Conservatives, libertarians, reactionaries, anarchists, monarchists- all struggle with the ideas of the different kinds of leftists- liberals, progressives, socialists, communists, who are all pretty much the same thing- put forth, ideas that control the very basis of society. They see them, they have some intellectual understanding of them, but they don’t graps them. They appear to be crazy, evil, and irrational, and at bottom nonsensical for any rational person.
Leftists think differently. They value things differently. This has to be appreciated, for any real comprehension. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I think I understand better than most. Here are a few of my musings.
The overarching concept of leftism is the good, or as I will call it, the Good. The Good is the ultimate goal of leftism. Everything must serve the Good. Leftists have no other absolute values. The Good encompasses things like equality, prosperity for all, enlightenment, the good of the earth, elimination of racism, sexism, and homophobia, and other things they value. These things are not separate issues, but all part of the Good. The Good is not some crazy, ideal Utopia to leftists; it is completely realistic and can be achieved soon, and is blocked only by the intransigence of the unenlightened.
Things that non-leftists regard as ideals and absolues- democracy, freedom, rights, the rule of law, the Constitution- are merely tools for attaining the Good for leftists. To the extent any of these help create the Good, they are good; and if they inhibit the achievement of the Good, they are bad.
This is the source of the “double standard” that aggravates conservatives so much. How can liberals apply different standards to whites and blacks, men and women, straights and gays, liberals and conservatives? But they don’t. For leftists, anything done by a person valued under the Good, or in pursuit of the Good, is good, and anything done by other persons or not for the Good is not. Al Gore campaigns against global warming, so if he has three large houses, that’s fine- he is part of the Good. A suburban Republican evangelical family, however, is bad for having one large house, and SUV, or three kids. An illegal immigrant family can have eight kids and a Suburban and that’s fine.
The overarching organizing principle of leftism is the Good, but how are various things viewed under it? I’ll throw out a few things, hardly a comprehensive list, but something to think about-
White people– are bad under the Good, with specific exceptions. But in general white people represent the primal evil in the world, like original sin in the Bible or Pandora’s box in Greek mythology.
Brown people– are generally good under the Good. They can be bad if they are Republicans or anti-communists in Latin America, but in that case they are usually classified as white people.
Black people– are the beau ideal of the Good. They are beautiful, warm, creative, gracious, noble, and talented in all ways.
Yellow people– the Good doesn’t really know what to do with yellow people, they aren’t part of the narrative.
The elite– there is an elite, as recognized under the Good. It consists of educated, enlightened people who promote, support, and enforce the Good. It consists of all sorts of people- college professors, law school professors, “journalists”, judges, teachers, leftists politicians- and various others, but only to the extent they support the Good. A conservative law school professor or a Fox News reporter certainly do not fall into this category. And merely being rich or famous does not make you elite. This is why Hollywood people are so eager to be associated with leftist causes- without these associations they are just high-paid clowns, and their money and fame mock them.
An important point- status in the Good is not directly related to the amount of time or effort you spend working for it. A rich corporate lawyer who does some pro bono work and donates to leftist politicians has more status than a public defender or other “public interest” lawyer. One of the rules of the Good is that you are not expected to starve to work for it. Quite the opposite, the Good likes people with money and power, because money and power are everywhere and always desirable. The Good consecrates money and power; a real estate developer who donates to and supports leftist candidates is a great hero of the Good, even if his support is quite strictly cynical to accomplish his financial objectives. If it coopts him, and uses his money and influence, and just as importantly keeps his money and influence from supporting things other than the Good, that is acceptable.
The real elite is quite rich, but they take good care of their foot soldiers. Government employees are their enforcers, and usually are well-paid. That’s why the attempts to control public employee compensation in Wisconsin have led to such an insane chimpout- a basic part of the ruling class was being attacked. Many lawyers allied with the system aren’t public employees, and aren’t working at large law firms, but the elite makes sure there are tort cases that they can make a lot of money on. Some “plaintiff’s” lawyers- or ambulance chasers, call them what you will- make vast sums just from that.
This isn’t very academic, and it just scratches the surface. But fundamentally leftism is a coherent, unified ideology that has to be understood on its own terms.