The conservative movement rests on a series of great thinkers: Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Burke, Mill, Hayek, von Mises, etc. Where are the intellectual foundations of the Left?…There is an intellectual tradition behind the contemporary Left, stretching back to Plato’s Republic and including Hegel, Marx, Lenin, Gramsci, Marcuse, Alinsky, etc. But it’s a deeply totalitarian tradition. It’s the political philosophy that dares not speak its name in an election season, for it would garner few votes, and for good reason.
The real intellectual vacuum underlies not the Left as such but people who style themselves liberals, but not socialists—i.e., I’m guessing, most Democrats.
Liberalism is sold on the premise that by embracing its sentiments and assorted affectations, you will become an enlightened and wise individual. A kind and knowing person, a better person, and get to sit at the cool kids’ table. Those who do not embrace Liberalism are cast as selfish and uncaring, greedy and bigoted, emotionally grotesque, shortsighted, foolish, stupid, blind, and most of all uncool.
In real life those who embrace Liberalism end up parroting cliches and earnestly promoting half-baked nonsense that ranges from the frivolous to the intensely destructive. Meanwhile those who are not beholden to Liberalism tend lead happier and more productive lives.
The vast majority of what is called Liberalism is nothing more than the effort and desire to make human beings equal. I don’t mean equal before the law, or possessing equal rights, I mean equal period.
This is quite impossible because human beings are fundamentally unequal.
Some people are smarter than others. Some people are of better character than others. Some people possess specific traits and abilities that others lack. In general, if there is a way in which people CAN differ from one another, they DO differ from one another. We are defined as a species by the variance of our individual abilities and inclinations.
Liberalism is the heartfelt desire to wish all that away and replace it with a universe in which everyone is cut from the same cloth.
This is why Liberals tend to focus so much on the dregs of society. They wish to pretend that mental patients and convicts are the same as the rest of us, just unlucky.
This is why we hear so much from Liberals about the “less fortunate.” This term was not fashioned as a polite euphemism for idiots and losers, but represents how Liberals truly see people whose deficits of ability or character prevent them from meeting the challenges of life.
This is also why Liberals are so keen to endorse environmental or social explanations for human differences. If a difference is the result of an external influence upon a person, then this difference can be eliminated by altering or removing that influence. In contrast, a difference that is innate cannot be.
Unfortunately 80% or more of our differences are innate. Who we are is who we are, not what happens to us. Our nature is not malleable. The axe murderer didn’t chop up people because his daddy didn’t love him enough, he chopped up people because that is his nature.
But that doesn’t stop Liberals from trying. Hence the recent promotion of gender-neutral toys, especially in places like Sweden. These futile efforts will not make boys and girls the same. Furthermore, the children subjected to them will be harmed in the process.
This is also why Liberals are so keen to bestow the appurtenances of a middle class existence to those who are not capable of middle class behavior. The most famous example of this was their effort to give mortgages to people who didn’t have what it took to qualify for one. The hope and belief was that home ownership would somehow magically bestow these new homeowners with the characteristics and abilities that traditionally defined someone who owned their home. Instead we wound up with “liar loans,” the housing bubble, starving animals locked away to die in foreclosed houses sold to human trash, and all of the other ill effects and externalities for which Liberals still so strenuously seek to blame others for.
So it is no surprise that Liberalism is without any sort of intellectual foundation. Liberalism is the obsessive denial of human difference, which cannot be substantiated or justified in the real world. It isn’t so much a house of cards as it is wishful thinking masquerading as a philosophy.