Sunday, February 28, 2016

"The Closing of the Liberal Mind"

Kim Holmes writes in advance of his forthcoming book, "The Closing of the Liberal Mind":

Why have liberals become so intolerant? They think nothing of denying someone as prominent as former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from speaking on a college campus. They embrace activists who shut down speakers. They publicly shame people for the slightest deviation from liberal orthodoxy.

Their mindset is the very definition of closed-mindedness.

For them everything from science to the law is “settled” once they get into power. Progress is a one-way street. Their mindset is the very definition of closed-mindedness.

The easy answer would be “they are all bad people.” But frankly that’s a cop-out. Not all liberals are bad people, any more than all conservatives are angels. No doubt among the fevered minions of liberal activists there are people with, shall we say, psychological issues, but that doesn’t explain why so many otherwise reasonable people are so beholden to liberalism as an ideology.

The short answer is that it pays. A lot of people in and out of government benefit. Liberalism also makes people feel good. Whether you are politician dispensing government benefits or the citizen receiving them, liberalism hides the self-interest and sometimes even greed that motivate people.

But the devolution of liberalism into something now openly illiberal has causes far more complex than these familiar explanations provide.

For one thing, liberalism is no longer mainly about ideas. It is about power—as in who has it and who doesn’t. Believing they already know the answers to all questions, liberals view politics and governing as mopping up operations.



Redbaiter said...

I read a book when I was around 14-15 that affected my thinking for the rest of my life. I am indebted to the author of that book, even though he later became a socialist icon.

The book was "The Sane Society" and the author was Erich Fromme. I was intrigued by the ideas within this book, but its general thrust was something I always remembered, and I consider it advice that has always served me well.

Fromme's book was basically about mass insanity. Not so much really off the wall padded cell lunacy, (although he did have interesting stats on the number of mentally unwell) but about societies who en masse support ideas that are in actuality crazy.

One of the most salient examples of this is the German people supporting Hitler.

After reading that book, I have always tried to test my thoughts and actions by asking myself- "Am I acting in a sane way here?"

You know what, it's not always an easy question to answer. But it has at least often stopped me from jumping aboard silly or destructive causes and fads that many others have embraced just because they're fashionable.

Liberalism is one of those causes, and I'm so damn glad I have never ever jumped on that bandwagon, as it has developed into one of the most insane and dangerous mass delusions that has come along for a while.

I think this quote from Fromme's "The Sane Society" sums that crazed ideology up so well-

“The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same form of mental pathology does not make these people sane.”

JC said...

It reminds me of a song in Rogers and Hammerstein's musical, Oklahoma.

"Everything's up to date in Kansas City
They've gone about as fur as they can go"

I think the left have gone about as far it can go in a stable world and to progress its power it needs wars on social justice and to denigrate those who would push back. Education is a two edged sword, on one hand it inspires rationality and people who would stop a mad rush to bankruptcy, and on the other it provides the foot soldiers to protect and enhance the gains the left has made since WW2.

We've reached a stage where the left cannot win wars with rational thought and action.. it needs instability and threats to maintain its position.. it needs causes like asset sales and the TPPA to rally the dwindling mobs of supporters and it desperately needs to control or downgrade alternative media.. one of the most frustrating things is for the Media Party to show a crowd of frothing mad protesters and a different camera angle from a blogger showing its only a dozen or so. These two photos from Bishop Hill show how devastating a blogger can be to a cause..


Anonymous said...

The easy answer would be “they are all bad people.” But frankly that’s a cop-out.

Yep. The word you want is "evil", not "bad". Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.

david said...

Liberals, progressives ... labels chosen to deny reality.

Jigsaw said...

Many of these so-called 'Liberals' are very aware of the power of words and of language generally and they make sure that they couch their arguments in the words that give extra power to those arguments. The Labour MP from South Dunedin Clare Curran presented a paper to the Labour Party at one stage that said just that and the left has been very clever at altering words and how they are interrupted by the public. She was of the opinion that the left when using a word should 'own' it and define its meaning not let their opponents defined it.The MSM have been only too ready to go along with that whole idea so that even the word 'liberal' has now been bastardised and has the 'progressive' which means of course exactly what the user wants it to mean. Think what has happened to the word 'gay'.............

Anonymous said...

What I see of liberals makes me think of the newspeak of Orwell's 1984. They have a lack of conviction of not knowing if they believe in anything or not. There is never right or wrong until it negatively impacts them or a cause they like and then, of course, its wrong. Its emptiness.