Contempt for Human Beings as a Political Stance

Have you noticed how much certain Liberals despise people? Here is a very vivid example provided by somebody who was incensed at my review of Frank’s Pity the Billionaire:

The argument that we should blame people for taking a loan that’s shoved in their face I find to be disigenuous. We all have a dream of home ownership. These loans were hawked by those who simply wanted to pass them off. I don’t believe the Tea Party argument deserves any credibility whatsoever. OF COURSE people will snap them up. Who can resist the “Free” Market. The Tea party notion that it’s ACORN’s fault that we had the housing collapse is utterly absurd, yet that is what this argument implies and it is completely and utterly false on every ground. Stop blaming the victims. If someone wants to sell something for free….they’ll find buyers.

See how this commenter despises his fellow human beings? If a loan is “shoved into your face”, there is absolutely no way you will be able to exercise your good judgment and make a rational decision not to take it. People are like dogs who “snap up” any old bone that you throw to them. They are as incapable as dogs of seeing that there is a piece of string tied to the bone, a piece of string that will drag them right to the slaughter-house.

This commenter sees people as “victims.” They fall into the category of a victim simply because they exist. You are born human? You are victim! From now on, pseudo-Liberals of this ilk will keep harping on the idea that you are not responsible for anything that happens to you. Buy a lot of useless garbage, take on loans it is mathematically impossible for you even to begin paying off, screw up your life in every possible way? Don’t worry, there is always some pseudo-Liberal out there to tell you how the helpless, pathetic little you is not responsible for anything.

Of course, Conservatives despise people, too. Just like many Liberals don’t believe that human beings are capable of being in charge of their own finances, the Conservatives can’t deal with the suggestion that humans can manage their own bodies without the guidance of politicians and religious leaders.

As I shared recently on this blog, I got into debt when I was a student. This created all kinds of problems for me (the debt is in Canada, I’m here, paying Canadian debts from an American bank account is extremely complicated, etc.). This entire issue tortured me for years. But if somebody told me that it wasn’t my fault, that I was a victim, that I couldn’t have been expected to resist the credit line that was “shoved into my face”, that I didn’t have a choice but to “snap it up”, I’d be as insulted as I am when I see politicians who try to police my uterus.

I am an adult. I am completely and totally responsible for my finances and my body. I manage them the way I see fit. And anybody who wants to dispute that responsibility is a person who despises me and infantilizes me. And I don’t respond well to that.

So here we are stuck between two political groups, both of which cannot bear the idea that human beings should have the right to make their own decisions and bear responsibility for them. Both Conservatives and Liberals often proceed from nothing but contempt for others.

We keep hearing about how this country is torn politically between two opposing camps. I used to think that, too. However, the more I observe this country’s Liberals and Conservatives (or, at least, the most vocal representatives of these groups), the more I am convinced that any differences between them are merely superficial.

P.S. Another pseudo-Liberal in the same thread just had the gall to compare the irresponsible borrowers to slaves or rape victims:

That mentality where the victim is made to believe that he/she is at fault for the predicament they are in is evidence of mental subjugation comparable to that of the slave or the rape victim.

What did I say about contempt?

The Attitude Towards Responsibility Among Progressives and Conservatives

People of the Liberal persuasion seem to embrace the idea that human beings are not capable of messing up, making mistakes, or being irresponsible, lazy, and plain stupid. Any misfortune one encounters has to be the result of some hidden oppressive forces.

Once I was talking to one of the organizers of my union about a large group of people who had failed their comprehensives. The organizer’s position was that these people had been failed unjustly by the profs who wanted to punish them for being politically active on campus.

“But isn’t it possible that at least some of our colleagues simply hadn’t prepared well enough for the comps and were failed fairly?” I asked. (I had very specific reasons to know that this was the case, to be honest.)

The progressive union organizer was incensed. He screamed, “How dare you speak like that of your comrades? If you passed your comprehensives it was only because that year the activism on campus was low and the profs didn’t have a reason to castigate you!”

And he stormed out on me.

To be fair, the organizer later called me to apologize. Still, this attitude that every failure (and, consequently, every success) belong not to the person experiencing them but to a combination of oppressive forces and good or bad luck is very common among my fellow Liberals. Recently, when I shared the story of N.’s hard work and professional success, some progressive readers immediately started suggesting that he was lucky while other people were less fortunate, even though they might have tried to succeed just as hard.

The Conservative readers, however, simply expressed their admiration and congratulated N. with his success.

There is, of course, a flip side to the Conservative readiness to recognize individual success. Within the Conservative worldview, you are responsible for all of your failures, too. They have very little interest in analyzing the oppressions and the individual circumstances that might have prevented one from succeeding.

I have to say that I prefer to analyze my own life based on this Conservative approach. Whenever things don’t work out or I don’t find myself in a situation I like, this is a sign to me of some sort of a personal failure. We all know how much I hate this impotent, “Society makes me do bad things / feel inferior / have psychological issues.” All of my mistakes and issues are fully my own. And so, of course, are my successes. This is why you will never catch me talking about how I am being marginalized and persecuted by some unidentified source. There is always an active agent of any oppression and a consenting victim who reaps some reward from being oppressed. And if I am being consistently oppressed, this means I am consenting to that because it serves some purposes of my own.

In this sense, I am a Conservative. But only in this sense, though. On social issues, I’m so far to the Left that I don’t think anybody who reads this blog can catch up with me. This is why I can never feel fully at home either among Liberals or among Conservatives.

Conservatives Wimp Out, Too

What is it with people across the political spectrum not daring to express their opinions openly? If you hate the #Occupy movement, why not just come out and say, “I hate these snooty little bastards and find the idea of them getting pepper-sprayed to be highly enjoyable”? Why come out with this wimpy and ridiculous response that pepper spray is food?

Europe Is Moving to the Right

Here are snapshots from an interactive map of the way Europe has been moving from one side of the political spectrum to another:

Here is March of 1976:

Here is November of 1998:

This is from October of 2008:

And, finally, we have arrived at today’s map:

The explanations for this phenomenon abound. The Left is not the real Left, which is why people don’t like it. (Like we haven’t been hearing this about the Left for decades.) The global economic crisis. (Like this tendency wasn’t obvious long before that).

All I wonder about is who will be the first person among the progressives to stop wimping out long enough to mention the main reason why the people of Europe are moving so massively towards the ultra-nationalist and near-fascist parties. We’ve tried discussing this issue on this blog a while ago but the discussion soon turned into a pandemonium. And we are not even in Europe.

You cannot address a problem without first mentioning it. But this is an issue that progressives seem to have no language for and, hence, choose to pretend it is not there. I’m not exempting myself from this charge, as you must surely understand.