A world in ruins
Failing to create an impossible new society, the joyless left are destroying the old one
In a column this week for The Times (£) of London, Will Lloyd, a journalist at the left-wing New Statesman magazine, bemoans the miserabilism of the left. As he points out, the association of the left with anxiety, joylessness and neuroticism has been documented by many studies.
This certainly accords with my own experience of seeing such characteristics up close during the almost two decades that I spent working for Guardian newspapers. It was only when I departed from there that the sun, as it were, came out and I realised that the world of the left is dark indeed.
It tends to be peopled by individuals consumed by disappointment, bitterness and rage. Convinced that power dictates all relationships and that the disadvantaged are invariably the powerless victims of others, they have a bleakly limited view of human potential.
Uncannily similar to the Christians they despise, they tell themselves that the world they inhabit is fallen. Marching behind the banner of the brotherhood of man, they believe at the very same time that mankind is about to destroy the planet. Shouting interminably about the imperative to improve the lot of the working-class, they regard the views expressed by the lower social orders with unmitigated horror as a mortal threat to their own socially liberal beliefs.
Imagining conspiracies at every turn against their noble goal of the perfection of the world, they constantly look over their shoulder for traitors and backsliders in their own ranks. Paranoid about agreeing with any views which might turn them “right wing” through some malign political alchemy, they regard anyone who dissents from left-wing ideologies as an enemy to be obliterated. Suspecting plots everywhere, they proceed at regular intervals to eat their own.
Lloyd poses the interesting question of cause and effect. Do people become lefties because they are miserable, or are they miserable because they are lefties?
Both are surely true in an ideological feedback loop.
Marching behind the banner of personal liberation, left-wingers have constructed a world around individual wants — which are infinite and so can never be met. This is a recipe for decay. Narcissus, after all, destroyed himself by gazing at his own reflection.
Believing that happiness lies in throwing off all constraints, many lefties eschew the bonds of marriage and traditional lifestyles that cement deep connections with others. Lacking by consequence a secure sense of identity, they look for alternative means of validation to themselves and to the world around them.
They are accordingly drawn to ideologies that promise the eradication of the ills of the world. These promises invariably fail, which produces disappointment, anger and feelings of betrayal leading to a renewal of such efforts — which fail in turn, creating more disappointment, more anger and ever more desperate attempts.
But to create the new world they must destroy the old one. So even though they fail to perfect the world or find peace within themselves, they do succeed in one thing — destruction. We can see this cultural carnage all too dismayingly from recent events involving Gary Lineker, Fiona Bruce, and what passes for sex education in schools.
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