The French Red Terror, the Soviet Great Terror, the Cambodian autogenocide, and many others were all examples of what I call left political singularities.
Left wing repression tends to make things lefter, which tends to worsen left wing repression, which makes things even lefter, which … The process only stops when the latest despot starts to realize he is not left enough, he is being outflanked on the left, is going to be overthrown by those even lefter than himself, and promptly executes everyone important who is even lefter than he is.
Right wing repression does not have this effect, because right wing repression, for example Pinochet, pressures people to forget about politics, whereas left wing repression reaches into every person’s life and forcefully pressures them to piously say the politically correct things. Left wing repression forcibly politicizes everything, even your personal private sexual activities. Right wing repression depoliticizes everything.
In Stalin’s pamphlet “Dizzy with success” it looks to me he was trying to thwart the terror, but terrified that if he tried to thwart it too vigorously, would be its next victim.
Under Tsar Nicholas II, the way to power came to be to be lefter than thou. The safest way to ally was no enemies to the left, no friends to the right. And so everything from there on moved ever lefter. And the lefter things got, the more the way to power was to be lefter than thou, the more dangerous it became to have friends to the right, so the lefter things became, the faster they moved left, consuming each leader in turn for insufficient leftism.
Left wing repression tends to make things lefter, which tends to worsen left wing repression.
We see a similar wind up in the French Revolution. The King moves left, leftists, in particular Rousseau and Voltaire, do very well, so everyone moves left. Voltaire and Rousseau were repressed by the supposedly right wing authorities only enough to generate favorable publicity for their works. The old order was condemned by highly successful intellectuals who somehow wound up with lots of money and young women. Where were the defenders of the old order? Not even the King defended it.
There is an obvious and plausible defense of hereditary monarchy and the hereditary principle: If power is up for the grabbing, there will be a lot of grabbing, and this will at best dissipate lots of wealth, and at worst kill lots of people. The replacement for King Log is apt to be King Stork. Past democracies and republics were apt to degenerate into advance auctions of stolen goods, and often those in power were reluctant to yield power when they were supposed to, so that election became civil war. In the lead up to the French Revolution, we see those attacking the monarchy prospering and succeeding, and we did not hear anyone defending the monarchy, not even the Monarch. Charles the First of England defended hereditary monarchy, first with the pen, then with the sword, and though he lost temporarily, and lost his head, in the end he won, but Louis the Sixteenth of France did as much to undermine monarchy as any man.
Voltaire tells the French that the monarchy needs overthrowing. Well, if the monarchy needs overthrowing, and and an intellectual can do very nicely under the monarchy while calling for its overthrow, likely an intellectual could do even better if it was overthrown, and those intellectuals had to step into the vacuum and replace it. And having stepped into that gap, they declined to imitate the monarchy’s tolerance for its enemies and disdain for its supporters.
King Charles the First told us that the King should protect the subject’s life, liberty, and property, but the subject should not concern himself with politics, that being the King’s business. King Louis the sixteenth however, told us that the King “must always consult public opinion; it is never wrong”. Well if the King himself says that, who is going to deny it? When the King himself will not defend the Royal prerogative, who would? And thus under Louis the sixteenth, an ever leftwards process was set in motion, culminating with the red terror in 1795.
Another way of stating this theory is that when a political belief system intent on gaining power, what I have been calling a theocracy, even if there is no God involved as such, finds it has been pushing on an open door, the push continues, till it blows up in their face and faith.
Leftism is such a belief system, rightism is not, rightism merely being a coalition of random odds and sods being rolled by leftism, and random odds and sods who disagree with leftism on any of a thousand different points of doctrine. Leftists, unlike orthodox Christians, can always be outflanked by purer and more extreme leftists, leftism being a this worldly doctrine, and so the push proceeds. Feminists get outflanked by gays, gays by transgendered.
Tags: left singularity