Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Fundamental Errors of Liberalism

Over at Renew America, Dennis Campbell mused about the two fatal errors of Liberalism. The misunderstanding of human nature and the inability to learn from history.

The record is long and disgusting on how Liberals can not learn from history always thinking that this particular problem with a particular tyrant or social issue is different this time. Or in other words, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing’s over and over expecting different results.

But what about human nature? Where’s the error in their ways with that?

The answer lies in that catchword Liberals love to use. PROGRESSIVE. That means we should all strive to reach an ideal, a perfect world – defined by the Liberal. And while we’re at it, create by hook or by crook – particularly through legislation – the perfect human.

Liberals are always chasing the fantasy of human perfectibility, which influences so many aspects of their policies.

Liberals believe that if we give a powerful central government enough resources and authority, wielded by intelligent people of good will, virtually all problems and endeavors of human society can have happy outcomes — poverty, education, racial disharmony, crime, affordable housing, universal health care.

Conservatives, on the other hand, recognize that government is composed of enormously fallible people, weak and prone to doing things in their own interest, and not in the interest of others. The larger the government, the more these problems are magnified.

These lessons are never absorbed by liberals, it seems. They remain convinced that negotiation and appeasement will win over despots and savages. This leads them to a fatal conclusion regarding Islam: That we can appease and negotiate our way to a peaceful outcome with what may be the most violent religion in the world, indeed, in history.

Liberals should take heed to an old Irish proverb. “Lord, give me the knowledge of the things I can change and the courage to accept the things I can’t - and the wisdom to know the difference.’

Things happen in history because they are ready to happen. This is a hard thing to accept sometimes. But even though the ideas of freedom, democracy, the belief in one God, were thought of long before they were accepted and dominant in the world, they could not be accepted until the time was right. We were taught in school about ecology - how we are all interconnected to the natural world and the natural world is interconnected with us. Well, there is another kind of ecology - the ecology of ideas.

Take the dinosaurs. They were the rulers of the earth for hundreds of millions of years. Our distant ancestors - the mammals - were nothing but little warm blooded shrews hiding in the underbrush waiting for their time in the sun. As long as the dinosaurs ruled, we would have to wait our turn on the evolutionary stage. But one day the ecology changed. The environment turned against the dinosaurs and they became extinct. This gave our ancestors the chance to evolve and become what we are today.

Ideas act in the same manner. Though many ideas exist, only a few achieve dominance because they adapt best to the environment. Take democracy for example. The Greek culture had it long before the Roman Empire came into being. And yet, it didn’t have a chance to evolve until almost two thousand years later. The environment of ideas would not support it. What I’m saying is that you can’t force history. World peace is a great idea but you can’t have it until everyone’s needs that prevent peace from happening are met worldwide.

Your can’t have a universal human ideal until everyone can attain that ideal. And you can’t have a perfect game until there are perfect people. And, I’m sorry to say, that ain’t gonna happen. Perfect people is and illusion just likes Utopia.

Utopia is a direction not a destination. It can never be reached as long as we have imperfect people. And imperfect people are a good thing to have. If you attempt to remove all the ‘undesirable’ aspects of a human being you will find that they are connected to human desirable aspects. I’m reminded of the Star Trek episode, The Enemy Within, when Kirk’s personality was split in two – the ‘good side’ and the ‘bad side’.

Kirk is split into two alter-egos, the evil one (hostility, lust, violence) of which arrives unnoticed a few minutes after the good Kirk (compassion, love, tenderness) after the crew has left the transporter room. It is quickly surmised that neither Kirk can survive for long in his separated state.

It is a philosophical exploration of the complex duality of man and an illustration of how his good and evil sides taken together define his very being.

The 'good' Kirk, doesn't have any real resolve as a leader until he is rejoined with his bad elements.

The desirable and undesirable parts of our personalities, our very being, are two sides of the same coin. We need both to function as rational beings. Remove one or the other and we either are left feeble and indecisive or barbaric and feral.

It’s best that the Progressives in their quest to create the perfect human being leave well enough alone for they tamper with the very basics of human nature. The answer is not elimination of our ‘bad’ side but the integration of it.

1 comment:

Epaminondas said...

The Constitution has worked for ONE REASON..

It DEPENDS on the weakness of humans to check each other's natural urges to power, greed, and corruption.

Liberalism which seeks to inspire us to behave as we imagine angels behave -- guarantees, since we are not and never will be --- FAILURE, and then demoralization, and finally apathy.