Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Most Troubling Modern Trends of Modern Liberalism


I've often thought about what ideals in modern liberalized society bug me the most. Of course, modern liberalism or progressivism is the driving factor for change, and therefore for the direction of social mores. What is it about modern progressive thought that seems so wrong? Thinking through this question, I find one common theme that points to systemic problems with progressive dogma. This is the philosophical fallacy of relativism.

Relativism
This ideal is fundamental to progressing thought. Relativism stems from the early Greek sophists. It is the belief that different individuals and groups of people can have different standards for how to act. On the surface, this seems an obvious and plausible explanation of reality. However, relativism isn't a mere observation, it is an idea which guides action; it is a means to an end.

The relativism from the sophists raises an important moral problem. If there is no right or wrong way to act or behave, what is to keep some people from imposing their beliefs on others? If any action is valid, where is the moral anchor for society?

The main problem with relativism is its duplicity. Within its philosophy lies an inherent double standard between what a relativist may believe and how a relativist behaves. (I'm not the first, or only one to see the inherent double standard of relativist thought. Even the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Philosophy notes the inherent duplicity of relativism.)

Relativism is fallacious, precisely because of its inherent duplicity. It simply cannot serve as a means to produce an end because those who control the means cannot, by definition, live by their own standards.

What does the bankrupt philosophy of relativism have to do with modern progressive dogma? Everything.

Constitutional Interpretation
Modern progressive dogma insists that the US Constitution is a living document, that it can and must be interpreted according to modern mores. More importantly, it must follow progressive dogma at all costs, even if the Constitution itself doesn't support such an interpretation. In short, progressives feel they can ignore the Constitution at whim, unless, of course, it serves their ideology to stick to it.

If the Constitution is a living document, then the federal government could assume all sorts of power not written into the Constitution. This is a dangerous trend because the government could, for example, take money from the richest half of people and spread the wealth around. It could take over private corporations, like car companies, and force them to make crappy cars that no one wants to buy. It could meddle with the production and distribution of energy to the point where no one could afford to drive to work. It could borrow trillions of dollars and bring the country to the brink of bankruptcy. It could order the assassination of US citizens without due process. It could start wars without actually declaring a war. It could make illegal exchanges with terrorists. It could even rewrite existing Obamacare law.

Oh wait. Those have already happened. So much for Constitutional integrity.

Social Nihilism
Modern progressive dogma, relying on relativism, gave birth to the doctrine of "if it feels good, do it," and the "me generation." With such dogmas, anything an individual does or thinks may be valid. The duplicity of this position arises when someone actually does or thinks something outside of progressive dogma. Then, the progressive double standard rises up to stamp out the "injustice."

Some examples:
If Bill Maher calls women the most vile and offensive names, progressives laugh and call him brilliant. If Rush Limbaugh calls a woman a slut who admitted having sex with a lot of men, he is censured, attempts are made to throw him off the air, he receives death threats, and the LA city council votes that free speech isn't really free.

If a gay activists call Jack Phillips (who owns a Colorado bakery) the most vile and offensive names because of his beliefs about traditional marriage, the activists are hailed as a defenders of justice and equality. If Jack Phillips states that he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, he is sued, publicly humiliated, and his private business comes under the control of the state.

If a Black man shoots and kills another Black man, the media treats the incident as a statistic, largely ignored. If a policeman man shoots and kills a black man, the media and Al Sharpton descend on the scene to stir up civil unrest and riots.

If a woman calls her child a "group of cells" and aborts it, progressives applaud her courageous decision. If a church dares to call the "group of cells" a child, the church, all its members, and any institutions the church may support are all ridiculed, brought under political pressure, or forced to shut down, despite the constitutional 1st Amendment guaranteeing the right to free exercise of religion.

Political Correctness
The other day, I was talking with one of my students about fossil fuels. She immediately stated the mainline, progressive meme, saying how evil fossil fuels were for causing global warming. After talking with her a bit more, I realized that she had absolutely no idea about the modern problems of energy production, but had learned only the politically correct meme about global warming. She had no idea about what fossil fuels were, how they were made, or how we get them out of the ground. She insisted that electric cars could save us from global warming until I explained that most electricity is made by burning fossil fuels. She had no idea of the inefficiencies of converting energy from the wind or the sun, and how much energy it requires to produce such inefficient energy producers. She was scared spitless with the idea of nuclear power and was shocked to discover that a good portion of the electricity in the Phoenix, Arizona valley comes from the local nuclear plant.

My student had learned nothing of how the world works from her time spent in high school. She had, however, learned the dogma pervading K-12 textbooks. In a word, the progressive insistence on inculcating politically correct ideals into young students has produced an ignorant population, dependent on ideals rather than ideas.

Where's the double standard? Progressives teach that those who don't believe as they do are stupid, while progressive dogma perpetrates ignorance of the highest order.

Modern sophistry, the ideology of the left, maintains a double standard which, due to its own dogma, it cannot see. Modern progressives then turn around and condemn others with opposing views for not having the same "standards" as their own.