Saturday, July 11, 2015

Communist Arrogance

I have argued many times that liberalism rests upon the arrogant assumption that the majority of mankind is ignorant and foolish, while only a small wise elite has access to the single right answer. (See "Liberalism, Its Origins and Consequences", "Man's Nature and Government", "Appealing to Arrogance", "The Intellectual Elite", "The Citizen Dichotomy", "The Essence of Liberalism", "Liberalism, "Idealists" and Internal Contradictions") However, I think the best example of this comes, not from mainstream liberal sites, but rather from those of orthodox communists, as it seems communists, when confronted with the inconsistencies between their theories and reality, often have no choice but to accuse workers of being morons.

Take, for example, the entire idea of class, and class struggle. The official position is, in an admittedly simplified form, that the interests of each class are inexorably opposed, and the true interest of the working class is in opposing the capitalist bourgeoisie. Supposedly it is the eventual resolution of this conflict (well the synthesis of this opposed thesis/antithesis pair) that will lead to our workers' utopia and the communist heaven on Earth.

However, in real life, it seems the workers aren't always so ready to smite the hated bourgeoisie, and sometimes seem to think their interests are quite different than the communists would propose. So, how do communists explain this? For example, how do they explain strong patriotism among the working class, as opposed to their supposed innate international solidarity? Why, they have been beguiled by the power structure and given a false consciousness. The same also explains falling union support, blue collar Reagan voters, the prevalence of upper middle class bourgeoisie -- and dearth of workers -- in the ranks of communists, and so on.

In short, the beloved workers are just stupid mouth breathers who don't know what's good for them. So, until they listen to their betters, who know their true interests, they have to be shown what to do.

Is it any wonder this theory ended up developing the "dictatorship of the proletariat", and created countless authoritarian states around the world? If your basic premise is that the supposed best among us are still too dim witted to know what they should do, then there really is no solution but to let the enlightened few seize the reins of power.

But, before we go, I would suggest we not forget that a similar, in fact identical, belief underlies almost every liberal theory I have found, and even a number of supposedly conservative schools of thought, so before we feel too superior about the foolishness of communism, we may want to look at our own beliefs as well.

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