I often wonder about the mental health of people on the left. Now I am not a psychologist, let alone a psychiatrist. I seem to get in trouble every time I try to use such terminology in my writings. For example, in an article for the St. Louis Review years ago, I used the term spilt personality with regards to the Catholic Church and Vatican II in the early 1960s. I got a few hostile comments as to my equating it with schizophrenia.
However, from my study of history, philosophy, theology and a little psychology, I do know that mental illness is intimately tied to reality and the perception of reality. In my opinion, people who are perennially optimistic or what we may call the Panglossians or the consistently pessimistic, who always see life through a negative lens, walk a the tightrope between reality and mental illness.
To use the familiar example, my glass is neither half full or half empty. The reality is that it is at 50% of its capacity. If I am thirsty than it is half empty. If I am near the satiation point, then I am not thirsty.
As for liberalism as a way of thinking or even as a way of life, I suggest that they believe that anyone with conservative, religious or traditional ways of thinking sip from glasses that are empty. Conversely, liberals have convinced them that their glasses are brimming over with the liquids of progress, happiness and eternal bliss, though it might not happen until after all of us have died. I call this liquid Marxism, in a wineskin that is leaking, not only rich red wine but trillions of dollars in taxpayer money.
It is easy to assume that they know this, yet they persist in offering us the same old failed policies. When they fail for the umpteen time, they always can find a hapless Republican or a gaggle of conservatives, Christians, gun owners, or poor people to blame.
Someone once said that a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Isn’t that what liberals have been doing for 75 years now, at least from the acceleration of their Marxist philosophy under Franklin D. Roosevelt? This is a sign of a mind that has a very weak perception of reality and could lead to a complete divorce from the real world. In today’s parlance, I believe most people on the Left inhabit an alternate reality that is separated from the real world in thought, deed and sentiment.
Attempting to discuss any issue with a liberal, especially with those who get all their insight and news from NPR radio, I have found that most of them are shallow thinkers and can only offer me the latest talking points, slogans and criticisms of the Right. To me it seems that they have no grasp of what is real anymore, so blinded are they by the Marxist ideology. Most lead with their hearts instead of their intellects.
This is not surprising to me, because liberalism traces its infancy back to the French Revolution when reason gave way to feelings and often violent emotions. Its leaders decided that the secret to perpetual peace on earth was to rid society of any vestiges of Royalty, the bourgeoise or middle class and especially the Catholic Church.
In 18th century France, the Revolution instituted a bloody Reign of Terror to exterminate all three segments of their society, which amounted to the destruction of France’s societal structure.They vainly attempted to replace it with their utopian idea of a Republic, where Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, would reign forever. French philosopher,Voltaire, perfectly captured the animus of his milieu when he ranted, Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
While the autocrats of the Guillotine, such as Robespierre, Dalton and Marat chopped off thousands of Royal, Catholic, mercantile heads or just those who found themselves on the wrong side of the Revolution, it was the Philosophes, the intellectuals of the Revolution, such as Jean Jacques Rousseau and Denis Diderot, who provided the rationale for the slaughter.
One such principle that has infected virtually every aspect of American culture as we trudge into the 21st century was the Swiss Rousseau’s dictum that human beings were inherently good. It was feudal, Catholic and mercantile institutions that corrupted mankind.
The Philosophes ideas spread through Europe like molten lava, flowing down a mountainside. By the beginning of the 20th century, Communism, a derivative of France’s revolutionary dominated the marketplace of ideas in all the capitals of Europe. Instead of Berlin as Marx falsely predicted, St. Petersburg became the focal point that would make Marxist thought a dangerous opponent for the capitalist and industrial West.
Liberalism, or as it is now known, Progressivism, reached its pinnacle in the United States under Barack Obama, who promised not to lead us but change us… into a Socialist country where equality meant widespread poverty for all, save Obama and his fellow elitists in business and government.
One need only consult the works of George Orwell to learn that utopias can never exist in this world. They always turn into some sort of dystopia of rampant social chaos or into a dictatorship, such as Napoleon’s ion post-revolutionary France. They can only exist in the imaginative and satirical mind of St. Thomas More or in the bloodstained documents of an insane revolution that had not a chance of success on a planet with such deeply flawed human beings.