Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Tender-minded, tough-minded; socialism, libertarianism

Among the atheist elites, the main cognitive styles are the tender-minded socialist (or 'liberal' in US parlance) and the tough-minded libertarian.

Socialism corresponds to a psychotic, delusional cognitive mode; while libertarianism corresponds to a psychopathic, selfish cognitive mode.

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The socialist is tender-minded because he tries to care about others more than himself; and has a kind of empathizing altruism as the highest goal, and pursues this through an objectively-dishonest, subjectively fantasizing (i.e. delusional) world view. Operationally, secular altruism is defined in term of submission to those groups regarded as 'suffering' - the individual has no real function except to serve the community.

Socialism is paradoxical, nonsensical, therefore intrinsically dishonest (in order to make sense of itself to itself).

This is why socialism unwinds into moral inversion.

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The libertarian is tough-minded because tries *not* to care about others except in so far as they influence his own happiness; and has autonomous individualism as the highest goal, and pursues this through a systematic gratification. Operationally, libertarian is defined in terms of maximizing choice of hedonic lifestyle options (those offering the most pleasure or least suffering) - the community has no real function except to serve the individual.

Libertarianism is extrinsically dishonest, perhaps honest with itself (because selfishly coherent) but necessarily dishonest to others (because selfish individualism must disguise its true nature in society; lest it be detected, punished and suppressed by the majority).

This is why libertarianism unwinds into animality (an ideal of unselfconscious, spontaneous, self-justifying hedonism).

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Of course, many people alternate between these modes. And very few live up to their ideals - since corruption is endemic in man. So hedonic socialists and communitarian libertarians are common.

Also, natural morality is hard to repress altogether - and atheists usually, irrationally, behave much better than their ideals - although they have no reason to do so.

Indeed, behaving better than one's ideals is a common value among atheists of both stripes: and both regard the opposite - hypocrisy - as the 'ultimate' sin.

3 comments:

ab said...

"Also, natural morality is hard to repress altogether"

I am curious what is meant by "natural morality" here - it sounds a little like the "spontaneous morality" you mentioned in a previous post.

bgc said...

Natural morality is what Lewis calls the Tao here: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/augustine/arch/lewis/abolition3.htm

Syd said...

bgc:

1. You seem to confuse libertarianism with libertinism. Libertarianism is about securing liberty so that one can do what one wishes, so long as one doesn't infringe upon other peoples' right to do the same. What you should do when you're free is outside the scope of libertarianism. Libertarianism is merely about guaranteeing liberty.

2. "Libertarianism is... necessarily dishonest to others (because selfish individualism must disguise its true nature in society; lest it be detected, punished and suppressed by the majority)."

Even if that's true, is it not an indictment of society rather than an indictment of libertarianism?