91. The family (III)
Updated: Jan 3
The right embodies the masculine principle: it is occulted because it does not speak; it is not manly to be talkative—the right simply acts in silence, enduring suffering without complaint. The left is talkative and neurotic: the left wants everybody to hear about its ever-changing pain and celebrate its victories. The left is a woman.
The left, just like a girl, wants to talk: she talks with sophistical rhetoric designed to manipulate a man’s emotions. The left starts from lies: the left tells lies that stir up envy in the mob against responsible and successful people by claiming that inequality does not stem from inherited differences. From French aristocrats to the men with glasses hacked to death in Pol Pot’s Cambodia to white supremacy today, the left’s rhetoric settles on denying the inherited inequality of nature.
In 1831, Schopenhauer listed all the rhetorical tricks that orators and common drunks in Berlin beer halls used to manipulate each other. His The Art of Always Being Right can be used as a guide to rhetoric today—the left is, after all, always right. Man changes slowly: the same tricks will be used centuries hence. The right, defending eternal truths about life, is at a rhetorical disadvantage; the left, especially in a democracy, can always put a new paint job on old techniques and gull women and young people—the most naïve—into the pursuit of an illusion. So we find that the greatest critics of the left are often “autists” in the hard sciences where—using the low-ambiguity language of mathematics and the accountability of experimental science—there is little scope for rhetoric. Computers, observed Joseph Campbell, are like the God of the Old Testament: lots of rules and no mercy. The god of the autists is an old god indeed.
The left is dominated by a feminine type of man: the priest, the role today served by educators, journalists, intellectuals, and arty types. To be an intellectual is almost by definition to be left wing; at most, there are dissident intellectuals who hold to the old lies and so become the conservative critics of the new—heretics and pagans. Thus the visible right is composed of those difficult individualists who call out the falsity of the new religious story. The priest should be conserving the symbols, rites, and ceremonies of religion, since we do need a story to rally round; but, once those stories become irresponsible, especially when people lose faith in a real life beyond, we are in trouble; not every scientist is so autistic—and many blithely accept the state religion, even as it tries to kill them.
Unlike commerce or science, there are few objective markers of success in the arts; so the priest-intellectuals are engaged in an intense competition with each other for social status; and since their activities are usually abstracted from reality there is little immediate responsibility for what they say—if they are subsidised by a government bureaucracy or foundation there is even less. A journalist can write whatever he wants almost without consequence, but a soldier in the field is aware that his every action could result in death. One man is rewarded for manipulating other people with lies, whereas the other is punished.
Hence the left is a coalition between the envious priest, deploying rhetoric irresponsibly to preen himself, and an idealised lower group—perhaps made up of immigrants or alien races. The priest-intellectual sentimentalises this group and turns them against the productive middle and upper strata. It is a psychological fact that we romanticise the distant, whether in space or time; so the intellectual romanticises ethnic outsiders and anti-social types, while hating boring and responsible people. What starts as a figure like Leo Tolstoy—a dreamy aristocrat writing about equality for the peasants and hating the Church and military men—ends in a man like Stalin, inspired by egalitarian ideas but basically a thug, kicking away the last naïve intellectuals, such as Trotsky, and ruling irresponsibly.