Author- Vladimir Zark
As a philosophy student, I tend to dabble with a lot of ideas, particularly those relating to our characteristics and their connection to self-improvement. I tend to think that intuitively, every person feels the need to improve, feels the energy within to act upon his compulsions, and feels the obligation to conquer himself. But this philosophy, one I proudly call ‘self-reliance’, has been lost to the Left. And this article, as I will try to show, will demonstrate how the Left’s obsession with the outside world and rectifying injustices proves that its moral position is invalid, and culminates in its entire philosophy being flawed. I will contrast this with the libertarian and conservative philosophies, which much more emphatically play on the need for this self-reliant morality.
It’s important, of course, to define the morality of the Left, and the defects that come with it. The morality of the Left depends upon certain critical premises: 1. There is an oppressor class, whether it is whites, the rich, or men, and they have power over the oppressed class, whether it be non-whites, the poor, or women. 2. The oppressor class obtained its resources unjustly, whether it is through colonization, capitalism, slavery, war, politics, the law, education, the police, so on. 3. The Left’s moral duty is to defend the oppressed against the oppressor by any means necessary, and make it clear to the general public that the oppressor’s methods are entirely unjust, no matter whether the so-called oppressor is even oppressing anyone at all. 4. Anyone who disagrees with the moral goals of the Left are immoral, bigoted, hateful, and most likely endorse the oppressor’s position.
Now, other than the fact that this moral system presupposes many falsehoods – for instance, denying the fact that the so-called oppressors do not, in most cases, oppress the so-called oppressed, or the fact that our egalitarian systems make it impossible to oppress the so-called oppressed – the other problem is that this moral system is judging people as members of a hive mind collective, not autonomous individuals with the power of agency. If it judged people as individuals, it would not be able to sustain the oppressor/oppressed dichotomy, seeing as not all rich white men are oppressors, and not all poor black women are oppressed, and so on. This tension between individual and collective exists, justifiably so, because of the power of merit. The poor black woman has the capacity to break out of her poverty and become successful in our economy, just as the rich white man has the capacity to lose all his money to a bad business deal and become unsuccessful. This boils down to the question of individual choice and decision, a philosophy that eludes the progressive narrative entirely. When I look at 100 black people in a neighborhood, I do not look at them as a generalizable swath that I now call a ‘black neighborhood’. I would say that this is a unity of 100 black individuals, with different stories, motivations, and upbringings. But, as we know, if the Left of today were to do this with people, its moral argument of “obligation to the oppressed” would fall apart. Oppression is a state of mind.
We must continue on with this point – that oppression is a state of mind. One of the Left’s important beliefs, even in classical 70’s liberalism, is that true egalitarianism can only be achieved with the just redistribution of wealth, talent, and political rights. Famous political philosophers like John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, and Elizabeth Anderson will emphatically push the point that equality is a matter of proper redistribution, political rights for all, and preventing inequality based on wealth and talent. Firstly, to say that ‘equality’ is the greatest moral goal for human beings is nonsensical, since equality as liberals envision it is impossible. You can give us all the same amount of money, prevent talent from interfering (which is simply impossible), and give us equal political rights – but we know, on the most basic of levels, that we are not equal in any sense of the word. And furthermore, what is moral about forcefully taking money from the rich, or preventing naturally talented people from achieving their goals, or pretending that political equality translates to actual equality? Oppression is a state of mind because the truly free person does not need all these favors from the Left. Even if he is fundamentally poor, untalented, or politically marginalized, he uses his personal philosophy to break free from the shackles. He does not attack others for his misfortunes – what he has is his, even if it seems unjustly earned and impossible to break out of.
Enter the libertarian and conservative moral systems. Libertarianism rejects anyone but the individual altogether, and rejects the help of the government – unlike the Left, who depends upon the government. The power of libertarianism is that, in our semi-Darwinian world, one can still understand their obligation to improve their circumstances by their own action, not the action of another. Even if you can have the help of a government, a law, or another person – don’t you feel guilty that you are, truly, dependent upon them and not yourself? Everything you ever achieve will be stored in your conscience, and if you haven’t achieved anything, how can you feel proud? And the Left will insist that there are barriers to your achievement, which is why you need quotas, grants, safe spaces, and all the rest – but in fact, when you encourage this, you weaken the natural survival instinct in our already coddled and weak environment. There was a time when we had to fight in wars and die, and thus we gave way to real men; there was a time when we had to eat what we could find, and thus we gave way to better hunters; now, with no conflict, we have nothing.
Conservatism, which encourages traditional values and preservation, is morally correct because it keeps the good things good, does away with the bad, and keeps its people growing and fighting. We must encourage our people to see in terms of themselves and their value, not in terms of an amorphous blob called a country. The weak will always make excuses and have justifications, will always complain – the philosophy of the Right is that we are accountable for our actions, not another. Furthermore, the Right’s emphasis on the ‘liberty’ of a country as opposed to its ‘equality’ makes for a superior moral system on the basis that a liberty-based country will make moral ‘individuals’, rather than a ‘moral collective’. Moral individuals will always know right from wrong on their own grounds, whereas a collective will be told ‘how’ to be moral. The freer a human, the more reason he has to be moral. The more equal a human, the less he feels the need to be moral, since everyone is equal, and treating one another with equal dignity and morality – I mean to say that the selfless morality emphasized through characters like Jesus and Buddha requires something greater, something liberating.
The Left’s morality is wrong, ultimately, because its blind altruism is destructive to the growth of a healthy person. It is a leech, taking away from those who earned what they have to give to those who don’t deserve it. True morality comes in doing things because you can, not because you must. This compulsory element makes any of the Left’s moral obligations immoral by default. In contrast, the Right emphasizes doing things out of one’s own free will and believes in the individual’s capacity to achieve absolutely anything. We should remind ourselves time and time again of the fateful point that oppression is nothing more than a state of mind. It is an existential reality that keeps us tied down to failure, keeps us in the same chain of dependency and slavery, and prevents us from realizing our true ambitions. The truly moral are the ones whose morality is willful and personal, not necessitated by some arbitrary authority. That’s why the Left’s morality is shallow and parasitic. It focuses on fixing injustices and inequality on a systemic level when the real issues lie with the individuals themselves. A system is a blob, nothing that can truly be identified, while an individual is a rich amalgam of personality, possibility, and power. The system is made real through its individuals, which is what the Left never understands. We understand it, especially if we are always in a fight for survival – and only we can truly change the system.