Radical Son Reflections, Part IV: Leftists Are Intoxicated With Their Own Virtue


When I was trying to determine what excerpt I’d use for the fourth installment of this series on Radical Son: A Generational Oddyssey, I realized that I had not covered the Left’s view on morality yet. This even though it’s an integral part of the Left’s world view. It influences everything they do, from the policies they want pursue, to the way they treat their opponents.

The author of Radical Son, our Editor-in-Chief David Horowitz, explains on page 263 that progressives are intoxicated by their own virtue, and disgusted by what they consider to be conservatives’ many vices:

It now seemed obvious to me that both Ellen and I were destined to some kind of grief. We hadn’t understood the say in which our good intentions could be dangerous, either to us or to others. It was as if there was a flaw in our DNA that deprived us of sensors that would have provided warnings. Of course, we understood that we were taking risks. But they were risks we could predict (like persecution by our enemies, the defenders of injustice)…

He continues:

We thought of ourselves as self-effacing, but in fact we were arrogant. We regarded ourselves as better than others from our privileged caste who were unwilling to perform the deeds we did…

And concludes:

Like all radicals, we were intoxicated by our own virtue.

The above perfectly explains why radicals have no problem using Saul Alinsky’s infamous tactics against their enemies. As those with a history of debating progressives know, it doesn’t take leftists long before they accuse their critics of being immoral in one way or another. If you haven’t been called a “cold-hearted capitalist pig” and / or a “racist” by these enlightened souls, you’re not truly a conservative. All prominent members of the conservative movement have had to fight for their reputations at one point in time. In fact, many of them have to fight this battle each and every single day.

Often, I’ve asked myself the question how these people could justify using Alinsky’s rules for radicals. Especially rule number 13 is ruthless:

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’…”

How can a man who considers himself virtuous use such a tactic against his opponents? The only reasonable answer is that he believes his enemy is not merely wrong, but wicked. Perhaps this explains why the political debate is so polarized these days: radical progressives dominate the Democratic Party and use their power and influence to wage a war of personal destruction on all those who dare disagree with them.