by Cato 9/5/14
The central conceit of the progressive Left is that true democracy can only arise from the political left. The assumption underlying this conceit is that if only “the people” understood and voted their true interests the Left would have overwhelming majorities in every election. It is only the ignorance of the masses to their true interests, the conceit continues, that allows the Right to ever triumph. This ignorance in the masses is instilled and maintained, the Left’s conceit avers, by the unending propaganda efforts of the malignant Right.
The political will of the Left, therefore, even if that is only anchored in the votes of a minority of citizens, is always “true democracy.” The political will of the Right, even if that is anchored in the votes of a majority of citizens, is castigated by the Left as “fascism.”
The MSM is more than happy to insert these labels into every news story and opinion piece it publishes, and nowhere is this more evident than in Europe at the moment. One can’t read a European paper or blog that doesn’t insert the words “extreme” or “radical” before the phrase “right wing.”
The European progressive Left has set a course for the establishment of a grand union of all European nations, the EU. It is a curiosity to those outside Europe that every time the 420 million people of the nations composing the EU have been given a vote on the grand union one or more of the nations have voted “no.” It’s gotten to the point that having a popular vote on anything related to the EU is considered by the Left to be counter-productive; an assault on the grand design and a political mistake. Nations seeking to hold a popular referendum on an issue are threatened or punished.
Still, that is only because the people are ignorant to their ‘true interests’, or so the EU Left’s conceit would have it. Consequently, the EU is being installed by an increasingly autocratic group of political elites, with a diminishing chorus of voices decrying the “democratic deficit.” The clearest among those voices and therefore one of the most maligned by the EU Left is Jürgen Habermas, one of the most respected of EU founders and thinkers. Still, he and all these other deluded people simply don’t know what ‘true democracy’ is, or so the Left’s central conceit proclaims. Opponents to the EU are all “fascists.” Aren’t we?
What follows naturally and reasonably in the progressive Left … clearly evidenced in Europe as noted but also well along here in the US … is the conviction that “the people” must 1) be led by a minority of correct thinkers in the short term, leaders who will herd the deluded masses in the direction of their true interests and 2) be educated in the longer term to what those true interests are. That the Left works through unelected bureaucrats and Left-appointed judges, and has taken over the entire education system is, therefore, good strategy.
Strategy requires tactics if strategy is to be implemented, of course, which leads in turn to the actionable tactics the progressive Left has become famous for, usually by reference to Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Key among those tactics is labeling.
In the mind of man, what you gain the power to define you control. Defining what is mainstream and what is not, what is reasonable and what is not, what is moral and what is not, is the goal. For instance. “Extreme right wing” … meaning any political philosophy to the right of Hillary Clinton … ideas must be equated with evil intent, greedy purpose and foul politics. Once done those ideas can be suppressed, on the grounds that all such ideas are propaganda, a sort of right wing political pornography. The MSM provides the repetition which becomes knowledge, then wisdom, then secular dogma.
The wise Left as sole guardians of ‘true democracy,’ by the suppression of “radical right wing” thought … so continues the conceit … is just protecting the deluded masses from themselves. It’s from this basic idea that the in loco parentis attitude of the Left, with the Left as overseer and “the people” as easily misguided and beguiled children, arises. The “Nanny State” is the common term applied.
The level of self-assuredness, the level of arrogance … of the absolute certainty that they possess eternal Truth, indisputable perfection in all matters social and political and cultural … necessary in a progressive to think like this is astounding. This is at the root of the central conceit. The progressive Left doesn’t merely opine: it irrefutably knows.
It requires a narcissism of immense proportions to hold oneself in such godlike admiration. It requires a certainty that verges on total blindness as well. This last requirement is why, IMHO, the progressive Left has failed steadily and repeatedly to install it’s perfect vision into the real, imperfect world; why the world keeps frustrating their conceit; why nation after nation subjected to their absolute certainty either rebukes them or fails under them. Maoist China and the USSR are large examples of the former. Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal are smaller examples of the latter.
Closer to home, the resistance to ObamaCare is seen by the Left as arising out of the ignorance of the masses to the true interest ObamaCare represents. This resistance is to be overcome by “education” eventually. In the interim, ObamaCare will be shoved down the throats of “the people” like a worm pill down the throat of a resistant puppy, with subsidies and waivers and massive amounts of money serving as the “spoonful of sugar” that makes the medicine go down. In loco parentis. Nanny state. Because you don’t know what’s good for you.
Whether ObamaCare survives or not will go a long way toward informing Americans whether the central conceit of the progressive Left is, in fact, justified. If ObamaCare survives, it is justified. You can then look forward to being treated as a child the rest of your life … disciplined and “educated” … while the US devolves economically into France and culturally into Spain and politically into Italy.
Your choice in 2014 and 2016, fellow citizens. Confirm the central conceit of the progressive Left or deny it. Choose well.
Cato blogs at Cato’s Domain.
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