Crazy, radical, extreme, eccentric, and/or obsessive people may be dangerous or foolish, BUT interesting ideas arise from such people–just as most great art is made by ‘crazy’ artists.
Intelligent people may be drawn to leftism not so much for its truths as for its aura of excitement and revolutionism–commitment to New things, Bold ideas, Experimentation. Who gets more respect? A man who clings to established technology or a ‘crazy’ inventor who, despite countless mistakes, tries to come up with new gadgets? The left today may not be all that innovative–outside science and technology–, but the cache or conceit still remains. Young people are restless, and intelligent young even more so. They see the evidence of scientific, technological, economic, and social breakthroughs all around them. They are gonna gravitate to the side that stands for Change than for Constancy.
In addition, leftist egalitarianism combines moralism with radicalism. Left offers both the exciting bloodbath of revolution AND the sanctimony of saving mankind. Have the cake and eat it too–just like Che Guevara.
(To be sure, one could argue that conservatism is the real engine of progress since conservatives–at least the American kind–are conserving not so much the past nor how-things-used-to-be but the very engines–capitalism and individualism–that have brought about the greatest amount of change and innovation in American life and society. Conservatives could claim that they oppose liberalism or ‘progressivism’ for actually slowing down the pace of change in the name of ‘social justice’ or ‘fairness’. Even so, many people see conservatism as seeking to preserve only the power and privilege of the rich or pandering to the ignorant populist passions of the unwashed masses. Liberalism/leftism has done a better job of marketing and promoting their ideas as progressive/revolutionary and in balancing this anxiety-ridden aspect–every call for change incites fear and apprehension–with promise of social safety-net. Left offers both fast and thrilling dive into the future and a cushion to ease the landing. This draws intelligent people fascinated in The New but also sensitive to socio-moral issues.)
In the scientific/technological fields, left and right are mostly on the same page. We all want MORE of it. But, people–even or especially those specializing in scientific or intellectual matters–are also creatively oriented, cultural, and moral beings. Love of Chemistry or Physics doesn’t necessarily make a person liberal or conservative. Things OUTSIDE science/technology make people leftist or rightist. (There are anti-rationalist/anti-technology camps on both right and left, but they are negligible. Most people embrace science/technology). A smart liberal scientist most likely came to his ideology through arts, culture, or social ideas than through scientific controversies. Creationism and Intelligent Design notwitstanding, most conservatives are all for science–and the secular right is even scientifically minded than the secular left(especially in biology).
Why would a smart person aiming to specialize in fields unrelated to politics or social issues become liberal? Smart people generally have wide-ranging interests. Whatever their interest, they want to explore/discover NEW things. So, they naturally feel greater affinity with people with similar spirit in other areas. A smart scientific mind will likely identify with a ground-breaking avant-garde artist, a cutting-edge personality, or a radical intellectual as his counterparts. A smart chemist may have little in common with a radical intellectual but still sense a shared quality: passion to advance knowledge, to go the extra step.
Naturally, conservatism which apparently stresses allegiance to received wisdom may not appeal to the modern intelligent person. But, what about the modern right? Isn’t it committed to science, the creative spirit, and new solutions to social problems? Modern right is not conservative in the old-fashioned sense. Even as it rejects the utopian illusions of the left, it seeks ever new and modern solutions to human problems and challenges. Also, its concept of hierarchy is based on nature than on tradition.
The modern right is open to new ideas, spiritual visions(beyond that of the established church), eccentricism, individual expression, and social experimentation by the state. It should be appealing to strong personalities, individually minded-people, crazy artist types, free thinkers, poets, and mavericks. But, there’s one problem. The crimes of Nazism have forced the right to be moralistic, cautious, moderate, etc. These are not bad qualities in general but tend not to attract the most interesting people in arts, sciences, and other fields obsessed with being different, cutting-edge, contrarian, ‘radical’, etc.
The Left committed big historical crimes too, but they weren’t as exposed nor stigmatized as the crimes of the Far Right. There’s less taboo on the left, and so leftists can be as wild and radical as they wish, and this showmanship attracts smart ‘cutting-edge’ people. Since the right must behave well, it comes across as square and lame.
Irony: the Right is punished for good behavior while the left is admired for its bad or badass image. The Right must be good to be good. The left can be bad and still be good.
Isn’t it funny that leftists/liberals tend to be elitist in practice yet egalitarian in theory?
Leftists and liberals are generally more ambitious for political power than conservatives. Liberal Ivy Leaguers are among the most competitive in the world. Silicon Valley is teeming with liberal geeks with dreams of becoming the next Bill Gates or Sergei Brin.
Hollywood directors wanna make the biggest blockbuster ever and win as many Oscars as possible.
Liberals and leftist compete for top academic and media positions. They are ruthless and pitiless in their drive to the top. In practice they are a bunch of Ayn Randians.
Or consider Warren Buffett or George Soros. They areny content with a few millions or even 100s of millions. Nor with a billion. They gotta have tens of billions.
Look at Hillary Clinton and Obama. They want Big Government so they can have MORE POWER. They want to rule us.
So, why are these profoundly hierarchical people so liberal/leftist/egalitarian in what they espouse? (And, don’t forget the communists who grabbed all the power for themselves in actual practice.)
If liberalism and leftism are indeed egalitarian, the proof sure isn’t in the pudding. Liberals and leftists want to rise above rest of humanity and become the best of the best and the highest of the highest.
And, that may be the whole trick or scam–though it could be these people actually believe in their own hogwash. Egalitarianism/leftism may simply be the most appealing moral rationale as to why certain people–the so-called ‘progressives’–should be rich, powerful, influential, and have god-like power over us.
Right-wing hierarchy is more nakedly honest–whether it’s from Ayn Rand or Adolf Hitler. It’s ‘we want power cuz we want it, and if you dont like it, suck on it.’ It’s a harder sell to the universal crowd than ‘we want all the power and wealth in order to better serve you poor slobs.’ Altruism may actually be an excuse for power than a relinquishing of power. Just look at Al Gore. For him to save the planet, it seems he must be the CEO of some multi-billion dollar company.
Leftism/liberalism is both egalitarian and universalist, therefore ostensibly on the side of the great majority of people around the world. But, consider the history of Christianity. It too was universalist, but that served as a rationale for Western Imperialism to conquer other lands and peoples for the purpose of sharing the Love of Christ with all of humanity. Globalism has often been justified in the name of bringing wealth, opportunities, and investments to nations around the world, but which group benefitted most? The global elite of course, or the global liberal elite.
Universalism and egalitarianism may also be favored since they make people feel better and lubricate social interactions on the global scale–like cocktails during lunch hour. Whether in business or politics, everyone feels better spouting the cliches about equality and universalism than about ‘my race is smarter than yours’, ‘your race can kick my race’s ass’, or ‘Muslims are gonna take over Europe.’ Business and politics are games of interaction, handshakes, schmoozing, flattering, and deal-making. They are rarely about the naked truth. Cosmetic companies sell the dream that every woman can be beautiful rather than tell the truth that ugly women will always be ugly. People want to be beautiful–possess an elite quality–yet also believe that beauty can be accessed equally by all. A beautiful woman who honestly says “I’m beautiful and most women are ugly” will be hated. She will have to say–and even fool herself–that ALL WOMEN CAN BE BEAUTIFUL–like Oprah for instance! So, it could be that smart liberals want it all, but assuage their guilt and fear by telling us that ALL OF US can succeed like them IF ONLY we had the right social policies, which can only come about by all the power being in the hands of liberals/leftists; rich liberals feel better about themselves, and poor slobs feel less resentment if they swallow this horseshit.
The globalist liberal elite in the West may have to betray or abandon the interests of their poor racial/cultural/national brethren, BUT their goal is to boost their own power(and that of their children and associates)to the point where they become the new aristocracy.