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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Monday, December 29, 2003

How Do Authoritarian Leftists Justify Themelves?

I have a theory about why the same people would be anti-authoritarian in one direction and authoritarian in the other.

The heirs of the “New Left” do not believe in individuals. I don't mean that they distrust individuals the way an authoritarian conservative would; I mean they do not believe individuals can come up with anything on their own. This theory leads to the following conclusion: If someone is not going along with a group (The People) then he/she must be following another group (The Establishment).

According to this view, classical liberalism (which defended individual rights against The Establishment) must have been about strengthening the right of The People to tell individuals what to do. Anyone opposed to that obviously would have opposed the American Revolution and the abolitionists. (This explains why modern liberals—who think of themselves as nonconformists—are so eager to claim to be mainstream.)

If The People agree with The Establishment they are not acting in accordance with their true nature and can be disregarded. If 90% of The People believe in family values, the work ethic, religion, etc. (Establishment values) and 10% don't, the 10% are the real mainstream of The People. (Authoritarian conservatives think that “nonconformists” are trying to be nonconformists. They're not. They're trying to be their type of conformist.)

This opinion is almost impervious to criticism. The ex-New-Left will assert that every group has the right to do what it wants. The obvious objection is that a group may want to oppress other groups. They can get around that in two ways:

  1. They can assert that only The Establishment of the group wants to oppress. (If The People want to oppress they can only be following The Establishment.)
  2. They can claim that The People are only opposed to The Establishment of the target group. Sure a few members of The People on the other side might be blown up, but that's the fault of Their Establishment.

In this theory, individualism and The Establishment are two sides of the same coin. The Establishment is the source of individualism because there is no other reason why so many people would oppose community. Individualism produced The Establishment because without individualism The Establishment would not oppose the community.

On the other hand, maybe it's just a case of “You don't tell us what to do; we tell you what to do.”

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