Regardless of distinguishing formulae or listed priority of a particular movement--from the Jacobins in 18th Century France, through the Socialists, Marxists, Communists, Bolsheviks, NAACP, Nazis, "New Deal," "Great Society," NOW, through to the Obamanist assault on an American Future, each major Leftist movement has been, to a major degree, in denial of nature--of natural law, natural development--as seen in the behavior, achievements & distinguishing characteristics of every people under attack. Each movement has sought to alter, artificially, who achieves and who fails; indeed, the future cultural development of people & communities.
The motivation in each case--other than for those who knew how to game the resulting process for personal aggrandizement--has been to force others to accept what has no logical basis other than a subjective desire to replace a natural, multi-generational culture, derived from struggle, with a "vision" of a future based upon the purest fancy--a cloudborne "wish list."
Because these movements seek fantasy, as opposed to logical continuity in the historic cultural development of a people; they argue not from demonstrable premises, but from a demand for acceptance of their goal--the imposition of a new collectivist (humanist or egalitarian) value system, as the only "fair" basis for social organization. And thus, arguing from an a priori assumption that everyone--at least among that segment of humanity, with which they identify--are somehow entitled to a uniformity of condition; they treat every deviation from such premise as a recognizable grievance, applicable to all whose material or social status, falls below an imagined norm.
On this basis, Leftist movements appeal to all whom they imagine are aggrieved (or, in the case of the political demagogue, can pretend to be aggrieved), as well as to the susceptible (Lenin's "useful idiots"), such as the White College girls in the front rows of Obama rallies, hypnotically persuaded that their families have only succeeded as a result of special "Privilege." (Those persuaded to wear a "guilt complex" fantasy, rather than honor their Fathers & Mothers, as the Fifth Commandment decreed in the ancient value system, which actually worked to inspire constructive behavior.)
Of course, Egalitarianism is the exact opposite of what Thomas Jefferson advocated when he observed, in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, that "all men are created equal." As is obvious from the context--the right to revolt against a Government that has broken its social compact with the governed--he was refuting the "Devine Right of Kings," not the natural inequality in human ability, multi-generational pursuits, diverse communities & motivations, chance happenings, etc..
We have written much about the demagoguery involved in leading people down the "primrose path"--the creation of imaginary grievances--from the corruption of Eve in Genesis (Variations On Demonic Theme), to articles on the modern demagogue's use of Blame & Envy against scape-goats, to rally the mob. We have also explored the immense damage that such egalitarian forays do in Undermining Human Potential.
There is, surely, no greater evil afflicting the human condition than the effect achieved by those who would artificially reengineer the ways that others live to an egalitarian end; have already achieved to the detriment of all. What is afoot is a compulsion driven denial of the realities of human nature; but reality is not a grievance. (See Compassion Or Compulsion.)
There are certainly people on this earth who have grievances. There is an obvious difference between real grievances and imagined "grievances," which flow not from deliberate mistreatment but from the realities of life. The following are not grievances, but reflections of reality--whether from natural consequences or pure chance--regardless of how they may be exploited by demagogues & quacks, wishing to turn us one against another.
Consider the militant feminist attack on traditional sex roles; roles based upon perceptions that have arisen in the interaction of men & women throughout the human experience. Is there any doubt as to the importance of sex roles in human history; or in the pursuit of human happiness? The reality is that without biological sex roles, there is no human future, and there never would have been a human history. Considering the preoccupation with sexuality in adolescence, the importance of sexual objectification in the gateway to adult life; it is not conceivable that acceptance of the "pursuit of happiness," as a basic natural right, can be separated from a perception of the fundamental differences between men & women.
This is not to deny eccentricity. All do not develop or perceive in the same way. In sexuality, as in all other human attributes, we are not equal. But that does not justify treating the unfortunate idiosyncrasies of anyone, as a grievance to be corrected by political fiat. For example, if there is a grievance involved in a political decision to lower standards for acceptance in military service, or in local police or fire departments, to accommodate women demanding opportunity to perform services, once largely confined to functional males; any grievance is that of the general public, whose quality of protection is being compromised. The man or woman seeking special favor, to counter what they may deplore in their nature, are never the aggrieved parties.
Continuing under the general sub-topic of human sexuality, consider recent efforts to redefine marriage. The historic, cultural, theological & rational, function of marriage is to sanctify the procreational mating quest in men & women. Thus marriage has generally been subject to annulment, where the marriage is not consummated by a procreational act. The function goes to family formation--the procreation of the next generation. It has never been about merely publicizing a form of friendship, or sanctifying incidental tax benefits; never to equate exercises, that tease body parts used in procreation; with the theologically sanctified, socially honored, lifetime commitments of men & women entering into traditional marriage.
Those who prefer muscular exercises with members of their own sex, do not have a grievance when organized society refuses to allow them the celebrated status of the truly mated man & woman. Any grievance is that of the social order, whose most cherished institution has been effectively mocked by the verbalized rationalizations of Judicial activists, claiming common attributes that can not bear serious analysis.
We have addressed sexuality first, because it is ultimately more important than the purely material. Without natural sex roles, there is no human future. Material success may come and go throughout the human experience. Yet the obvious inequality of the players in any human economy, at any time in the human comedy, is not a grievance.
Those whose talents are not well appreciated in the market, at any time; or those whose material wealth--if any--is not satisfactory to their wants; can certainly be described as "unfortunate." They do not have a grievance--not so far, at least, as may be determined from the stated facts. Forced redistribution of wealth, rationalized on the basis of imagined wrong to the less successful, is--as developed in other essays (see that on Demonic Theme, above)--cut from the same intellectually inadequate cloth as that which has led Mankind astray in other ages. The worst thing one can do for any struggling people, is to turn them into agitators for dependency. Far better, to help them do the very best that they can with the assets they do have.
Another sham, socially destructive effort to create fake grievances, which actually work against any imagined benefit, comes in a misuse of the word "diversity" to break down social cohesion & continuity in a human culture. There are typically two approaches to the "diversity" gambit: One that treats diversity as a primary social goal--as though promoting cultural confusion in a residential community is somehow beneficial;--and the grievance version, which treats a lack of "diversity" as a major grievance for any group, whether ethnic, religious or class defined, which is not found in significant numbers in affluent neighborhoods, schools or categories of employment.
The Left has used a massive "bait & switch" strategy, going back at least to the 1950s; yet with even earlier roots, to undermine the continuity of American culture & identity. The tactic works like this. They first identify mean spirited--even hate driven--attacks on people, based on their race, ethnicity, faith or class. Then they label the motive behind such attacks as "racism," "bigotry," "nativism," or whatever, and gain a clear consensus on that labeling. That is the bait; and most of us can agree, up to that point, that what they have labeled is indeed very bad; something that should be avoided and condemned.
Then comes the subtle switch. At first by slow degree, then in a great propaganda rush; the condemned behavior ceases to be limited to misdeeds against actual victims, but is expanded to include any racial, ethnic or religious identification--indeed any sense of community with people with whom the one, labeled, has shared a common history, kinship, values & identity. In short, expanded to include the social "glue," that provides for the cohesion & continuity of a people. (For more details, Myths & Myth Makers.)
Of course there is no natural right to forced association, to a forced commingling of diverse peoples. There is much that is wrong & cruel in misusing anyone because of their race, ethnicity, faith, occupation or community. But there is absolutely no duty, explicit or implied, not to prefer to associate, live near, assemble with or prefer those with whom one feels a sense of identity, kinship or any form of special relationship or admiration. The idea of assailing the motives of people, who choose not to live in diverse neighborhoods, as though others have a right to force their association, would be ridiculous anywhere on earth. But in America, settled in many instances by people coming here to avoid the civil unrest in 17th Century Europe, to found congenial communities, with which they could both identify, and thrive; it is an insult to the honor & demonstrated success of those who laid the groundwork for all that their posterity has been able to achieve over the past four centuries.
For any species on this earth to effectively war on its very nature--on the realities that govern the dynamics of its existence at any moment in time, is a strange spectacle. For one of the more intelligent species--and Mankind is recognized as such--to set out--as either Egalitarian humanists or compulsion driven neurotics, engaged in a frenetic pursuit of uniformity, have done--to wage incessant war against its own nature, in favor of wished for alternatives, is beyond just bizarre. In doing so, those Egalitarian humanists, actually sabotaging the motivations that bring out the best in others, under a rationalized pretense--completely circular reasoning that leads to an ever greater need for continuous intervention, to an endless repetition of that destructive intervention--may be the ultimate evil.
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