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OPINION

Why Leftist Ideologies Always Fail

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Matthew Mead

I want to discuss, in the brief space I have, the roots of modern Leftist philosophy, and why they believe government and force are the essentials to a more perfect society. There is an inherent contradiction in their system which would nullify it, but the Leftist’s fundamental understanding of human nature is in error, and thus any arrangement based on it is doomed to failure. And has.

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Modern leftism has an interesting history, but one I cannot fully elucidate here. Though it has predecessors (Locke, Helvetius), its current manifestation is rooted in Darwinian materialism (one foundation of Marxism). According to this hypothesis, humans evolved, naturally and by chance, from “lower” forms of life. Pure, undiluted Darwinism, thus pure leftism, is atheistic—no God created or controlled the process. That means human beings are nothing more than blobs of matter in motion. The only difference between you and a cockroach is a different configuration of molecules, and that's totally by chance. You can no more help being a human than a cockroach can help being a cockroach. There is, of course, some verity to this.

However, since humans are nothing but groups of molecules in motion, we can react only to whatever environmental forces surround us. There is no freedom of choice in such a system. And no free will implies we are not responsible for what we do. Criminals aren’t guilty of “crimes”; it isn’t their fault, they respond exclusively to environmental factors. Also, poverty has been said to be a root cause of crime. Thus, by changing the environment (a “war on poverty”), human behavior can be modified. Put an apple tree in an environment of good water, soil, sunshine, etc., and bigger, tastier, juicier apples will be produced. The apples have no “choice” in the matter, they only respond to their surroundings. Since humans are, like apples, only molecules formed, by chance, into what we are, then, like apples, we will react only to whatever external stimuli we receive. People thus aren’t “good” or “bad” except as their environment dictates.

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Leftist intellectuals believe that humans (especially them) have evolved to the point where they can control the evolutionary process, if only we will give them power. They will create a Utopia, by good laws and education, so that everybody can be in a “good” environment and respond accordingly.

This philosophy is, of course, contrary to Christianity and many world religions, which believe that man is, in some ways, the offspring of a Divine Creator, given freedom of choice by that Creator on how they choose to live. Most conservatives believe in a philosophy like this, whether they are “religious” or not. People are not just naturalistic, materialistic animals, with nothing but instinct and response to environment. Some environmental forces are obviously evident in human behavior (culture, tradition, etc.); no one can, or should, deny this. But, in the conservative mind, humans have free will, and can choose to rise above their circumstances and form their own destiny. Not so, says the liberal, people only do “good” or “evil” in response to their (“systemic”) surroundings, whatever stimuli they receive from without. Again, change the stimuli, change the environment, and behavior will automatically be modified. It’s “science.” When people do evil, it’s the fault of the system (capitalism is usually blamed, or now, “white supremacy” and “racism”), not the fault of the individual.

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The difference between liberalism and conservatism is thus based on a fundamentally different belief about human nature. Liberals want power so that they can create an earthly paradise. They believe they can now control all environmental factors, including the climate. Conservatives believe in freedom, but a freedom that has boundaries based on eternal principles of right and wrong. Humans can be, must be, incentivized and disciplined towards virtuous conduct, and thus to use their freedom for good, not evil. Family and religion best do this, not government.

Socialism is a prime example of liberal failure. The government, top-down, controls the economy. It never works because it denies humans the freedom to choose their needs and desires, rather than what the elite thinks is best. Nobody can control what another person wishes to purchase. Only the free market fits with human nature.

Liberal morality also is disastrous. Let Edmund Burke explain: "Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within [freedom of choice], the more there must be without [government tyranny]." People must use their freedom to control themselves—self-government. Or government will have to do it for them. Freedom or tyranny. The Right vs. the Left.

Thus, liberal politicians’ fundamental mistake is believing that human beings can be transformed by legislation, in effect, by force. But they are wrong, and that is why political systems, nations, and dynasties rise for awhile and then collapse. They fail in the most basic concept, viz., that freedom is in the human heart, not produced by government laws. And forcing people to outwardly conform will only lead eventually to resentment, rebellion, and revolution. That is why religion has always existed. Christianity, for example, has survived for 2,000 years through every kind of political system and upheaval. Jesus knew that humans can only truly be changed from within, in the heart, not by external laws. Therefore, religion has always existed, and will continue long after current political tyrannies have either disappeared completely or devolved into something else, something as useless and reprehensible as what they had replaced.

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But, religion remains the greatest threat to the self-serving, elitist politicians who lust to control others and create the Shangri-la that gives them totalitarian power. The only people more pitiable than such politicians are the people who believe their lies, lies that have been repeated countless times throughout history, and have cost innumerable people their lives. For, what do you do with the rotten apples, the apples that don’t respond to the perfect environment you created for them?

You destroy them. As many as necessary.

Don’t miss out on some good American reading from the good ol’ days.  My western novels, Whitewater and River Bend, are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Eliva.com.   A third western, Allie’s Dilemma, is available for Kindle only.   And read some different posts on my blog at thailandlewis.blogspot.com.

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