Friday, 21 December 2018

The non-religious 'right' are in thrall to intrinsically Leftist analysis

There are plenty of people who believe that there is a genuine, non-religious 'right wing' to politics; but there isn't. All those people, parties and organisations who self-identify as being on-the-right and against-Leftism but who are not religious are, in fact, on-the-Left.

This is just an objective reality - because to be non-religious is to be of-the-Left. To be anti-Christian is, indeed, the root and motivation of Leftism. Indeed there is no Left and Right, what there is is Left and Religion. By religion I mean specifically Christianity, because we are talking about Western nations and their sphere of influence)

The situation arises because, in the first place, to be not-religious is to restrict consideration to the span of mortal life. This means that the bottom-line is human experience, human emotion, human happiness and suffering. In other words, some version of the (leftist) moral philosophy called utilitarianism.

So, to be non-religious is to agree on the fundamental assumption that what matter most about life is how people feel - and the Left and so-called Right merely differ in methods to affect feelings, and the focus and distribution of feelings. 

But I want to draw attention here to the mode of socio-political analysis that is done by the 'non-religious-right' - which is derived from Leftist sociology and politics. This analysis is wholly in terms of one or another Leftist ideology.

For example class and economics (which is Marxism), power (which is anarchism), or status (which is New Leftism/ political correctness).

The non-religious 'right' use Leftist ideology, but just change the valuation of groups. They talk about the ruling Establishment ('Cathedral'/ class/ caste); they divide society into functional groups (peasants, priests, warriors); they use Machiavellian type analysis of power; they discuss the use of education and media to control thought and public discourse...

All these and their basic assumptions, and all other secular schemata, are derived from Leftism. Since the basic assumptions are Leftist, the results will always be Leftist - anything else is excluded by those assumptions.

In a word, the non-religious self-identified 'right' have adopted Leftist metaphysics; that is, their model of how reality is structured derives from Leftism. No matter what they try to do with the tools of Leftism, they will simply loop-back to Leftism.

The difference between the non-religious Left and Right is therefore just 'office politics' among Leftists; a quibble over methods and priorities.

If someone takes the trouble to think about this, rather than simply reacting; they will see that it just is the case. But the non-religious 'right' are not religious for some, very strong and personal, reason - and that reason, apparently, blocks their willingness and/ or ability to think consecutively.

That reason for non-religious anti-Leftists excluding Christianity from consideration is often enough something-to-do-with-sex; or some other personal pleasure that would be excluded by any serious and real religion. But whatever the reason is, it absolutely invalidates their entire project, and indeed dooms them to become unwitting dupes of mainstream Leftism.

Note: Of course, the anti-Left non-religious can easily come-up with excuses for not being a Christian, and the basis that all the mainstream Christian churches are corrupt. However, so are all mainstream institutions of all types corrupt, including political institutions; and that does not deter them from putting all their hopes into political change - so we can recognise that these are indeed just excuses, and not reasons. If they were serious and honest, they would become Christians first*, and then try and work-out how to be real and serious Christians.  

*Further note: Of course, it is a deliberate choice to become a Christian. But if someone is genuinely serious about opposing the Left; they need to realise that there is nowhere from-which the Left can be opposed, whether in theory or in practice, except A Religion.


Chiu ChunLing said...

It needs to be admitted that the view of traditional religion as mainly serving a secular purpose of upholding social order is in fact a genuinely conservative position, though one that is generally cloaked in pious rather than honest language.

Conservatism of this sort is inherently problematic, but it is not "of the Left" in any meaningful sense.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - If you follow the argument of the post, you will see that secular conservatism focused on upholding social order is indeed of the Left. Necessarily and always.

Francis Berger said...

I have come to a similar conclusion regarding the Left and the Right, and I often wonder how much of a role church-state separation has played in the development of this secular Right-Which-Is-Actually-Left phenomenon.

Regardless, I agree wholeheartedly with your view as to why most secular Rightists rebuke religion - it almost always has something-to-do-with-sex. Renouncing hedonism or, at the very least, permissible possibilities for hedonism, seems unbearable for most. Thus, as with the Left, everything gets boiled down to pleasure versus pain - good is equated with pleasure while bad is equated with pain. The highest good, of course, is ensuring the largest number of people possible can indulge in pleasure-seeking while simultaneously avoiding pain.

The more I think about it, the more I marvel at how utterly peurile, facile, and mendacious contemporary secular politics, society, and culture actually are.

Michael Dyer said...

Yes, I think that's exactly right and the older I've gotten I see that even when they define secular, they only really mean secular with regard to Christianity.

One of the great examples is National Review here in the US. It starts off conservative and even explicitly Christian and Christian friendly (publishing entirely sincere Christians such as Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn and others). They become secular really quickly and eventually they shortened the time period between "we are against [leftist position]" to "the conservative case for [leftist position]" from a few years to a few weeks.

The original argument I remember from my college days is that we have to use secular reasoning to convince secular people. You know, as if people were generally convinced by reasoning to start with(!). Or as if the primary problem was how they voted, not their relationship to God. It's kind of like how the Christian Democratic International changed it's name to the Centrist Democratic International. You just kicked Christ out, and that is an awesomely fearful position to be in.

Bruce Charlton said...

Francis - The thing is, I know all this stuff from the inside; and it only requires remembering.

Zamfir said...

"This means that the bottom-line is human experience, human emotion, human happiness and suffering."

I'm trying to understand how this orientation, or this understanding of the bottom line, is meant to be different from your own. In your view reality has been created by a God who is comparable to a human father. Our lives and the whole metaphysical situation in which we find ourselves have been arranged so that we may have certain experiences, form relationships, develop spiritually--all of which is presumably centered around our human emotions, happiness and suffering. The point of it all, if I understand you, is for us to become God-like, and this presumably would have a lot to do with expanded experiential capacities and a deeper kind of happiness.

The difference between your view and the one you ascribe to the Left seems to lie elsewhere. For the Left, the highest forms of human experience and happiness to which we can aspire are bounded by the material world and our mortality; for you, these are not constraints. But I don't see any deep difference between these views with respect to the _kinds_ of values or goods or purposes being posited. To be sure, you often speak of 'creativity' and 'relationships' but it's natural to infer that the value of these things is also at least partly constituted by the kinds of experiences and happiness they make possible.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Zamfir - I think you are arguing that the difference is merely quantitative - immotality is just more life, materailism is just a more restricted understanding of the world.

But mortality and life everlasting are qualitatively different; and materialism is an necessarily false model (because incomplete, and blind to its incompleteness) picture of of reality.

To recognise that the difference is qualitative, not merely quantitative, is the insight that leads to conversion.