Tuesday 2 April 2013

Is negativism a rational reflex response for the Right?


Would it be, is it, rational for the Right to oppose new measures simply because of their provenance - simply because the Left are so keen on them?

Experience says: Yes.  This is a reasonable, sensible, default position (pending further evaluation).


1. Current Leftist leadership is bureaucratic, therefore they make change (necessary or not, helpful or harmful); and therefore they are indifferent to the real world outcomes of change (because in bureaucratic systems the consequences of change are decided, not discovered).

Yet in complex systems there few ways to improve the system and many ways (an infinite number) to damage the system - so change as such is almost certain to be harmful, except when there is strong reason to assume it will be beneficial.

The default must be no change.



In modern society, with its ultra-Left politically correct leadership; for a real Christian or indeed a mainstream conservative or libertarian almost all changes proposed or implemented are bad. Looking back, this has been so for some considerable time.

Therefore this change, under consideration now, will very likely be bad.

The default evaluation ought to be that any proposed change will be bad, even if it is presented as Good.


3. The Right and Left are entwined in a reciprocal relationship.

In deciding how best to damage Christianity and traditional society, the Left (which is concentrated in the mass media - that is the centre of its power) is continually floating ideas.

When an idea emerges that the Right can show to be almost-certainly damaging to those things which the Right values - then the Left will pick-up this idea and press it very hard indeed, with the full force of the modern mass media, sustained over many years.

(Mostly by singling-out, lying-about, mocking, demonizing, damaging and destroying anyone who stands against it - this reputational assault being sustained by the mass media over years and decades. The modern mass media is fickle and self contradicting about almost everything - except this matter of reputationally destroying its enemies - and sanctifying its [arbitrarily chosen] symbolic heroes.)


4. The reciprocity between Left and Right means that by the time the Left has chosen its big theme and is pressing for implementation of key policies - the process of evaluation of the effectiveness of this policy is well advanced: by the time the Left has decided on its Big Issue of the day - mass welfare, easy no-fault divorce, feminism, the environment, diversity, mass immigration, redefining marriage, whatever it may be - by this time the Left is sure that the chosen policy will inflict enormous and ramifying damage on its enemies.

And also, by this time, the counter-rational assumption of the necessity of (this) change has been established - the default rational assumption of no change has been inverted.

Such that anyone who opposes the Left's latest policy change - a change which has been carefully pre-selected for the likelihood that it will be the first step down a slippery slope, or the entry point into a cycle of positive feedback of socio-political damage - any opposition can by this time be plausibly presented as irrational, futile and weirdly radical.


In conclusion, the Right needs to be aware of the way it is manipulated.

The really big and really destructive changes to Western society have been introduced in a stereotypical fashion such that, by the time the policies are being proposed to cement and expand such changes, to make them official and legally enforceable; by this time to go along with the change seems easy and sensible, the change itself seems almost trivial, at least very small and probably reversible if it doesn't work out; there seems like a possibility (if not likelihood) that good consequences might, possibly, ensue (or, at least, good consequences cannot conclusively be ruled-out); while opposition is extremely difficult and feels very uncomfortable and indeed dangerous.

Also, by this time, given that the Leftist agenda is mostly media influenced, it can be difficult to find what seem like strong enough grounds for rational dissent.


Well, in practice, such grounds are not needed. When the Left is pushing something very hard, when there is a multi-system onslaught from the mass media, politics, law, civil administration, education... and yet the focus of this campaign seems almost trivial... then is the time for real Christians to get very worried indeed.

They don't need to know any more. Look at the provenance of proposed change. Who wants it - which organizations or people does it emanate from? What is their track record?

I don't mean who 'supports' the change - because by this advanced point in the introduction of major damaging policies all but the heroes and potential martyrs of faith will support the change, so 'everyone' 'supports' the change - I mean from where does the change emanate: who is driving the change? What kind of organizations and people are they, and what are the other things that that kind of people are driving? What is the socio-political package or agenda that they are promoting?


Politics is very simple - necessarily so.

There is no nuance in politics, no fine-tuning, only distracting quibbles.

The Big Issues are major forks in the road - most lead to destruction, a few towards salvation; but how do you know which Issues are Big?

You cannot always tell from analysis of the content - the Big Issues are usually disguised as trivialities until they are settled.

But, really,  it is very easy to spot them: a simple attitude of negativism will suffice as a default.

If they want it so much; then it must be bad.


ivvenalis said...

"I don't mean who 'supports' the change...I mean from where does the change emanate: who is driving the change? [What do they want?]"

I think this is the key. Certain activists have dedicated their lives to denouncing marriage, monogamy, Christianity, even heterosexuality, and now suddenly they think that agreement on same-sex "marriage" is the absolute most important thing in the world. They know exactly what they're doing--they have often written learned papers, and given impassioned lectures and speeches detailing their beliefs--although their motives are perverse (you would probably say demonic).

Dan Savage has been railing against the evils of sexual fidelity for my entire life. He supports gay "marriage" in order to weaken ideals of marital fidelity, make it easier for other deviant groups to lobby for government and social recognition, to undermine religious authorities, etc. This is, literally, fairly unremarkable. But when someone uses the *same* arguments _against_ change, it is *quite* remarkable, and ridiculous, hateful, possibly evidence of moral or sexual perversion, etc.

JP said...

Are there any Big Issues left for the Left to fight for? The really big and really destructive changes to Western society are pretty much faits accompli at this point. What is really left for the Left to destroy?

Bruce Charlton said...

@JP - I'd rather not speculate - you never know who may be listening...

George Goerlich said...

Curiously, one of the most common arguments I see is literally "well, we've already come this far, if you oppose progress now you're the exact same as those people who opposed progress 50 years ago."

This argument is obviously evil, but of course the idea is inverted so it appears good. They think they're arguing, "we've already done a lot of good, we need more!" but in reality acts more as a guilt-trip, as "you know you're already sinful, if you try to stop now you're just terrible hypocrite."

dearieme said...

The argument suffers from a (very common) unsuitable "framing". Though there is, however fractured, only one Left, there is no such Right.

It's the same sort of mistake that is made in discussing Capitalism, as if it corresponded in some way to Socialism.

MC said...

I was just thinking about your point #1 the other day. It reminds me of a great line from "Lawrence of Arabia":

Colonel Brighton: Look, sir, we can't just do nothing.

General Allenby: Why not? It's usually best.

George Goerlich said...

> The argument suffers from a (very common) unsuitable "framing". Though there is, however fractured, only one Left, there is no such Right.

I believe you are essentially correct, however there is ultimately one truth and one God. The right should be all on the same side in this regard, though the left has what amounts to an easier time - anything deconstructed or destroyed is a "victory" where the right is left simply trying to preserve.

Brett Stevens said...

The left is unified on an external ideology and the assumption that it is right; the right is composed of those who prefer cause->effect logic based on a study of reality.

Anything the left wants is an attempt to validate/ratify/incarnate their ideology, and has nothing to do with reality; it's a backward philosophy that attempts to make reality out of wishful thinking by making it appear so...

stephens said...

What is really left for the Left to destroy?


You only have to look at how it spends a fortune on not really dealing with its enemies, Abu Qatada for example.

B.Shelley said...

Very enjoyable read.

Mr. Charlton, when I first started this article I considered that you might have fallen to spitefulness, but your perspective emerged as more pragmatic.

I agree with the common knowledge that the best way to repair the societal damage is to retrace one's own footprints. At the time the right-wing ideas need the constant maintenance of new packaging so that the return to sustainability and growth does not seem anachronistic... At the same time vigilance is needed against foreign influence and, yes, new political goals of Leftists. As long as the body of traditional ambitions aren't given to a majority of reactionary acts, the Right will still stay healthy as it is much more durable and defensible than Leftist partisans.

The elephant : the donkey.

A grown-up : Peter Pan-styled childishness.