For a very long time now, I have been turning over this question in my mind: What is it that makes a leftist? Where do leftists come from? How is it possible that sentient human beings, endowed with reason, memory, and foresight by their Creator, or by the evolutionary demiurge, can zealously adopt a political position so contrary to both good sense and common sense — and what is more, remain glued to its premises in the face of all contradictory evidence? For despite the miserable failure of socialist experiments the world over and from time immemorial, the determined leftist does not budge from his ideological sanctum and will invent every conceivable, or rather inconceivable, excuse to validate the soundness of his principles and justify every subsequent social and political miscarriage these principles bring about.
Of course, there is the argument from nurture, but this only begs the question and moves the cause one notch back in an endless antecedent series. Who nurtured the nurturers? Then there is the argument from desire or what the ancients called conatus, often based on a faulty reading of the world. One recalls the philosophical debate that raged for centuries between Duns Scotus and his followers on the one side and the school of Thomas Aquinas on the other. Scotus postulated that the will conditions the reason, in other words, desire seeks its goal first and the mind subsequently proceeds to vindicate its decision. Aquinas contended that reason commands the will, that is, the faculty of purified intellect posits the good, and desire afterwards strives to achieve it. Leftists and liberals are, on this interpretation, earnest Scotists, wanting something very badly and then abusing their mental powers to defend their error.
Only slightly more convincing is the argument from nature. Researchers have discovered a “liberal gene,” a dopamine receptor tagged DRD4, that predisposes people to the left-liberal side of the ideological continuum. A study of 2000 subjects from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health showed that under certain favorable conditions “people with a specific variant of the DRD4 gene were more likely to be liberal as adults.” As this thesis is advanced by scientists from the University of California (San Diego) and Harvard University, a saving degree of skepticism would be in order, especially as these scientists correlate the liberal gene with a predilection for openness and novelty, two factors not markedly associated with the leftist mindset.
The answer to the enigma, however, may lie in the realm of molecular biology. A recent groundbreaking discovery suggests that there may well be a “second genesis” for life on earth, predicated on a microbe that has replaced the element of phosphorus necessary for life with the lethal element of arsenic in its structure, thus “break[ing] the unity of biochemistry.” Moreover, according to NASA astrobiologist Mary Voytek, the microbes “have the arsenic in the basic building blocks of their makeup,” implying the existence of a “shadow biosphere” on the planet.
Here we may have come upon the real explanation for the leftist and liberal orientation in the human mind. Since it is so not amendable to the lessons of experience and persists in opposition to the indisputable verities of political life, it must owe its vigor and longevity to a different chemical architecture at the very source of its engendering. Socialism is likely the product of a shadow biosphere and may have taken root in the halomonadaceae family of bacteria, from which it evolved into such notable, arsenic-based life-forms as Karl Marx, Saul Alinsky, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, George Soros, and even Barack Obama. Lounge liberals and lesser creatures like Frank Rich of the New York Times, Chris Matthews of MSNBC, or Aluf Benn of Haaretz would merely have lower concentrations of arsenic in their DNA.
We can go further. Extrapolating from these fascinating facts, the orientation in question may hypothetically derive from some unknown, prehistoric meteor shower carrying alien molecular arrangements to earth, bio-morphs capable of absorbing huge amounts of toxicity. It is indeed possible, we are told, that the original microbes “absolutely need arsenic to survive.” These chunks from outer space might be fragments of Saturn’s moon Titan, where arsenic is one of the predominant constituents. A discovery of this magnitude unveils new ways of thinking about so flourishing an order of quasi-human life as the confederacy of the left, which I propose we classify as the family vita sinistra.
We live in truly amazing times, vibrant with unexpected discoveries. Such a mutation, if that is what it is, would go a long way to clearing up the once-insoluble mystery of the existence of the liberal-left among us. Some will no doubt find it comforting to learn that we are not alone. Extra-terrestrial life has always been here and SETI can now turn its gaze earthward to examine the galactic specimens we have long wondered about. The shadow biosphere, which in the course of evolutionary time gradually developed into a pervasive and anthropocidal psychosphere, is still a theory. But it accounts for much that continues to puzzle us about the various noxious manifestations of hominid-type behavior.