Righteous, Self-Righteous-and why the Left never wins

An intelligent, long-term friend of this blog has often deplored the tendency of “The Left” to endlessly split into tiny grouplets, all with remarkably similar names and all warring endlessly with each other. It was a tendency satirised in the Monty Python film The Life of Brian which lampooned the quarrels of organisations like the Peoples Front for the Liberation of Judea with the Judean Popular Front, among many other rivals.

It’s true-but why?

One possible explanation runs like this. You don’t join a reforming movement for fun. All the bounders and cads, mainly in it for the money and the girls, go to the Right, or so the argument goes. No, you join The Reform because your values are decency, self-sacrifice and above all, virtue. One thing the early Christians, Mohammedans, Cromwell’s Puritans and Communists all had in common was their Austere Righteousness. They preferred The Party to Parties, if you get what we mean.

Being Righteous may feel good, and may actually be so. But it quickly morphs into Self-Righteousness, for obvious reasons. And the trouble with Self-Righteous persons is that they find it very difficult to be wrong. About anything, in our experience. Thus tiny misapprehensions or disagreements can never be truly resolved. The Self righteous can never work with anyone for long.

Thus The Left has doomed itself to endless factional wars and quarrels long before it sees a glimpse of its real enemy. It’s true that occasionally someone like Stalin or Mao occasionally comes along to knock them into shape long enough to achieve power. But the cost in human lives and long-term PR is so great that it outweighs any immediate political advantage thereby attained. The Left sees itself as the Party of the Intelligent, but it’s really the Party of the Good. And those are two very different things. Consider the experience of Jeremy Corbyn if you don’t believe us.

Somehow, from somewhere we must found a Party for the Intelligent, combining the best elements of the Left with the practical, wordly-wise experience of the Right. And what that shall be like we have no idea yet.

#Left #Right #The Life of Brian #politics #political philosophy #jeremy corbyn #mao tse tung #stalin #communism #islaam #christianity

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