As I’ve written before, our social and political redeemers refuse to see how their passion for self-flagellation and their assumption of moral rectitude are only the reflex and obverse of their overweening conceit in the hieratic authority they have conferred upon themselves to cense and purify the world. They have become the Fifth Monarchy Men of the modern era, descendants of Praise-God Barebone who gave his name to a parliament dominated by chiliastic fervour and the conviction of sainthood. In the name of “peace,” the “brotherhood of man,” and what the Quakers, to take a resonant illustration, call “the transforming power of love, human and divine,” social, political and economic systems predicated on the liberty of the individual and the principle of a just meritocracy are considered ethically suspicious and ideologically opprobrious. The Left now seems to be quaking to the same carphological rhythms.
The Quakers provide an expository object lesson—what academic philosophers call a mise en abyme, or revelatory inset of the kind we see on the Quaker Oats box—for current political thought. It’s pro forma that the Quakers, that sect of self-professed saints, who in the 17th century threw in their lot with the Fifth Monarchy, the Ranters and the Diggers, have now clutched the leftist creed and project to their bosom. No surprise, then, that the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), a Quaker branch plant, lauded the genocidal Cambodian dictator Pol Pot for providing an “example of an alternative model of development and social organization.” It does not impact the Quaker sensibility that two million Cambodians found their egalitarian consummation in death, but then death ensures the leveling of the playing field and guarantees equality of outcome.
Is this not what the Left is striving for? Political thought in the contemporary West, while remaining resolutely profane (i.e., “outside the temple”), seems to be converging on the Quaker worldview, exemplified most conspicuously in Noam Chomsky’s still unrepudiated apology for Pol Pot and in his virulent hatred of everything America represents. Chomsky, of course, is not alone in promoting such lethal imbecility; he is surrounded and supported by a veritable New Model Army of leftist agitators and intellectual commissars, many of whom are now in power or ensconced in positions of academic authority.
Unbeknownst to themselves, however, these strangely aggressive pietists are consecrated to a program of self-immolation and a reductive and indigent life for their victims. They are convinced that after an interregnum of cleansing devastation, a brave new world shall be built upon presumably unshakeable foundations and peace will reign over the entire planet, protected by the mystical talismans of the Left and the Sword of Statist Collectivism. But such glorious conclusions are obviously never to be taken for granted by the priests and paladins of the Left. They must remain vigilant against the saboteurs of metamorphic aspirations. They must demonize those whom they consider as their enemies—conservative thinkers, Tea Partiers, supporters of Israel, reputable scientists who present damning evidence countering the global warming scam, scholars who point to the threat of militant Islam, the slender remnant of journalists and writers who still believe in the duty to investigate and report impartially, ordinary citizens who insist upon their democratic rights, and wealth-creating entrepreneurs who wish to retain the fruits of their labors, or at least a meaningful slice thereof.
Regardless of the suffering they cause and the deprivations they inflict, our righteous dabblers and contemporary evangelists—the “destroyers of reason”—are not to be deflected from their goal. It is tantamount to a divinely ordained mission. Having turned politics into an implicit religion, they must continue in their quest to fundamentally transform our lives and thus bring us into harm’s way while assuming the mantle of infallibility. Since the rest of us are either traitors to the cause or poor sinners with undeveloped minds, the elect have no choice but to think and act on our behalf, until we see the light. The saints must keep on marching.
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