Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Liberals -- Tenets of the Liberal Civil Religion 138

Blog postings 98 through 137 dealt with modern liberalism. Reviewing the text much as The Great and Secret Show was reviewed for lessons, a long, thorough and consistent list of the tenets of this civil religion is revealed. They are announced below. Following each tenet is a bracket referencing the blog posting which describes that particular tenet.

The Civil Religion of
Modern Liberalism:
The Tenets

Human altruism enables people to cooperate (126).

Violence and selfishness are not part of the human condition, but, rather, the result of flawed institutions (126).

The world is perfectible through choosing the right institutions (126).

Human nature is basically good, and we care about others. These qualities make us perfectible (126).

Participation in government develops our reason (126).

Government can create institutions that increase tolerance and produce a society dedicated to social justice (126).

Human beings have unlimited potential. Any shortcomings are due to faulty social conditioning (125).

There is no innate human nature. The mind begins life as a blank slate which can be changed for the better. Studies challenging the blank slate should be ignored or, I necessary, reviled (125).

Traditional institutions have no intrinsic worth. We must overcome the mistaken traditions of dead white men (125).

We must assess traditional morals for political outcome (125).

We must do something about power differentials, environmental damage and war (125).

Radical political and judicial reform is mandatory (125).

Our part in a living culture is more important than any one individual (125).

Less saber rattling, more pacifism, disarmament, de-emphasis of patriotism and negotiation can prevent war (125).

Religion is important for the masses but not to public intellectuals (125).

Genes play no part in determining social class (125).

It is acceptable to politicize science on issues such as the environment or gay rights (125).

I.Q. is never dependent on race or ethnicity (125).

As long as society is oppressed by the powerful, free speech does not help the weak (137).

Liberating tolerance means intolerance against movements from the right including withdrawal of free speech and the right to assemble from any group promoting aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination based on race or religion or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc (137).

Mercy is a stabilizing policy when exercised with prudence (127).

Stability and mercy should be at the center of governing and punishing (127).

Autonomy ought not be recognized as a valid organizing principle of one's life nor one's politics (127).

Justice should not involve the will nor any so-called universal law of freedom (127).

Justice should not restore a network of mutual obligations (127).

Punishment should not be meted out as payment of a debt owed to the law-abiding citizens of a community (127).

Kant was wrong when he insisted that irrational desires only enslave (127).

Unconditionally accept yourself and even those who torture you (128).

People are not what they do, even if they do very evil deeds (128).

Educating children and students in unconditional acceptance may eventually eliminate war (128).

People aren't ultimately responsible for their character and behavior (129).

Retribution has n naturalistic justification and causes unnecessary and counterproductive suffering (129).

Serious thought could not have had anything to do with Hitler's success (130).

Values are the product of folk minds and have relevance only to those minds (130).

Honor immoderation over moderation and ridicule morality, especially bourgeois morality (130).

Legitimacy consists of tradition, reason and charisma, which cause men to accept a domination by other men founded on violence (131).

Violence is proof of commitment (131).

Commitment is more important than truth (131).

Deconstruction is a respectable analytic technique (132-3).

Human beings can never know anything with certainty (135).

Redistribution re-establishes the proper supremacy of government absolutism over rule of law (98).

Equality of outcome is more important than a workable meritocracy or equality of opportunity or equality before the law. Equality itself isn't sacred, redistribution is, for redistribution alone is powerful enough to create social justice (98).

The good of the community us harmonious with the freedom of the individual (98).

You can pay someone to be compassionate and thus incrementally move a nation toward paradise (99).

Classes within a society always fight each other (100).

A free market leads to the oppression of the majority (100).

The financially secure, the bourgeoisie, are inferior to the working class (100).

Courts serve a social purpose, so case law and English common law are inadequate approaches (100).

An orthodox religion never well serves either the common people nor the “pillars of liberalism” (100).

More is achieved in common than is accomplished alone (101).

An anti-plutocratic stance is inadequate liberalism (101).

There are two forms of liberalism: one says the institutions of government are correct because democratic whereas the other says those institutions and democracy are mere ideological constructs (102).

Social justice requires government to employ progressive taxation and income redistribution as well as to consider property redistribution. Therefore, the concept of “social justice” requires absolute power to implement its ideas (103).

Redistribution is a moral necessity (103).

The failure of a redistribution scheme is always due to a particular leader, never the ideology (103).

Those unmoved by social justice are themselves inherently corrupt (103).

Chaos is a sign of progress (103).

Any rhetorical device is acceptable if used against an opponent of redistribution (103).

Because “global warming” leads to redistribution, it demands unquestioned support in spite of any criticism, no matter how scientific (104).

The pillars of the liberal establishment (in the USA) are the press, liberal religious institutions, universities, labor, culture and the Democratic party (105).

The wisdom of the founding fathers is not to be venerated (105).

Street fighting and anarchy produce progress, not any technique lacking militancy (105).

The U.S. Constitution is not sacred (105).

When centralization of ownership and production fail, this proves that more centralization is called for (106).

Art is a soapbox from which the artist presents his opinions (107).

A sensitive and ideologically correct work of art may seem cold or boring to an ignorant or bourgeois audience, but this disapproval is a badge of honor (108).

Art is a tool to exemplify and create the new man, not a love poem to heroism nor the individual (109).

No person should waste time with mere aesthetics – soothing music, pleasing art, entertaining literature – when social injustice prevails (109).

When redistribution is complete, all forms of expression “would be totally liberated. Class-based culture, in fact, would give way to human culture” (Manny Thain in 110).

Within the family, understanding and empathy are important but not as vital as appearances and verbal skill (111).

Be most eloquent about your own emotions and anxieties (112).

Art “is not an aesthetic process; it's a form of magic that interposes itself between us and a hostile universe” – Picasso (113).

Ugly art is good art if it quells the fear of living in a hostile universe (113).

The great fear is being inauthentic, not having an identity, being the freak of the group, being the only one who is not adjusted (114).

Liberals have five basic categories of morality [per George Lakoff]:
     The promotion of fairness through empathy
     Assisting those who cannot assist themselves through nurturing
     Protecting those who cannot protect themselves
     Fulfilling one's life
     Caring for oneself (115)

Classical liberalism was about liberty and equal rights. This is an out-of-date set of priorities (116).

If redistribution is attacked, any rhetorical trick is acceptable to defeat this assault on the sacred (117).

Governments can't go broke, so all their guarantees will be provided for somehow (117).

Ideologues are less flexible than those they wish to administer for, but this is always forgivable (118).

The failure of liberal planning elsewhere is never applicable to this nation nor our citizens (119).

Universality and the appearance of fairness represent compassion, which is attainable since you can hire people to be compassionate [99]. Criticism of unwieldy or cruel administrative structures represents a barbaric attack on the sacred liberal values (120).

We all need and require a realistic, functional bogeyman to contrast our self-perceptions with, a shadow of our inner self to keep our demons in check (121).

Economic justice is a necessary prerequisite for meaningful and effectual, participatory, democratic government. Therefore an activist government is a moral requirement. The ultimate need is for a benevolent dictator (121).

Hitler wasn't a socialist because he was a nationalist and a war-planner. He didn't really care about people, and genuine socialists always care (122).

The far left is especially and properly keen that the term “socialism” should belong to them and not to the ideas of the Third Reich (123).

Eusociality,” in which some individuals reduce their own lifetime reproductive potential to raise the offspring of others, underlies the most advanced forms of social organization. The repudiation of this concept by its discoverer, Edward O. Wilson, on mathematical grounds, does not invalidate this finding (124).

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