Wednesday, February 11, 2004


I get a lot of email in connection with this blog and my other writings. Most of it is from fellow conservatives and most of it is highly supportive -- which I appreciate very much. One theme that I often notice in the emails I get is how crazy and incomprehensible my readers find Leftists to be so I thought I might make a brief comment on that here. For instance, an email I received recently said in part:

"I noticed certain "errors of thought" occuring with those to the left of me -- logical errors, or a disinterest in fact, and quick switches to emotionally-based arguments. I wondered if there was actually some kind of thinking impairment going on, if there was some kind of brain defect or differing cognitive structure.

I replied

You are right that Leftists SEEM to think differently but they don't really. They are just dishonest about what they think. Arriving at a self-serving conclusion is all that they care about and they will slip and slide all over the place to do that. Their defect is of character, not of the mind. They know perfectly well what they are doing but their own ego matters more to them than the truth.

In other words, puffing themselves up as wise and benevolent is their overriding aim -- not confronting and dealing realistically with harsh facts -- and they will duck and weave and say anything convenient that occurs to them to achieve their aim. So most of the time it is pointless even to argue with them. They are just not interested in the facts -- only in their own warm inner glow of righteousness and wisdom. They will allow nothing to threaten that. It is generally only middle of the road people who have been hoodwinked by the Left who are worth your breath.

I do also get some email from Leftists and a recurrent theme in that is to say that I overgeneralize. They that say that not all Leftists are as nasty as Stalin, Hitler, Castro, Pol Pot, Mao, Kim Jong Il and all the other lovely "socialists" who have gained unrestricted power. Some American "liberals" even say (through gritted teeth?) that they hate such "totalitarians" or "authoritarians". I have dealt with that argument at some length elsewhere so I will just mention the basics here. Perhaps the easiest answer is that if "liberals" hate Communists, how come they were apologizing for the Soviets and praising them and trying to protect them almost up to the day that the Soviet Union imploded? Even to this day, to have been a Communist in the past is treated most indulgently in "liberal" intellectual circles -- as no more than excessive idealism or as having been "a liberal in a hurry". And what American "liberal" has ever said a bad word about Castro? I got an email from a Leftist just a few days ago saying what a good and wise man Castro is -- despite his police State, his political prisons, his political executions and his suppression of free speech and any opposition. So it is "liberals" themselves who make it clear that the only real difference between Communists and themselves is how much power they have. U.S. "liberalism" is just an attempt to achieve the old Communist goal of enforced "equality" in a gradual, step-by-step way. They are just "slowed down" Communists and like the Communists, their real motive for seeking equality is not "compassion" but hatred of other people's success.

Aside from that, the public opinion survey data I have gathered over the years also make clear that there is only one Left/Right dimension -- with people differing on it only in matters of degree. See here


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