a friend of mine once remarked, “Conservatives think that liberals are good people with bad ideas, whereas liberals think conservatives are bad people”–and very liberal people think that especially strongly. Haidt suggests that there is some truth to this.

Haidt has a theory that moral reasoning is driven by, as Zywicki writes, “five key vectors or values of psychological morality: (1) care/harm, (2) fairness, (3) loyalty, (4) authority, and (5) sanctity.” Haidt posits that “conservative values are more overlapping than liberals–conservatives have a ‘thicker’ moral worldview that includes all five values, whereas liberals have a ‘thinner’ view that rests on only two variables,” in Zywicki’s summary.

I don’t know much about Haidt’s research, but I do know, from extensive personal experience, the vicious antipathy — it hardly seems excessive to call it hatred — that “progressives” so often feel toward conservatives. Again and again, when I have been with them in social settings, and the conversation turns to politics, I have heard truly intemperate expressions of moral condemnation and venomous loathing expressed about conservatives, with the general agreement of those assembled — and when I have chosen not to sit in silence, but to engage their ideas from a conservative viewpoint, I have seen, again and again, their faces darken with resentment as their eyes narrow with a look of barely contained fury. It is altogether familiar and predictable. It is clear that to them I am not just someone with a different opinion about what makes for happy, harmonious societies: I am a heretic, a malefactor, a threat, a devil. It is distinctly unpleasant to be on the receiving end of such malignance, and for some folks it must even be frightening. I can easily see why some people are afraid to speak up.

Thomas Sowell concludes:

Examples of this asymmetry between those on opposite sides of the ideological divide could be multiplied almost without limit. It is not solely a matter of individual personality differences.

The vision of the left is not just a vision of the world. For many, it is also a vision of themselves — a very flattering vision of people trying to save the planet, rescue the exploited, create “social justice” and otherwise be on the side of the angels. This is an exalting vision that few are ready to give up, or to risk on a roll of the dice, which is what submitting it to the test of factual evidence amounts to. Maybe that is why there are so many fact-free arguments on the left, whether on gun control, minimum wages, or innumerable other issues — and why they react so viscerally to those who challenge their vision.

I’m sure that’s true. But the intensity of this reaction seems to go beyond mere defensiveness about one’s self-image. It seems downright… religious.

19 Comments

  1. The one eyed man says

    Huh?

    Low tax rates for the wealthy has been a doctrinal conservative belief at least since Reagan – for a recent example, see the hue and cry in January 2012 when the temporary Bush tax cuts for the top 2% were allowed to expire. Conservatives are stalwart defenders of the bloated Socialist program we call farm supports – and are currently moving legislation in the House to fund their continuation by slashing food stamps, Conservatives not only deny scientific consensus on global warming but – according to a recent poll – also deny evolution. Criminalization of abortion and limiting marriage to one man and one woman are prominent elements of the Republican Party platform, and have been for years.. Ditto for limiting legal immigration and self-deporting illegal immigrants. Any attempt to repair the environment is opposed because government regulation is required to do so. In addition to big ag, Republicans have long favored industries such as pharma, sugar, tobacco, oil, nat gas, and so forth.

    Two thirds of the budget cuts in the Paul Ryan budget are from slashing benefits to the poor (while leaving tax cuts for the rich, farm subsidies, etc. untouched). If that’s not miserly, I don’t know what is. If Romney’s denunciation of the 47% or Ryan’s binary world of takers and makers – along with the belief that poverty is somehow a moral defect – is not contemptuous, then I don’t know what would be,

    All I did was list a series of doctrinal conservative beliefs. I did not describe them as evil or immoral – I simply listed them in neutral and factual terms. If you want to characterize them as evil, that’s your characterization, not mine. And if you think that the hatred and loathing displayed towards Obama and liberals in general – available for all to see on Fox News, hate radio, and numerous links on your website – are consonant with mere disagreement on policy issues, and not vicious ad hominem attacks – then perhaps you should brush up on your reading comprehension skills.

    What a whiny,and nonsensical exercise in self-victimization.

    Posted January 25, 2014 at 10:17 am | Permalink
  2. Bill says

    One-Eye, a litany of so-called conservative malfeasances avoids the point of the discussion and emphasizes that liberals are quick to see evil in conservatives.

    Malcolm, WRT religious my friend Bill V would say it is not a religion but fulfills many of the emotional needs of religion.

    Posted January 25, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink
  3. The one eyed man says

    Bill: if you think that the conservative agenda I enumerated constitute evil malfeasance, then you are superimposing a characterization which was not there to begin with.

    As for the rest of Malcolm’s post: are there some liberals who think that conservatives are evil? Of course. Are there some conservatives who feel that liberals are evil? Of course. Do most conservatives or most liberals consider the other side to be evil? I doubt it. The anecdotal and speculative evidence Malcolm offers certainly does not prove his point. Nor do I wish to echo an unhappily married couple: I am bad, but you are worse.

    I am in Phoenix for the memorial service for my college roommate, so I will be unable to comment further at least until I am on the plane back home tonight.

    Posted January 25, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    Peter, you only list these conservative positions because to you they are self-evidently immoral. (You won’t see me defending farm subsidies, by the way.) But one can be opposed to progressive policies for benevolent reasons: opposed to mass immigration because of its negative effects on low-income wages and social cohesion, opposed to abortion because it involves murder of the innocent, opposed to expansion of the welfare state because it subsidizes the dysfunction of the underclass and mires millions in poverty, and so on.

    It is commonplace, however, for liberals to characterize conservative positions in the most negative and morally shaming terms: the right is opposed to mass immigration, the expansion of the welfare state, etc., not because of a disagreement about what actually maximizes the happiness and harmony of human societies, but because of “racism”, “greed”, and “hate”.

    Even the President feels the need to blame his low approval ratings on right-wing racism, and knows that his supporters will nod in agreement.

    If you float along in a smooth, swiftly moving river, you don’t feel the current at all. If you plant your feet on the bottom, though, and try to walk upstream, you suddenly become aware of its power. You deny the intensity of liberal moral opprobrium because you have never experienced it. It is the water you swim in, the air your breathe.

    I suggest you try, next time you are at a social gathering of bien-pensant progressive sorts, to articulate with approval some conservative ideas. See what sort of a reaction you get. It won’t be a lively, good-natured debate. It will be shaming, shunning, and revulsion, of an intensity that it is hard not to characterize as hate.

    Posted January 25, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink
  5. Malcolm says

    Bill,

    The idea that modern Western liberalism is in its essence a secular religion, with deep connecting threads to New England Protestantism (see this item from 1942, for example), is an important, though somewhat controversial, tenet of the growing intellectual movement known as ‘neoreaction‘. It’s why the dominant liberal media/academic/political complex is referred to as the ‘Cathedral’.

    Posted January 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  6. JK says

    Bill,

    Also here:

    http://hbdchick.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/in-the-dark-about-the-dark-enlightenment/

    Malcolm, the most accessible (to me at any rate) general map was the link you posted over on Dip’s site – I can’t recall the post’s title though.

    Posted January 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm | Permalink
  7. the one eyed man says

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I never wrote that the conservative positions are “self-evidently immoral,” and I don’t believe that they are. I oppose them on policy grounds, not moral grounds. I believe they are wrong-headed and based on incorrect predicates, but not immoral.

    The Japanese are not immoral because they don’t allow immigration: this is the choice their society makes, and there is nothing intrinsically wrong about it. You can have a principled stand against gay marriage – however it is a position I disagree with. If you believe that a fetus is an unborn child, then it follows logically that it deserves the protection of the state. (I keep waiting for someone who talks about an unborn child to refer to himself as an undead corpse.) I do not think that Krauthammer, Brooks, or Will are evil people – just sadly mistaken about many things. Actually, pretty much everything. But they are not immoral people – I am sure they love their kids and help little old ladies cross the street.

    You seem unable to distinguish a disagreement about policy issues with an ad hominem attack. As I said: a whiny and nonsensical exercise in self-victimization. You can do better than that.

    Posted January 26, 2014 at 12:09 am | Permalink
  8. Malcolm says

    So, when you characterize conservative positions as, for example, “a miserly and contemptuous worldview which would make Ebenezer Scrooge blush”, you do so not to express moral reproach, but only in a spirit of cool, abstract disagreement. Got it.

    Posted January 26, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink
  9. the one eyed man says

    Of course not. Providing long-term unemployment insurance has been commonplace when the number of long-term unemployed has been high; eliminating these benefits now is nothing if not miserly. Reducing food stamp benefits to below subsistence level, while taking millions of people off food stamps, is nothing if not miserly. Eliminating these benefits while plumping generously for farm supports, oil depletion allowances, and carried interest tax loopholes for hedge fund managers, is nothing if not miserly. It’s what the word “miserly” means.

    Saying of Americans who get government assistance – including retirees, veterans, and the disabled – that “I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives” is nothing if not contemptuous. I am sure that people who have worked all their lives, wounded veterans, and people who have physical or mental problems which prevent them from working were delighted to hear themselves described as irresponsible and unable to take care of themselves. Paul Ryan is an acolyte of Ayn Rand, as is Rand Paul, who is named after her. Their worldview of superior makers and morally inferior takers is nothing if not contemptuous of the morally defective lower classes. It’s what the word “contemptuous” means.

    The widely promulgated notion that what the poor need is not help, but a swift kick in the ass, is both miserly and contemptuous. Is this immoral? I merely report facts. You can decide what the moral implications of those facts would be.

    * * * *

    I was surprised to read that Andrew Cuomo said that traditional conservatives have “no place in the state of New York,” so I looked into it. I was not surprised to find out that a factual observation was taken completely out of context and misconstrued.

    In a radio interview, Cuomo was asked about the difference between moderate Republicans and extremist Republicans in New York politics. He made the unremarkable statement that extreme Republicans have no place in New York politics, for the same reason that Bernie Sanders would have bleak electoral prospects in Texas: they are out of sync with the rest of the state. Cuomo should know: he beat right wing extremist Carl Paladino by thirty points in 2010.

    Your characterization is wrong on two counts. First, he was not talking about “traditional conservatives,” but rather extremist conservatives. Second, he was not suggesting that conservatives pack their bags for Connecticut, but rather making an inarguable statement of fact; extreme right candidates will not win statewide elections in New York. Duh.

    Similarly, President Obama did not “blame low poll numbers on right wing racism.’ What he said is that some people dislike him because “they don’t like the idea of a black President,” while others “really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I am a black President:” an inarguable statement of fact. Duh.

    You will note that there is no reference to the right wing, and the antipathy towards him because of his skin color is balanced with the sympathy towards it. Nor do his poll numbers have anything to do with racism. After the government shutdown in October, he had approval ratings around 50%. One month later, with the botched rollout of healthcare.gov, they fell to around 40%. Unless you think that in one month’s time that 10% of Americans suddenly became racist, his drop in the polls is exogenous to race.

    If you want to make the case that progressives make arguments based on obloquy rather than principled arguments, then you have to come up with actual examples of them doing so. Taking quotes out of context and wildly distorting them is the mark of a desperation to find things to be outraged about, no matter how untethered that outrage is to reality.

    Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:18 pm | Permalink
  10. Dom says

    “He made the unremarkable statement that extreme Republicans have no place in New York politics …”

    Had he meant that, he would have said they could not win in NY. Or he would not have said it at all. That an extreme republican could not win in NY is like saying a Muslim can not be elected pope. Not a point worth making.

    Posted January 26, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Permalink
  11. Malcolm says

    The American welfare state already dwarfs the budgets of most of the world’s nations; since the War on Poverty began, we have given over fifteen trillion dollars to the poor in means-tested payouts alone, which is more than the aggregate cost of all the military conflicts in the nation’s history. We spend more on these programs than on national defense. (And this doesn’t even include Social Security and Medicare.) The Census Bureau has estimated that we spend four times what it would take simply to give enough cash to the poor to raise every one of them above the poverty level.

    The growth of the welfare state is accelerating, and is completely unsustainable. Yet to suggest that we find a way to reduce this ruinous expense, however slightly, is “miserly”.

    A half-century later, despite the trillions spent, the War on Poverty has failed: poverty rates are significantly higher now than they were in 1965. Meanwhile, by subsidizing dysfunction, the welfare state has contributed enormously to the collapse of the underclass. The number of families in the lowest 20% in which the head of the family has a job has dropped by 50% since 1960. The rate of out-of-wedlock births among blacks has gone from 28% to 70%. The number of able-bodied adults without children has doubled in recent years.

    Yet for a conservative to suggest that the present system might actually be immuring people in poverty, rather than lifting them out of it, is “contemptuous”, and amounts to nothing more that just wanting to give them a “kick in the ass”.

    As for Messrs. Cuomo and de Blasio, and your attempt at a positive spin: your loyalty is is touching, but hardly persuasive. Mr. Cuomo lumped together an assortment of ordinary conservative views — opposition to abortion and to “assault-weapon” hysteria, and reluctance to keep pace with the Overton Window’s leftward dash on gay marriage — then called people who hold such views “extreme” conservatives.

    These are not “extreme” views; they are widely held, common and unexceptional conservative opinions. Mr. Cuomo did not simply say that for the GOP to endorse these traditional views, despite their being held by millions of decent New Yorkers, might nevertheless be an electoral liability. No, he made it clear that in his opinion such people “have no place in the State of New York”. (Keep in mind, with regard to his characterization of “right-to-life” as an “extreme” position, that 38% of New York State’s residents are Catholics.)

    Meanwhile, even if Mr. Cuomo left room for partisan spin, Mr. de Blasio did no such thing. Asked to comment, he gave his enthusiastic assent to the characterization of these ordinary opinions as “extreme”, and said that he agreed “100%”.

    Finally, with regard to the President’s remarks about race: here’s the relevant passage from the New Yorker:

    “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President,” Obama said.

    The President made this remark in the context of his declining support among white voters. That some others may support him because of his race (as is without question as regards his sky-high support among black voters) is obviously irrelevant.

    You are right that the quote did not mention “right-wing” racism, and for that I stand corrected. But does anyone really imagine that his loss of support among left-wing whites is due to racial antipathy?

    Far more likely, given his slender qualifications in 2008, is that his initially high approval rating among upscale white voters was due to his race. (Being deeply embedded in the belly of the Northeastern liberal beast, I can tell you that the prospect of electing America’s first black president had all my SWPL pals giddy with excitement back then.) The drop in his ratings now among the same voting bloc is, as you say, not because they suddenly all became racists, but because they have now had five years to assess the man’s performance in office — and that this was enough to trump their previous, affirmative racial motivation.

    Posted January 26, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink
  12. Simon in London says

    What I don’t understand is why conservatives insist on seeing liberals as good people with bad ideas? Is it some kind of ‘white knighting’ thing, where liberals are identified by conservatives as ‘feminine’ and therefore in need of chivalry/protection? It doesn’t seem to have any evidential basis; I see conservatives express warm feelings towards leftists/liberals who would happily kill those same conservatives.
    Incidentally, advice for conservatives: expressions of repugnance and out-grouping are incredibly effective against liberals. A taste of their own medicine shuts them up really fast. Liberal: “These views are repugnant!” Correct answer: “I find you repugnant.” Try it, you’ll see. >:)

    Posted January 30, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink
  13. Malcolm says

    What I don’t understand is why conservatives insist on seeing liberals as good people with bad ideas?

    Simon, I feel that way only because I know so many of them. Looking at history with aloof, post-Enlightenment skepticism, modern liberals have come to believe that the source of humanity’s endless conflict and suffering is the self-confidence of traditional societies — above all, the discriminations that such cultures, in order to survive and flourish, necessarily make between friend and foe, higher and lower, self and other, good and evil, beauty and ugliness, wisdom and folly, sacred and profane, and right and wrong.

    The key to harmony and happiness, then, is to reject and abandon all such confident discrimination in favor of radical doubt, which leads in turn to radical relativism. The equally radical — and poisonous — consequence of this is that if nothing and nobody can rightly be judged to be better or worse, or right or wrong, then the world’s obvious inequalities must mean that somehow, somebody cheated.

    For example, look at the phenomenal success of Western, Judeo-Christian civilization, which effectively conquered and transformed the entire world, while creating sublime works of art, immeasurable wealth, and lifting billions out of poverty.

    There are two possibilities. One is that for such a stupendous conquest to have happened, there must simply have been something inherently superior about such a civilization — and, because cultures do not fall from the sky, something special also about the people who created it.

    But if you must rule that out, because it is offensive even to imagine such a thing, then what’s left? Only that somehow it was a dirty trick, a great injustice — and that in the name of justice the villains must be brought down, their perfidy exposed, their altars shattered, their ill-gotten wealth confiscated, and their ambitions confounded.

    And so liberals, with the best of intentions, have made themselves the enemies of everything good, everything true, everything superior, and everything sacred: in short, everything that once made our civilization great.

    Posted January 30, 2014 at 11:48 pm | Permalink
  14. Bill says

    Malcolm, I agree with your analysis for those liberals whom we know and love. They really are misguided. However, I think Simon doesn’t see those, he sees the other kind of liberal who co-opts the first kind. this kind of liberal is not interested in helping anyone, they just say they are. They are indeed evil underneath in that their goal is power, purely and simply, and exploiting peoples feelings of sympathy for the down-trodden is a way to do it. In the meantime the useful idiots wonder what happened to the promises.

    Posted January 31, 2014 at 12:33 pm | Permalink
  15. Forse from Hong Kong says

    Hi folks, I’ve enjoyed the post and discussion (my first time here).
    As the Welfare state is a focus, I recommend a recent article in The New English Review: “Minefield of Dreams: The Good Intentions That Harm Society”.
    As a kid of the sixties I believed implicitly in the Welfare State in the UK (I later lived there for 5 years), but now not so much. Theodore Dalrymple, quoted in the article, knows whereof he speaks. His career is as a prison doctor and inner-city hospital psychiatrist. And one with a facile and elegant pen.
    I’ve read his books and many of his posts. A caring, thoughtful and empathetic man, he nonetheless now urges reductions in the system that has led to all sorts of perverse incentives for those in Welfare not to take charge of their lives. Indeed the opposite: to continue to act badly in order to continue to enjoy the succor of the State. To be sure, UK’s system may not map well to that in the US, and he’s not talking of veterans, the handicapped, and so on.
    Still, it’s worth a read. While you’re about it have a look at some other Dalrymple stuff, if you haven’t already.
    Best from a balmy HK.. I’ll be back!…

    Posted February 2, 2014 at 8:32 am | Permalink
  16. Forse from Hong Kong says

    Dalrymple in New English Review

    Posted February 2, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink
  17. Malcolm says

    Hi Forse, and thanks for joining in.

    Dalrymple is very good. He truly understands the problem, and his writing is both strong and elegant. I’ve read many of his articles and books. In particular, I recommend Life at the Bottom to anyone who wishes to understand what a monster we’ve created — with the best of intentions.

    Posted February 3, 2014 at 12:00 am | Permalink
  18. Forse from Hong Kong says

    Tx Malcolm, hadn’t read that, so now added to my Wishlist.
    Happy New Year of the Horse!
    Forse in China (the Hong Kong bit)

    Posted February 3, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink
  19. anonymous says

    The Left does not have and never had “good intentions.” All the social disruptions and destruction that accompanied their policies were planned and deliberate. This is Gramscian social Bolshevism at work. Destroy “cultural hegemony,” turn the majority culture into atomized, anomic consumers, destroy society utterly, and then “the masses” will beg the ones who destroyed it to restore law and order. It’s happened before. They even write books about it.

    I also can’t help but notice that “the one eyed man” refused to answer. They are all the same: evil, cowardly, opportunistic, full of hate for the society around them and for anyone who is less enthusiastic about “the cause” than they are.

    Posted February 8, 2014 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

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