When we engage in conflict, the immediate impulse is to try to find a vital stronghold of the enemy that can be seized or destroyed, giving our group the upper hand. This leads us to pursue mentally tangible objectives instead of realizing that we are in a war of ideas, and ideas are only supplanted, not dissolved.
For those on the Right, this means that we will not find a stronghold of the Left to conquer or obliterate. Instead, we must build up what we know to be true and head in that direction, making the Leftist direction obsolete. War is a bad metaphor here; we are more like people designing a city, rejecting one paradigm because we found a better one.
However, because it is tempting to find a target that we can visualize ourselves conquering, we look for some origin of Leftism that can be rooted out and eliminated. This leads to a mistaken conjecture about the nature and genesis of Leftism:
In order correctly to understand the modern Left, itâ€™s important to recognize it as a secularized religion. Tracing the development of this religion, from its origins in Protestantism, then Puritanism, then through its many transmutations in America â€” from sixteenth-century Massachusetts, through its northern and western Protestant expansion, through the â€œAwakeningsâ€ of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, through the secularizing influence of Univer[s]alism and Unitarianism, through the sequential attachments of its â€œmission into the wildernessâ€ to various sacred causes such as abolition, Prohibition, womenâ€™s suffrage, global government, desegregation, feminism, environmentalism, Blank-Slate biological universalism, open borders, LBGT-etc. activism, and global warming, to name some salient examples â€” has been a major project of the dissident and reactionary Right over the past couple of decades.
…The leftmost edge of the Left has accelerated sharply leftward in recent years. This has exerted tidal stresses on what was never a monolithic cultural bloc to begin with, and the laminae are starting to pull apart â€” with the result that many old-fashioned and relatively moderate liberals are beginning to see for themselves the unmistakable features of a fundamentalist and authoritarian religion beneath the contours of what they had previously imagined to be nothing more than a compassionate and humanistic political attitude. Given that many of these sorts pride themselves on their atheism, to see that they have been associated with a religion is immediately to declare apostasy.
The second part of this statement bears inspection and enjoyment. As revealed here before, the ecosystem of Leftism includes a few manipulative leaders, some true believers and a huge horde of people following along for social reasons, mainly that they think being Leftist increases their social status through iconoclasm or altruism.
As it becomes clear that Leftism is a singular idea — egalitarianism — that varies in degree from classical liberal to Communist, more are seeing the grim truth of Leftism: it gains intensity as its power concentrates such that it will inevitably and invariably arrive at Communism, or what Plato would consider a form of tyranny, if its power is not checked.
This shows us the Leftist cycle, as revealed in Revolutionary France and the Soviet Union: oppose the dominant, sabotage it, then point to the sabotaged ruin as a pure example of the opposite of Leftism, then gain popularity and take over, becoming unstable as Leftism ideals fail, resulting in a military dictatorship that must wage war against ideological enemies to keep itself together.
But the origins of Leftism go farther back than that. In particular, as Plato documents, Leftism assailed ancient Athens as part of its collapse cycle. Even more, we have new world examples of caste and class revolt, such as the ancient Maya, Aztec and Inca. For this reason, it seems that Leftism does not have a modern or Western origin.
For this reason alone, it makes no sense to attribute modern Leftism to modernity, but to assign the reverse: modernity is the result of Leftism, having arisen from The Enlightenment™ thinking of egalitarianism, which is the core of Leftist ideals. But that is in the near term, because clearly there was a cause of The Enlightenment™ that made egalitarianism seem like a good idea.
While it makes sense to say that Christianity has often aided in Leftism, and modern Leftism resembles a religion as Mr. Pollack carefully notes, most of this comes from the fact that Christianity has a focus on the individual, much as Leftism does. For this reason, most people who are Christian are susceptible to the message of egalitarianism as a demonstration of individual moral goodness through altruism.
This leads us to the root of Leftism. Humans fall prey to the same problems they did at the dawn of the species, and sometimes problems which predated it among our Simian forebears. Leftism arises after a civilization becomes successful and as a result, loses focus on a shared purpose and system of values. It is thus not a forward direction, but an inward-focused one.
Leftism for this reason is a form of rationalization that serves to explain the decline as a positive thing, and through its inward focus, to concentrate on redistribution of what remains instead of the creation of new. It is a product of the lack of direction of a civilization that gives perceived social validity to certain human impulses that previously would have been seen as destructive.
What form of ancient human weakness exists to which Leftism can give a voice? It would have to be something fundamental to humans, a mental pitfall as old as time. Civilization is a contract between individuals and the civilization itself to sacrifice some liberties in exchange for participation in the feed of resources. However, this is measured in terms of social approval by the group, or “appearance.”
This creates the problem of formalization. Appearance creates a proxy or intermediate. This is then manipulated by the individualistic, turning the organization known as civilization against its purpose, which is an “inversion” or thematic reversal of its original purpose.
Over time, this destroys every civilization through the same method: individualism, which when expressed by a group is collectivized individualism, or Crowdism. When we face this, we see the monster we are actually struggling with, instead of intermediaries. Leftism is a weakness as old as time, and this is why the ancients called it, simply, “evil.”