I am a recovering left-liberal. I would like to believe to have fully recovered from the fundamental defects within the broad spectrum of liberal and leftist political thought; especially the contradictions that provoked me to leave the camp for good. But my belief could very well be a self serving defense mechanism and only time will tell. The immediate consequence of these defects appears in a subscriber’s behavior — you are more prone to be mean. Now there is a very specific reason and context why I harp this point. The #metoo campaign and the latest cacophony created by waring tribes of left-leaning feminists (the liberals vs identity politics wing) over the list of alleged perpetrators of sexual misconduct from academia would have been funny, if not for being tragic. The list does include very important names, and I for one do not find it shocking that a substantial number of them are self-proclaimed left-liberals. But the conversation that goes on has the trademark meanness. And hence my point — left liberals are more likely to be mean to each other and outsiders, than right wingers.
Let us look at the crux of the current issue. Make no mistake, I am noway suggesting that sexual misconduct of various degrees is not a serious problem to be tackled. I am willing to believe that a huge majority of people in that allegation list could be simply guilty as charged. But what I am unwilling to concede is that there is absolutely no chance that at least one of the people in the list might be innocent of the alleged crime and was in fact a victim of a vendetta of some sort. The fact that 60 out of 61 being guilty does not exonerate the makers and its supporters, from the most heinous crime one can perpetuate by insinuating an innocent person. You can shout a lot about media trials by unscrupulous journalists and conveniently forget what you are doing by claiming a moral high ground. Now, I can bet a substantial sum that the first reaction from the more mean tribe in this battle for this logical suggestion will be that this is a privileged savarna/male/ liberal (which I very doubt to be) or in worst case a Sanghi (you have to be one if you cannot be even called a liberal) mindset. The most unscrupulous would also suggest that any one questioning their methods is a rape apologist or even a rapist. I will not be surprised at the irony of tremendously powerful men and women with a huge social media following, sitting in safe havens of a first world country, pointing fingers at anyone who believes in having a conscience, and be responsible for own actions.
Why do they behave so? A left liberal mindset, in my opinion and experience, has a shocking aversion towards philosophical consistency. I do not claim that there are entirely consistent political philosophies. Other major schools more often acknowledges their inconsistency on matters, and at least do not moralize their particular stands to the extend left leaning political entities do. They thrive on an uncontested belief on moral superiority, and insinuates any doctrinal disagreement as sign of moral unworthiness. To put it simple, somebody who takes a principled different view on an important matter does not do so for a mistaken belief, logic or fact, but necessarily because they are evil. In this particular case, every woman who believes that this kind of naming and shaming is principally wrong is a morally bereft female, who is therefore necessarily a white feminist (or it’s Indian counterpart — savarna), whose only reason for challenging the same is her identity consciousness and prejudice. If it were a man, there is not even a question that such a person has to be a rape apologist! The funny thing is that there is absolutely no reason to believe that if a list containing non upper caste sounding names were to come up, there would not have been enough people, including the ones who objects now, who would raise the same principled objection. No! That burden of proof is not up on them.
Nothing could be more Catholic than a left-liberal’s obsession with people being evil and sinners. Some of them honestly believe that they follow the holy gospel of some high volume activists or overrated academics, aimed at cleansing the world of sins. All political groupings without exception behave like tribes. Left-liberals in general and the identity politics champions in particular are classic cases of cannibalistic tribes. The fundamental difference between a garden variety tribe and a cannibalistic tribe is their penchant for annihilation and consumption of the erred tribe that lives around them. Their basic belief system is derived from a notion of pure and victimized self, against a hostile and vile group of others who are better, wealthier, more powerful and so on because they are evil. It is their fundamental belief that in a fair world everybody would think like them, but then they stand for pluralism and all such fantastic ideas!!
An interesting aspect of the left-liberal attitude is extreme territoriality in an anthropological sense. The nearer others are to their beliefs, the more hostile they are for their differences in beliefs. One should not be surprised in knowing about the countless factions of Maoists who are at war with each other, the LTTE who systematically murdered other revolutionary liberation organizations for the same cause (or simply put terrorists), the identity politics groups who want every self-serving aspect of liberalism and some variant of socialism but are at constant war with the mainstream socialists and liberals etc. This attitude also is so universal among all left-liberals. Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ got it on dot with the People’s Front of Judea.
My point is that a mean behavior derives directly from a left-liberal mindset. In contrast to this, right wingers are often more prone to be violent, obnoxious and dumb. But their territoriality is much less. When was the last time that you heard about a clash — ideological or fist fight — between a Sangh outfit and another ultra Hindu right wing sena?