by Brandon Smith
Before I jump into this subject matter, I should probably address a common misconception among people who are new to liberty movement activism. The first time people hear about the concept of the “false left/right paradigm,” they wrongly assume that this means there is “no left or right ideology,” that it is all fabricated to divide the masses. This is a misconception.
When we speak of the false left/right paradigm in the liberty movement, we are usually referring to the elitists at the top of the political and financial pyramid. These people do NOT have any loyalty to any one political party, nor do they hold to the beliefs of one side or the other. They are happy, though, to exploit leftists or conservatives by targeting their weaknesses. They do this in order to create a social outcome that elevates the elitist’s own goals, but that is all. Meaning, these people are globalists and have their own agenda separate from the political left or right, but will pretend to stand on one side or the other in order to control the narrative. Hence, the “falseness” of their particular left/right theater.
The common citizen, however, does indeed tend to legitimately rest his or her ideals on a spectrum from left to right, from progressive to conservative. And lately, the separation between these two sides has been growing ever wider.
To be clear, it is not playing into the hands of the globalists to point out the differences in the two sides. The two sides are concrete, they are a natural extension of human thought processes, and they would exist even if the globalists did not exist. The globalists did not create left vs right philosophical differences, this is giving them too much credit. They only seek to take advantage of divisions in thought that already exist.
Where things go horribly wrong is when one side or the other is pushed artificially towards zealotry. This is where the globalists create chaos, by influencing the left or the right into subverting their own principles and abandoning diplomacy in the name of destroying the other side. This is when disagreements become war and the political process becomes a blood feud. Globalists sometimes attempt to conjure such violent conditions when they want to wipe the slate clean and introduce a new social system. Generally, their goal is even more centralization and control.
Over the years I have been critical of BOTH sides of the political spectrum, and sometimes even more critical of liberty activists when I see the movement being led astray by disinformation. The reality is that both leftists and conservatives sense severe imbalances in the way our society and our government functions. Where we differ greatly is in how each side places blame for our problems and how they plan to solve those imbalances.
In order to understand why the left and the right are so close to open war, we have to step outside the political bubble and look at our differences in a more objective way. First, let’s start with an examination of the leftist mindset…
How Leftists View The World
The key to understanding leftists resides in their inclination toward collectivism as a means of protection and power. To put it more bluntly, leftists love and embrace the mob mentality.
This is why the political left seems to organize so much more effectively than conservatives in many cases. While conservatives engage in internal debates with each other over principles and practical solutions, leftists are far more single-minded in their pursuit of social influence. They seem to gravitate to each other like ants around a sugar cube, and in this they can be effective in removing obstacles and gaining political territory. This could be considered a strength, but it can also act as a weakness.
The leftists ideal is one in which all people are in general agreement — they think all people are tied together in a great social chain, that every individual action has consequences for everyone else in that chain and, therefore, all individual actions no matter how small should be regulated in order to avoid one person adding to a potential disaster for the rest of humanity. True individualism is seen as “selfish” and disruptive to the survival prospects of the group.
Thus, the notion of “society” becomes a control mechanism used by leftists. “We are all part of this society, whether we like it or not.” They often say, “People have to accept the rules for the greater good of the greater number.”
When we look at this objectively, this is clearly a brand of totalitarianism posing as humanitarian rationality. Who decides what is the “greater good?” Well, our inherent conscience does that, but conscience is an individual trait. When mobs get together and engage in mob thinking, conscience tends to go out the window.
For example, it is impossible to institute such a thing as “social justice;” arbitrarily homogenizing an entire group based on their skin color, sexual orientation, financial status, etc. and then deciding how they should be rewarded (or punished) erases the individual accomplishments and crimes of the people within that group you just arbitrarily created.
It is true that some behaviors tend to be cultural, and in that case, the most we can do morally is point out those behaviors and applaud or criticize. In the case of globalists, you have an actual example of organized criminality within a definable group of people. This can indeed be judged on a broad scale but still must be punished based on individual actions.
We can judge an individual for his behavior predicated on evidence, but no one on Earth is devoid of bias, and no one on Earth has the omnipotent wisdom required to dole out punishment or prizes to an entire subculture of people en masse.
Those leftists with good intentions desire a world without suffering. This is perhaps a noble thing. Unfortunately, that world does not exist and never will. There will always be inequality of outcome because not all people are equal in ability or willpower. I realize that leftists have been brainwashed into thinking that all people are equally capable, if not completely the same in every imaginable way. But, believing this does not make it fact.
The best we can hope for is the freedom to pursue prosperity as individuals, but in their pursuit of total equality, leftists are encouraging the erasure of individual freedom and opportunity. They believe that what is best for the individual is for him to sacrifice his individualism for the sake of the mob made up of the lowest common denominator. When one understands that the mob is morally relative, that it has no soul or conscience, this suggestion sounds like madness. And frankly, it is madness.
Needless to say, the collectivist thinking of leftists makes them easy prey for sociopathic global elites. However, to be fair, conservatives are also targeted for manipulation exactly because they present the most viable threat to the success of globalism as construct.
How Conservatives View The World
While the political left is essentially going off the deep end into the errors of zealotry, conservatives are also not immune to ideological blindness. It is no secret that I view the conservative position as far superior to that of the left — I will summarize the strengths of this position as briefly as possible so that we can get to the more important issue of weaknesses.
The left sees the world as a complex Gordian Knot that must be chopped in half and meticulously untangled until all is made equal. Conservatives see society’s problems as much simpler – Each individual’s problems are his own. Each individual must work hard to elevate himself and to solve his problems without taking from other people in the process. Each person is an island, and while we might ally with each other at times, we are not permanently tied to each other in some kind of endless symbiotic relationship. As the Non-Aggression Principle outlines, you leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone, and as long as no one is attempting to steal from others, enslave others or murder others I will remain quiet and peaceful.
The conservative dynamic goes wrong, though, when conservatives abandon their foundational principles for the sake of winning a fight against an imminent threat.
As leftists worship the mob and government power, conservatives tend to worship heroes, some of them false prophets. Conservatives are always desperately searching for the man on the white horse to lead them to the promise land. They are always looking for another messiah. And in this they make themselves weak.
What they should be emulating are their principles and heritage alone. Only principles and truths matter, because they are eternal. They do not corrupt like people can. But let the right showman or mascot come along reciting the correct rhetoric in a rousing way, and many conservatives become putty in the hands of the political elites.
I believe this is owed to the problem of organization that conservatives suffer from. Individualists do not always agree on everything and normally abhor group think. The political right grows frustrated at how easy it is for leftists to congeal into an effective mob, and the tyranny of the majority is horrifying to the average conservative. So, in response conservatives seek out unifying leaders, people that appear to hold the same values and who conservatives can pour all their hopes and dreams for the future into. When this happens, group think can and does spread like a cancer through the political right.
When conservatives hyper-focus on leadership, they unwittingly centralize and become easily controlled. Globalists can either co-opt the leader or they can destroy the leader and thus the hopes of all the people that were invested in him. They can use the leader as a placebo, making conservatives sit idle waiting around for things to change when they should be taking action themselves. And, globalists can also tie all the perceived or real blunders of that leader around the necks of his political base; meaning, conservatives can be conned into rallying around a false prophet and then when he falls from grace, all conservative thought falls from grace as well.
When conservatives bottleneck all their efforts and energy into a single leader, they set themselves up for failure. Organization does not need to be pursued from the top down. It can be built from the ground up in a decentralized way. When conservatives ignore their own principles and start centralizing, some very ugly things can happen. Zealotry is not only a vice of leftists. I remember the insanity of the Iraq War, for example, and in that event I saw self-proclaimed conservatives acting like the very mob they used to despise. This happened because they were frightened by what they perceived as an imminent threat and sought out leadership in all the wrong places instead of thinking critically.
The two sides of the political spectrum are a fact of life (unless of course the globalists get their way and replace everything with their own brand of moral relativism). One side is often used against the other to illicit a self-destructive response. Understanding where each side is coming from helps us to remain vigilant and to avoid exploitation by the powers that be.