The Totalitarian Irrationalism of the Left

The left likes to parade itself as the political movement of reason, rationalism, and “science.” Except whenever reason, rationalism, or science conflict with their political agenda. By contrast, if the left is the political embodiment of reason, then the right must be the political manifestation of irrationalism. The intellectual reality of this dichotomy which serves only to advance leftwing causes couldn’t be further from the truth.

When one studies the history of political philosophy, and philosophy more generally -- something left-wingers loath because not only are they incapable of serious reading and logic, it would also expose their lies about where natural reason, natural law, and the politics of reason lay -- there are two currents of political thought which align with the left-right divide.

From Aristotle and Cicero, to Burke and Scruton, the politics of conservatism are rooted in natural law, natural right, and natural reason as barriers against the totalitarianism of unrestrained passions. For, as Cicero said in De re publica, the frenzied masses often destroy -- in their rage --“admirable systems.” And as Burke said in A Philosophical Enquiry, the frenzied spirits of the “disordered imagination” become “unrestrained by the curb of reason” leading to “despotic governments, which are founded on the passions of men.”

Some argue that Burke only became conservative later in his life, especially after witnessing the terror of the French Revolution. This reading of Burke is made by those who are only familiar with two things about Burke: That he supported the American Revolution and that he didn’t support the French Revolution. However, fuller engagement with Burke’s canon reveals a consistency in his thought.

In A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful, Burke defends the small, “general society,” and the pleasantries of the beautiful against the totalitarianism of the passionate sublime. From this purview, Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France is the political reflection of his longstanding aesthetic attitudes. In the 1750s, Burke already highlights a penchant for beauty, the small and the particular, all of which are core concepts in conservative political thought going back to even Aristotle and Cicero, whom Burke cites. Even in his satirical essay, a Vindication of Natural Society, Burke bemuses that central planners of artificial political rationalism turn “Reason against itself” and, as such, “increase the follies and miseries of mankind.”

The classical tradition of political philosophy, which conservatives like Burke, Oakeshott, and Scruton all drew and draw from, is contrasted with the modern political tradition which brought rupture with the past. From Rousseau, Lenin, and Foucault, the latter of whom said “the ultimate language of madness is that of reason,” you find the protest against natural reason and natural society in favor of the terror of the passionate and sensual, the same terror of the sublime which Burke argued that civil society was working to curb to allow for the manifestation of beautiful, pleasant, and local lives to be actualized. Today we see the same passion of totalitarianism exhibited by the left but veiled in the language of “reason” and “science” on bumper stickers, yard signs, and television interviews. But then again, the actions of leftists at universities, campus talks, and “punch a Nazi” competitions, shows their true colors.

Leftists who hold themselves up as embodying virtue and reason, while -- in actuality --exhibiting the politics of totalitarian passions, wear the hat of corruption, deception, and parody. Aristotle said to speak falsely of things that are is to speak falsely of them. Given the intellectual reality of the conservative tradition being rooted in natural law, natural right, and natural reason, and the revolutionary and totalitarian tradition being rooted in anti-rationalism, opposition to natural society, and the politics of passion, this should help people navigate the very passionate times in which we live.

The left-wing drift of culture and politics which has cut down natural society and natural law now finds its last great obstacle, the last barrier to overcome, in constitutional and organic legal institutions and constructs. The desire to destroy the admirable Electoral College by the left is not an argument from reason but the totalitarian impulse of the passions. The desire to have “affordable” college is not about liberation but control -- for such erasure of student debt would make a generation captive to the executive branch which would subsequently have the power to decide and dictate all our lives. The desire to eliminate all laws concerning the natural life of human persons in favor of “the freedom to choose” is not about the politics of reason but the triumph of the totalitarian lust to control and destroy, to control and destroy the most vulnerable lives. The left complains about an unjust society and laws, yet they promote the cruelest and most unjust of all laws. The desire to replace – wholesale -- by social engineering the organic manifestation of natural society is about the triumph of the disordered imagination instead of the rational defense of the long inheritance.

Conservatism understands the fundamental delicacy and fragility of order, of society, and of community. Burke noted that the beautiful, which produces the passion of love and union, is embodied in such fragility. In fact, it almost depends upon it. “It is much harder to create than to destroy” is the quintessential conservative dictum. The rational arguments for the preservation of hundreds, if not thousands, of years of organic development and tradition -- showing the goodness/s and stability it has given, highlighting the fragility of liberty born from the common law, Christian, and classical synthesis -- is simply something that irrational creatures desiring radical change cannot abide by.

Far from embodying rationality, the left veils its political program in deceitful language. Burke is also essential in learning the false tactics of revolutionaries who disguise force with the smile and language of benevolence, “At length the mask is thrown off, and they are now trying means of extract their benevolence by force.” The left uses the language of love, beauty, and reason, but its practicable realization is hatred, destruction, and irrationality. In their passionate fury the leftist mobs threaten to destroy the very delicate order of liberty, rule of law, and life which took so long to develop. But such is the cost of “progress” and licentious “liberty.”

The ultimate irrationality of man is thinking that in a single generation -- or single presidency -- we can “create” (by destroying first and foremost) a perfect order of liberty, law, and life. Those who think this way are not moved by reason at all but moved entirely by the passions of their disordered imagination. These lustful leftists, as Burke noted, cause far more damage to the world and bring miseries to other than the so-called cruel conservatives who offer skepticism and restraint as a guide to political action and life. Burke aptly noted, “Rage and phrensy will pull down more in half an hour, than prudence, deliberation, and foresight can build up in a hundred years.” It turns out that those labelled irrational by the left are often the most rational people around while the self-styled denizens of reason are nothing more than frenzied mobs filled with destructive rage, hate, and the lust to dominate others.

The left likes to parade itself as the political movement of reason, rationalism, and “science.” Except whenever reason, rationalism, or science conflict with their political agenda. By contrast, if the left is the political embodiment of reason, then the right must be the political manifestation of irrationalism. The intellectual reality of this dichotomy which serves only to advance leftwing causes couldn’t be further from the truth.

When one studies the history of political philosophy, and philosophy more generally -- something left-wingers loath because not only are they incapable of serious reading and logic, it would also expose their lies about where natural reason, natural law, and the politics of reason lay -- there are two currents of political thought which align with the left-right divide.

From Aristotle and Cicero, to Burke and Scruton, the politics of conservatism are rooted in natural law, natural right, and natural reason as barriers against the totalitarianism of unrestrained passions. For, as Cicero said in De re publica, the frenzied masses often destroy -- in their rage --“admirable systems.” And as Burke said in A Philosophical Enquiry, the frenzied spirits of the “disordered imagination” become “unrestrained by the curb of reason” leading to “despotic governments, which are founded on the passions of men.”

Some argue that Burke only became conservative later in his life, especially after witnessing the terror of the French Revolution. This reading of Burke is made by those who are only familiar with two things about Burke: That he supported the American Revolution and that he didn’t support the French Revolution. However, fuller engagement with Burke’s canon reveals a consistency in his thought.

In A Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful, Burke defends the small, “general society,” and the pleasantries of the beautiful against the totalitarianism of the passionate sublime. From this purview, Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France is the political reflection of his longstanding aesthetic attitudes. In the 1750s, Burke already highlights a penchant for beauty, the small and the particular, all of which are core concepts in conservative political thought going back to even Aristotle and Cicero, whom Burke cites. Even in his satirical essay, a Vindication of Natural Society, Burke bemuses that central planners of artificial political rationalism turn “Reason against itself” and, as such, “increase the follies and miseries of mankind.”

The classical tradition of political philosophy, which conservatives like Burke, Oakeshott, and Scruton all drew and draw from, is contrasted with the modern political tradition which brought rupture with the past. From Rousseau, Lenin, and Foucault, the latter of whom said “the ultimate language of madness is that of reason,” you find the protest against natural reason and natural society in favor of the terror of the passionate and sensual, the same terror of the sublime which Burke argued that civil society was working to curb to allow for the manifestation of beautiful, pleasant, and local lives to be actualized. Today we see the same passion of totalitarianism exhibited by the left but veiled in the language of “reason” and “science” on bumper stickers, yard signs, and television interviews. But then again, the actions of leftists at universities, campus talks, and “punch a Nazi” competitions, shows their true colors.

Leftists who hold themselves up as embodying virtue and reason, while -- in actuality --exhibiting the politics of totalitarian passions, wear the hat of corruption, deception, and parody. Aristotle said to speak falsely of things that are is to speak falsely of them. Given the intellectual reality of the conservative tradition being rooted in natural law, natural right, and natural reason, and the revolutionary and totalitarian tradition being rooted in anti-rationalism, opposition to natural society, and the politics of passion, this should help people navigate the very passionate times in which we live.

The left-wing drift of culture and politics which has cut down natural society and natural law now finds its last great obstacle, the last barrier to overcome, in constitutional and organic legal institutions and constructs. The desire to destroy the admirable Electoral College by the left is not an argument from reason but the totalitarian impulse of the passions. The desire to have “affordable” college is not about liberation but control -- for such erasure of student debt would make a generation captive to the executive branch which would subsequently have the power to decide and dictate all our lives. The desire to eliminate all laws concerning the natural life of human persons in favor of “the freedom to choose” is not about the politics of reason but the triumph of the totalitarian lust to control and destroy, to control and destroy the most vulnerable lives. The left complains about an unjust society and laws, yet they promote the cruelest and most unjust of all laws. The desire to replace – wholesale -- by social engineering the organic manifestation of natural society is about the triumph of the disordered imagination instead of the rational defense of the long inheritance.

Conservatism understands the fundamental delicacy and fragility of order, of society, and of community. Burke noted that the beautiful, which produces the passion of love and union, is embodied in such fragility. In fact, it almost depends upon it. “It is much harder to create than to destroy” is the quintessential conservative dictum. The rational arguments for the preservation of hundreds, if not thousands, of years of organic development and tradition -- showing the goodness/s and stability it has given, highlighting the fragility of liberty born from the common law, Christian, and classical synthesis -- is simply something that irrational creatures desiring radical change cannot abide by.

Far from embodying rationality, the left veils its political program in deceitful language. Burke is also essential in learning the false tactics of revolutionaries who disguise force with the smile and language of benevolence, “At length the mask is thrown off, and they are now trying means of extract their benevolence by force.” The left uses the language of love, beauty, and reason, but its practicable realization is hatred, destruction, and irrationality. In their passionate fury the leftist mobs threaten to destroy the very delicate order of liberty, rule of law, and life which took so long to develop. But such is the cost of “progress” and licentious “liberty.”

The ultimate irrationality of man is thinking that in a single generation -- or single presidency -- we can “create” (by destroying first and foremost) a perfect order of liberty, law, and life. Those who think this way are not moved by reason at all but moved entirely by the passions of their disordered imagination. These lustful leftists, as Burke noted, cause far more damage to the world and bring miseries to other than the so-called cruel conservatives who offer skepticism and restraint as a guide to political action and life. Burke aptly noted, “Rage and phrensy will pull down more in half an hour, than prudence, deliberation, and foresight can build up in a hundred years.” It turns out that those labelled irrational by the left are often the most rational people around while the self-styled denizens of reason are nothing more than frenzied mobs filled with destructive rage, hate, and the lust to dominate others.