Liberals love psychology, as a science and as pseudoscience, while being very bad at it. Indeed, the liberal persuasion and the discipline of psychology have a natural affinity for each other, grounded in their morally relativistic values, that partly accounts for their taste for social and personal engineering and other forms of “behavior modification.” Ideologically, liberalism does not recognize human nature as something fixed and recognizable, unchangeable and describable, objective to the extent that something impalpable though real can be understood as an object; psychologists, however, clearly do, since as scientists they claim to investigate empirically verifiable facts pertaining to physical reality. To this extent at least the art of applied psychology is the exact analogue of the art of motorcycle maintenance, the two being equally a matter of mechanical analysis and skillful adjustment by carefully balanced calibration to restore the perfect harmony of the various moving parts.
For example, a motorbike repair artist, entrusted with a machine suffering from an overactive carburetor, would reduce the inflow of gasoline or oxygen, or both, after substituting a lower-octane gas for a richer mixture to rescue a troubled engine from a hyperactive state and restore it to a normally balanced one. Similarly, a liberal social engineer seeking to modify racist ideas, sentiments, and behavior in society looks to discover a means of reducing incitements and provocations to racism by removing so far as possible the stimulants to these things.
That in fact is the approach liberal politicians, social agencies, educators, and commentators have taken in the heightened atmosphere of racial antagonism in this country and in Europe, proving that liberals have no understanding at all of the workings of individual and of mass psychology, and that their notion of the art of social maintenance is simply to strike the recalcitrant mechanism very hard and very often with the psychological and legal equivalent of a series of sledgehammer blows delivered to a malfunctioning motorcycle gut. No understanding is involved here: no art, no craft, only the functional equivalent of a woman who has never changed a tire before kicking a flat one. Unfortunately for liberal activists, while a flat tire cannot be pumped up by kicks, alleged racists can be made more “racist,” or encouraged to be real ones, by the application of ignorant technique by people who have only an ideological understanding of human nature.
Consider the recent episode concerning a private video made of a busload of fraternity boys chanting antiblack doggerel on a no doubt inebriated bus trip en route to some black-tie function or another. The naively outraged response by officialdom to the incident recalls a remark the late Joe Sobran made to me years ago on the subject of Pope John Paul II’s highly unfortunate decision to extend the privilege of serving at Mass to girls. For 2,000 years, putting boys and young men in the sanctuary seemed an obvious way to encourage them to discover a priestly vocation at a later age. Did it occur to no one in the Vatican, Sobran wondered—this was near the beginning of a calamitous dearth of such vocations—that when boys see girls doing something, the natural reaction of boyish nature is either not to do that thing, or to do the exact opposite? Similarly with the case of the youthful fraternity brothers: Did it never occur to the sort of liberal who demands that “hate speech” be punished by social ostracism or criminal action—or both—that the surest way to provoke “hate speech,” among young people especially but mature ones as well, is to prohibit it, while making a great moral show of doing so?
Clearly it didn’t, as, more broadly, liberals in their zeal écraser l’infâme have overlooked the logical result of their determination to see and denounce “hate!” in every instance of distaste, disapproval, or dislike, whether expressed or perceived, in regard to any individual, group, or form of deviant behavior officially sanctioned by liberals, which is to put the idea of hate into general circulation and encourage an aggravated sense of it among the general public. Of course, this is precisely what liberals aim to do by “raising awareness” and encouraging people who are not liberals to “grow” under the tutelage of the circumambient code of liberal moralism. The strategy makes sense in the context of liberal psychology and the liberal understanding of human nature and of human instinct and motive. But since the two fundamental propositions of liberalism—human nature is essentially benevolent; human nature can be pummeled and stretched by liberal education, exhortation, and example to approach angelic nature—are contradictory, the results are more likely than not to be contrary to expectation. In a multinational, multicultural, anti-Christian, and aggressively secular society especially, the consequences of putting “hate” at the forefront of the national discourse are already plain, and they are likely to become plainer and more shocking in the coming years. Liberalism is betting that “hatred” is an emotion not only abhorred by everyone but psychopaths but also the cause of secret pain and shame for the hater. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hate is as natural as love, and it can be just as pleasurable. Indeed these feelings can coexist, not just in the same person but in the same sentiment. We are all familiar with the profound human truth, the basis of most art, that love and hate are elements of the same emotion—romantic love, especially—a truth only a persuasion so shallow, perverse, and inhuman as liberalism would deny. So liberals tirelessly invoke the virtues of “love,” without reflecting that love for one thing invites hatred of its opposite—whatever seems to pose an existential threat to the beloved. Indeed, liberals themselves bear out this basic fact about human nature without being aware of doing so. Liberals “love” democracy, therefore they “hate” tyranny, to them a concept that includes monarchy and clericalism, though historically their hatred has not extended so far as communist despotism and mass butchery. Consider how many wars liberals have launched in the past 250 years against “oppression” in the name of liberal ideals and “democracy,” and with what catastrophic consequences for their adored Humanity.
Among other things liberals profess to revere are human autonomy and the ultimate worth of the individual, moral autonomy, the inviolability of individual thought, conscience, and judgment, and privacy. Before the era of advanced liberalism, hatred was something generally accepted at face value. If a man said to another man “I hate you” or, of another, “I hate him,” the declaration was customarily accepted as an honest expression of a sincere emotion, however unwelcome or unpleasant. In the same way, in deference to the potential skepticism natural in such instances, the man who said “I don’t hate you” or “I don’t hate him” was allowed the benefit of the doubt. Today, owing to cynical liberal psychology and the increasingly intrusive and suspicious liberal agenda, face value is no longer taken for granted, rather the opposite. But what right has anyone to tell me I “hate,” when what I really feel is mere distaste, simple disapproval, even dislike—a mild enough emotion, after all. To insist that I “hate” in the face of my denial that I hate is bad psychology, as well as unkind (“un-Christian,” but who cares). It is also an act of aggression against my privacy of thought and of feeling, and finally a gross impertinence, the insult added to what may prove a very real and costly injury. How dare anyone insist he knows my thoughts and feelings better than I do myself, psychological humbuggery and effrontery be damned? Is this “liberal” behavior, as liberalism used to be understood? Certainly the behavior of a kind and perfect gentleman, it ain’t. To insist I be prosecuted or otherwise punished for allegedly thinking a thought I deny having thought, and that only God Himself can read, should be an action punishable at law, and severely, as being itself a hate crime for so long as we keep such patently absurd statutes on the books.
Beneath the liberal hysteria about “hate” real irony lies, an irony as delicious as it is amusing—almost as amusing as it is finally disgusting. Who, when we come to consider them, are the real haters? The hate-sniffing liberals themselves, of course. How do they hate? Let me count the ways.
Liberals hate the created universe and the existence to which they were born. They hate metaphysical reality, and they love the created world only to the extent that they can manipulate, twist, and exploit it to their own ends. They hate the Creator and His laws; they hate the natural law and express their hatred of it by denying its existence. They hate themselves because they did not come from the hand of God as they would have had Him make them; consequently, they hate the Lord of the Universe and are in outward rebellion against Him. They hate sexual “assignment” and the sexuality proper to the two sexes; they hate the shape of their noses, the size of their breasts, and the lengths of their penises. Some years ago I spent a couple of weeks working up an article on the radical environmentalists, people who are driven to a perfect frenzy of indignation, anger, and outrage that any human being should regard himself as made in the image of God. What presumption! Such arrogance! We miserable humans are so many fleas infesting the folds of Gaia’s garments and deserving only the heavy application of her biodegradable flea powder.
But nonliberals can play the liberal psychological game (“You don’t know what you’re really saying, but I do!”), too. Is it possible environmentalists, consciously or not, find the “image of God” to be not above the proper dignity of man, but rather below it? That what liberals mean by humanism, and John Zmirak calls subhumanism, is actually superhumanism? The term accurately describes the philosophy, if that is the word, of the Transhumanists, who expect that humanity will renovate and in time recreate itself as an entirely new, and wholly improved, species. Surely, there can be no greater hatred of humanity—and everything else—than that.
But while modern Westerners are working through genome research and related forms of bioengineering to redesign human beings, they must fail in the attempt to recreate the human species itself. Beginnings are beginnings, and humanity cannot transcend its origins, whatever it succeeds in accomplishing in terms of its ends—or end, should hatred of mere humanity prevail in the Faustian laboratories of the West. If that happens, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor tongue foretold, the horrors that await us at the coming of the new heaven and the new earth, straight from the hand of man.Originally Published by Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture APRIL 01, 2015