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Ed Driscoll

Dennis Prager: ‘Leftism is a Religion’

May 25th, 2012 - 11:14 am

As Prager writes, “The Left craves power not money, and that makes it much more frightening:”*

You cannot understand the Left if you do not understand that leftism is a religion. It is not God-based (some left-wing Christians’ and Jews’ claims notwithstanding), but otherwise it has every characteristic of a religion. The most blatant of those characteristics is dogma. People who believe in leftism have as many dogmas as the most fundamentalist Christian.

One of them is material equality as the preeminent moral goal. Another is the villainy of corporations. The bigger the corporation, the greater the villainy. Thus, instead of the devil, the Left has Big Pharma, Big Tobacco, Big Oil, the “military-industrial complex,” and the like. Meanwhile, Big Labor, Big Trial Lawyers, and — of course — Big Government are left-wing angels.

And why is that? Why, to be specific, does the Left fear big corporations but not big government?

The answer is dogma — a belief system that transcends reason. No rational person can deny that big governments have caused almost all the great evils of the last century, arguably the bloodiest in history. Who killed the 20 to 30 million Soviet citizens in the Gulag Archipelago — big government or big business? Hint: There were no private businesses in the Soviet Union. Who deliberately caused 75 million Chinese to starve to death — big government or big business? Hint: See previous hint. Did Coca-Cola kill 5 million Ukrainians? Did Big Oil slaughter a quarter of the Cambodian population? Would there have been a Holocaust without the huge Nazi state?

Whatever bad things big corporations have done is dwarfed by the monstrous crimes — the mass enslavement of people, the deprivation of the most basic human rights, not to mention the mass murder and torture and genocide — committed by big governments.

How can anyone who thinks rationally believe that big corporations rather than big governments pose the greatest threat to humanity? The answer is that it takes a mind distorted by leftist dogma. If there is another explanation, I do not know what it is.

In The Tyranny of Cliches, Jonah Goldberg wrote:

When man loses God he sets about to make new gods. Or as the philosopher Eric Voegelin puts it, “[ W] hen God is invisible behind the world, the contents of the world will become new gods; when the symbols of transcendent religiosity are banned, new symbols develop from the inner-worldly language of science to take their place.”

Likewise man creates dogmas because man needs dogmas. The light of reason illuminates the darkness and science provides us compasses to find our way. But it does not provide us with reasons to get out of bed in the first place. As John Dos Passos said, “The mind cannot support moral chaos for long. Men are under as strong a compulsion to invent an ethical setting for their behavior as spiders are to weave webs.”

You can hear more from Dennis Prager in the latest edition of the Ricochet podcast.

* And how.

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