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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Depraved and the Deprived

"Hey, I’m depraved on account I’m deprived!", 

Gee Officer Krupke, West Side Story

When you replace the morality with class warfare, you also replace good and evil with poor and rich. Actions are no longer good or bad, except within the context of class. Murder is a crime for the rich, but not for the poor, or the rich who claim to be fighting for the poor.

Under class warfare morality, there are two types of criminals. The depraved and the deprived. The depraved are well off. The deprived are not. When the former commit a crime, it is because they are depraved. When the latter commit a crime, it is because they are deprived. And being deprived, they bear no responsibility for what they do.

The practical application of this form of left-wing morality is all around us. When justifying terrorism, the left argues that the terrorists are deprived, but the soldiers who shoot them are depraved. The Israeli civilians who are murdered by terrorists are depraved, on the other hand the poor starving Hamas supporters of Gaza are only deprived. The left holds that the root cause of terrorism is deprivation. On the other hand those who fight terrorists are depraved, because they kill them, instead of giving them what they want and ending their deprivation.

The same model was commonly used by liberals for domestic crime. Criminals were deprived. Their victims were depraved. The robber, the rapist and the murderer became heroes, fighting against oppression. Their victims were the oppressors, no matter whether they were bank tellers, college students or just random passerby. By not being deprived, they were automatically found guilty of being depraved. And even if their liberal credentials were in order, the liberal credentials of the deprived were always better.

To the left, everyone who is not deprived, is automatically depraved. Unless they are "part of the solution" and working on behalf of the deprived. To be neither deprived, nor an activist on their behalf, means that you are depraved. And if you are depraved, then you are fair game for the deprived. You can be killed at will. Your life has no worth or value. And those who take it have no burden of guilt for their actions. Because they are deprivation, a state that extends to their free will.

Violence among the deprived is held to be a natural response to that deprivation. A response that, as in Wright's Native Son, they have no real control or discretion over. They are driven to lash out at the entire system. And anyone who is held to be privileged is automatically a valid target, even women and children, all part of a faceless privileged mass. Denoted not by their own individuality, but their membership in a class or a race, by the inherent privilege of being born who they are. Born to be killed by any group the left designates as properly deprived.

The left reverse engineers justification for violence by working backward from the violence itself. Thus Islamophobia came into popular use after 9/11. Osama bin Laden's original declaration of war against America because of the presence of infidel troops on holy soil is largely ignored by the left, because its religious formulation lacks the oppressor/oppressed narrative that they crave. Instead they zero in on later videotaped condemnations of America and Israel, in which Bin Laden helpfully gives the left what they want, even to the point of referencing Michael Moore documentaries.

Bin Laden is a poor candidate for being one of the deprived. But then so is Bill Ayers. Or Vladimir Lenin. Or Yasser Arafat. But it's okay to be a rich terrorist, so long as you're making war on the rich and the middle-class, in the name of the poor. Even if you kill more of the poor in the process. They're just more collateral damage, a term that the left despises, except when applied to the countless millions dead in the experiments of socialism and its terrorist allies.

If you hold that the world is forever caught in the grip of a conflict between the deprived and the depraved, the ones who have nothing and the ones who have more than their share, then all is justified in an apocalyptic conflict that is all black and white, with no shades of gray. Global Warming even provides a mythical apocalypse, in which the greed of the depraved will destroy the planet, drowning the poor countries, while the rich retreat to mountaintops and eat crepes, and laugh at them.

The Global Warming apocalypse serves as a replacement for the previous mythological apocalypse, the uprising of the oppressed that would drown the world in blood, as foreseen by virtually every Communist and Socialist thinker in the 19th and 20th centuries. The uprising never happened. Increased productivity and open economies spread wealth far more effectively than Socialism and Communism, which instead took productivity out of the system, and placed a dwindling amount of wealth into a smaller number of hands. While free enterprise built up the middle-class, ending the artificial oppressor-oppressed paradigm, socialism turned the clock back to before the dawn of the industrial revolution, destroying the manufacturing sector and reverting Western countries to service economies with huge gaps between the rich and the poor.

But the left has outsourced class warfare. In the absence of street riots, Islamic terrorism has become their new symptom of the uprising of the oppressed. And their prescription has remained the same. Their position that the only way to end the conflict is through a system of wealth redistribution. It's not enough to have opportunities, or to point out that individual creativity and effort is what allows the deprived to become well off. Instead there must be a system that eliminates the depraved once and for all, the greedy profiteers and parasites, creating some form of economic homeostasis in which everyone has everything they need, or in actuality making it so that everyone is deprived.

By shifting the focus of morality from deeds, to social context, the left licenses itself to commit any crimes it chooses. It is always in the right, because it is always the champion of the deprived. No matters what atrocities it commits, it is doing so as part of a fundamental struggle that transcends morality. A struggle that renders right and wrong, good and evil, irrelevant. A struggle that defines anyone outside their own ranks as fair game for any and all attacks. Such a framework is convenient if you want absolute power and want complete freedom of action to get it.

The left has not only dismissed and ridiculed conventional morality, the idea of good and evil, but routinely mocked their own sympathizers who refused to get their hands dirty.

Consider W.H. Auden's invocation of "The consious acceptance of guilt in the necessary murder." Or Bertolt Brecht's "And treat with contempt those Who turned up with clean hands". Trotsky declaring that "morality is a function of the class struggle". Or Lenin proclaiming that "morality is whatever is in the interests of the proletariat." This allowed him to state, "We have never rejected terror on principle, nor can we do so." Because the only principle that counted was that of the interests of the proletariat. And once the interests of the proletariat were identified with those of Lenin and the Bolsheviks-- morality was defined by whatever allowed them to come to power.

So too the depraved-deprived formulation justifies anything that the left needs to do in order to come to power. Lie, cheat, steal, murder and even genocide. Nothing can be wrong when your only moral test is whether a given act will help you achieve power. That is why the left justifies crimes and terrorism. Because they are not in conflict with their morality. Only with the "bourgeois morality" of the ordinary American. Who doesn't matter anyway. Because his commitment to morality and nations labels him one of the depraved. One of those who must be swept aside for the left to come into its own kingdom. Like that of the Soviet Union and North Korea, to build their own kingdom of the deprived in every nation in the free world.

20 comments:

lemon said...

Truly deprived people have no energy to make trouble. These people are always fat and sassy with plenty of calories to burn in creating mess.
Yes, its about evil. Plain and simple.

Dedicated_Dad said...

Excellent.

You just earned yourself "Daily Read" status from another of the Depraved, who is well on his way to "deprived" thanks to The Enemy and his ugly machinations.

Thanks for putting it so clearly!

mindRider said...

In his book "The true believer", the self-educated American philosopher Eric Hoffer in 1951 already wrote extensively about the behaviour and psychological source from which revolutionaries derive their violent desire to topple whatever they are against and the ruthlesness of their actions to obtain their idiological goal. His book is available via Amazon.com and very worthwhile to read! Gives one an excellent insight what makes both left- and right-wing extremists tick.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Dedicated, thanks

mindrider, yes Eric Hoffer's writing is always worth a read

Anonymous said...

Great analogy. Isn't it amazing that most of the established depraved like the media, Hollywood, Rockefeller, Bloomberg, even Wall Street are the basis of the Democratic Party? I think that the fight is against the upper middle class--the bourgeoisie, not the obscenilly rich.

Edgar Davidson said...

This article is very interesting in the context of the student riots in London. The left see this as a great opportunity to stir up class warfare on the streets, even though those who are most effected by the raise in student fees are definitely not the 'deprived'.

On a related point, here is an article that considers how different the worldwide reaction would be if identical scale and type of riots in London had taken place in Israel

http://edgar1981.blogspot.com/2010/12/imagine-if-london-student-riots-had.html

Keli Ata said...

People who are truly deprived collectively as in the poverty of the Great Depression typically banded together, shared ration books. Then there's the more modern rent parties.

But watch any TV program on gang violence and the typical response you get to solve the violence is jobs. As if poverty (defined as not having $100 sneakers).

Let's reward the thugs and terrorists with power, social programs so they won't be so depraved.

Can you believe there was even a pastor in the inner city (US) who preached on ways for the poor to steal! I can't recall his name though.

Anonymous said...

Well said!!!!BRAVO!!!

I don't think you could have said it any better!!

My hat is off to you!!!

Dan in Kalifornia.

Melissa said...

Brilliant and thought provoking, as always, Daniel.
I think depravity is assumed when a child is protected by a stable family structure, but Obama derives his authenticity by claiming a difficult childhood; consciously structuring his biography to reflect the appropriate amount of victimhood in order to rule. He’s been hiding an unseemly and embarrassing normalcy, which is a sin to the left.

Anonymous said...

“The left has … routinely mocked their own sympathizers who refused to get their hands dirty.”

Sultan, were you thinking of this passage from Dirty Hands, the play by Jean-Paul Sartre?
“How you cling to your purity, little man! How scared you are of getting your hands dirty. Well, then, stay pure! What good will it ever do, and what are you doing with us, then? Purity… it’s an idea for the fakir and for the monk. You others, you intellectuals, you bourgeois anarchists, you use it as an excuse to do nothing. Do nothing, stay where you are, hold your hands to your breasts, wear your gloves! Me, I have dirty hands. Right up to the elbows. I have plunged them into shit and into blood”
http://gallica.bnf.fr/VisuSNE?id=oai_www.gallimard.fr_9782070257645

Anonymous said...

Why do leftists support Muslims over Hindus? Hindus are non-white. There is no ethnic difference between a South Asian Muslim and Hindu. Hindus were colonized by a European power too, and before that they were persecuted and colonized by Muslim invaders.

Why do leftists ignore the religious ethnic cleansing of Hindus and other non-Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh that were Indian Muslim states partitioned out of India?

Between the West and Middle East and Christianity and Islam, one can see why leftists support one over the other. But why would they choose Abrahamic Muslims over a non-white, and even a non-Abrahamic faith like Hindus? Shouldn't Hindus out non-white non-Christian out-colonized the Muslims?

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Hindus are not trying to overthrow Western systems, the way Muslims are. Which proves that they are less deprived and therefore more depraved. To the leftist mind.

Also Muslims have an extensive lobby in the West using oil money. Hindus don't.

Anonymous said...

This was a most excellent piece...you summed up a lot of what I've been thinking, but in a way that I hadn't thought of...and provided me something new. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh what surprises we are all in for, eh?

Dan in Kanada

Anonymous said...

"Also Muslims have an extensive lobby in the West using oil money. Hindus don't."

What does oil money have to do with the left? Why would the left support Muslims more because of oil money lobbying?


So if Hindus had engaged in terrorism in Pakistan and Bangladesh after Indian Muslims partitioned India, and also started committing acts of terrorism against Britain that supported Muslims to partition India, then the left would have supported Hindus? But the left also loved Gandhi's non-violence which is associated with Hindus. They seemed less forgiving of Hindus when Hindus do engage in violence, since Hindus were not living up to Western non-violent expectations.

The left is silent about the partition of India by Muslims to create an Islamic state, and the religious cleansing of non-Muslims ever since, while so up in arms about the partition of Palestine. While the left can try to claim Jews are European colonialists who recently immigrated to the Middle East to create Israel, they can't claim that with Hindus in the regions that went to Pakistan/Bangladesh. Hindus were the indigenous population and they were not the ones who wanted partition to create a religious state - the Muslims did. Hindus and other non-Muslims were religiously cleansed, which continues today. Hard to believe that the left wing values really just revolves around being anti-West, and don't care what Muslims do against non-Muslims in South Asia. Muslims in South Asia have not suffered as much as Hindus. Muslims slaughtered Hindus for centuries, and they won't stop. They haven't stopped. Through terrorism they keep on killing Hindus. It should be the Hindus the left supports if they truly cared about the rights of indigenous peoples to their land and to rectify the ills of colonialism - be it European or Muslim.

yomotley said...

Hey, excellent article. Found out about it because it was linked in the comments section of:

http://honeytrail.wordpress.com/2010/12/19/mail-boxes-and-old-barns-sunday-open-forum/

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Oil money buys influence in a variety of ways. Think about George Galloway in the UK.

It's not just about violence. The violence has to have a primarily anti-western tint and aimed at destroying western civilization. Muslims gain support because they're seen as wanting to replace the Western system that the left hates, with one based on Muslim social justice.

Gandhi also gained support from the left because of a perception that he wanted social justice.

The left does not care about the rights of indigenous people. Their general lack of interest in native americans, for example. But they are far more interested in African-Americans who are non-indigenous.

They care about backing political or armed revolts against what they view as a repressive capitalist system.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

motley, thanks. good to know

Anonymous said...

SK, here are radical leftists and their disregard for the laws of a democratic society such as India:
http://www.dailypioneer.com/306255/Spurious-protests-over-Binayak-Sen.html

A less charitable, and possibly unfair, explanation for Sen’s seemingly innocuous query to the judge — “What is Section 124A?” — is the contempt with which self-appointed civil liberties and human rights activists in this country hold the law of the land. Any law that seeks to impose the writ of the state and uphold the Constitution of the Republic of India, and hence, by definition, outlaws anarchy and subversion, apart from other crimes, is anathema to these champions of civil liberties and human rights as it militates against their libertarian agenda. “What law?” a civil rights activists mocked at me during a television debate on Sen’s conviction, “A law passed by Parliament of India? We refuse to accept its legitimacy.”

Scornful repudiation of the authority of the state and the legitimacy of Parliament, in a sense, has become the leitmotif of the Left-liberal intelligentsia’s immoral defence of Maoists, terrorists and separatists: We do not accept the rule of law, hence neither we nor those whom we speak for can be accused of violating the law. Sophistry separates this from the crudity with which those waging war on the state articulate their purpose. For example, the Maoists are waging war on the state not to defend tribal rights but to supplant democracy with totalitarian rule; for them their defenders and facilitators in the media and among the intelligentsia are “useful idiots, but idiots nonetheless”."

Anonymous said...

Cont.
"The Left-liberal intelligentsia’s profound hatred of authority and distaste for accountability acquires a certain edge when the courts rule against one of their own. So, we have anarchist-activist-propagandist Arundhati Roy denouncing Sen’s conviction by declaring “The crisis in Indian democracy does not get more dangerous than this” (what would she say if the courts were to hold her similarly guilty at a latter date in the sedition case filed against her for advocating Islamist separatism in Jammu & Kashmir?) while her soul mate Teesta Setalvad, who now stands accused of major perjury and serious fraud, has been prompt in alerting us that “we are dangerously close to surrendering our basic rights and freedoms”...."

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