The Practical Philosopher's Blog

Using the practical application of timeless wisdom to address modern issues

The Emotionalism and Irrationality of Today’s Liberalism

I’ve often noticed that Leftism and Liberalism appear to be more about emotion than fact. The primary tenant seems to be if your intention feels good, then no matter how poor or unworkable the method of trying to enact it, you move ahead. It also doesn’t matter if the feel-good intention has any ties to scientific reality. If it feels good- just do it!

Since the science of the patently scientific issue of climate and weather is completely unsettled (un-reproducible and therefore unusable for future predictions), no other topic today seems more emotionally driven and less rational.

Occasionally, the real mindset and unwise worldview of today’s Liberals are revealed to the public. Like Obama revealing his collectivist desire to redistribute wealth, so has a major UK climate bureaucrat revealed the ignorance and irrational emotionalism of today’s eco-zealots. John Ashton is the British foreign secretary’s special representative for climate change. He was recently quoted on his real feelings about engaging in the next round of ill-timed, international climate-negotiations at Copenhagen this year.

Climate experts added that the United States did not need to have in place national legislation to limit greenhouse gasses, a process that could take months, to negotiate in Copenhagen. “It’s not just about analyzing a piece of legislation,” Mr. Ashton said. “It’s about the feeling you get if you’re a leader sitting in Beijing. It’s like love; you know it when you feel it.”

Making major political decisions for our society without any provable science borders on criminal negligence or else its naked ambition and power-seeking. Without science, rationalism, and critical thinking, we are no longer a rationally enlightened society. Instead, we are one of subjectivism and emotion and the whims of the moment shall rule.

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Filed under: Culture, Environment, Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses

  1. The Center Square says:

    The problem is not that reason has departed from the left. The problem is that reason has departed from public discourse entirely. Let’s not forget that our just retired president publicly proclaimed “Intelligent Design” as an appropriate science curriculum.

    And let’s not forget that the only debate about climate change is the degree to which it is the result of human activity. Which is rather beside the point, you know?

    • Philosopher says:

      Steve,
      I agree- critical thinking has nearly dissappeared from public discourse. That’s one of the main reasons I blog today advocating rationalism.

      On your second point: Yes, the fact that the debate seems to really only hinge on its human-driven component lends credence to my point that it is more about political power and social change than the science. Time for a new revolution of rational enlightenment in the West. Blog on!

  2. Salahudin al-Rawandi says:

    the key line here is “re-distribute wealth” – which is typical of the same old libertarian rhetoric that masks their historic and near-malicious selfishness.

    the sound bite of “whatever feels good” is also another indicator of spinning the reality of the liberal approach, to sound like a juvenile and ill-thought out perspective, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    liberalism has always been the ultimate force of progress in human society: civil rights, ending slavery, gandhi’s ahimsa movement and so on.

    none of these seemed very “practical” in the minds of the conservatives (read: proponents of the status quo) and they used the same arguments this post uses.

    it’s nothing new folks… they will always tout their failed philosophy… meanwhile the rest of us can move on.

    • Philosopher says:

      1. Actually, the key line is: “…if your intention feels good, then no matter how poor or unworkable the method of trying to enact it, you move ahead.” The point being that scientific fact is completely missing from the quasi-religious climate debate.
      2. You sound like a straight-line collectivist if you think redistributing wealth is not a bad thing. The Soviets tried that and look how well it worked for them. Trying it in the US will further damage the economy until wiser people take charge. They are the ones that know over-taxing wage payers wrecks the economy for wage earners.
      3. The classic definition of Liberalism is not what it is today. Liberalism equates to Socialism in today’s environment.
      4. Liberalism equates to the party of Democrats in the US. The Democrat party voted against Civil Rights. It would not have passed except for the Republicans. In the US, the Civil War was primarily driven by the leadership of President Lincoln- again, a Republican.
      5. You must not be a US citizen. I will tell you that, previously unseen in the world, America was a political framework and ‘experiment’ focussing on INDIVIDUAL liberties, free market economics, and the rule of law. That’s what America was founded on and prospered on. It’s never been collectivism, because it doesn’t work. It’s never been a command-and-control economy, because it doesn’t work. It’s always been about a self-sufficient individualism because that’s what makes the most dynamic society and is more closely aligned with human nature.

      So folks, the closest political philosophy to American values today is Conservatism (small govt, fiscal discipline, individual liberties). The political party that most closely embraces this is the Republican party (and they are seeing the price they pay for abandoning those principles in recent history). Liberalism and collectivism are most closely embraced by the Democrat party. We can look at the (at best) European model (sliding toward the Soviet model if we continue) and see how that’s worked out for them: Militarily impotent, high taxes, depression-era percentages of unemployed, unassimilated Middle Eastern and African immigrants, loss of national identity to political correctness, and a severely shrinking population.

      Go ahead and move on to that my friend, the rest of us want something else.

  3. Salahudin al-Rawandi says:

    are you pretending to be an educated Conservative? because you assume to preach and assume my citizenship as well… based on the republican “blinders” (aka lenses in the case of other folks) that see my name and associate it with a dissent against your failed philosophy.

    the closest American political philosophy is Obama’s and his Democrats’… if you don’t believe, review the last two elections again and cease projecting your archaic and obsolete notion of America on the rest of us.

    • Philosopher says:

      I’ll respond to your second point:
      Political ‘philosophies’ are ideaologies and they come and go. A real philosophy is based on objective principles and values that do not change with whim or social fads.

      As I detailed in the very first post of this blog (“Triumph of the Unwise“), electing Obama was unwise as we had no idea how he would govern since he had no real track record of national political experience. The one objective fact I could find was that he the most liberal or leftist voting record of any Senator in the short time he actually ever voted during his one, partial term. Now we see that leftism being born out.

      He and a major subset of Democrats to are trying to radically alter America as we know it. America has been prosperous because of it’s enshrinement of individual rights, distrust of central govt, and support of free-enterprise. These are the American ideals this country was founded on and still are the ideals because they work and create the most prosperity for the most people. Thats why people’s fleeing tyranny and wishing for a chance to succeed on their individual merits flock to America and not the Middle East or China or Russia or Latin America.

      If Obama and the Pelosi/Reid Democrats are successful in creating a collectivized ‘economy’, healthcare, eco-taxes based on activism and not science, it will no longer be America. It will be another failing Socialist/Leftist model until enough people see their life impacted negatively and go back to the American principles of individual rights that work.

      I don’t disagree that a majority of people felt emotional about Obama and elected him, but that does not change the past history of what made America and why individualism and free enterprise work. It just appears a majority lack the wisdom to understand the longer term ways these American principles work and will have to experience the failures of collectivism first-hand before they will understand them.

      If you are still an open-minded individual, listen to a 2-minute primer on free enterprise on YouTube: 2-Minute Primer on Free Enterprise

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