The psychological state of the militant is distinguished by his fanatical investment in the system. This central vision reorganizes his entire intellectual and perceptual field, all the way to the periphery. Language is transformed: it is no longer used to communicate or express, but to conceal a contrived continuity between the system and reality. Ideological language is charged with the magical role of forcing reality to conform to a particular vision of the world. It is a liturgical language for which every utterance points to its speaker’s adherence to the system, and it summons the interlocutor to adhere as well. Code words thus constitute threats and figures of power.It is not possible to remain intelligent under the spell of ideology.
The most obvious sign that ideological insanity is artificial is that it is reversible: when the pressure ceases and circumstances change, one gets out all at once, as if from a dream. But it is a waking dream–one that does not block motility and maintains a certain apparently rational coherence. Outside the affected area, which is the superior part of the mind in a healthy person–the part that articulates religion, philosophy, and the “governing ideas of reason,” as Kant would say–the comprehensive functions seem intact but focused on and enslaved by the surreal object. When one wakes, one’s mind is empty; one’s life and knowledge must be entirely relearned.
Alain Besancon, A Century of Horrors, 2007.
The Republican mistake of the 2008 election was to embrace a portion of the left’s ideological insanity to bring in moderates, which ended up ratcheting the debate to the left. Whoever concluded that Republicans could score by giving the ball to the opposition should be fired.
This is supported by the alarm heard in the leftist media over the return to core conservative values of the Tea Party goers, though “alarm” doesn’t really capture it since a return to conservative values has already been classified by Homeland Security as evidence of suspicious right wing extremism.
While the specific terms of the left’s ideological insanity must be substantively argued, the mistake is to affirm the politically correct myth that those terms are founded on sound assumptions. By doing so, conservatives forfeit the wealth of knowledge from history that proves the success–and continuing viability–of constitutionally limited government, individual liberty, and individual responsibility. A governing system that corrupts these fundamental principles will not stand in the long run. The invented rights of various outcomes that the left claims exist only arise at the expense of other people’s rights. Governing systems that institutionalize rights and outcome inequities cannot stand. The only proven viable system so far conceived by man is the one our constitutional framers developed; the one that begins and ends with a level playing field, the one that the left spares no opportunity to suppress and corrupt.
I can’t think of a single issue in the last election that wasn’t, in effect, a new leftist construction vs. a failed previous leftist construction. Conservative principles built our national, legal, and constitutional history, and enabled the United States to become and remain the envy of the world–a place which people the world over will die trying to get into. We don’t need a new framework for our national evolution, and least of all the framework offered by the left which most of the rest of the world already proved doesn’t work.