The Left/Right Divide

7/13/15, by Clement Pulaski

In recent months I have written about the series of victories won by the Left. One of the main reasons that the Left has enjoyed such success is that many people who are naturally on the Right do not understand the Left/Right divide. Rightists will publicly defend certain doctrines and opinions, but they will rarely defend the essence of their worldview, and almost never attack the essence of the left-wing worldview.

One common explanation of the Left/Right divide is that the Left is for equality while the Right is for inequality. This is an explanation that many leftists would agree with, and one that some on the more radical Right would also accept (while those on the lukewarm Right would be horrified by this characterization of their beliefs). While this explanation gets close to the truth, it does not, to my mind, capture the essence of the right-wing worldview. I agree that the essence of the Left is equality, but the essence of the Right is not inequality, but excellence. The reverence for excellence often leads the rightist to accept or even promote human inequality as a means for achieving excellence, but not as an end in itself. This is why the rightist bristles at the idea of giving out participation trophies to the losing team, while the leftist is uncomfortable with elevating one group or individual above another. The leftist mania for equality can lead so far as desiring equal rights for animals, because even putting humans above animals is seen to violate the sacred principal of equality.

With revolutionary Marxism we see the most extreme form of leftist thought. The following poem "Questions From a Worker Who Reads" by the communist Bertolt Brecht perfectly illustrates the hatred for excellence in the name of equality:

Who built Thebes of the 7 gates?
In the books you will read the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock?
And Babylon, many times demolished,
Who raised it up so many times?
In what houses of gold glittering Lima did its builders live?
Where, the evening that the Great Wall of China was finished, did the masons go?
Great Rome is full of triumphal arches.
Who erected them?
Over whom did the Caesars triumph?
Had Byzantium, much praised in song, only palaces for its inhabitants?
Even in fabled Atlantis, the night that the ocean engulfed it,
The drowning still cried out for their slaves.
The young Alexander conquered India.
Was he alone?
Caesar defeated the Gauls.
Did he not even have a cook with him?
Philip of Spain wept when his armada went down.
Was he the only one to weep?
Frederick the 2nd won the 7 Years War.
Who else won it?
Every page a victory.
Who cooked the feast for the victors?
Every 10 years a great man.
Who paid the bill?
So many reports.
So many questions.

Brecht's attempt to undermine the great men of history is infantile. The obvious reason why we do not give equal honor to Caesar and to Caesar's cook is because Caesar's cook was unremarkable and could easily have been exchanged for another. Caesar could have taken any number of cooks on his campaigns without changing the outcome. But without Caesar himself, the outcome would have been very different. The same is true for all of Brecht's other examples. Alexander is remembered rather than his subordinates because his subordinates were inferior in their achievements. In the case of great monuments, we remember the men who organized and commissioned them because without a genius organizing and commanding the laborers, these laborers would have left behind only ordinary structures unworthy of notice. Brecht's poem perfectly demonstrates the leftist's perverse reasoning. Although not all leftists are as consistent or outspoken in their position, if one analyzes any leftist program or doctrine, one can quickly detect this same love of equality and hatred of excellence.

Having looked at the essential difference between the Left and the Right, it is easy to see that Christianity is the ultimate right-wing worldview. That is not to say that all right-wing views are Christian. For example, there is the Nietzschean view where equality is denigrated and individual or collective racial excellence is the highest good. But in Christianity, the whole purpose of man, and of all creation is to glorify God, the supreme and ineffable excellence. Nothing in existence is outside of this plan of glorification. Even rebellious sinners cannot escape their role, for in their just punishment they glorify God and demonstrate his excellent justice. In glorifying God, men are called to personal excellence, even to personal perfection. In order to achieve this perfection, the perfect, sinless son of God stood in our place and bore our punishment. He who had neither sin nor imperfection took on all sin in order to destroy it. In the illumination of the Gospel, men are forced to see themselves as less than nothing when compared with the Creator. We are called to seek personal excellence, but never with our own strength or virtue. Every good thing is attributed directly to God. Every vanity and falsehood of human invention is called to swift destruction. The greatest kings of the earth are called to humility, and before the throne of God even the righteous saints cast their crowns. Thus the right-wing Christian view goes beyond the worldly attitude criticized by Brecht. As Christians, we recognize the relative superiority of Caesar over many of his contemporaries, but we also recognize that his greatness was carnal and fleeting, and that even this inferior greatness was according to Providence. Great men are to have their due, but it is to be strictly limited. The overwhelming glory of God is to have the first place in every thought and deed.

When besieged by the Left, rightists often make the mistake of agreeing with the essence of the left-wing worldview ("equality"=good), and try to argue that it is their own worldview that promotes equality even more than that of the Left. This is a mistake because it is obviously false. It is impossible to outdo the Left when it comes to equality. Rightists do not gain anything by arguing that welfare dependence hurts Negroes, or that proportionally more Negro babies are aborted. It is impossible to gain ground when you cede to your enemy the most fundamental question. Only by denying the principle of equality itself and unapologetically promoting excellence can the right-wing position make any progress.

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