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It is impossible to understand what is happening to America — and to the rest of the West — without understanding the most dynamic ideology of the last hundred years: leftism.
We need to begin with the understanding that leftism (or “progressivism”) and liberalism are not only not the same ideologies, they are in fact opposed to each other on virtually every major issue.
Leftism and liberalism have only two things in common:
One is the belief in big government, which, given that individual and societal liberty decline as the state grows, is a significant similarity.
The other Left-liberal commonality is antipathy to the Right. This is even more important than commitment to big government because it explains why liberals vote for the Left despite the fact that liberals differ with far more left-wing positions than with conservative positions.
Unlike the Left, most liberals love their country. Unlike the Left, most liberals do not believe that there are more than two sexes/genders; that prepubescent boys and girls who claim they are members of the other sex should be given hormone blockers; that girls under 21 should be allowed to have their breasts surgically removed; or that men who say they are women should be allowed to compete in women’s sports. So, too, liberals do not believe that capitalism is evil, that America is systemically racist, that all whites are racist, that Israel is the villain in the Middle East and Zionism is racist.
So, then, given that those leftist positions are as destructive as they are absurd, how are we to explain leftism?
This question has preoccupied me all my adult life. It is why I was one of fewer than 10 graduate students in all of Columbia University to major in what was called “Communist Affairs.” (I was a fellow at the Russian Institute at Columbia’s School of International Affairs.) In other words, I have studied the Left all my life.
Early on, I recognized that the Left opposes liberty — the clearest example being that wherever the Left gains power, whether at a university or in society as a whole, it suppresses free speech — and that it destroys everything it touches. But while I (and many others) have always understood that the Left (again, not liberalism) has always, everywhere, been a force for evil, I needed to understand why.
How can people believe that men give birth; that a country to which more than 4 million black people have emigrated and which twice elected a black president is systemically racist; that the freest country in the Middle East, one in which millions of Arabs live as equal citizens, is the villain, while its barbaric enemies are worthy of support?
Here are some answers:
Throughout their history, Americans have had three great providers of meaning: family, religion and patriotism. Leftists lack the latter two (indeed, they seek to get rid of them), and increasing numbers of them lack the first. Since human beings cannot live without meaning — it is as great a need as food, and even greater than sex — they seek meaning elsewhere. So they create new meanings through creating secular religions: socialism, communism, feminism, environmentalism, DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion), “anti-racism,” anti-Zionism, LGBTQIA+ pride, and transgender activism, among others.
All these are united by one overarching aim: destroying the institutions of Western civilization (e.g., religion, art, music, the nuclear family, moral norms, schools and universities, free speech, capitalism, even medicine).
Those of us who appreciate Western civilization and wish to preserve it (while, of course, correcting its flaws) cannot understand why anyone would want to destroy it. That is a major reason it is so difficult for non-leftists to understand the Left.
After decades of mulling this over, I think I have discovered one answer that is not obvious even to all leftists.
What opened my eyes are the Left’s beliefs that men can become women and women can become men; men give birth; there are more than two genders/sexes; men who say they are women should be placed in women’s prisons, women’s colleges and women’s shelters; men who say they are women should be allowed to compete in women’s sports; and children should be taken to drag queen shows.
All these positions represent … chaos.
The Left’s trans-positions are the most obvious areas of Left-induced chaos, but there are many others. These include the Left’s contempt for the ideal of the nuclear family (i.e., a married mother and father and children); its support for defunding police; its raising the dollar value of stolen goods that qualifies as a felony, which can only incentivize theft; and its support for progressive district attorneys.
Fighting crime represents order; crime represents chaos.
And why does leftism seek chaos? Because the Left hates the opposite of chaos: order. And order ultimately represents a religious view of life. Order represents divine order. The proof is that no religious people say, “Men give birth.” Not all secular people believe men give birth, there are more than two sexes, men can compete in women’s sports, children should be exposed to drag queen shows, or children should be given hormone blockers if they claim to be a member of the other sex. But only secular people believe those things. Virtually no one who believes in the Bible and the God of the Bible believes them. We believe in a God-created social order.
Chaos is the normal state of the world. The second verse of the Bible states that the world was in a chaotic state. God then made order. Which is why the Left is undoing it.
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His commentary on Numbers, the fourth volume of “The Rational Bible,” his five-volume commentary on the first five books of the Bible, will be published in October 2024. He is the co-founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.
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Author: Dennis Prager
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