A few words of light relief and escape from the nauseating, banal utterances from both sides of the public EU debate.
This piece was written sometime ago by an American contributor to this blog, and for some reason I have not published it before. It is well worth a read.
Thank you perspective.
Belief in some kind of “higher power,” or not, has a relationship to one’s preference in governance.
The Left has the most straightforward belief in a higher power: they ARE the higher power. The Right, who generally believe in some power higher than they, splinter as to what exactly it is.
The Left considers reality as evidence that there is no higher power – surely a Supreme Being would not have created an inequitable world. We, and the universe, are lucky accidents that occurred by chance. All outcomes would be random, not fair, if it were not for the intervention of Leftist intelligentsia. Lacking a higher power, Man needs the Left to right the wrongs visited upon the unlucky victims of chance.
The Left embraces totalitarian government, where their elites have God-like, absolute, power to enforce what is right on behalf of the benighted masses who look to a non-existent God for salvation. My will be done (for I am just, you ignorant fool).
The Right views reality as evidence that there is a higher power; surely Man who runs his own affairs so poorly could not have created a universe which Man dimly understands. Intelligence beyond their comprehension rules Man and universe, not chance. They pray for God’s guidance to use the limited abilities they have been gifted to conform the world more closely to their limited understanding of the Master’s plan. Man is a servant, an employee, who, although he does possess full knowledge of the corporate entity, can nevertheless receive sustenance in return for performing tasks within his capabilities. There are reasons for inequity among men, just as there reasons why a more productive employee is paid more than a less capable employee. This does not mean that the lesser paid employee is valueless. If his work was of no value, he would not be on the payroll at all.
The Right prefers freedom, because God might have made his will clearer to the other guy – they need to listen to him, just in case or for perspective. Whether he is right or wrong the other guy is still a child of God, and to disrespect one’s fellow is to disrespect one’s creator. Every life is of value, or God would not have enabled it. Thy will be done (God bless you, fellow seeker).
Of course, there are members of the Left who profess belief in God. Theirs is a supportive God, not a higher power. He is a kindly uncle, generous in hopes of receiving love, but not a father who must be obeyed. He is a resource, not a master. A cosmic concierge who finds the difficult-to-obtain on behalf of his clientèle. Whether or not He is supreme is irrelevant because His only desire is to serve believers. They believe in Him because He believes what they believe. It would not be believable that God would not want what the Left wants. He has lent His support to the Left to rule by proxy.
Their counterparts on the Right also profess belief in God, but what they actually believe in is a religion. Their adherence to the religion’s political posture (governance of relationships between people and nature) has bestowed God’s power on the Right to rule by proxy.
Neither group believes in an all-powerful God, because they both believe He needs their help to get rid of gays or the HIV virus or Jews or poverty or whatever. He just can’t get it right without their intervention. It is unacceptable to either pole of zealotry that gays, HIV, Jews and poverty are all part of God’s plan. God can’t do it alone.
Let’s get real. The difference between the Left and the Right is not at all determined by whether God exists. Rather, the belief (or lack thereof) in a higher power is a consequence of other predispositions which have the additional consequence of determining a person’s political predilection. The beliefs are correlated, not causal. The underlying traits for both opinion sets have to do with humility versus arrogance, and acceptance versus denial.
People who are essentially humble can both accept the existence of an intelligence greater than their own exercising control over their lives, and accept that others’ freedom to express contrary opinions can benefit their understanding. “It is what it is” (with or without my judgement).
People who are arrogant believe their failures are caused by bad luck, or being treated unfairly, but are never due to their own inadequacy, as judged by their peers or God. The arrogant, confronted with abundant evidence of their fallibility, are in denial, and feel threatened by both existence of a supreme arbiter and the expression of contrary opinions. Intelligent and rational, both are threats to the arrogant.
The humble are eager to be shown where they are mistaken, so as not to repeat the mistake. The arrogant are intolerant of being shown their mistake, because they are never mistaken.
The “old saws” on this point are abundant. Some of my favourites are:
- There is always a mug at the table. If you don’t know who it is, you are the mug.
- God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason.
- Just because you have silenced a man does not mean you have converted him.
- Pride is a man who goes forth on horseback and comes back on foot.
It is laughable that the Left prides itself on its intelligence (but not because they’re wrong). Conservatives are portrayed as stupid. Intelligence is the capacity to learn. Knowledge is the sum total of what has been learned. I have not seen much of a correlation between the two.
High intelligence is conducive to arrogance. Arrogance is not conducive to learning.
The humble generally seem to know more than the arrogant. They work harder at learning because they have to. The intelligent can fake it. It took Einstein some time before he could wipe himself.
It takes extreme arrogance for any one individual to feel that he has come up
with a correct answer which has been missed throughout the course of human history. It does not take much humility to realize that the best answers are the ones that people keep coming back to after being challenged by generations.
What separates the philosophies is the humility to accept responsibility for one’s lack of success rather than faulting the successful person. It is the humility to accept that if the “right” thing to do has never worked it will not work this time around because that idea is probably wrong. It is the humility to accept that if helping another person makes one feel peaceful, and forcing someone else to help the person in need makes one feel resentful, that service is preferable to control. It is the humility to accept that if I can’t get a job for myself, even from the government, I am a poor choice to lead a government that will supply jobs for everyone.
The Left, at its core, is composed of arrogant disbelievers. Their arrogance permits them to seek control of their fellows by force, including violence to people and property, because their narcissism permits is no possibility they are wrong. Even though every Leftist government has failed to deliver the basic necessities of life to most of its populace they have the arrogance to believe that this time, under the new guy, who is very smart, they will get it to work.
The Right is humble enough to insist the Left must have a voice.
America is still the richest country in the world. And soon, Americans will be celebrating their holiday of Thanksgiving. The purpose of the holiday is to pay homage to the aboriginal “Indian” wogs who saved colonists from the then richest country in the world from starvation. The plight of the Brits was that they were on the beach sandwiched in between cornfields and the virgin Western Atlantic, not yet commercially fished. Couldn’t find a bite to eat to save their lives. Thank God for Chief Squanto.
This Thanksgiving, President Obama, arguably the most intelligent American President (not a high hill to climb), certainly the most Leftist, atheist and author of the biggest entitlement program in human history, will feast on the goose-that-laid-the-golden-egg.
PS: For god’s sake vote to leave 😉