In “Leftism” I discuss at length the left’s agenda, assumptions and attitudes, strategy and tactics, and psychology. I then address the costs of leftist schemes and possible remedies for the left’s encroachments on liberty.
There are, spread throughout the entry, many aperçus about leftism. This one comes closest to a summation of the left’s motivations and aims:
The most obvious assumption [of leftism] is that perceived “problems” — perceived by leftists, that is — must be “solved” by state action.
That statement warrants elaboration. Leftism isn’t just sympathy for the poor and oppressed or fear for the fate of mankind. If it were, an overwhelming majority of human beings would be leftists. Leftism is the conjoining of those attitudes and the deluded belief that the best (and sometimes only) vehicle for redressing “wrongs” and remedying “problems” is the use of state power to command the necessary resources and coerce the necessary actions.
The presumption of governmental omniscience and omnipotence has many anti-libertarian implications. Here are some leading examples:
Income and wealth belong to the state.
The property of individuals and businesses is the state’s to control.
Individuals and businesses do not have freedom of association.
Religion, beyond ceremonial observances, has no place in the governance of the populace and must not be allowed to influence or interfere with that governance.
The state decides basic social questions, such as (but far from limited to) the nature of marriage and gender.
The state decides religious and scientific matters, such as (but far from limited to) the legality of teaching alternatives to neo-Darwinianism and the “correctness” of carbon-dioxide-driven “climate change”.
All persons are born equally meritorious in all respects, regardless of their (apparent) intellectual and physical endowments (“nurture” 100%, “nature” 0%), and must be accorded the same opportunities regardless of their endowments.
Exceptions may be made for persons who govern, “entertain”, play professional sports, deliver “news” and opinions, profess and administer at expensive universities, or are otherwise deemed worthy of special treatment — because some people are “more equal” than others. But at every opportunity, the exceptions will be limited to those persons who confess to the omniscience and omnipotence of the state.
Despite universal equality of merit, the state may authorize the killing of some otherwise blameless persons (e.g., children in the womb, the elderly) if they are deemed to be “unequal” (or simply an inconvenience to others).
Despite universal equality of merit, some persons commit acts that are called crimes because “society” denies them a “fair share” of economic rewards and social recognition.
Dissent from the foregoing positions (and others not listed here) is punishable by ostracism, loss of position, and in some cases (there should be more) civil and criminal penalties. (Execution isn’t out of the question.)
Most leftists won’t admit to such absolutism and barbarism, and will try to find “acceptable” ways of characterizing their implicit views. But leftism is what it is, and shouldn’t be sugar-coated.