Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Left's Default Position: Coercion (II), the Philosophy

Continued from part I: "The Left's Default Position: Coercion"

Has anyone noticed of late the upsurge in open aggression, verbal or otherwise? It has increased in proportion to the Left's abandoning classic Social Democracy and replacing it with the Postmodern variety. Both share Kantian roots, but whereas Social Democracy has a healthy respect for science and technology and makes an effort to rationalize the ideology, Postmodernism has no such history and clings proudly to its core premise of anti-reason.

Even today Sarah Palin attacked the Postmodernist domestic terrorism of the Weather Underground and the long association Barack Obama had with its founder, Bill Ayers on the boards of the Chicago Annenberg Challange (see also "The Hidden Sinisterisms of the O Campaign" or ask the Global Labor blogger "Who Sent Obama?").

Once any form of subjectivism replaces reason, sooner or later it always comes down to coercion. We will endeavor to explain the reason here on the philosophical level, hopefully in the plainest possible terms. Part III will take a look how this translates in the daily practice and why the Left's style of activism reminds us so much of Fascist activity.

Subjectivism means that thought creates reality: reality (the object) is thus dependent on human consciousness (the subject). A thinker does not need to concern himself with the outside facts of reality to acquire knowledge. The mind, containing raw percepts and emotions, unfiltered and unprocessed by reason, has the power to create 'reality' in conformity with the owners wishes. Pathos, emotions and will take the place of reason as the primary tool of 'cognition'.

Iconically Albert Einstein once asked a subjectivist, "do you really think the universe is not there when you aren't watching it?" A subjectivist might legitimately ask, "If I die overnight, will the sun rise tomorrow?"

Violence and coercion are at the heart of subjectivist thought: it started with virulent forms of racism and ethnic Nationalism, which was followed by the gulags, psychiatric asylums and death camps of Socialism - meaning, all variations of Marxism, Fascism and National Socialism.

When the Western Left abandoned the ambition of reaching Utopia through violent revolution, they embraced democratic principles. This temporarily halted the coercive tendency, but it currently resurfaces with the Left adopting Postmodernism, which contains a strong strain of Rightist subjectivism of the Heidegger school of thought, which also strongly influenced Fascism.

Subjectivists do not engage in cognitive processes in any traditional sense of the word. An object - say a banana, isn't perceived from the inside out (what is the form, the color, its use, etc.), but the question is rather how does the banana 'strike' the observer. A subjectivist sits in reception how the banana will 'come across', what emotion the banana will trigger within him, the mind functioning as a sounding board or receiver, if you will.

This is also at the heart of the cannabis legalization campaign: the effect of a narcotic is a short-cut to superior subjective 'thought processes'.

The received sensation translates into pleasant or unpleasant percepts. The passive 'open mind' approach opens the field wide to suggestion, association, and projection. This can run wild, even resulting in psychosis, since it goes unchecked by sobering logic and reason. Subjectivists are ardent practitioners of campaigns for the manipulation of perception (the subjectivist approach to commercials: watch any liquor or auto commercial and you'll get the idea. Read also "When Reason Fails").

The basis for this improper method of 'cognition' is the Kantian notion that the mind is locked up inside the skull, forever separated from outside reality. It has become a place of smoke and mirrors, with objects that are only a ghostly form of the actual thing; the real object is localized in some parallel universe, unbreachable by the human mind. This belief allows subjectivists to manipulate facts, and pick and choose among data to reach any conclusion they like. Their ethics programs them to reach only collectivist outcomes.

Cut off from reason, the duty of altruism, which is the core of Kantian ethics, tends to demand force since that is the only means of ensuring that everyone complies with the moral duty to self-sacrifice to the collective; then pacifism rejects the legitimacy of self-defense. It reinforces the subjectivist default position of coercion, but the ultimate source is anti-reason: in absence of objective knowledge, might makes right (Pragmatism), which is further enhanced by the morality that forcing the 'good' on people is for their own benefit.

The Western Left have managed for a long time to refrain from the use of force. By adopting liberal democracy and declaring any form of violence (even self-defense) morally beyond the pale ("make love, not war) they limited themselves to peaceful methods of persuasion. Today it is 'just' the manipulation of perception (see also "The Hidden Sinisterism of the O Campaign") and methods like Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)* and The Nudge are the popular methods to make unsuspecting people comply with the ideology. By paying prolonged lip-service to equality, they adhered to democratic principles, even though subjectivism does not lead to universal equality, unless among members of the same collective.

In themselves the premises of individualism, limited government and equality are alien to subjectivism. Which is why the Left adopted these principles as leaps of faith: Kantian philosophy itself doesn't lead to individual autonomy and as we have seen, subjectivism sees force as a legitimate form of coercion, indeed a beneficial tool for compliance for the 'common good'.

With the shift of Social Democracy to Postmodernism on the part of the political Left we should not be surprised of the inherent reflexes coming once again to the surface. It's no wonder we are reminded of blackshirts and storm troopers! It's because they share the same philosophical parameters.

* Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Deconstructionism rest on the fallacy that language is an end, not a tool for the expression of concepts. Followers reject the existence of concepts and take its tool (language) to be an end in itself.

To be continued in part III: "The Left's Default Position: Coercion, the Practice"


- "Blurring the Border between Reality and Perception" (series)
- "When Reason Fails" (series)

- Filed on Articles in "The Dystopia of Paradise" and "The Political Pathology Asylum" -


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