Defining Leftism

At https://blog.reaction.la/party-politics/end-of-pretence-of-democracy-rescheduled-to-2024/ HerbR provides a good list of definitions of leftism:


– De Jouvenel AKA HLvM [high and low vs. the middle]: Elites weaponizing underclass (collectively “left”) against middle class (“right”).
– Cladistic: Leftist ideologies all share common memes and derive from common ancestor(s).
– Social-network: Leftism inferred from personal/institutional ties, parties attended, etc.
– Antinomian: Christian definition, elevating “divine grace” over established law, usually to describe Puritan/Quaker movements.
– Revolutionary: Actual etymology of “Left/Right”, the revolutionaries vs. royalists – more generally, hatred of non “consensual” authority.
– Economic: Leftism as destruction/”redistribution” of capital, rightism as capital creation.
– R/K: Leftism/rightism as manifestations of different reproductive strategies (r and K, like rabbit vs. wolf).
– Status-maximizing: Leftists as “sociopathic status maximizers”, best to just google it.
– Warrior/priest: Jim Lite, leftism as priestly rule, rightism as warrior rule.
– Game-theoretical: Leftism as defect/defect, rightism as cooperate/cooperate.
– Thermodynamic: Leftism as social entropy, that which creates disorder and regresses us to a more primitive state without constant energy input.

But this list isn’t supposed to be a “pick any one you want” buffet, the reason the list exists is that all of the models have some predictive power (some more so than others) and none of them are complete.

Here’s my take on the main (not the only) defining feature of leftism:

Leftists are people who want the unearned.

Welfare recipients are an obvious example but a lot of it is more subtle, e.g. demands for employment via affirmative action.

But it’s not only people who want unearned money, jobs, etc.

It’s also that fat chick who doesn’t want to exercise or go on a diet, and who demands that beauty standards be overturned so that she’s considered attractive (LOL).

It’s that “Oscars So White” movement demanding that more honors for great acting be awarded to black actors. Not with any reason provided, just there “aren’t enough” Oscars awarded to black actors.

It’s people who say the safest possible things in our society and expect to be praised for their courage. An NFL player came out as homosexual a few months ago and articles on his announcement were constantly calling him “brave,” “courageous,” etc., even though there is nothing safer in the current US than announcing that one is homosexual.

Leftist psychology is eternal. C.S. Lewis portrayed the contemptible demand to call playing it safe “courageous” in 1945: In his novel The Great Divorce there’s a conversation in the afterlife between two souls who were friends in life. One was a priest, and they are talking about their attitude toward religious matters when they were alive:

“It all turns on what are honest opinions.” [the non-priest says.]
“Mine certainly were. They were not only honest but heroic. I asserted them fearlessly. When the doctrine of the Resurrection ceased to commend itself to the critical faculties which God had given me, I openly rejected it. I preached my famous sermon. I defied the whole chapter. I took every risk.”
“What risk? What was at all likely to come of it except what actually came — popularity, sales for your books, invitations, and finally a bishopric?”

Lewis wouldn’t have bothered to satirize such outrageous claims of courage unless they were prevalent in his day. This crap didn’t originate with wokeness. Some details of leftist politics change over time, but there is a definite leftist psychology, and its basic features never change.

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