Guest post by “Cato,” originally from the comments at the Ace of Spades HQ.
What the Leftist does not understand is that the core of their philosophy, the noble savage of Rousseau, is absolutely wrong. Civilization is not the default state of mankind, and we are not enlightened creatures when “liberated” from the traditions, customs, and history that they think hold us back.
These things do not hold us back, they are the product of millennia of trial and error, mankind finding the things that work to keep society glued together so that we can overcome the darkness inherant in all of us, overcoming our very nature so that we can work together and advance. This is not axiomatic, but a fragile and tenuous thing never more than a catastrophe away from failure.
When you alter such structures so long established, you send shockwaves through the system. Our founding fathers understood this, saying in the Declaration that forms of governance long established should not be altered for light and transient causes.
A few changes every now and then, and we overcome the difficulty and find ways to make new ideas work. Equal justice before the law, liberty, the end of slavery, etc. None of those came easily, despite clearly being a desirable state, because the whole social order had to change to accommodate the new way of thinking.
You can think of it like replacing a building’s structure one pillar at a time. This is possible in a well-designed building because the other pillars bear the weight while you install the new one.
Now imagine trying to replace every pillar at the same time. The building falls down because nothing bears the weight. That is what the Left is doing, because they believe they can replace our flawed, working society with a perfect, utopian one. And they believe they can do it all *right now*. Not only is the method flawed, but so are all the replacement pillars.
Where is this leading? History tells us that this endeavor, often attempted, is doomed to the same failure of such previous radical experiments. I think Leslie Fish put it best:
“Life’s crown passes to younger lands, Time sweeps dust of Hope from his hands, and turns another page.”