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Manufacturing Liberals

✿✿✿RoseD1st✿✿✿ 2010/08/12 06:59:20
Manufacturing Liberals
By Larrey Anderson







Liberals
are not insane, as many conservatives believe. Most liberals (I am not
speaking here of the political or intellectual class) are ordinary
human beings pursuing everyday human lives -- just like the rest of us.
Here is a brief summary of why most liberals are liberal and what we
can do to help at least some of them understand conservative thought:
Enter text here.
1) Indoctrination, not education

Polls consistently find
that over 70% of college professors identify themselves as liberal. The
percentage of liberal faculty members is even higher if one removes
responses from those teaching the "hard" sciences. In our prestigious
universities, the figure approaches 90%. Both of these reported
percentages are probably lower than the real figures
[i].

The
fact is that America's universities and colleges are no longer
institutions that offer their students various political, social, and
economic perspectives. There is no exploration of competing concepts,
no real debate. Students are not taught how to think, but what to think. Our universities are indoctrination camps
(and our public primary and secondary education systems are not much better) -- not campuses for learning and critical discussion.

Almost
all of the students who emerge from these indoctrination camps have
attended, for years, classes based upon moral, scientific, and
epistemological relativism
[ii].
Many of those students have never seriously considered, or even been
exposed to, alternatives to the propaganda they receive during school.
A person cannot change from position L to position C if that person
doesn't know that position C is an alternative -- or if the student has
been brainwashed into thinking that "C" stands for greed, racism,
homophobia, etc.

Yet the hard truth is that conservatives far outnumber liberals in America. It is our fault that we have allowed our educational systems to become indoctrination camps run by the left.

2) Imagination, not intelligence (or possibility, not probability)

One
of the most egregious errors that our educational systems dish out, and
that the students ingest, is that the imagination is more important
than the intellect (or, from a slightly different angle, that
possibility is more important than probability). In The Passions of the Soul,
Descartes contended that the passion of imagination should be used to
employ newly discovered mathematical principles (essentially what is
now the calculus) and the scientific method to rule the intellect
[iii].

Today's
intellectual elites agree with Descartes that the imagination (and,
thus, the possible) is more important than reason (and the probable).
For instance, a favorite philosopher of intellectual left, Friedrich
Nietzsche, claimed, "Art is worth more than truth"
[iv].

Here
is an extreme (but typical) example of how far out of hand this
thinking has gotten in our culture: Many programs that deal with absurd
legends on the Discovery, History, and various "science" channels will
close the episode by playing spooky music while the narrator says
something like this:

Even
though we still lack hard evidence, the search for Bigfoot goes on.
[Narrator's sonorous voice becomes deadly serious.] Too many questions
remain unanswered. And no one can deny that the existence of Sasquatch
is ... [momentary pause during musical crescendo] ... possible. [End scary music. Roll credits.]

This approach is banal, but it keeps the viewers coming back to see the next production on Bigfoot that, once again, proves nothing.
These programs demonstrate that in our popular culture, imagination is
more important than rational thought and possibility is held higher
than probability.

Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth is the prime example of (bad) art masquerading as the truth. The movie is filled with factual errors
and outright lies. But these distortions count for little in a society
where "art is worth more than truth." (Commence creepy music. Roll
credits. Stay tuned
[v]!)

In making real-life decisions, probability is much more important than possibility. It is possible that I might win the lottery if I buy a ticket. It is more than 99.999% probable that I will not. Life tutors us in this truth -- this is one of the reasons why people tend to become more conservative as they grow older.

Because of our educational system, most liberals are never taught
this basic fact of life. It is part of our job to help our liberal
friends understand the simple and crucial truth: Just because something
is possible does not make it probable.

3) Sympathy, not empathy

Liberals tend to be sympathetic. But sympathy is not empathy. Sympathy is a product of the imagination. Empathy is a result of knowledge
acquired through personal experience. Because liberals tend to be
sympathetic rather than empathetic, they see other people from two
distorted (and imaginary) points of view:

First,
liberals tend to see those for whom they have sympathy as victims. This
is a natural (though irrational) way of perceiving those who are less
fortunate -- or have an unconventional lifestyle. If I have not had the
experience of being poor, then I cannot understand the causes of any particular
poor person's poverty. I can imagine some causes, pity those who are
destitute, desire to act to end my imaginary causes, and quell my
sympathetic feelings of guilt. Since sympathy comes from what I imagine
to be true (not from what I know to be true), I could be wrong. My
"cure" for poverty could be worse than the disease.

Second,
liberals tend to view people as groups or causes -- not as individuals.
Because sympathy is based in the imagination instead of on experience,
the poor are not seen as distinctive human beings -- rather the poor
are viewed as a class. The same is true of other categories like
homosexuals, women, illegal immigrants, etc. Imaginative sympathy
distracts us from seeing the other (any other) person as a unique human
being.

Empathy develops as a person matures. It is a visceral and legitimate emotion. We empathize with the individual
(not with a make-believe category of people). Empathy drives us to
specifically address a problem in the life of someone who needs our
help. And we address the problem knowing something about it.

Many
liberals are empathetic. But most of them do not or, because of their
education and ideology, cannot differentiate between sympathy and
empathy. A man who was born in poverty and later becomes successful has
some idea of when a particular needy individual requires practical
advice or a loan -- rather than a gift of money. The successful man is
able to use his accumulated knowledge and/or wealth to specifically address a poor person's problems. The empathetic person knows the difference between a handout and a hand up.

If
liberals were consistent in their ideology, they would voluntarily give
their extra income to the government. Liberals, who really believe
government can eliminate poverty, manage health care, save peoples'
houses, etc., should be putting their money where their sympathy is.

But
overwhelmingly they don't. Deep down, some liberals get it. The extra
ten bucks in a liberal's wallet is better-spent on a friend who needs
gasoline to get to work than donated to the DOE's green energy
programs. Another of our tasks as conservatives is to explain to our
liberal acquaintances what some of them already understand: Sympathy is
not empathy.

4) Control, not freedom

As I have discussed at length in a couple of other
articles, liberals generally prefer an outside power (the government)
to fix those difficulties in life that they cannot personally control.
I have used the desire of liberals to establish universal health care
-- but not universal lawn care -- as an example.

When
we put these four principles together, we begin to see a familiar
pattern. The mindset of ordinary liberals begins with indoctrination.
The world is primarily viewed through the imagination. Liberals favor
sympathy over empathy and embrace possibility rather than probability.
Liberals long for a utopia, or perfect world, and believe that some
greater power (the government) can solve problems outside of their
personal control.

Notice how similar the liberal mindset is to the belief systems of the pious -- with a crucial
difference: Members of the various religions accept the fact that many
of their theological principles are based upon belief. Knowledgeable
practitioners of most religious sects willingly admit that the
acceptance of a particular dogma is, in the final analysis, a matter of
faith. This is why the
catechism and the various professions of many denominations feature the words "We [or "I"] believe ..."

Liberal
thought parallels religious belief -- except liberals do not understand
(or are loath to admit) that their thought processes are, in effect,
grounded in faith.

Let's
reconsider an example given above. Instead of offering a friend ten
dollars for gasoline, the liberal gives his "friend" a lecture on the
evils of carbon dioxide, tells his associate to walk or ride a bike the
thirty miles to work, and (being consistent in approach) donates the
ten dollars to the Department of Energy. The danger for liberals, and
for the rest of us, should be obvious: by avoiding close scrutiny of
their Weltanschauung, liberals are is getting perilously
close to sliding past liberalism's religious orientation and into the
nightmare of...the cult.

Larrey Anderson is a writer, philosopher, and submissions editor for American Thinker. He is the author of The Order of the Beloved and the memoir Underground. His next book, The Idea of the Family, will examine the role of procreation in human self-awareness.

[i]
Professors in the hard sciences tend to be more conservative than those
who teach the humanities or the "soft" sciences. If the polls did not
include the professors from the small number of private universities
(mostly Christian) where a majority of the faculty members are
conservative, the percentage of liberals would be higher in these polls.

[ii] I have discussed the myth of relativism in another article and will not readdress the issue here.

[iii]
In Descartes, the imagination is an expression of the free will and
appears to be subordinated only to the highest passion: generosité
(self-esteem). Notice that this connection -- between the free will and
the imagination via self-esteem -- eventually leads to the intellectual
narcissism that imbues modern thinking. For a full discussion of this
decisive turn in modern philosophy, see Stanley Rosen's "A Central
Ambiguity in Descartes" (Chapter 2 in Rosen's Ancients and Moderns, Yale University Press, 1989).

[iv]
In fact, philosophy's latest invention, modal logic, was specifically
constructed to deal with uncharted territories in traditional logic,
like possibility (not probability, which is a branch
within mathematics and used in statistics). I have seen "technical"
papers in philosophical journals use modal logic to argue, in effect,
that abortion is "moral" because the unborn baby might (or might not --
the arguments I have read are not very consistent) exist in a
chimerical possible world. See sections 4-7 in Stanley Rosen's The Limits of Analysis
(Basic Books, 1980) for an in-depth discussion of imagination, possible
worlds, and modal logic. Brandeis professor Palle Yourgrau has done
groundbreaking work in debunking the fabrication of "moral" arguments
utilizing modal logic and set in possible worlds. E.g., "The Dead," in Journal of Philosophy, 84, #2, pp. 84-101.

[v] Employing overly generous percentages, I have shown elsewhere
the probability is extraordinarily low that Gore's assertions are true.
Gore's claims about global warming are possible -- much like the
existence of Sasquatch is possible.


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  • Pronatalist Pronatalist 2012/05/26 13:34:48
    Pronatalist Pronatalist
    "You don't have to think to be a liberal." Rush Limbaugh

    "A liberal will give the shirt off of somebody else's back." NRAdittos
  • Obama Failed Soda Head Chie... 2012/05/26 13:13:16
    Obama Failed Soda Head Chief Opi
    +1
    There are those who are hopelessly devoted to Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, however, who will refuse to see this logic. And even if they do see it, they won't care. They'll just stand willing, as they always have, ready to surrender their God-given liberty in hopes of some government-issued happiness. They'll still be ready to place their faith in a charismatic social engineer whose blueprint is the most profoundly malignant political ideology the world has ever known
  • Pronata... Obama F... 2012/05/30 06:28:51
    Pronatalist Pronatalist
    +1
    Well they don't have the right to surrender my liberty for me.
  • Obama F... Pronata... 2012/05/30 15:53:54 (edited)
    Obama Failed Soda Head Chief Opi
    +1
    instead politician have made the recession worse by taking out capital formation and building uncertainty in the minds of business owners. They don't know what taxes will be, don't know health care policy etc. It is sad
  • Pronata... Obama F... 2012/05/30 17:20:22
    Pronatalist Pronatalist
    It is not "the recession." It's THE GREAT OBAMA DEPRESSION. (That's one of my pet peaves, all these deceived American morons pretending like we aren't in "The Great Obama Depression.")
  • Obama F... Pronata... 2012/05/30 17:22:06 (edited)

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