“I can’t help myself, it’s a new religion…”
(I’m afraid I can’t take that Duran Duran reference any further.)
Reading ‘The Selfish Gene’ by Richard Dawkins in my 20s was one of the biggest catalysts on the way to me losing my faith – my faith in socialism that is. I find it ironic that Dawkins has put so much energy since then into attacking Christianity and becoming a bit of a luvvie among lefties such as comedian Robin Ince. He is to be commended for his recent remark that Islam is “the greatest force for evil in the world today”, though not his elitist comment that British people are “not qualified” to decide whether we leave the EU.
It was while reading ‘The Selfish Gene’ that I realised we weren’t going to solve all society’s problems and conflicts. Organisms – or more precisely genes – are in constant competition to get one better on each other so they have a better of chance of surviving and perpetuating themselves as widely as possible into the next generation. This applies to humans as much as any other organism. We’ll never arrive at some steady state utopia. Humanity will rumble on with its various conflicts. Some people will always be doing better for themselves and others will fall back and resent it. Perhaps this is the meaning of Jesus’ comment that “the poor will always be with us”.
This saddened me at first. After all, it is the teaching, not only of socialism, but all modern religions, that if only everyone became a believer and lived faithfully, society would be perfect. Then it came to me that the competitive struggle of evolution is the reason why we’ve got where we are today and aren’t still single-celled organisms in the primeval soup. Death is as important as survival in evolution. It’s what drives progress. Indeed, rather than defining fairness as everyone being given an equal share, evolutionary fairness rewards adaptability and success.
Religion is so much more than just a set of myths around a supernatural Almighty and creation, or a mystical sense of connection with a higher power. The word “Bible” means “book”. It was the repository of knowledge for an ancient people – their explanation of the world and the state of science at the time. It was the cultural identity of a people and set them apart from their enemies. It was their account of their history up to that point – complete with heroes and villains. It prescribed and rationalised traditions, rituals and taboos. It was “the Law”, set in stone, under which everyone was judged. It was not a matter of choice. Religion as a matter of personal conscience is a much more recent Western notion.
Just because leftism doesn’t preach a belief in supernatural gods or set itself up as a religion, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have many of the trappings of a religion – and a particularly zealous, proselytising and intolerant one at that. Indeed, socialism has traditionally been determined to destroy Christianity because it competes for the spiritual allegiance of the populace.
It’s not a logical thing. It’s an emotional attachment to a dream that there can be heaven on earth. It’s no more sophisticated or mature than that of a children’s story in which when the goodies finish off the baddies and everyone can live happily ever after – and you and I, dear reader, are the baddies who must be slain.
A common article of faith/fantasy among the Bristol hippies was what some have termed ‘disaster socialism’. This is pedalling the apocalyptic prophesy that capitalism and/or our abuse of the environment cannot continue the way it is and will soon result in an economic/social collapse. The believer tries to alarm people, portraying it as a disaster in waiting, but in fact they want to believe it because they really want it to happen and can’t wait. This is because after the collapse, all the evil capitalist institutions will be no more and humanity will revert to its natural co-operative, peaceful, altruistic, socialistic state into perpetuity.
Let’s not think about the stress, destitution, lawless crime, civil war and general death, destruction and misery which actually would accompany a wholesale socio-economic collapse, most likely resulting in some kind of dictatorship or the rise of gangster warlords.
These people saw modern comfortable consumer society as somehow bad for the soul and looked romantically at the idea of a simpler, more primitive, somewhat more medieval society – conveniently forgetting the grinding hard work and serfdom. Who needs 21st century healthcare when you have herbalism?
It’s a simplistic blame game. All evils are blamed on capitalism and right. Lefties believe they stand for everything good and everything their critics stand for is bad.
Leftist folklore has accumulated heroes over its history who are beyond criticism, villains who must never be credited with redeeming qualities, and many sacred cows which cannot be challenged or revisited – every though they may be simplistic, contradictory or factually inaccurate. It has bound itself in a dogmatic straitjacket and is unable to rationally adapt to feedback, criticism, new ideas or change.
The left has taken over from the church the tradition of moral hectoring. They’ve been devastating effective in mimicking religion to enforce their principles through social mores. Most people want to feel that they are morally good and fighting the bad guys. They feel secure getting brownie points for saying and doing the right thing and fear the social ostracism and punishment they risk by stepping out of line. Hence the moral panic among so much of the young and the middle class at anything perceived to be right wing, plus the virtue-signalling of celebrities. It’s not making a principled stand. It’s conformity of the worst kind.
With the memory of how they came to this place lost generations back in the mists of time, the left now believes its own b*llsh*t. This really is how lefties think. Indeed it is the only explanation for their behaviour.
[Ed: This is the fifth article in the series. There are more to come which will be published here in the next days. Links to the previous articles are at the bottom of the page here.]