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I just finished reading this lengthy piece by a former Czech refugee from Communism. In it, he talks rather elegantly, but critically, about how the Left in the Western World is slowly destroying the very civilization and it's culture. And while it is a slow process, it is pretty much all encompassing, in that the attempt to discredit Classical Liberal values, which include Free Enterprise, Limited Government, and also Christianity are bleeding into Every aspect of that very civilizetion.

I'm going to paste only part of it here, as it is a bit lengthy, but not too long. Perhaps our left members will also choose to read it in it's entirity and comment on why they think his thesis to be incorrect, or how this assault can be justified. And please remember that the writer is talking in general, as not all of the Left fit within this category: rather the majority

And I realize that there is this hostility, because I constantly hear how Christianity is equated to Islam, by bring up it's past, even though it is nowhere like what is happening today. And then it was superstition and ignorance to science, whereas today this is not the case. Further, I hear many Europeans condemning their past, saying that they exploited others, and failed to follow the ethics that they exspoused. I read this all the time. Anyway, here is the article



Quote:The Suicidal Left: Civilizations and their Death Drives
February 28th, 2006



For a long time now, the political Left has been a source of widespread puzzlement. Many people instinctively suspect its insidiousness, but are uncertain of its precise nature. The confusion is further compounded by the apparent incongruence between the Left’s flowery rhetoric and the detrimental effects of its actions. Unable to grasp its nature, many have followed with uneasy apprehension its growth into a powerful force whose seemingly inescapable influence has been increasingly felt in virtually every sector of our society.

Duplicitous by disposition, the Left indeed does not lend itself to easy analysis. Although its corrosiveness has been intuited by many, the reasons for the misgivings are usually not so easily articulable. Yet the Left cannot be effectively contended with until we are able to grasp its essence. Effective action requires knowledge.

The Left’s devotees like to say that knowledge is power, and on this much at least we can agree. Let us begin, then, our quest for knowledge by rising above the political and cultural melees of the day to obtain a more rounded view of the battlefield forces.


He concludes:

Quote:Surviving the Left’s worst efforts

If the West wants to survive, it must recognize the Left for what it is – a subversive internal force bent on our destruction.

The incarnation of the death drive that runs like a black lace through the fabric of great civilizations, the Left is the originator of our most grievous ills and the gravest danger that we face. It is at the root of the strife and tribulations that are tearing down the edifice of the Western world.

Perhaps this recognition will give us the moral strength to swerve from the road to perdition along which we have been dragged for so long. There is every indication that its terminal point is not too far away. One can almost hear the echo of the abyss as one after another the great pillars of our civilization come crumbling down. Mixed with the doom-bound calls for appeasement in the face of barbarism, it makes for a bloodcurdling sound. If we want to live we must take heed, for the next bend in this road may well be the last.

Vasko Kohlmayer defected from Communist Czechoslovakia at the age of 19. He lives in London and works in the publishing industry. He can be contacted at vasko_kohlmayer@msn.com.
We want America to lose in Iraq because the war was immoral. If we win, it will encourage American leadership to wage more preemptive wars - and eventually we will lose one of those wars in a very big way. Better lose now, and learn, than lose big when we, say, decide to preemptively invade Iran or North Korea.
yep...but we are playing to win...with Iraqis of good will.
You lefties want us to lose...now and forever more. (goodness what a death-wish they have) just like the article proposed.
Bean
First of all, I'm not sure what your definition of 'win' is, but if its the creation of a stable Iraqi democracy, we are not playing to win. We will win insofar as we will keep Iraq as a military base.

Second, that win will cause us to become overconfident and make a horrendously foolish mistake sooner or later - we'll believe we can invade countries and use them as military bases.
Anon, your response absolutely proves the article correct. You are too steeped in moral relativism, secular humanism, and a desire, perhaps latent, to tear down our social structures that have been around for over 200 years.

It is time that you took stock of your ideals and seriously considered what your wishes would actually do to this country over the long term.

further, it is this exact attitude that not only led to what happened to us in Vietnam, but the two plus decades of self doubt, and self-loathing.

Amazing, but thanks for being totally honest. I will give you that.
Quote:First of all, I'm not sure what your definition of 'win' is, but if its the creation of a stable Iraqi democracy, we are not playing to win.
....
We want America to lose in Iraq because the war was immoral.

Thanks Anon for honestly and succinctly stating what many have known about the left, but which virtually none of the vast number of lefties will openly state.

Of course you realize that much of the reason "we are not playing to win" is because you are part of a sizeable and influential group, and you want a loss. So please take the lamenting tone out of your "not playing to win" posts. Actually, as I think about it, you weren't quite so honest as I originally thought.

-S
We invaded Iraq to turn it into a military base. If we were 'playing to win', as you and Ken Bean say, we'd send several hundred thousand more troops.
The Left's sensibilities are rooted in three main truths; uncompromisable certainties that rationalize all else.

One: that the religious believers are vapid dupes wrapped up in magical preachments that allow bigotry, bias, and hatred to flourish in the name of Church and God. After all, hasn't religion been the root cause of all wars throughout history, and the cause of the Dark ages that destroyed civilization, until Liberal elites appeared, giving birth to the Rennaissance?

Two: that money is the root of all evil; that evil Republican tycoons did and do extort and prey upon the poor to enrich themselves, and only a strong and benevolent central government run by the true elite can hold these Robber Barons in check.

Three: that popular patriotism separates nations and creates the divisiveness that allows wars to be waged. A proper global atheist central world government, run by the intellectual elite, could eliminate all conflict and make Paradise on Earth.

How can one begrudge a poor Lib who learned Columbus almost never discovered America because the religious zealots said he was a heretic? The Dems learned in school that the church decreed the Earth was flat and that was that. Going back farther, who hasn't learned that the great enlightened civilization of Greece and Rome ended when the Church entered the picture, and then began a "Dark Ages" That lasted until The Rennaissance? This disinformation is all wrong, yet believed devoutly by the Left.

Rodney Stark in How Christianity (and Capitalism) Led to Science presents the accepted and unargued true history that is unreported in school books.
It was Andrew Dickson White who Wrote:The warfare of Columbus [with religion] the world knows well: how the Bishop of Ceuta bested him in Portugal,; how sundry wise men of Spain confronted him with the usual quotations from Psalms, from St, Paul, and from St. Augustine; how, even after he was triumphant, and after his voyage had greatly strengthened the theory of the Earth's sphericity... the Church by its highest authority solemnly stumbled and persisted in going astray... the theological barriers to this geographival truth yielded but slowly. Plain as it had b ecome to scholars, they hesitated to declare it to the world at large... But in 1519 science gains a crushing victory. Magellan makes his famous voyage. He proves the Earth is round, for his expedition circumnavigates it... Yet even this does not end the war. Many conscientious [religious] men oppose the doctrine for two hundred years longer.
Every history book recounts how Columbus fought the religious extremists who used the Bible to decree the Earth was Flat. Name a Liberal who knows any different!

White lied. He was running for President of Cornell and admitted he wrote this to "get even with his Christian critics of his plans for Cornell." Every educated person of Columbus's time knew the earth was round. This includes Roman Catholic theologians. The Venerable Bede (ca. 673-735) taught that the Earth was round, as did Bishop Virgilius of Salzburg (ca. 720-784). Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), and Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274), and all four became Saints. It was part of an ages-old conspiracy of atheists to portray Religion as being anti-Science. Columbus was not argued out of sailing off the edge of the world. The scientist of his day knew the world was round - but much larger than Columbus estimated. He put Japan at being only 2,080 miles from the Canary Islands, but the "sundry wise men of Spain" knew it was over 14,000 miles. Had Columbus not run across an unsuspected continent - his crew would have all died at Sea.

But then again, the entire "Dark ages" is a crock. Christianity actually inspired science. There was no science in ancient Greece or Rome. Aristotle thought the weight of objects were proportional to the speed with which they dropped. A simple test by dropping two different weights off a cliff never ocurred to him. Guesswork without empiricism is not science. It was only at the birth of Christianity, that a wise God appeared who fostered the idea that science could be done and should be done. The Church understood there was a duty to understand God's handiwork, the better to marvel at it.

As for a time of barbarism, superstition, and widespread ignorance - there was no "Dark Ages." The march of progress was sure and steady, and sparked by the Christian concept of the world as an understandable creation following understandable laws which needed to be studied. The phrase, "Dark Ages," was a myth, first used in the early 19th century by atheists to claim credit for a sudden "enlightenment" that occurred against the Church's wishes. In fact it was the Church that fostered science. Quintus Tertullian instructed in the second century, "Reason is a thing of God, inasmuch as there is nothing which God the Maker of all has not provided, disposed, ordained by reason — nothing which He has not willed should be handled and understood by reason." The success of the West, including the rise of science, rested entirely on religious foundations, and the people who brought it about were devout Christians.

Yet, every good Liberal knows Gibbons wrote The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire and blamed the Fall of Rome and the rise of barbarism on Christianity. Historians disagree - yet the schools still distort the truth. The New Columbia Encyclopedia (1975) says the term "Dark Ages" is no longer used by historians because this era is no longer thought to have been so dim. The Encyclopedia Britannica concurs.

But here we are... products of strong disinformation that tells us religion engenders ignorance and is anti-science - when true history claims Christianity is the single catalyst that sparked and promoted science. A famous poll taken in Darwin's day found that almost all celebrated scientists, including Darwin, were deeply religious. Eighty-four years later, the same poll showed exactly the same results. Modern scientists are profoundly religious.

The second Liberal foundation is explained because in a review of fourth and eighth grade history books, all of them get it wrong. None of them were honest about big government vs. big business. Each book spent much effort painting a picture of successful government monopolies in the Fur trade, building canals and railroads. The historical truth is that these government monopolies were uncontested failures - Failures so severe that the populace rose up in anger, ended the political forces that fed them, and turned them over to successful entrepreneurs. The books all preached to the young that big government was the savior and Robber Barons the nemesis, when in all actuality, it was the opposite that held true.

What caused this was a reliance on the historical works of John L. and Barbara Hammond, who influenced all the school books that followed. They relied on the Sadler Report of 1832 that reported the Industrial Revolution was "crowded with overworked children", "hotbeds of putrid fever," and "monotonous toil in a hell of human cruelty." Charles Dickens' novels helped to codify this image.

Would modern day Liberals feel less secure promoting big government to solve social and economic problems, if they knew in their hearts that what they learned as children was a lie? An historical review by Dr. Burton W. Folsom points out that
Quote:Mr. sadler, we know today, lied in his report. He was a member of Parliament and made up much of his report to gain support for a bill he wanted to see Parliament pass. Economist W. H. Hutt has described Sadler's falsification of evidence. Even Friedrich Engels, comrade of Karl Marx, concluded that "Sadler permitted himself to be betrayed by his nobel enthusiasm into the most distorted and erroneous statements."

The history of our country is clear: It was the government that charged outrageous prices and tried to pawn off shoddy merchandise, while the private businesses that supplanted them did the job right, charged lower prices, and did it without government subsidies that kept the monopolies afloat.
Folsom Wrote:The school books give the impression that robber barons stepped in to exploit whatever they could, and were a negative point in history. The lesson the books should be teaching is that in the world of commerce, the profit motive, the structure of incentives. and the stifling tendencies of bureaucrats are such that those businesses run by entrepreneurs will consistently outperform those run by the government. Instead, the authors had a bias for a strong central government. When the authors were called on these reports, they agreed that they were not reporting fact, but incorrect, unsubstantiated ideology.

As a prime example, what happened in Michigan, my home state, is the rule and not the exception.

Based on Grace Kachaturoff, author of Michigan, Folsom Wrote:When the state builds a project, the incentives are different from those of private enterprise. Satisfying political interests is often more important to legislators than building a railroad that is financially sound and well constructed. State builders use taxpayers’ money, not their own. If the road fails, it’s the state, not the builders, with empty pockets. The Michigan story is full of accounts of padded vouchers, illegal bidding, cost overruns, and the stealing of materials by contractors and even by the citizens themselves. Since no one actually owned the railroads, no one felt the responsibility to take care of them.

Judge Thomas Cooley, Michigan’s most famous 19th-century lawyer and a president of the American Bar Association, observed this waste firsthand. He wrote about it later and said, "By common consent it came to be considered that the State in entering upon these works had made a serious mistake." The people of Michigan, Cooley reported, became convinced "that the management of railroads was in its nature essentially a private business, and ought to be in the hands of individuals." In 1846, therefore, the state of Michigan abandoned all the canals and sold the Central and Southern Railroads, which were only partly completed, to private investors. The new owners promised to do some rebuilding and to expand the lines to the Chicago area. From this distress sale, the state recovered one-half of its $5 million investment and ended its headaches from being in the railroad business.

Once the railroads had been privatized, they were rebuilt with care and extended across the state. At last, Michigan citizens had the roads they needed to trade and thrive. This turnaround was so startling that its implications were not lost on Michigan voters. They learned from history.

In 1850, Michigan threw out its old constitution and wrote a new one. It read, "the State shall not subscribe to or be interested in the stock of any company, association, or corporation." Furthermore, "the State shall not be a party to or interested in any work of internal improvement, nor engaged in carrying on any such work" except to provide land. The heavily taxed voters were determined to learn from their mistakes and chart a better future for the state. In the years of laissez-faire that followed, Michigan’s entrepreneurs developed the state’s natural resources—lumber and iron ore—so effectively that Michigan soon became a major industrial state.

This is a root principle that denies the Liberal belief that is inculcated into their belief systems as school children. How can you dismiss the honor and veracity of a Liberal who believes what he was taught in school?

The third Liberal foundation is the most shameful of all. When a person says, "I am smarter than you, so you must do what I say" - No one should buy into that.
Thanks Bill. I had been looking all over for that article, but had misplaced it. I now have it in my bookmarks section. Wink1

Articles like this will have the secular left in a REAL tizzy, don't you know?
Anonymous24 Wrote:We want America to lose in Iraq because the war was immoral. If we win, it will encourage American leadership to wage more preemptive wars - and eventually we will lose one of those wars in a very big way. Better lose now, and learn, than lose big when we, say, decide to preemptively invade Iran or North Korea.
Yo. Adrian! Who is we? The left? The left does not want America let alone an America that wins. What you want is Amerika.
Anonymous24 Wrote:We want America to lose in Iraq because the war was immoral. If we win, it will encourage American leadership to wage more preemptive wars - and eventually we will lose one of those wars in a very big way. Better lose now, and learn, than lose big when we, say, decide to preemptively invade Iran or North Korea.
How hard it must be for you to live here, hating your country so.

Your remarks have just made me, more than ever, think the public school system with it's anti-American-driven agenda must be replaced with the voucher program, where parents can make the decision of where/what the education of their children is.
John: let me just respond to one thing you said, since the article seems to make the same connection.

The only difference between classical and modern liberalism is attitudes towards free markets. Religion is about the same either way - both kinds of liberals regard it mostly as neither good nor bad, but irrelevant. It only got associated with free markets later - really by Reagan, or, if you really want to go back, Buckley. I'm sure you can point out examples of Christian classical liberals, but I'll find similar examples of modern Christian liberals.

To answer the article's main challenge: "come up with one counter-example, one single instance from among the Left’s campaigns and advocacies which is not in some way injurious to western civilization," I can't. But then, since he's phrased it so broadly, I'd like to see something from the right that doesn't do the same.

(I know as soon as I say that, someone is going to say "religion," as if it belonged to the right. Just as one counterexample, MLK's civil rights movement, which obviously helped the country, had its roots in Southern Baptism.)

In any case, I find it a little strange that "The American Thinker" would publish an article by a Czeck, but presumably not by me, an American.

I'll probably have more to say later, I need to go to bed.
b5d, if what you say is true, then both kinds of Liberals - classical and modern - are wrong about religion. As I pointed out, modern science was patroned by religion. The difference bewteen China, India, Araby, or any other non-Christian land that never discovered or subscribed to science is huge. Europe threw off the invading Muslim hordes by its greater technology. European science also spawned the science of economics. The reason the U.S. and old Europe led the world for so long was because of the catalyst of Christianity. The reason the rest of the world is struggling to catch up is because the U.S. and Europe prospered so greatly that they felt comfortable enough to share their technology with it. Asia and Africa are blossoming now because of the charity of their more advanced patrons.

However, if we withdrew our largesse, their own cultural ethos might devolve into dark ages for them. As an example, Pakistan has nuclear power thanks to the West - but in the last decade, they have produced less than a dozen international patents of their own. In the U.S., alone, we have many individuals who have far more than a dozen patents all by themselves.
b5d, there is very little similar to modern "welfare" liberalism, and traditional Classic Liberalism. If you will remember, the Kelo case on Eminent Domain was made in favour of the state over the individual because of "so called" liberals on the court. The only Classic Liberal there, Justice Thomas, opposed. Thus the sancity of property is not paramont with your "so called" liberals.

Also, the "so called" liberals would place their faith on the State to handle social issues that a Classic Liberal would have a 'fit' over. We CLs are highly distrustful of the State and it's power to take away our Liberties. And with good reason.

Further, most "so called" liberals are comfortable with the concept of "moral relativism". To a Classic Liberal, this is unbelievable. The Individual is responsible for his/her action, and it is not the fault of society or his/her upbringing. Those are extenuating and mitigating circumstances only. Individualism is paramont, and reliance upon a bureaucracy is repugnant to us.

Also, most "so called" liberals are conveniently Protectionist in nature, as they are on the side of the trade unions. Classic Liberals are Free Traders, who adamently believe that one should have the liberty to trade with anyone, whether it be across town, or across the ocean.

So, as you can see, there is a World of difference, and that is why the "so called" liberals are not Really Liberals at all: other than their vocabulary. They are Leftists, Collectivists, and most importantly Friendly Fascists, who would have the State heavily control and regulate the means of production to the detriment of Free Markets. In Fact they are downright hostile to Free Enterprise in general. That is why they are really Fascists, in the "friendly" costume.

Here, read this essay on Classic Liberalism, Libertarianism, and Individualism. I don't like the idea of calling them "welfare" liberals, as Fascist is more correct, but other than that, the essay is Right On!
Liberals don't see religion being as bad - we see it as being irrelevant, as B5d pointed out. Religion doesn't matter. The 'Dark Ages' were quite progressive, but this is not because of or despite religion. Religion is a farce, used by people to mask deeper drives.
Quote:Liberals don't see religion being as bad - we see it as being irrelevant, as B5d pointed out.

If religion is irrelevant, as you say, then why all the attacks by liberals and liberal institutions on religion? If there is nothing bad about religion and you consider religion to be irrelevant then there is no reason to attack it, yet we see new assaults on religion every day by liberal groups in this country.
John, classical liberals were no more moral absolutists than modern liberals. From your own article:

Jonathan Dolhenty Wrote:What we might term "modern" Classical Liberalism grew out of the ideas put forth by these three thinkers. But I would argue that none of them provided a good philosophical foundation for Classical Liberalism. First, Locke was a committed Empiricist philosopher. I don't think Empiricism can provide a solid foundation for his political ideas since Empiricism lacks a rational metaphysics, indeed it tends to deny metaphysics in the first place. Second, Mill was an advocate of Utilitarianism, another philosophical movement which provided little or no metaphysical foundation for its doctrines. Third, Adam Smith appears not to have been particularly concerned with metaphysics at all. My conclusion, therefore, is that no explicit metaphysical foundation was provided by any of these philosophers for the classical liberal ideas they espoused.

...

Metaphysics is of course anything involving moral philosophy.
b5d Wrote:John, classical liberals were no more moral absolutists than modern liberals. From your own article:

Jonathan Dolhenty Wrote:What we might term "modern" Classical Liberalism grew out of the ideas put forth by these three thinkers. But I would argue that none of them provided a good philosophical foundation for Classical Liberalism. First, Locke was a committed Empiricist philosopher. I don't think Empiricism can provide a solid foundation for his political ideas since Empiricism lacks a rational metaphysics, indeed it tends to deny metaphysics in the first place. Second, Mill was an advocate of Utilitarianism, another philosophical movement which provided little or no metaphysical foundation for its doctrines. Third, Adam Smith appears not to have been particularly concerned with metaphysics at all. My conclusion, therefore, is that no explicit metaphysical foundation was provided by any of these philosophers for the classical liberal ideas they espoused.

...

Metaphysics is of course anything involving moral philosophy.

That doesn't mean anything at all. Regardless of their school, I can tell you that they all had moral absolutes. I have read all three of them, Mill being the least, and know for a fact that they had no problem identifying what is right and what is wrong. If they did not have 'absolutes', then I don't know what to call them.

The only thing is that many of the 19th century CLs were not deeply religious. However, I am a follower of Lord Acton, who was the greatest moral CL philosopher in modern history.
It's not the 'absolute' part I have a problem with, as much as the 'morality.' The difference between opinion and morality is that morality implies something that must be fought at all costs, whereas opinions allow for scholarly debate. While the CLs were certainly persuasive, they didn't intend for their works to be taken without question.

Call it strong opinions, or maybe logical consistency, but not morality.
I don't understand. Why is it that morality " implies something that must be fought at all costs"? That simply does not make sense to me. I would think that logically morality would be something to be defended.

I'm currently reading Lord Acton's "Essays On Freedom And Power", and he has some interesting essays here. One, "The History of Freedom In Christianity", and another, "The Protestant Theory of Persecution" surely have some moral defense there within them. I have not started on them yet, but would be more than willing to think they do.

As I stated earlier, Acton was a monumental CL Moral Essayist.
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