What is Leftism?
Most people would answer that the ideology that advocates State ownership of means of production is Leftism.
And Leftists are thriving under the cover of this misconception. The people who advocate total State ownership of the means of production represent only one of the many shades of the Leftism. The shade that is by now more or less discredited, if not extinct. Leftism comes in many shades, and some are far more dangerous than the one mentioned above, simply because most of the people do not even realise that those shades are also Leftism.
The all encompassing definition of the Leftism is the ideology that advocates collectivisation of wealth and/or income, fully or partially, and redistribution by State of the wealth/income so collectivised.
Leftists hold that individuals do not have exclusive right to the wealth/income they have earned, and State has a right to take as much from an individual as it deems fit, and spend the money so collected on the persons it deems deserving or in need of that money. To look good and progressive, Leftists bundle this demand of collectivisation with other causes which majority finds impossible to oppose at least, if it does not readily supports them. So the Leftists fight for, or at least pretend to fight for, women’s rights, child rights, medical aid for the poor, free education for all, minority rights, and lately, environment, etc.
But it is seen that societies which respect private property and secure individual natural rights: right to free speech, right to life, right to legal equality, and right to trade; become rich over time. And the societies which do not respect private property, become ever more poor and finally collapse.
But Leftists seldom pay any respect to reality and facts. They have wishes and desires and emotions, and never let facts interfere with them.
Over at frontpagemag.com, Michael Faraday, a former Leftist, in a stunning piece, answers why, and lays bare the darkness that is at the heart of the Left:
“First of all, forget the ‘60s. This situation has been brewing for over 100 years. I was born into a working-class socialist family in New Zealand in 1960. Democratic socialism had been established by popular reforms in the 1930s. By the late ‘50s, almost every working-class child in New Zealand was raised socialist.
But we didn’t call it socialism. We called it “workers’ rights.” In my family, my older siblings and I were the third generation of socialists. We never chose socialism, we inherited it. In the late ‘60s, the younger middle-class joined us.
It is especially in the British Commonwealth that millions have been raised by leftists, who were raised by leftists, who were raised by leftists, and so on. Some leftist families have been so for more than a century. They consider themselves leftist royalty.
For the millions raised as leftists, it is not an ideology; it is a culture. Since childhood, they have lived and breathed it every day in the home. They know nothing else. Like any culture, it is a way of speaking, thinking and acting, with its own narratives and rituals. Narratives are held sacred, repeated, reinforced and, over time, added to. That which challenges sacred narratives, even reality itself, is met with confusion and hostility. As with any aggressive, intolerant culture, if you enter it, it enters you.
Contrary to opinion, leftism isn’t just about hate. Leftists are more complex than that. From my time as a red diaper leftist, I can tell you that a whole range of emotions are involved. Hate, anger, fear, bitterness, jealousy, envy, rage, greed, pride, smugness and paranoia (not technically an emotion, but it is widespread among leftists).
With such a parade of negative emotions, it is no surprise that so many leftists suffer from chronic depression, often from a young age. Even if they lose the anger, they still retain the attitude: that the government must fix everyone’s problems, regardless of cost and that there is an enormous right-wing conspiracy that is just around the corner.
The victim narrative of the Left is very infectious. You are always the victim and you are always owed something. The wealthy are always evil, while you are always good and wholesome. Converts are often more intense than those born into it. My father, raised a leftist, eventually mellowed and began to question some leftist beliefs. My mother, not raised a leftist, but having become one, never mellowed.
The victim narrative was in every conversation.
The class struggle/oppressed victim narrative is part of daily life on the Left. As a child, I would listen to adults talking. With friends and co-workers, with mothers chatting over tea, it was part of every conversation. They would talk about the weather, their kids, television, but before parting, one of them would always say something relating to the greedy oppression of the rich — and the other had to agree. To not agree was social suicide.
While there were differences between working-class and middle-class leftists, certain attitudes were universal:
When a leftist has never worked, they feel very generous toward anyone who claims to need help, who fits the narrative. They are generous with their emotions.
When they do get their first real job, they are often shocked by the amount of taxes withheld and have a moment of doubt. But this moment of doubt gives non-leftists an opening. So the young leftist, terrified he/she will be changed, quickly walls off this doubt in their mind and refuses to touch it, until it fades.
Economics are not usually considered part of a culture, but for red-diaper leftists, their attitude to economics is cultural. It is part of the core, sacred narrative. They usually have a child-like view of economics, which they often have inherited from their parents. This is probably why the doubt triggered by their first tax shock is so easily forgotten for leftists. The child-like view is comfortable and familiar. Once amnesia sets in and comfort returns, discussions of economic reality are seen as right-wing propaganda.
Leftists hear big numbers and picture Scrooge McDuck’s money bin, not infrastructure, maintenance, specialized equipment, transportation, training, payrolls, etc.
For leftists, industry has so much money. Businesses make huge profits. The price of everything is too high. The government has billions. They want to keep it all for themselves and their rich friends. So leftists believe that these evil people must be made to spend the money on things the leftists themselves choose.
Leftists combine child-like naïveté and paranoid aggression in all of their narratives. It is a remarkable and very damaging pairing. The child-like naïveté protects the narrative from facts while the paranoid aggression protects the mind from doubt. For red-diaper babies, this thinking competes with their normal emotional and intellectual development, causing an internal struggle that can go either way.
In the same family, one child may be a mellow, half-hearted leftist while another is a dedicated communist. The one who feels the greatest need to please the parents will probably be the dedicated communist. The Left, on the surface, may look to some like a movement of young misfits, but it is old, huge and culturally entrenched, not just in Europe, but also in most of the English-speaking nations. Leftism is a family history, a cultural mindset and a way of life for millions of households. It is a set of core sacred narratives and daily conversations.
Children inherit leftism as a belief system, knowing nothing else. By the time that they are old enough to hear other points of view, they are indoctrinated. It has become their moral compass.
Leftism encourages and is driven by the most negative, damaging emotions. It harnesses together childish emotions and paranoid thought processes. Its narratives are a filter that reality has to try to struggle through, often failing.
The child-like thinking solves all problems without pesky details and facts interfering, leading to delusions of intellectual brilliance.”(from the article)
To read the article in full, click here.