June 2, 2009
Do Liberals Crave A Master?By Andrew Thomas
Contemporary liberals, having abandoned the belief in God-given inalienable rights, masochistically crave a worldly master. This master is a sadistic god-substitute who will provide the stern discipline needed to force economic equality and "fairness" by requiring painful sacrifices and bestowing government-created rights onto obedient and acquiescent groups of left-leaning masochists.
Of course, I am not referring to the sexual variety of masochism, but rather the recognized psychosis of moral masochism. Large segments of the population, and even entire nations can suffer from this illness as described in Daniel Rancour-Laferriere's book, "The Slave Soul of Russia: Moral Masochism and the Cult of Suffering".
First, some re-definitions: In the same derogatory fashion liberals refer to contemporary Conservatives as "neocons", I will label this group as "neolibs" going forward. I feel this is appropriate, as the Liberal movement has taken a decidedly leftward leap and become more radicalized in their outward behavior in the last few years, and is therefore a new phenomenon.
In most conservative writing (Thomas Sowell, Ayn Rand, and more recently Mark Levin) the common theme is the sanctity of individual freedom and liberty. The conservative is an individualist and an independent thinker, as opposed to those who primarily identify themselves as members of a group. The term "conservative" is a misnomer for this philosophy, as it connotes a preservation of the status quo, or even a "regressive" yin to the "Progressive" yang. This is why I believe a more appropriate label for conservative philosophy is "individualist", and I will refer to it in this manner for the remainder of this article.
Next, a pop-psychology primer: individualists gravitate toward existential thinking, or a view of the world where individuals have complete freedom of choice and take full responsibility for the results of those choices. This mandates that choices must be made with a logical evaluation to determine the potential consequences. The impartial evaluation of phenomena to determine the truth is an offshoot of existentialism known as phenomenology. The phenomenologist is rational and emotionally detached from the subject of analysis, eliminating judgment and perception. Once the perceptions of reality are stripped away as much as possible, the phenomenologist then attempts to perform an insightful analysis of the object to determine what is real or "true". I believe that many individualists tend to be effective phenomenologists due to their ability to separate themselves from group-think and emotional judgment. Therefore, let's use the phenomenological process to analyze the "Neolib as masochist" theory.
In our first analysis, we will impartially examine Neolib behavior. Objectively listen to Janeane Garofalo in the Youtube video linked to her name. In listening to neolibs such as Janeane speak, it is evident that they appear to be driven predominantly by emotion rather than logic. Just reviewing an alphabetical list of emotions, as extracted from a list in Wikipedia, lends itself to describing neolib behavior:
Anyone who views the world through these emotions would naturally feel threatened when interpreting individualists' behavior. The neolib typically projects hatred, bigotry, selfishness, and greed onto the individualist when there is no physical evidence to support the interpretation. The strong passions exhibited by neolibs, coupled with delusions of persecution, foster these masochistic tendencies.
Now let's objectively review the initiatives in the neolib agenda: Environmentalism, global passivism, overpopulation, socialized healthcare, and promoting government intervention into all aspects of life. All of these priorities require individuals to sacrifice their lifestyles, their income, and/or their basic comforts.
This past week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi exhorted, "Every aspect of our lives must be subjected to an inventory..." in order to sacrifice ourselves to the gods of global warming. As presidential candidate Obama said, "We can't drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times..." He seems to indicate that he wants us to starve and freeze.
Most of these initiatives involve the inflicting of pain and misery. Tom Daschle, in his book "Critical: What We Can Do About The Health Care Crisis" says health-care reform "will not be pain free" and that seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of having them treated. In other words, you will suffer a slow agonizing death under government mandate.
As a final phenomenological exercise, impassively observe the level of neolib support for this agenda. It has not appeared to wane. In fact, neolib fervor continues to increase as the promised level of suffering increases.
According to Rancour-Laferriere, increasing Russian masochism coincided with the rise of the Soviet Union and Communism, although it was pervasive in the soul of Russia prior to that. The conclusion to this analysis is that as neolib moral masochism increases, so does the emotional need for an all-powerful master to govern them. As the governing master becomes more dominant and disciplinarian, the masochism is reinforced and the spiral continues.
Is there a cure? Self-destructive behavior is very difficult to overcome. Many years ago in an Abnormal Psychology class, I studied the case of a group of young adults who would continually pound their heads against a wall until they became bloody pulps. Psychologists found that the only thing that would interrupt their behavior was a 9,000 volt shock from a cattle prod.
This is probably an impractical solution. Since 45% of the nation thinks we are going in the right direction, there are too many neolibs and too few cattle prods.
Andrew Thomas blogs at Darkangelpolitics.com.