The idea of self-control doesn’t appeal much to left-wingers, even to the point that its appeal to others seems a mystery. In the novel Wicked, there exists in Oz a religious sect called Unionism, that’s a stand-in for Christian fundamentalism, and it is portrayed as a spent cultural force, all but washed-up, unable to hold a candle to the Pleasure Cult (read: hedonism), paganism, and Tick Tockism (faith in modern technology).
When Bill Cosby makes makes speeches calling for greater self-criticism in the black community, leftists, for his troubles, mock him. After Cosby’s famous Detroit speech some years back, Aaron Magruder, who has his own severe criticisms of black culture, proceeded to lampoon, instead of make common cause, which is a shame.
I think that’s because liberals prefer themes of personal empowerment, as opposed to group empowerment, and when they call for diversity, they see in it the fruits of individualism. Self-control smacks of guilt, and is therefore ridiculous.
The right doesn’t see it that way, though. Personal freedom has limits, and to attain order, sacrifices must be made, which tends to limit, well, the diversity on the group’s periphery.
When the right genuinely does take affirmative action in line with its concerns, though, the left doesn’t laugh, but trembles. Think Elijah on Mount Carmel, preachers smashing whiskey during Prohibition, and Kristallnacht.
Fascism may be gone, but it casts a long shadow, and does so because, despite, or because of, the Nazis, the idea of society in motion remains potent. Fascism to a greater or lesser extent, stays cool because of society’s nigh-overwhelming complexity. Brown-shirt activists promise to fix that, and in the short term, at least, they succeed.
Liberals like forces of simplicity, too, but they’re more pastoral; Buddhism, unlike Christianity and Islam, never gained a militant political dimension, and thus it’s seen as a paragon of economy, but be you Hitler or Steve Jobs, the drive for coherence is anything but placid.
Ever gone on a cleaning binge, and come to regret having purged some of the items that crossed your path? It may not be giant Buddhas like the Taliban, but it could just be a favorite shirt, or gift. In broader, colloquial terms, righties want to go on intermittent cleaning binges, and lefties are hoarders.
Liberals don’t like to talk about social obligations, because that justifies sacrifice. Thing is, I think sacrifice, for better or worse, is a lot cooler a concept than they give it credit for. As studies have shown, those who can master the concept of delayed gratifiication in the long do better than those who can’t, but they still seek to hang out with such, and call them victims.
Me, I think there’s a price for such behavior.