The Gordian Knot of Human Nature or Liberal Brain Knots?

A recent article in the Washington Post attempted to explain the difference between liberals and conservatives/libertarians. The article is not linked because it really is of little merit. The author merely explains, without being strident, that liberals are open-minded and open to change while conservatives/libertarians are closed-minded and not open to change. Is there truth in what she says? There is, of course. But what is it that conservatives/libertarians don’t want to change and are very closed-minded about? The natural God-given rights of mankind, which are of little value unless there is liberty for all. To protect liberty for all, our Founders gave us a constitution which is as close to a masterpiece as man has ever written. Would anyone want to change the Mona Lisa? Then why would anyone want to change our constitution?

The open-minded, giddy for change liberals totally reject the idea of mankind’s natural or God-given rights and have been unhappy with our constitution’s protection of individual liberty since Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto  in 1848. Individual liberty is considered barbaric by the liberal thinker. Our current Marxist president threw out the term “social Darwinism” recently as a euphemism for “survival of the fittest”. We must admit that there is some element of truth in Barack Obama’s criticism of individual liberty. It is true that not all are able or willing to make individual freedom work for them. The liberals, therefore, prefer what they believe is a more egalitarian form of government where an all-powerful central government takes it upon itself to spread the wealth around. They have been quite successful over the last one hundred years in pushing America away from the concepts of our Founders toward a more socialist way of governing. Because of the dramatic fail of the communist experiments around the world, most liberals will deny that they are communists. They will claim they desire some form of democratic socialism like many European countries. We who are not brain-dead know that any form of socialism is but a point on the road to communism and tyranny.

But, if man possesses natural or God-given rights as Thomas Jefferson described in our Declaration of Independence; namely life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, wouldn’t it be logical to assume man would also possesses the instinct to resist any encroachment to those rights? We have discussed this subject before here at Conservatives on Fire. The opinions were mixed.

I came across an article a while back at PJ Media titled The Left’s Gordian Knot.  The article is authored by conservative intellectual David Solway.  For those who are not familiar with the ledgend of the Gordian knot or for those who have forgotten, here from Wikipedia is a brief summary.

At one time the Phrygians were without a king. An oracle at Telmissus (the ancient capital of Phrygia) decreed that the next man to enter the city driving an oxcart should become their king. A peasant farmer named Gordias drove into town on an ox-cart. His position had also been predicted earlier by an eagle landing on his cart, a sign to him from the gods, and on entering the city Gordias was declared king by the priests. Out of gratitude, his son Midas dedicated the ox-cart[1] to the Phrygian god Sabazios (whom the Greeks identified with Zeus) and either tied it to a post or tied its shaft with an intricate knot of cornel (Cornus mas) bark. The ox-cart[2] still stood in the palace of the former kings of Phrygia at Gordium in the fourth century BC when Alexander arrived, at which point Phrygia had been reduced to a satrapy, or province, of  the Persian Empire.

When Alexander could not solve the Gordian knot he resorted to brute force and cut the knot in half with his sword.

Mr. Solway and the other intellectuals he quotes in his article find little if any merit to the ideas of the Left. I found this description of the Left to be spot on.

Uneasy or embarrassed by favored status and determined to present themselves as lofty egalitarians, they will do everything they can to mobilize those whom they regard as the disenfranchised — the young, the working classes, the destitute, the “undocumented,” the “different” — while refusing to surrender their own prerogatives. They will treat enemies as friends so as not to have to deal with obstacles to their need for absolution. Inwardly crippled, they will feign magnanimity. They will labor to change the world, not from the ground up but from the top down. And in so doing, they will bleed other people’s blood.

As to whether or not man will inherently resist those that dare to take away their liberty, Mr. Solway had this to say while quoting another conservative intellectual:

In short, what the Left has never been able to come to terms with is the Gordian knot of human nature. It will not be unravelled, resisting every effort to separate its strands. As David Horowitz said in a recent speech at the University of North Carolina:

The obstacle to the realization of all progressive utopias is human nature. You can read all of the Marxist and leftist texts ever written and never encounter a consideration of…why it is so difficult to produce a society of human beings that is fundamentally different from the way human beings have lived since the beginning of recorded time.

I find myself in the awkward position of disagreeing with my intellectual brethren. This humble observer of man’s travails has seen no evidence that mankind has resisted the loss his liberty. We need only look at our own history. Government over the last one hundred years has inserted itself in every aspect of our lives and there has been hardly a whimper from the people. If that is not enough, let’s broaden our scope and look at the world’s experience with communism and socialism.

The people of countries like the ex-Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, and others were forced into communism. There was never any attempt to spread the wealth and create a socialist utopia. These people became slaves of the state. The Soviet Union failed not because the people revolted and fought to be free. It failed because their economic model failed. China observed this and began making changes to introduce more economic freedom and they will be forced to do much more. Again this will be because the socialist economic model does not work and not because their people are demanding their freedoms. North Korea and Cuba could not exist today as communist nations if they were not being propped up by mentor the nations of China and Venezuela.

In Europe and the United States the liberal thinkers seem to have recognized the failure of communism. They have tried to establish a different socialist model where they have, in fact, tried to redistribute wealth and create their socialist utopias. For a time it appeared that the European socialist model was working very well. But now it is clear that it too is failing. It is failing even faster than the communist regimes precisely because they have done more wealth redistribution and borrowed and spent faster than their income could sustain. They are failing because their economic model does not work and not because people are revolting over their loss of liberties. Quite the contrary. The riots in the streets of Europe have been because people do not want to give up their nanny state privileges.

History is replete with revolts by people against what we might call right-wing totalitarians. However, I’m not aware of any instance where people have revolted against leftwing totalitarian governments. The one possible exception would bee the revolt led by Lech Walesa in Poland. But, I doubt that this resistance would have gained traction if it were not for the near economic collapse that was occurring at the time.

In spite of all this fail, the American liberals will continue pushing us toward a socialist state. I think I know the reason for their illogical behavior. I think their convoluted way of thinking results in “brain knots”.  I see brain knots as similar to the line backlash that sometimes happens to fishermen using a bait casting reel. I see thousands of synapses loosely intertwined in a helter-skelter manner at some distance from a liberal idea; but the closer to the center of the idea the synapses are wound so tightly that no amount of reason, logic, or facts can penetrate. Because liberals suffer from brain knots, they will continue to promote ideas that they would otherwise know were doomed to fail.

So, let me bring this overly long post to an end by returning to the issue discussed im the first paragraph. Who is more closed-minded? Those that want to protect our natural or God-given rights, our liberty and, our constitution or those that want to promote ideas that did not work in the past and re not working now and will not work in the future?

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

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14 thoughts on “The Gordian Knot of Human Nature or Liberal Brain Knots?

  1. The whole Eastern Europe wall falling down, collapse of the Soviet Empire was a revolt against leftwing totalitarianism, as was the defeat of the Sandinista government in Nicaragua, but I understand what you mean.

    Early socialism is a soft tyranny by degrees, with the promise of being taken care of not yet revealed to be the chimera that it is. That is why there usually is little resistence. It’s like being lulled to sleep, or frogs in a pot, whichever analogy you prefer.

    I’d never heard of David Solway. Smart guy!

  2. Our prmitive nature calls out to be taken care of. We start out that way at birth, and with good parenting and some excellent experiences one moves beyond the infantile cravings.

  3. I’m not so sure we have resisted the loss of our liberties either, Jim. I think it could easily be argued that we have helped that loss along, all because it is the path of least resistance.

  4. Well, I could make an argument that liberals aren’t open minded at all. They may promote such openess until they gain the control they seek and suddenly they aren’t open to anything except their agenda. We’ve seen the reaction from the left when that agenda is even questioned, much less opposed.

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