Benjamin Boyce: “The bottom part of the left wants to destroy every order and the top part wants to centralize things. I don’t know what the left means.”
To which I replied:
Yes, you do. You just said it. There is nothing consistent or coherent about the left when you dive into it (and, by the way, much of what we label the right politically is equally left).
This is why, when the left is most successful at tearing down every order, you get a Stalin, a Mao, a Hitler (National SOCIALIST, as opposed to the communist left who are international socialists), etc.
And this is why the top part supports the bottom part – the top part knows that as the bottom part tears things apart by destroying traditional intermediating institutions and hierarchies, the top part will gain ever more monopoly power over the rest of us.
Destroy all intermediating institutions, tear down a natural law ethic, drive Christianity out (all the work of the bottom part and the desire of the top part), and the top part gets to absorb more authority. There, in one sentence, is the democrat party in the United States.
And from here, I offered the following:
What does conservativism wish to conserve?
What does liberalism wish to liberalize?
What does progressivism wish to progress to?
Only one of these has a functional answer, yet those who label themselves as such (conservative) are ignorant of it or don't wish to aim at it. That would be the purpose of man, which is the foundation for discovering the natural law - the foundation of which only comes to full development through Christianity.
The other two offer no target at which to aim, as there is always more to liberalize or to progress to. So we have Bari Weiss wishing for the NY Times of three years ago, apparently ignorant of the countless Walter Duranty types that preceded her by decades or more. And Jordan Peterson, who wishes to go back only a few years further - when [personal] pronouns actually had some definitional value.
I would like to expand on this, beginning with such labels in the current political scene. For us, the term “left” is associated with political parties labeled democrat or liberal, while “right” is associated with parties carrying labels such as republican or conservative. In this post, I will use the following terms in the following ways:
Right / conservative: those who want to support and defend something akin to a natural law ethic, with government intervention limited to defending / prosecuting acts of aggression.
I recognize that this is a much narrower definition of “right” or “conservative” than is currently employed. This is why I suggest that much of what is labeled “right” today is actually “left.” Without an anchor in a natural law ethic, the right has no place to stand.
Republicans: politicians who claim to support some sort of (nebulously articulated and conveniently ignored) traditional values; some may even mouth the words “natural law,” although it seems few understand it.
What traditional values are republicans conserving (or, in reality, attempting to, but failing to, conserve) these days, beyond that which they fought against not even twelve months ago?
Left / liberal, progressive: those who want to move humanity away from something akin to a natural law ethic, with government taking an active role in the process.
They don’t put it in these terms, but this is the reality. Every move away from a hierarchy that accepts the nature of man and the resultant natural law ethic moves human beings away from their intended purpose and, therefore, away from natural law.
Democrats: politicians who unashamedly articulate such visions and act accordingly.
The first thing, perhaps, to notice: most republicans are hypocritical on this matter – claiming to support traditional values while acting contrary to this; democrats are not at all hypocritical in their actions or words – they claim to want to drive change (progress, liberalize), and they put their words into action. Unlike republicans, democrats are at least honest about their aims.
Therefore, it is fair to conclude that while virtually all democrats can be labeled “left,” most republicans can be labeled “left” as well.