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Going Too Far

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How do you know when your own philisophy has gone too far? There is increased political tension in America now between the Right and the Left.

For those reading in the future, the Right is defined as conservatives. Primary conservative issues today are immigration, border security, free speech, deregulation, and gun ownership rights. The primary issues on the Left are currently ensuring an equality of opportunity for anyone regardless of ethnicity, religion, etc. (something that conservatives agree with). The Left also creates an endless list of government programs to give various types of aid to those that they see as in need of it.

Both sides have legitimate virtuous goals. But how does one know when you are taking your ideology too far? On the right there are very clear markers that indicate when things are taken too far. One is if you find yourself believing in racial superiority (of any ethnic group). Far right people from many countries and cultures are susceptible to this, especially during times of great success.

Nationalism

Another marker, one that hits closer to home for me, is feelings of extreme nationalism. During the 19th century, nationalism dominated culture for the European powers. And nationalism is a great idea, as it creates a strong sense of community within a country, inspires people to create works of art or technology to celebrate their country and people, and can drive people to selfless acts of creation. Our national economies began a huge leap upwards starting around 1820 in what many see as the golden era of Western Civilization.

Its a wonderful idea, and it went too far. In 1914, the Great War (World War I) broke out and there was little that could have stopped it. Citizens and leaders saw war a virtuous self sacrifice for one's homeland. Imagine trying to tell your fellow countrymen, "Hey, maybe we shouldn't fight this giant war, I think it's going to be a disaster." They would have called you a 'traitor' to your country.

Many historians see World War I as a mortal wound to Western Civilization, and although still racing forward, we have been slowly diing ever since. But is was a necessary hardship, a very painful birth into our current Modern Era.

On a personal note, my great grandfather was in World War I. He was in medical school and would have become a doctor if he had not volunteered to go off to Europe to fight. Ultimately my country (America) won the war. But my great grandfather lost a leg, had shell shock, and in my grandfather's words, "was completely mentally destroyed" from witnessing the sheer horror of the war. My grandpa dropped out of school in the Eighth grade to start working to support his parents and younger siblings.

The point is that if it hadn't been for the extreme nationalism that caused World War I, my family tree would be completely different, perhaps we all would have been doctors. This is a personal and real world example of conservative philosophies going too far.

The Left

How would someone on the political Left know that they have taken their ideology too far? In conversations I have had, it seems like they have no limit and are totally convinced of their own moral superiority.

It is my feeling that over the past 50 years in America, conservatives have conserved nothing. We haven't secured our national borders, gay marriage and abortion were legalized, affirmative action has expanded, and we can't even keep men out of women's bathrooms. Conservatives have compromised extensively and yet the Left is not even close to being satisfied. In fact they are doubling down, lurching farther to the Left.

They have no limit or warning that they are going too far.

Equality of Outcome and Intersectionalism

The Left's positions on equality of opportunity and equality under the law are not challenged by anyone. Conservatives totally agree with the Left on these issues. But there is no consensus on the subject of Equality of Outcome.

Equality of Outcome is where you look at every little group in society and demand that they all have the same amount of monetary income, size of homes, job placements, etc. This is where Intersectionalism come into play. This is where you take two genders (or many more), multiplied by every ethnic group, mulitplied by every possible religeous affiliation, multiplied by every sexual orientation, multiplied by every other conceivable human parameter. This is the opposite of Individualism.

Now the Left looks at all of these groups and demands that they all have an equal outcome. For starters, you now need a huge government bureaucracy to keep track of all of these various groups. And secondly you have to use the force of government to make sure resources are distributed equally to all of these groups. One group may need to be held down, taxed a little more, forced out of their jobs. Another group may need government handouts, and laws forcing them to be placed in higher ranking jobs.

Now add perception into the mix. Perhaps some groups are perceived to be doing better than others, so the government must hold them down in some way.

The reality is that this is a never ending road. The amount of laws required to achieve equality of outcome is infinite. This ultimately and quickly leads to tyranny. Hence why there are Communists on the Left.

Something Else

Perhaps Equality of Outcome is the line in the sand for the Left to show them that they have gone too far. Perhaps it is something else entirely. I gave an answer because I cannot get any answer from anyone on the Left on what the limit is to their ideology. And as I see our society in America today, it seems the Left has no limits whatsoever.


Originally published


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Going Too Far
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