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Believe Berkeley?  Don’t Be Crazy!
by Steven D. Laib, J.D., M.S.
14 August 2003Berkeley

The recent Berkeley study should come as no surprise.

That recent “study” emanating from the social science departments of Northern California Universities equating Conservatives, such as Ronald Reagan, with Adolph Hitler should come as no surprise.  It doesn’t surprise me because I grew up in Berkeley, and have seen the incredible conglomeration of lunacy radiating from both the local university and the halls of Berkeley city government.  And I’m not the only one.  Just ask David Horowitz, who lived there for a good number of the same years I did. 

Back when I was growing up people used to describe politics to me as a straight line, similar to the Cartesian “X” axis.  Conservatives were on the right and Liberals were on the left.  One was supposed to stay away from the extreme ends, as both were supposed to lead to the danger of dictatorships.  There was Nazi style on the right and Communist style on the left.  Being slightly intelligent I asked why it wasn’t a circle instead of a line, as a dictator was a dictator, regardless of his stripe.  This made a certain amount of sense, and some people tended to agree with me.  Later, when modern liberalism became fashionable, the idea of a supposedly benevolent liberal dictatorship, imposed for the good of the people, transcended previously beliefs about dictatorships being wrong.  As with the Clinton administration, the ends justify the means. 

Of course, the modern liberal dogma makes not one iota of sense.  It exists to promote the use and abuse of power in pursuit of an unachievable ideal society with perfect “social justice.”  The libertarians had it right when they said that the real difference between liberal and conservative politicians is only in how they use power.  Just like Johnny Rocko in the classic film Key Largo, they want more.  And just like Rocko, they never will get enough.  It’s not in their nature. 

As for the equation of Conservatism and Nazism, it is obvious that Professors Yost, Kruglanski, Glaser and Salloway never bothered to consult Professor John Jay Ray, formerly of the University of New South Wales.  A psychologist and behavior scientist, Professor Ray’s writings put the conclusions in a stark perspective; it is pretty obvious that they took a premise, and then set out to find evidence to prove it, regardless of the truth.  

Their finding that conservatives resist change was certainly incorrect.  The truth is essentially that conservatives resist “change for change’s sake.”  Conservative tolerance for inequality, should, in fact, read intolerance for forced equality, and acceptance of the natural order of things in which inequality is generally the rule. 

A conservative’s “fear and aggression” is limited to reasonable fear of unbridled authority.  Aggression is generally directed only at those who pose a threat to families, property and the American way of life.  Conservative “dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity” flies in the face of conservative free market economics.  Certainly, the leftist socialist planned economy is more dogmatic and intended to wipe out ambiguity with central control.  Thus, the planned economy is less capable of dealing with ambiguity or uncertainty. 

Professor Ray, in his Monograph on Leftism, shows how the political Right is generally neither for nor against change.  However, the modern North American liberal is “a keen advocate of change mainly to fulfill his/her ego needs -- needs for power, influence, self-advertisement, self-promotion and excitement.”  Ultimately, once the political left has gained power they become adamantly opposed to change.  Much of modern conservatism is motivated by the classic Jeffersonian resistance to government power over what would otherwise be matters of individual rights and liberties.  A true, dedicated modern conservative will support or oppose change to promote true individual rights, regardless of his or her personal benefit.  They oppose things on principle, rather than on any other basis. 

Of course, a lot of the modern left’s approach to modern problems stems from their Marxist view of human nature.  Essentially, if people are educated to behave properly then society will be perfect.  This flies in the face of their insistence on such things as a genetic basis for homosexuality; that “gayness” is a matter of nature, not nurture, and that the rest of humanity must be re-educated to accept it.  What they have lost is any perspective on the history of humanity, so they spend their time scraping the intellectual barrel for pseudo-facts to support a bankrupt philosophy.  These learned professors have either lost sight of the facts due to slavish devotion to their own dogma, or are deliberately lying.  I’d prefer to think it the former, but am inclined to believe that the latter is more likely.  As Professor Ray says, “Leftists simply reject what does not suit them.” 

In the end, the left is only interested in power, and power is a dangerous thing.  Plato based his ideal state on a Philosopher-King, knowing full well that a true philosopher would never want to be a king.  Perhaps he was having a mammoth joke on everyone else by stating something which the others didn’t see; that there isn’t going to be a perfect and completely equitable society, now or ever.  Plato never stated it in those terms, and his contemporaries took his paradox seriously.  Modern political realists would do well to accept the impossibility of a perfect state, if they don’t already. 

James Thurber, a favorite armchair philosopher of mine, once wrote a fable about the Bears and Monkeys.  Two monkeys named Monkey Say and Monkey Do revolutionized the society of the bears by making them “free to say what I want you to say and free to do what I want you to do.”  Eventually the bears broke the chains of this new freedom and went back to stealing honey and buns from nearby cottages.  Now, I believe, is the time for certain academics to break the chains of Leftist freedom to do and say the party line and discover real freedom of thought. Otherwise else they will end up looking in the mirror and finding exactly what they described conservatives as looking like.  Of course, by that time they may well be “free to see what I want you to see” and be as blind to the truth as the proverbial bat.

Steven Laib is a practicing attorney

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