Please indulge me in a bit of personal recollection and reflection – it does have a rational purpose, you have my solemn word on that.
My mom died in 2004 of complications of Parkinson’s Disease and dementia.
I grew up in a loving household with a magnificent extended family close by but after 24 years of marriage, my parents got divorced. It didn’t come about due to infidelity or financial issues – it came about due to my mother’s pathological need to take the opposite side from my father on every issue, no matter how trivial. It wasn’t that she didn’t love my Dad – because she did until her dying day – but looking back, I can see a parallel between her failing mental health and her need to side with anybody other than my father
Thinking back to my childhood, I can remember minor disagreements between my parents which, at the time, seemed trivial and normal but as time progressed, my mom seemed to look to find find any way possible to rationalize that that my father was wrong or somehow the other party was more “right” in every dispute or disagreement. In the last years of their marriage, my mom’s need to oppose my dad became reflex. It wasn’t that she sought to be confrontational, it was just how she came to see things
My dad was a strong, confident and smart man – and one who owned up to his mistakes. He never sought to hurt anyone, and If he unintentionally wronged someone, it bothered him to his core until he made it right – and even then he carried the event with him as a reminder not to let it happen again. This made it all the more difficult to understand what possible reason caused my mother to feel the need to take the side of the underdog (no matter how wrong they were) against my dad.
I have come to believe the old saying “you only hurt the ones you love” has a lot of truth in it. Her pathological need to oppose spread to me as I came of age and began to make my own decisions. My little brother, 8 years my junior, was largely spared because Mom’s condition deteriorated to the point she needed 24 hour care and supervision and we had to make the terrible choice to institutionalize her but I have come to believe that my mom was not making a value judgement, she was experiencing symptoms of some sort of mental illness whereby she filled some void by “protecting” the weak against anyone stronger.
What was missing from my mother’s mental processes were any sense of rationality, proportionality or fairness. She started from the premise that my dad was wrong and worked it back to support that premise in her mind – even if that meant using the most absurd rationalizations to support her thinking. For example, she might remember something said over dinner with friends from years ago that was completely out of context but would throw that quote at my dad as if it had any relevance to the contemporary issue. To her, that was a basis for his intent.
Having lived through this, it is second nature for me to recognize similar situations in life and nowhere is mental condition more present than in the progressive movement in America.
It isn’t that progressives exclusively disagree with conservatives – it is they disagree with anything that represents any sort of logical order or structure and since they interpret order or structure as strength and that includes any person, entity, or organization they perceive to be in a position of strength – even when it is they who have the power.
They even fight natural laws – biological sex becomes a gender fluidity. The thought that man’s natural state is to be infinitely controlled instead of being free. That everyone is due equal outcomes in life. I swear they would argue against the law of gravity if they could. Just like my mom, their primal response is to oppose – no matter what.
It isn’t that the progressives don’t have a sort of “order” – but it is an “order” built on changeable whim and fad and when “order” is based on such an ephemeral basis, it isn’t order at all – it is something I have always called “oppressive chaos”, the arbitrary and capricious application of coercive power based on preference rather than principle. It is the process of “do what I say because I am in power.”
These seeming contradictions are why we see anarchists ally with communists in protests – they are both drawn to oppressive chaos.
Jefferson, Locke, Montesquieu and de Tocqueville called it tyranny.