Shame and guilt and self-hatred are universal. Whether you chalk it up to original sin or to Oedipus or call it Jewish guilt or Catholic guilt or white guilt or black guilt, every single one of us knows he is not the person he was made to be. There are honest ways to confront that. You can kneel before God and pray for forgiveness and live in the joy of his love. Or you can drink heavily and make sardonic remarks until you destroy everyone you care about and then keel over dead – that’s honest too. But what a lot of people do is try to escape their sense of shame dishonestly by constructing elaborate moral frameworks that allow them to parade their virtue and their lavish repentance without any real inconvenience to themselves while simultaneously indulging in self-righteousness by condemning others for their impenitent evil. That’s the bad version of religion – the sort of religion Jesus came to dismantle. And that’s exactly the sort of religion leftism is: an elaborate system for hiding shame behind a cheap mask of virtue. That’s why they demonize any opposition. To them, we’re not just disagreeing with them, we’re threatening to tear off the mask of their virtue and reveal them to themselves.
I think that's a pretty good diagnosis of at least some Leftism but I think his initial generalization is far too broad: "Shame and guilt and self-hatred are universal". Really? Universal among leftists, maybe but I doubt that many lifelong conservatives are moved by such feelings. I certainly have never felt any such feelings and I pass as a pretty good conservative, I think. I am in fact perfectly happy with my life and have been as far back as I can remember. I was probably born that way. I have no tolerance for the many rogues of the world and do my best to expose them when and where I can but I certainly don't need that activity to feel good. Being a born academic, I would probably be just as happy studying medieval theology or learning more Latin. In fact I would rather do that but I think the world is in great danger from a resurgence of Leftism so I feel that I have to direct my energies to where they are most needed.
As I see it, conservatives are basically happy and contented people who are in fact far too tolerant of the Leftist crooks who wish them nothing but harm. When really pushed, conservatives do rise up but mostly they just want to get on with their own lives with as little interference from others as possible. And ideological Leftists (as distinct from the many ordinary sensible people who are duped into voting Leftishly on election day) hate that. They want everyone else to be as discontented and as miserable as they are. They need it for self-validation. They want us all to be ants in one big anthill, to paraphrase Hegel. They dislike individualism because they are not capable of it themselves. Marching along in lockstep with some current "consensus" is their thing. They seem to need that for a sense of security -- unlike us conservative "heretics". I say much more about all that here and here
I have finally found the permalink to the Instapunk posts. It is a tiny "bug" just before the word "Comments". So the permalink to the Klavan comments is this. The permalink to posts here is the timestamp, a longstanding system in blogspot blogs.
Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here