One More Thing...
Almost everything that angers me in today's political or interpersonal discourse -- most of which can be boiled down to people who want to control other peoples' lives -- fits very nicely into one or more of those three categories. Environmentalists, fundamentalist Christians, Marxists, clueless Republicans, Keynesians, fundamentalist Muslims, anti-Free Market corporations, what Ayn Rand called "moochers, looters and parasites," Democrats (but I repeat myself), and people who think it's their business to dictate what other people do with their sex organs -- all are guilty of at least one of the above, most are guilty of two, and a few are guilty of all three.
About a year ago I began recognizing a fourth category. This is the "One More Thing" that is the subject of today's post:
Hatred is inextricably linked with that most vile of all human drives: the urge to control others.
Over the last two and a half decades we have seen a precipitous rise in what Rush Limbaugh once called "the politics of personal destruction" practiced by the Left. It's a lot older than that, of course -- witness the way they utterly destroyed Sen. Joe McCarthy (who, as we now know, was right all along). What I am talking about is the ongoing, nonstop barrage of sustained machine-gun-fire of hatred that I first noticed in the hate campaign against loggers in the Pacific Northwest. In that campaign cute, fuzzy, large-eyed Spotted Owls were pitted in a false-dichotomy struggle against "evil," "greedy," logger-"rapists." Yes, they actually referred to loggers as "rapists," and did so repeatedly. And they won that war, just as they won the one against Sen. McCarthy four decades earlier.
Since demonization is one of the most pernicious of the panoply of ad hominem attacks employed daily by the Left, it is worth taking our time to look at it here before moving on. Since a demon is the Spawn of Hell and one of Satan's minions (i.e., not a human being), once you have successfully demonized someone -- which means to turn that person into a demon in the eyes of your audience -- you make that person less than human.
So in the end, demonization is dehumanization. And once you have successfully dehumanized someone, that person no longer deserves any human rights, and you are free to abuse him in any way that your most perverse tastes desire. You may take away his property -- everything he owns, and everything he will ever own -- his dignity, and even that most precious human right of all, his life. You need never concern yourself again with any of the moral injunctions that govern relations between and among human beings, because that person is not a human; s/he has become an other.
And this is what political discourse in the United States has come down to.
The next barrage after the Spotted Owl hoax, launched even before that one had died down, was in response to a flawed and vastly over-reaching 1992 Oregon ballot measure to insert language into the state Constitution "that recognizes homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism and masochism as abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse." As extreme, ridiculous and stupid as this was, the Left managed to outperform the measure's sponsors, ratcheting the demonization all the way Up To Eleven with the vilest, most vicious ad hominem attacks ever seen at that time.
Note that the sexual Neanderthals (fundamentalist Christians, all) who proposed the measure never engaged in even a single ad hominem attack throughout the entire campaign -- but their opponents did, repeatedly. Note that while Lefties are fond of invoking Godwin's Law to shut down a debate, they repeatedly made lying references to Nazi Germany in that debate, invoking revisionist events that never happened. And they made repeated use of the words "hate" and "bigotry" without ever bothering to look up what those two words actually mean.
But I did look them up, back then. Mostly because I wanted to understand what the word "bigot" actually means, and what it does not, before using the word in a sentence. Using a Funk & Wagnall's, I started with the word "bigotry" and then looked up, in the same dictionary, the actual meaning of all the words that were used to define "bigotry." And then I looked up the meanings of the words used to define those words. And so on, until I came to what I believed was a solid, foundational understanding of what was being talked about.
What I found was that if you trace far enough, you'll find that both hate and bigotry involve taking away someone's rights.
We shan't go into the issue of whether the ballot measure did that. I mentioned the story mainly to segue into what "hate" is, and is not. And to explain, in precise terms, what I mean when I use the word in a political context:
When I accuse someone of hatred, I always mean it within the context of taking away someone's rights. If no rights are being taken away, then the thing under discussion does not clear the bar, and is not hatred.
Let us now look at what are rights -- and what are not. A few of them are enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. Many more are not. And finally, a plethora of so-called "rights" being bandied about today -- simply do not exist.
The concept of a “right” pertains only to action—specifically, to freedom of action. It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men. ... As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligations on them except of a negative kind: to abstain from violating his own rights.-- Ayn Rand, "Man's Rights," The Virtue of Selfishness
As Ms. Rand explains a few sentences later, there is no such thing as a "right" to an object. Which includes: another's wealth. And, later yet, that property rights are not rights to an object:
The right to property means that a man has the right to take the economic actions necessary to earn property, to use it and to dispose of it; it does not mean that others must provide him with property.-- ibid.
Stated another way: a right is a moral prohibition of actions that others may not take against you. There is no such thing as a "right" compelling anyone to do anything for you. And the rights enumerated in the U.S. Constitution are examples (but not an exhaustive list) of actions that Government may not take against you. Again, there is no such thing as a Constitutional "right" to have Government give you anything.
Any time someone is accused of hatred, the first question in your mind should be, "What right is being taken away here?"
So when a Libtard throws out the old, tired, "You only hate Obama because he is black," the only proper response is: "Oh, really? What right am I trying to take away from him?"
And when I accuse (for one example out of thousands) the Huffington Post of being a hate group, I believe I am on firm ground, since they repeatedly support taking away the fruit of certain people's (but not others') labors at the point of a gun, and redistributing it to those who have produced nothing. Wealth redistribution is nothing short of slavery.
This is precisely the same hatred that led to the slaughter of six million Jews in Germany. As Winston Churchill wrote in The Gathering Storm, Hitler didn't hate the Jews because they were Jews: he hated them because they were "the rich."
And every reference to a "right" to health care is a Grand Lie, because 1) what is really meant is a "right" to make someone else pay your expenses, and 2) there is no such thing as a "right" to other people's wealth.
Now let's talk about sex.
The hate that bothers me the most isn't that coming from the Left. Since theirs is an ideology based on class envy and hatred, it is to be expected from them: you might as well get angry at cats because they like to kill things, or birds because they like to poop from above. No, the hatred that gets me the angriest is that coming from self-identified Conservatives -- almost all of whom are coming from the perspective of a certain shame-based religion that hates the entire human race:
Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accept his own depravity without proof. ...his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts.... The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin.-- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
And thanks to a certain sex addict* named Saul of Tarsus a.k.a. Paul the Apostle, all of Western civilization has been infected to varying degrees with the disease of shame. From birth, most of us have been conditioned, Pavlov-style, to be ashamed of our sex organs: ashamed that we have them in the first place, ashamed of the pleasure that they bring us, and especially ashamed of our desire to feel that pleasure again and again.
Every tyrant, every dictator, despot, and general, all-around asshole that I have been able to find throughout history, has used this shame to control his subjects: China. The Soviet Union. Iran. The Vatican. The Ayatollahs in control of the Republican Party. And in every instance that I have found, it is always used to the same end: controlling people. Forcing people to give up their souls, their humanity, their very lives (all of which are the essence of your sexuality) -- to satisfy the whim of an autocrat who takes pleasure in seeing others suffer in abject human misery -- ranks among the most despicable examples of man's inhumanity to man. Because there are only one or two human conditions that are more miserable than being forbidden the affirmation of Life and pure joy that naturally flows from sex-play with other consenting adults of your choice.
Many there be among the self-identified conservatives who think that only monogamous, heterosexual partnering is "normal" -- and that it is somehow their mission in life to force you into that mold. Even if you're gay. Or polyamorous. Or that most despised creature of all: a bisexual.
I recently left an online community known as Galt's Gulch Online because of this. It is a place built with the best of intentions by Harmon Kaslow, the producer of the Atlas Shrugged movies. Unfortunately, the site has been over run by two married women who are constantly flirting with the men, while simultaneously condemning anyone who actually lives a sexually alternate lifestyle.
Their sniping at bisexual women ("can't decide which way she wants to swing," for one example) is especially galling. As if each of us is allowed only one partner...
The final straw was a rant in which one of them demanded that married men who want to plan for the number and timing of children (instead of, you know, having them come haphazardly) should either wear a condom or do without sex completely!
Yes, there are women who hate men. Even among Objectivists (or at least, people who claim to be), and a large number who identify as Conservatives. They anger me even more than Lie-berals.
Which makes a nice segue into another rant, which I shall have to write someday.
* because, whether you compulsively seek a thing, or compulsively avoid it, it is still controlling your life and you are, by definition, an addict. Doubly so if you are compulsively seeking to force others to avoid it.