The idea that Leftists favour peace is of course absurd. The hate, anger and envy that drive Leftists make them inherently aggressive and bloodthirsty — as we see whenever they gain absolute power — from the French revolutionaries onward through Trotsky, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot — not to mention more minor revolutionaries. And the great violence that often characterized “peace” demonstrations of the Vietnam era (see e.g. here) gave the lie to any claim that these Leftists were any different from their predecessors
Hate and “hate crimes”
This is a rather large topic in its own right so I have given it separate consideration elsewhere. Briefly, however, my argument is that Leftists leap to condemn even the mildest negativity as “hate speech” because they themselves are so hate-filled. It is a classic means of diverting attention from one’s own failings to condemn loudly such failings in others. Psychologists call it “projection”. And Leftists even cover themselves against accusations of projection too — how else but by claiming to find lots of projection in conservatives!
So although Leftists undoubtedly hate “the rich”, “WASPs” etc, their greatest hatred is for conservatives — and one of their favorite ploys for attacking conservatives is to claim that conservatism is bad for your mental health. Britain’s Leftist “Guardian” newspaper, for instance, had a good chortle over the claim that the suicide rate in Britain and Australia is higher during periods when Conservatives are in government. They imply that conservatism is so bad for your mental health that it can make you suicide.
This is, of course reminiscent of that old 1950s Marxist nonsense by Adorno and friends (still popular among psychologists — see here or here) to the effect that conservatives have diseased “authoritarian” personalities! If you cannot beat conservatives in rational debate what could be better than a good old “ad hominem” response that says your opponent’s arguments are wrong simply because he personally is a bad lot? One might as well argue that all dog-owners are evil because Hitler loved dogs.
The suicide statistics are of course fraudulent. The British study actually RULED OUT the period of the (Conservative) Heath government when suicide was low — on the laughable grounds that Britain got natural gas about then and that made it too hard for many people to commit suicide. And even with that big fudge the pattern was still far from clear. As Katherine Mangu-Ward puts it in the “Daily Standard” of 30th September, 2002:
“Though the averages are higher for conservative administrations, when one looks at administrations individually, there are numerous exceptions to the supposed trend. For example, in addition to Heath, the suicide rate under Churchill was likewise low, while during Callaghan’s Labour administration it was quite high”
Other standard points could and should be made about the “studies” concerned — such as the old truth that correlation does not prove causation — but the real clincher that was overlooked is the time-period when suicides are usually lowest. Guess when that is? When the nation is at WAR! So that means that low suicides rates are necessarily good??? So we need more wars???
All suicides are truly tragic but like everything else there are swings and roundabouts. Clearly there is NO automatic inference we can draw about people’s overall wellbeing from suicide rates. Certainly, any claim that a low suicide rate indicates good times for the nation is laughable. On the other hand, if anybody wants to extend “Guardian” type logic to saying that being ruled by a Leftist government is about as good for you as having your country attacked by a foreign power, who am I to argue?
Sins of omission and commission
Leftists sometimes argue, with their usual illogic, that it is OK for them to do harm with their addled programs of action because conservatives ALLOW great harm to go on in the world — such as the starving children in Africa. Philosophers Jim Ryan (post of March 3rd. 2003) and Eddie Thomas had a discussion about this.
There are various possible answers to the “argument” — the best of which is probably a reductio ad absurdem (e.g. If I neglect my child, does that mean that you are right to murder your child?) — but the one Jim chose and that Eddie was dubious about is that actively doing harm is much worse than allowing harm to go on. As Eddie, says, however, that surely depends a lot on the circumstances of the particular case.
I myself would identify the essential point in any answer as being that the amount of harm and suffering in the world is essentially infinite — the world is full of harm going on all the time. So we HAVE TO allow most of it. Our own positive actions are different however. We have lots of choice about them. And if we do harm through them we should rightly be held culpable. We cannot solve all the world’s problems but we can at least do our best to do no harm ourselves. As I recollect, that is part of the Hippocratic oath: “First do no harm”.
One of the classic tactics that Leftists old and new use to attack people they disagree with is to do their best to portray their opponents as dumb buffoons. Almost any US Republican President gets so labelled. President G.W. Bush gained a Master’s degree from Harvard but even he gets portrayed as an airhead. So this is really just another variant on the Leftist’s reliance on lies.
The people Leftists hate most are not in fact conservatives but rival Leftists. And guess how Leftists have always described Benito Mussolini, the founder of the Fascist variant of Leftism? You guessed it: “Buffoon” is by far the most used word. Yet Mussolini read poetry and philosophy voraciously, including Socrates and Plato. He spoke several foreign languages, was always interested in discussing political and philosophical ideas with almost anyone, had considerable acceptance in his early days as a leading Marxist theoretician, wrote over 40 books, and was a tree-lover and environmentalist 50 years before Greenies were thought of. Dumb buffoon!