Friday, February 20, 2009

Progressive decay

I have come to the conclusion that liberals, although they pride themselves as progressives, in fact hate progress. So bound are they by their own beliefs, they cannot bear that anything should change, be it the social or economic system, the climate, or their own opinions. To the liberal mind, everything is exactly as it should be, and so everything should be frozen exactly where and as it is. This is partly because liberals embrace an ideology from the past, and, as I have said here elsewhere, to admit that times have changed is to admit that they are no longer the people they were when their views were formed. They cannot accept the fact that they are no longer young, and so they struggle to retain the illusion of their youth by clinging against all facts and reason to the prejudices of their youth.

Not even the Earth is exempt. Liberals, professing to care about the future of the planet and so denote how benevolent they are, wish the current climate of the Earth to be retained forever. Blind to the fact that the planet has undergone an unbroken cycle of warming and cooling throughout its entire five-billion-year history and presumably knows better than they how its climate ought to be, liberals insist that Man has so altered the balance of nature that only they - the liberals - can hope to save it. They intend to do this, of course, as they do everything else - by spending other people's money. The irony of this hubris - that Man is destroying the Earth and so only Man can save it since Earth which gave rise to man is too weak to save itself - is lost on them. And so they whip up a doomsday hysteria based on the notion that they and they alone know how to save the planet and the polar bears and the ice caps and the crested grebe, and should be entrusted with doing so.

Whether this is right or not, or efficacious or not, or counterproductive (as is the case with ethanol) or not, they do not care, as long as they are seen and see themselves as doing something enlightened. For to liberals all that matters is ego, self-esteem, the approval of peers. Whether anything they propose or implement actually works or is supported by facts, or even makes sense, is irrelevant; the important thing is that liberals feel good about it. And so they will blithely ignore reality in pursuit of self-gratification, exactly like a child running into traffic in pursuit of a ball.

The liberal programs of the past forty years have, by and large, been costly and counterproductive failures. Welfare, Medicare, poverty programs, prescription drugs, Americans with disabilities, affirmative action, midnight basketball - all have served to make Americans weaker and more dependent on the government. But they have, invariably, made liberals more smug and self-satisfied, and have confirmed them in the absolute conviction that they and they alone ought to have the right to govern, since they and they alone know how people other than themselves should live.

I have become convinced of all this because I was myself a liberal of the most strident stripe for decades, and the behavior I witness every day in the liberals who surround me was my own behavior in the past: haughty, arrogant, condescending, self-important and elitist. And I have also witnessed the effects of this behavior, codified into social and economic policy by shameless panderers who have insinuated themselves into office through promising everyone everything they think they want. Social cohesion has broken down, values have eroded to the point where they are travesties of themselves, the economy is in shambles and may, I fear, collapse if the tide is not reversed, and my fellow citizens, far from being the innovative, independent, self-reliant risk-takers that I once knew them to be, have become greedy and complaining beggars of a government largesse which they have paid for with their own national character.